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Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W Bush

"When I interviewed Haig in the early 1990s, I asked him if he was troubled by the pattern of deceit that had become the norm among international players in the 1980s. "Oh, no, no, no, no," he boomed, shaking his head. "On that kind of thing? No. Come on. Jesus! God! You know, you'd better get out and read Machiavelli or somebody else because I think you're living in a dream world! People do what their national interest tells them to do and if it means lying to a friendly nation, they're going to lie through their teeth."" Al Haig & a 'Green Light' to Chaos By Robert Parry February 21, 2010 (Originally published in 1996) (Take with a pinch of salt, can't prove this)


"Stuff happens" Donald Rumsfield response to Iraq Looting APRIL 11, 2003 DEFENSE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING


"The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia [Iraq] into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. We are today not far from disaster." A Report on Mesopotamia by T.E. Lawrence By Ex.-Lieut.-Col. T.E. Lawrence Sunday Times August 22, 1920 The Guardian (Couldn't Find Primary Source)


"Foreign Minister Guzzetti: The terrorist organizations have been dismantled. If this direction continues, by the end of the year the danger will have been set aside. There will always be isolated attempts, of course."


"The Secretary: When will they be overcome? Next Spring?"


"Foreign Minister Guzzetti: No, by the end of this year."…


"The Secretary: Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed. I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better. The human rights problem is a growing one. Your Ambassador can apprise you. We want a stable situation. We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better. Whatever freedoms you could restore would help" FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1969–1976, VOLUME E–11, PART 2, DOCUMENTS ON SOUTH AMERICA, 1973–1976


"Both sides are mistaken. Washington's policy traces an even longer, more shrouded and fateful history. Forty years ago, the Central Intelligence Agency, under President John F. Kennedy, conducted its own regime change in Baghdad, carried out in collaboration with Saddam Hussein…


From 1958 to 1960, despite Kassem's harsh repression, the Eisenhower administration abided him as a counter to Washington's Arab nemesis of the era, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt -- much as Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush would aid Saddam Hussein in the 1980's against the common foe of Iran. By 1961, the Kassem regime had grown more assertive. Seeking new arms rivaling Israel's arsenal, threatening Western oil interests, resuming his country's old quarrel with Kuwait, talking openly of challenging the dominance of America in the Middle East -- all steps Saddam Hussein was to repeat in some form -- Kassem was regarded by Washington as a dangerous leader who must be removed. In 1963 Britain and Israel backed American intervention in Iraq…


In Cairo, Damascus, Tehran and Baghdad, American agents marshaled opponents of the Iraqi regime. Washington set up a base of operations in Kuwait, intercepting Iraqi communications and radioing orders to rebels. The United States armed Kurdish insurgents. The C.I.A.'s ''Health Alteration Committee,'' as it was tactfully called, sent Kassem a monogrammed, poisoned handkerchief, though the potentially lethal gift either failed to work or never reached its victim.


Then, on Feb. 8, 1963, the conspirators staged a coup in Baghdad. For a time the government held out, but eventually Kassem gave up, and after a swift trial was shot; his body was later shown on Baghdad television. Washington immediately befriended the successor regime. ''Almost certainly a gain for our side,'' Robert Komer, a National Security Council aide, wrote to Kennedy the day of the takeover…


According to the former Baathist leader Hani Fkaiki, among party members colluding with the C.I.A. in 1962 and 1963 was Saddam Hussein, then a 25-year-old who had fled to Cairo after taking part in a failed assassination of Kassem in 1958. According to Western scholars, as well as Iraqi refugees and a British human rights organization, the 1963 coup was accompanied by a bloodbath. Using lists of suspected Communists and other leftists provided by the C.I.A., the Baathists systematically murdered untold numbers of Iraq's educated elite -- killings in which Saddam Hussein himself is said to have participated. No one knows the exact toll, but accounts agree that the victims included hundreds of doctors, teachers, technicians, lawyers and other professionals as well as military and political figures. The United States also sent arms to the new regime, weapons later used against the same Kurdish insurgents the United States had backed against Kassem and then abandoned. Soon, Western corporations like Mobil, Bechtel and British Petroleum were doing business with Baghdad -- for American firms, their first major involvement in Iraq…


Serving on the staff of the National Security Council under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the late 1960's, I often heard C.I.A. officers -- including Archibald Roosevelt, grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and a ranking C.I.A. official for the Near East and Africa at the time -- speak openly about their close relations with the Iraqi Baathists.This history is known to many in the Middle East and Europe, though few Americans are acquainted with it, much less understand it. Yet these interventions help explain why United States policy is viewed with some cynicism abroad. George W. Bush is not the first American president to seek regime change in Iraq. Mr. Bush and his advisers are following a familiar pattern." A Tyrant 40 Years in the Making By Roger Morris March 14, 2003 NYT (Similar discussions in book) (Ex- National Security Council under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon in the late 1960's)


"On February 8, Komer sent a memorandum to President Kennedy that reads in part: “While it’s still early, Iraqi revolution seems to have succeeded. It is almost certainly a net gain for our side.” FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES, 1961–1963, VOLUME XVIII, NEAR EAST, 1962–1963 153. Memorandum From Stephen O. Fuqua of the Bureau of International Security Affairs, Department of Defense, to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (Sloan)0


Born about 1937. First came into prominence when chosen by the Ba'ath Party leadership in 1959 to assassinate Kassem and wounded in the attempt. Provisional Secretary General of the thereafter Ba'ath Command after November 1963. Established himself progressively as leading Party theorist in the background, emerging into the limelight in 1969. Headed Iraqi delegation to Libya immediately after the Libyan revolution. Appointed Vice Chairman of the R.C.c, and deputy to the President November 1969, when he was also confirmed as Deputy Secretary General of the Iraqi Ba'ath. A presentable young man initially regarded as a Party extremist, but responsibility may mellow him. Nephew of Khairallah President Dalfah, the Muhafiz of Baghdad and thus related to of those Bakr by marriage, Connected, as a Tikriti, with many in the corridors of power" Biographic sketch of Saddam Hussein by British Embassy Baghdad, November 15, 1969 Source: Public Record Office, London, FCO 17/871


"He walked with me towards the door repeating in earnest terms his hope that Anglo/Iraqi relations would take a real turn for the better, and when I said my final piece (as reported in my telegram) about oil, he stood still for some time nodding his head with that peculiar air of concentration which, it had seemed to me throughout our talk, set him apart from most of his colleagues. Indeed, he struck me as a much more serious character than other Batathist leaders; and his engaging smile, when he deployed it, seemed part and parcel of his absorption with the subject in hand and not, as with so many of the others, a matter of superficial affability. I should judge him, young as he is, to be a formidable, single-minded and hard-headed member of the Batathist hierarchy, but one with whom, if only one could see more of him, it would be possible to do business It may have been an "act"; but if so, it was a skilful performance for someone with so little experience of the outside world" Telegram from British Embassy Baghdad to Foreign and Commonwealth Office, "Saddam Hussein," December 20, 1969 Source: Public Record Office, London, FCO 17/871 Page 4


"[Iraq is] suddenly projecting the image of a country that wants to play a very dynamic and accurate [sic] role in the Arab world. . . Hussein is a rather remarkable person. He's 38 years old and holds no government position. He's the Vice President of the Command Council, but he is running the show; and he's a very ruthless and recently, obviously — pragmatic, intelligent power. I think we're going to see Iraq playing more of a role in the area than it has for many years" Alfred L. Atherton, Jr Transcript, "Secretary's Principals and Regionals Staff Meeting," April 28, 1975 (Excerpt) Source: National Archives, RG 59, Department of State Records, Transcripts of Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger Staff Meetings, 1973-1977 page 3-4


"Hammadi: We read in the newspapers the United States was providing weapons to the Kurdish movement in the north of Iraq. Our attitude is not based on that;

we have a reason to believe the US was not out of this. What is your view?


Kissinger: When we thought you were a Soviet satellite, we were not opposed to what Iran was doing in the Kurdish area. Now that Iran and you have resolved it, we have no reason to do any such thing, I can tell you we will engage in no such activity against Iraq's territorial integrity,and are not.


Hammadi: This is a result of that agreement. That you think we are not satellites


Kissinger: We have a more sophisticated understanding now. We think you are a friend of the Soviet Union but you act on your own principles" Memorandum of Conversation, Henry Kissinger et al with Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Sa'dun Hammadi, December 17, 1975


"Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."Jimmy Carter State of the Union Address 1980


"It was also interesting to confirm that President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran through Fahd.” Talking Points, State Department, "Talking Points" [for Alexander Haig meeting with Ronald Reagan], Top Secret/Sensitive, circa April 1981


"The Iranian front lines tend to be scenes of chaos and dedication, with turbaned mullahs, rifles slung on their backs, rushing about on brightly colored motorcycles encouraging the troops. Religious slogans are posted everywhere, and sometimes reinforcements arrive cheerfully carrying their own coffins as a sign of their willingness to be ''martyred.''" Iraqis Stalled By A Tenacious Enemy NYT Feb 28 1986




"No precise estimate of the volume of goods shipped could be made. But in interviews, Israeli and American intelligence officials acknowledged that weapons, spare parts and ammunition worth several billion dollars flowed to Iran each year during the early 1980's… "We were getting literally daily reports of Israeli sales to Iran," a former high-level Reagan Administration intelligence official said. "It was so routine I didn't think twice about it. It was pretty clear that all the key players knew." The Iran Pipeline: A Hidden Chapter/A special report.; U.S. Said to Have Allowed Israel to Sell Arms to Iran By Seymour M. Hersh Dec. 8, 1991



“confirming Iraqi use of chemical weapons. We also know that Iraq has acquired CW production primarily from Western firms, including possibly a U.S. foreign subsidiary” “Iraq Use of Chemical Weapons,” unclassified memo from Jonathan Howe to the secretary of state, November 1, 1983, National Security Archives, www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/iraq24.pdf.



"bilateral relations were sharply set back by our March 5 condemnation of Iraq for CW use, despite our repeated warnings that this issue would emerge sooner or later" Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein: The U.S. Tilts toward Iraq, 1980-1984 Briefing Notes For Rumsfeld Meeting in Baghdad Document 48


"SUBJECT: UN Human Rights Commission: Item 12: Iranian Resolution On Use Of Chemical Weapons By Iraq


Dept: Endorses General Strategy Described Reftel, Para 3. Usdel. Should Work To Develop General Western Position In Support Of A Motion To Take "No Decision” On Iranian Draft Resolution On Use Of Chemical Weapons By Iraq. If Such A Motion Gets Reasonable And Broad Support And Sponsorship, Usdel Should Vote In Favor. Failing Western Support For “No Decision,” Usdel CONFIDENTIAL


"In Either Case, Usdel (US delegation) Should Make A Strong Explanation Of Vote Drawing Upon Dept Press Statement Of March & On Iraqi Use Of Chemical Weapons.. Usdel Should Underscore’ The Following Points:


The UN Human Rights Commission is an Inappropriate Forum For Matters Dealing With Chemical Weapons


Usg Even Handedly Condemns The Prohibited Use Of ChemicaL Weapons Whenever It Occurs.


USG Deplores The Tragic Loss Of Life And Bloodshed In Both Iran And Iraq, Of Which The Carnage Caused By Chemical Weapons Is Only A Part." Department of State press briefing, March 19, 1984


"Col. Walter P. Lang, retired, the senior defense intelligence officer at the time, said he would not discuss classified information, but added that both D.I.A. and C.I.A. officials ''were desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose'' to Iran.


''The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern,'' he said. What Mr. Reagan's aides were concerned about, he said, was that Iran not break through to the Fao Peninsula and spread the Islamic revolution to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Colonel Lang asserted that the Defense Intelligence Agency ''would have never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi struggle for survival.'' Senior Reagan administration officials did nothing to interfere with the continuation of the program, a former participant in the program said… One officer said, ''They had gotten better and better'' and after a while chemical weapons ''were integrated into their fire plan for any large operation, and it became more and more obvious."


The Pentagon ''wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas,'' said one veteran of the program. ''It was just another way of killing people -- whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference,'' he said." Patrick E. Tyler, "Officers Say U.S. Aided Iraq in War Despite Use of Gas," New York Times, August 18, 2002


"The Central Intelligence Agency has been secretly supplying Iraq with detailed intelligence, including data from sensitive U.S. satellite reconnaissance photography, to assist Iraqi bombing raids on Iran's oil terminals and power plants in the war between the two nations, according to informed sources." Cia Aiding Iraq In Gulf War Bob Woodward The Washington Post December 15th 1986


"Perhaps more than the President's disregard of the Forty Committee, the apparent "no win" policy of the U.S. and its ally deeply disturbed this Committee. Documents in the Committee's possession clearly show that the President, Dr. Kissinger and the foreign head of state hoped that our clients would not prevail. They preferred instead that the insurgents simply continue a level of hostilities sufficient to sap the resources of our ally's neighboring country. This policy was not imparted to our clients, who were encouraged to continue fighting. Even in the context of covert action, ours was a cynical enterprise…


The cynicism of the U.S. and its ally had not yet completely run its course, however.

Despite direct pleas from the insurgent leader and the CIA station chief in the area to the President and Dr. Kissinger, the U.S. refused to extend humanitarian assistance to the thousands of refugees created by the abrupt termination of military aid. As the Committee staff was reminded by a high U.S. official, "covert action should not be confused with missionary work."


It appears that, had the U.S. not reinforced our ally's prodding, the insurgents may have reached an accommodation with the central government, thus gaining at least a measure of autonomy while avoiding further bloodshed. Instead, our clients fought on, sustaining thousands of casualties and 200,000 refugees…


The CIA had early information which suggested that our ally would abandon the ethnic group the minute he came to an agreement with his enemy over border disputes. Two months after initiating the project a CIA memo of 17 Oct., 1972 states: "|Our ally] has apparently used [another governments] Foreign Minister to pass word to [his enemy| that he would be willing to allow peace to prevail [in the area] if [his enemy] would publicly agree to abrogate [a previous treaty concerning their respective borders]." In addition, CIA memos and cables characterize our ally's views of the ethnic group as "a card to play" in his dispute with his neighbor. And, a CIA memo of 22 March, 1974 characterizes the ethnic group as "a uniquely useful tool for weakening [our ally's enemies] potential for international adventurism." The Pike Report, reprinted as "The Select Committee's Investigative Record," February 16, 1976 Page 666, 671



"That leaves Washington with a modest military success but with no apparent progress on confining, let alone ending, the Gulf war. Further, the United States is increasingly embarrassed by Iraq, its ostensible partner. In March, for instance, the Iraqis killed as many as 5,000 people with chemical weapons. The United States condemned this atrocity -- not Iraq's first -- but, to keep the diplomatic focus on the broader war, prevented Iran from raising the chemical question as a special item of Security Council debate. Now, claim the Iranians, Iraq is employing chemicals again" The Gulf The Battle The War Washington Post April 20 1988


"This is a campaign of extermination aimed against an ancient ethnic group that wants only to keep its own language and customs in sarbasti - freedom. A classic example of genocide is under way, and the world does not give a damn." ESSAY; Stop the Iraqi Murder of the KurdsBy William Safire Sept. 5, 1988 NYT


"Not just a whiff but the stench of genocide drifts from the Kurdish areas of Iraq and the green hills of Burundi, homeland of the Hutu tribe. Those who commit such acts should know the world watches, that sovereignty cannot legitimize genocide …Enough silence."Murder Within Sovereign Borders Sept. 5, 1988


"But Redman said the United States has received no information to confirm Kurdish allegations of widespread Iraqi use of chemical weapons against the Kurds. "If they were to be true, of course we would strongly condemn the use of chemical weapons as we have in the past. The use of chemical weapons is deplorable. It's barbaric," Redman said. "There is no justification for its use." U.S. CONCERN IS EXPRESSED TO BAGHDADBy David B. Ottaway September 7, 1988 The Washington Post State Department spokesman Charles E. Redman


"The State Department spokesman, Charles E. Redman, said the United States was certain of Iraq's use of such weapons within its own borders. ''As a result of our evaluation of the situation, the United States Government is convinced that Iraq has used chemical weapons in its military campaign against Kurdish guerrillas,'' Mr. Redman said. ''Any use in this context is abhorrent and unjustifiable.'' No Details Are Given" U.S. ASSERTS IRAQ USED POISON GAS AGAINST THE KURDS By Julie Johnson, Special To the New York Times Sept. 9, 1988


"Summary: Husayn Kahil, Saddak Hussein's son-in~ law and minister of industry, fulminated to Bechtel representatives september 10 about the senate's passage of the genocide bill. In lengthy diatribe, kahil denied charge of cw use and described senate action as part of Zionist conspiracy to embarrass and undermine Iraq after its "victory" over Iran. BECHTEL representatives said that if economic sanctions contained in senate act are signed into law, Bechtel will turn to NON-U.S. suppliers of technology and continue to do business in Iraq. End summary. CONFIDENTIAL" Cable from U.S. embassy, Baghdad, to State Department, "Minister of Industry Blasts Senate Action," September 13, 1988 Document 11


"QUESTION: Two quick questions. You were in the Reagan Administration and I'm curious as to why the Administration's response to Halabja was so weak. And on to the second one, do you have any thoughts as to what type of chemical weapon Saddam Hussein used here in 1988?


SECRETARY POWELL: At the time, Halabja was commented on by the Administration. And it was commented on both by the White House at that time, as well as by the State Department. Strongly condemned. And there was no effort on the part of the Reagan Administration at that time to either ignore it or not take note of it." Secretary Colin L. Powell, Halabja, Iraq, September 15, 2003, Press Release, U.S. Department of State



"Mr Kelly: We have no defense treaty relationship with any Gulf country. That is clear. We support the security and independence of friendly states in the region. Ever since the Truman administration, we have maintained Naval forces in the Gulf because of our interest in stability in that region. We are calling for a peaceful resolution of any differences in that area and we hope and trust and believe that the sovereignty of every state in the Gulf ought to be respected.


Mr. HAMILTION: Do we have a commitment to our friends in the Gulf in the event that they are engaged in oil or territorial disputes with their neighbors ?


Mr. KELLY: As I said, Mr. Chairman, we have no defense treaty relationships with any of the countries. We have historically avoided taking a position on border disputes or on internal OPEC deliberations, but we have certainly, as have all administrations, resoundingly called for the peaceful settlement of disputes and differences in the area.


Mr. HAMILTON: If Iraq, for example, charged across the border into Kuwait, for whatever reason, what would be our position with regard to the use of U.S. forces ?


Mr. KELLY: That, Mr. Chairman, is a hypothetical or a contingency, the kind of which I can't get into. Suffice it to say we would be extremely concerned, but I cannot get into the realm of '' what if answers.


Mr. HAMILTON: In that circumstance, it is correct to say, however, that we do not have a treaty commitment which would obligate us to engage U.S. forces ?


Mr. KELLY: That is correct.


Mr. HAMILTON: That is correct, is it not ?



"Our administration's review of the previous Iraq policy was not immune from domestic economic considerations. From its modest inception in the Reagan administration, the policy of extending grain credit guarantees to Iraq had expanded dramatically. The Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) was now extending more than $1 billion a year in credit guarantees to Iraq to buy American foodstuffs. By 1989, Iraq had become the ninth-largest purchaser of U.S. agricultural products. These programs were immensely popular on Capitol Hill and with farm state politicians… Had we attempted to isolate Iraq, we would have also isolated American businesses, particularly agricultural interests, from significant commercial opportunities. " The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War, and Peace, 1989-1992 Page 263 James Baker (10th White House Chief of Staff and 67th United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan and the 61st U.S. Secretary of State before returning as the 16th White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush)


"Judge Shoob criticized the Government's portrayal of Mr. Drogoul as the mastermind of the loans, while the bank's top executives in Rome were depicted as innocent victims. The judge wrote: "There are grave questions as to how the prosecutors made their decisions in this case -- both as to the nature of the charges and whom to prosecute."


He challenged the assertions by Federal prosecutors in Atlanta that they alone had made the key decisions in the case. "It is apparent that decisions were made at the top levels of the United States Justice Department, State Department, Agriculture Department and within the intelligence community to shape this case," Judge Shoob wrote, "and that information may have been withheld from local prosecutors seeking to investigate the case or used to steer the prosecution."


He noted that the Justice Department had canceled investigators' trips to Italy and Turkey, where they had intended to interview bank officials. Judge Shoob noted that the local prosecutor received "highly unusual and inappropriate telephone calls" from the White House Office of Legal Counsel, "indicating the potential embarrassment level of the case." The White House has said the calls were not intended to influence the prosecutors" U.S. IS CRITICIZED ON IRAQ LOAN CASE By Martin Tolchin Oct. 6, 1992 NYT


"Judge Shoob said he believed there was strong evidence of a far-ranging conspiracy involving the governments of the United States, Italy and Britain to aid Iraq. He said the only way to find out what really happened would be the appointment of an independent prosecutor. But with the Clinton Administration's view of the case, as expressed today, it seems unlikely that that would happen and probable that the case will soon simply come to a halt. Objections by Prosecutors. Judge Shoob backed up his sharp words, by refusing to sentence the five bankers to jail. They had pleaded guilty to various felony counts, but Judge Shoob said he would not sentence them to jail because the Government's contention that they defrauded the parent bank in Rome was incredible. Prosecutors objected, saying the bankers were largely responsible for the secret loans. But Judge Shoob characterized them as merely "pawns and bit players in a far more wide-ranging conspiracy."


…The case before Judge Shoob involves six former officials of the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank which financed nearly $5 billion in loans that Iraq used to buy arms. The prosecution of the Atlanta bankers is at the heart of accusations that the Bush Administration covertly armed Iraq then sought to cover up that policy after its army invaded Kuwait in August 1990… Judge Shoob has complained in the past that he was lied to by the intelligence agency and the Bush Administration." Judge Scoffs at Defense of Bush on Iraq By Neil A. Lewis Aug. 24, 1993 NYT


"Normal relations between the United States and Iraq would serve our longer-term interests and promote stability in both the Gulf and the Middle East. The United States Government should propose economic and political incentives for Iraq to moderate its behavior and to increase our influence with Iraq. At the same time, the Iraqi leadership must understand that any illegal use of chemical and/or biological weapons will lead to economic and political sanctions, for which we would seek the broadest possible support from our allies and friends. Any breach by Iraq of IAEA safeguards in its nuclear program will result in a similar response. Human rights considerations should continue to be an important element in our policy toward Iraq. In addition, Iraq should be urged to cease its meddling in external affairs, such as in Lebanon, and be encouraged to play a constructive role in negotiating a settlement with Iran and cooperating in the Middle East peace process. (5)


We should pursue, and seek to facilitate, opportunities for U.S. firms to participate in the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy, particularly in the energy area, where they do not conflict with our non-proliferation and other significant objectives. Also, as a means of developing access to and influence with the Iraqi defense establishment, the United States should consider sales of non-lethal forms of military assistance, é.g., training courses and medical exchanges, on a case by case basis." NSD 26 10/02/1989 U.S. Policy Toward the Persian Gulf (3 pages)


"On Oct. 31, Iraq released what it claimed was a captured Kuwaiti intelligence document reporting on a week of meetings held with American officials, including CIA Director William Webster, during mid-November last year. The document reads, “We agreed with the American side that it was important to take advantage of the deteriorating economic structure in Iraq in order to put pressure on that country’s government to delineate our common border.” The CIA acknowledged that Webster had received a “routine courtesy call” from senior Kuwaiti officials on the indicated date but insisted that nothing about Kuwait’s relations with Iraq had been discussed “at that meeting.”" Congress Must Take a Hard Look at Iraq’s Charges Against Kuwait : Geopolitics: Before the U.S. exercises the ‘war option,’ we must assess the regional belief that Hussein was responding to provocative Kuwaiti policies. BY G. HENRY M. SCHULER DEC. 2, 1990



"Mr. GONZALEZ. Mr. Speaker, last week I showed that this administration, President Bush's administration, deliberately and not inadvertently helped to arm Iraq by allowing United States technology to be shipped to the Iraqi military and to the Iraqi weapons factories. Throughout the course of the Bush administration, United States and foreign firms were granted export licenses to ship United States technology directly to Iraqi weapons facilities, despite ample evidence showing that these factories were producing weapon. I also showed how the President misled the Congress and the public about the role United States firms played in arming Iraq. Today I will show that the highest levels of the Bush administration, including the President himself, had specific knowledge of Iraq's military industrialization plans, and despite that knowledge, the President mandated the policy of coddling Saddam Hussein as spelled out in National Security Directive 26 (NSD-26) issued in October 1989. This policy was not changed until after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, by which time the Bush administration had sent Saddam Hussein billions of dollars in United States financial assistance, technology and useful military intelligence information."138 Cong. Rec. (Bound) - July 27, 1992 Page 19437


"While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. It was horrifying. I could not help but think of my nephew who was born premature and might have died that day as well. After I left the hospital, some of my friends and I distributed flyers condemning the Iraqi invasion until we were warned we might be killed if the Iraqis saw us.


The Iraqis have destroyed everything in Kuwait. They stripped the supermarkets of food, the pharmacies of medicine, the factories of medical supplies, ransacked their houses and tortured neighbors and friends.


I saw and talked to a friend of mine after his torture and release by the Iraqis. He is 22 but he looked as though he could have been an old man. The Iraqis dunked his head into a swimming pool until he almost drowned. They pulled out his fingernails and then played [sic] electric shocks to sensitive private parts of his body. He was lucky to survive.


If an Iraqi soldier is found dead in the neighborhood, they burn to the ground all the houses in the general vicinity and would not let firefighters come until the only ash and rubble was left.


The Iraqis were making fun of President Bush and verbally and physically abusing my family and me on our way out of Kuwait. We only did so because life in Kuwait became unbearable. They have forced us to hide, burn or destroy everything identifying our country and our government.


I want to emphasize that Kuwait is our mother and the Emir our father. We repeated this on the roofs of our houses in Kuwait until the Iraqis began shooting at us, and we shall repeat it again. I am glad I am 15, old enough to remember Kuwait before Saddam Hussein destroyed it and young enough to rebuild it. Thank you." Nayirah testimony, Video


"He said Americans ″are held in direct contravention of international law. Many of them reportedly staked out as human shields near possible military targets, brutality that I don’t believe Adolf Hitler ever participated in anything of that nature."" Bush Says Saddam Even Worse Than Hitler TOM RAUM AP News November 1, 1990


"The United States will be in a box if the Iraqis agree to withdraw unconditionally," said a diplomat who has been following the issue closely. He said it was unlikely that the international coalition sponsoring the war under United Nations authorization would approve further large-scale military action under such circumstances, whatever the view in Washington" PEACE PLAN POSES RISKS FOR U.S.-SOVIET RELATIONS By Don Oberdorfer February 21, 1991 The Washington Post (Quote not in book but similar discussions)



"But there's another way for the bloodshed to stop. And that is for the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands -- to force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside" Remarks to the American Association for the Advancement of Science 1991-02-15 President George H W Bush - Audio



"And you're asking me if I foresaw the size of the Kurdish refugee problem? The answer is no, I did not. But do I think that the United States should bear guilt because of suggesting that the Iraqi people take matters into their own hands, with the implication being given by some that the United States would be there to support them militarily? That was not true. We never implied that." President George H. W. Bush, April 16, 1991, White House Briefing Min 9:30


"Do I think the answer is now for Saddam Hussein to be kicked out? Absolutely because there will not be -- may I finish, please? -- there will not be normalized relations with the United States, and I think this is true for most coalition partners, until Saddam Hussein is out of there. And we will continue the economic sanctions." President George H. W. Bush, April 16, 1991, White House Briefing Min 9:50


"The worst civilian suffering, senior officers say, has resulted not from bombs that went astray but from precision-guided weapons that hit exactly where they were aimed -- at electrical plants, oil refineries and transportation networks… Among the justifications offered now, particularly by the Air Force in recent briefings, is that Iraqi civilians were not blameless for Saddam's invasion of Kuwait. "The definition of innocents gets to be a little bit unclear," said a senior Air Force officer, noting that many Iraqis supported the invasion of Kuwait. "They do live there, and ultimately the people have some control over what goes on in their country… Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney, at a recent breakfast with reporters, said every Iraqi target was "perfectly legitimate" and added, "If I had to do it over again, I would do exactly the same thing."" ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ By Barton Gellman June 23, 1991



"Said another Air Force planner: "Big picture, we wanted to let people know, 'Get rid of this guy and we'll be more than happy to assist in rebuilding. We're not going to tolerate Saddam Hussein or his regime. Fix that, and we'll fix your electricity.'" ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ By Barton Gellman June 23, 1991


"I and the members of my mission were fully conversant with media reports regarding the situation in Iraq and, of course, with the recent WHO/UNICEF report on water, sanitary and health conditions in the Greater Baghdad area. It should, however, be said at once that nothing that we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation which has now befallen the country. Recent conflict has wrought near-apocalyptic results upon the economic infrastructure of what had been, until January 1991, a rather highly urbanized and mechanized society. Now, most means of modern life support have been destroyed or rendered tenuous. Iraq has, for some time to come, been relegated to a pre-industrial age, but with all the disabilities of post-industrial dependency on an intensive use of energy and technology." United Nations, “Report to the Secretary-General on Humanitarian Needs in Kuwait and Iraq in the Immediate Post-crisis Environment by a Mission to the Area Led by Mr. Martti Ahtisaari, Under-Secretary-General for Administration and Management, Dated 20 March 1991,” $/22366 para 8


"People say, 'You didn't recognize that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage,' " said the planning officer. "Well, what were we trying to do with {United Nations-approved economic} sanctions -- help out the Iraqi people? No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to accelerate the effect of the sanctions."" ALLIED AIR WAR STRUCK BROADLY IN IRAQ By Barton Gellman June 23, 1991



"Children lie on filthy hospital beds, murmuring in pain as they die of diarrhea and pneumonia. Some of the Arab world's finest artists peddle their work for as little as $12 a painting. A 50-year-old re- tired policeman, victim of a stroke a year ago, limps from merchant to merchant in a food market looking for what he can afford on a pension driven down by inflation to the equivalent of $2 a month, barely enough to buy one chicken. . . . Unable to sell its oil and buy food, medicine and spare parts except under United Nations con- ditions that it refuses to accept, Iraq faces famine and economic collapse… Despite the hardships being heaped on the population, Mr. Hussein, his two sons and potential political heirs, Uday and Qusay, and his Takriti family clan continue to rule Iraq virtually as royalty. Behind the walls of sumptuous palaces and cordons of security men, Mr. Hussein remains invulnerable to public dissent, protected by an intelligence and security apparatus directed by Qusay and a handful of first cousins and other relatives." Baghdad's Burden -- A special report.; Iraq Is Near Economic Ruin But Hussein Appears Secure By Youssef M. Ibrahim NYT Oct. 25, 1994




"The world has also tried economic sanctions -- and watched Iraq use billions of dollars in illegal oil revenues to fund more weapons purchases, rather than providing for the needs of the Iraqi people."October 7, 2002 President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat Remarks by the President on Iraq Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal Cincinnati, Ohio


"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people." March 17, 2003 President Says Saddam Hussein Must Leave Iraq Within 48 Hours Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation The Cross Hall


"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime... Day one, these things were laid and sealed.


…"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap."" Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? 60-minutes BY REBECCA LEUNG JANUARY 9, 2004



"Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, this [American security] perimeter has expanded slowly but inexorably. . . . In the Persian Gulf region, the presence of American forces, along with British and French units, has become a semi-permanent fact of life. Though the immediate mission of those forces is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region of vital importance. Indeed, the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." PNAC, Rebuilding America's Defences Page 14


C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justifi ed by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime’s record. There was little

discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action… The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbors, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force." The Secret Downing Street Memo


"Hard-liners are alarmed that American intelligence underestimated the pace and scale of Iraq's nuclear program before Baghdad's defeat in the gulf war. Conscious of this lapse in the past, they argue that Washington dare not wait until analysts have found hard evidence that Mr. Hussein has acquired a nuclear weapon. The first sign of a ''smoking gun,'' they argue, may be a mushroom cloud… Still, Mr. Hussein's dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq's push to improve and expand Baghdad's chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war." THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE IRAQIS; U.S. SAYS HUSSEIN INTENSIFIES QUEST FOR A-BOMB PARTS By Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller Sept. 8, 2002


"The Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is also convinced that President Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda or related terrorist groups, according to several American intelligence officials. The officials said they believe that the last terrorist operation tried by Iraq against the United States was the assassination attempt against the first President Bush during his visit to Kuwait in 1993. That plot was disrupted before it could be carried out. American intelligence officials believe that Mr. Hussein has been reluctant to use terrorism again for fear of being detected." A NATION CHALLENGED: IRAQ; Terror Acts By Baghdad Have Waned, U.S. Aides Say By James Risen Feb. 6, 2002


"The danger is, is that they work in concert. The danger is that Al-Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world. Both of them need to be dealt with. The war on terror, you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror" President George W. Bush, Remarks In A Photo Opportunity With Colombian President Uribe, Washington, DC, 9/25/02). Press Release - The Rest of the Story: Iraq's Links to Al Qaeda September 15, 2006


"We've learned that Iraq has trained al Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases. And we know that after September the 11th, Saddam Hussein's regime gleefully celebrated the terrorist attacks on America… Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists. Alliance with terrorists could allow the Iraqi regime to attack America without leaving any fingerprints… The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons." October 7, 2002 President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat Remarks by the President on Iraq Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal Cincinnati, Ohio


"Yet the 28-page public document turned estimates into facts, left out or watered down the dissent within the government about key weapons programs, and exaggerated Iraq's ability to strike the United States, the investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found…


The report also notes that the White Paper dropped such qualifiers as "we judge" and "we assess," making best estimates appear as fact. Thus the classified report's language, "We assess that Baghdad has begun renewed production of mustard, sarin, cyclosarin, and VX . . . " became "Baghdad has begun renewed production . . . "


Also, the words "we have little specific information on Iraq's CW [chemical weapons] stockpile" were removed from the unclassified paper. "Removing caveats such as 'we judge' and 'we assess' changed many sentences in the unclassified paper to statements of fact rather than assessments," the report noted. In doing so, the White Paper "misrepresented [the intelligence community's] judgments to the public," the Senate panel concluded…


Yesterday, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the Senate committee's chairman, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), said that had Congress known before the vote to go to war what his committee has since discovered about the intelligence on Iraq, "I doubt if the votes would have been there." Roberts characterized some of the redacted parts of the Senate report as "specific details that would make your eyebrows even raise higher." Report Says CIA Distorted Iraq DataBy Dana PriestJuly 12, 2004



We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force… The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspector" The Secret Downing Street Memo SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY DAVID MANNING From: Matthew Rycroft Date: 23 July 2002 - The Times


"Analysts feel more politicized and more pushed than many of them can ever remember. . . . The guys at the Pentagon shrieked on issues such as the link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. There has been a lot of pressure to write on this constantly and not to let it drop." CIA Feels Heat on Iraq Data BY GREG MILLER AND BOB DROGIN OCT. 11, 2002


"It was clear that the critiques of him as a dumb, lazy rich kid were somewhere off the mark. When he focused, he asked the kind of questions that revealed a results-oriented mind, but he looked for the simple solution, the bumper sticker description of the problem. Once he had that, he could put energy behind a drive to achieve his goal. The problem was that many of the important issues, like ter- rorism, like Iraq, were laced with important subtlety and nuance. These issues needed analysis, and Bush and his inner circle had no real interest in complicated analyses; on the issues that they cared about, they already knew the answers; it was received wisdom" Richard Clarke Against All Enemies Inside America's War on Terror Page 243 (President Bush Counter Terrorism Chief)


"Although Bush had heard about al Qaeda in intelligence reports before the attack he had spent little time learning about the sources and nature of the movement. His immediate instinct after the attacks was, naturally, to hit back. His framework, however, was summed up by his famous line "you are either with us or against us" and his early focus on dealing with Iraq as a way of demonstrating America's power. I doubt that anyone ever had the chance to make the case to him that attacking Iraq would actually make America less secure and strengthen the broader radical Islamic terrorist movement. Certainly he did not hear that from the small circle of advisors who alone are the people whose views he respects and trusts." Richard Clarke Against All Enemies Inside America's War on Terror Page 244 (President Bush Counter Terrorism Chief)



" But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder" February 5, 2003 Colin Powell U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council


"AFTER SECRETARY OF STATE Colin L. Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, it is hard to imagine how anyone could doubt that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Powell left no room to argue seriously that Iraq has accepted the Security Council's offer of a "final opportunity" to disarm. And he offered a powerful new case that Saddam Hussein's regime is cooperating with a branch of the al Qaeda organization that is trying to acquire chemical weapons and stage attacks in Europe" The Washington Post Irrefutable Feb 6th 2003


The United Nations said an average of 100 Iraqi civilians were being killed each day in Iraq, "the overwhelming majority" of them in Baghdad. On the streets, the tallies are borne out in flesh and blood. Each day, the bodies pile up at Baghdad's main morgue: burned with acid, riddled with bullets, blindfolded, handcuffed, drilled with holes. For much of the city, the Tigris River forms the sectarian boundary, the Sunnis on the west and the Shiites in the east. Many Baghdad residents will no longer stray from their own neighborhoods. Shops in most neighborhoods close by 2 p.m., if they open at all. Gun-toting militiamen from the Mahdi Army roam the streets unmolested." Baghdad’s Chaos Undercuts Tack Pursued by U.S. By Dexter Filkins Aug. 6, 2006 NYT


"Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to newly available documents" Halliburton's Deals Greater Than Thought By Michael Dobbs August 28, 2003 The Washington Post



"I cannot talk with you," said Sajid Saad Hassan, a professor at Basra University's agriculture college. "I haven't joined a party and no militia is protecting me."" Oil, Politics and Bloodshed Corrupt an Iraqi City By Sabrina Tavernise and Qais Mizher




"Mr. Bremer said he repeatedly complained in National Security Council meetings chaired by Ms. Rice and attended by cabinet secretaries that the quality of police training was poor and focused on producing high numbers. "They were just pulling kids off the streets and handing them badges and AK-47's," Mr. Bremer said." Misjudgments Marred U.S. Plans for Iraqi Police By Michael Moss and David Rohde May 21, 2006 NYT


"The erosion of support for the Coahtion has accelerated over the past three months," I said in that meeting, "despite progress on the political process, the TAL, and glimmerings of reconstruction activity— at last." The reason was quite simply the increase in insurgent attacks. I warned that we were sure to face more such attacks in the coming weeks as the enemy tried to derail progress along the path to democracy. "So the message to most Iraqis is that the Coalition can't provide them the most basic government service: security'," I concluded. "We've become the worst of all things — an ineffective occupier" My year in Iraq : the struggle to build a future of hope by Paul Bremer Page 358 (He led the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) following the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, from May 2003 until June 2004)


"For the most part they are grass-roots forces without uniforms, bases or standardized training. They appear at makeshift checkpoints throughout the country, guarding the perimeter of hospitals and airports, and persecute their rivals under the guise of "neighborhood watches."" Iraq's Little Armies By Matt Sherman March 8, 2006 NYT



"The 24 Iraqi civilians killed on Nov. 19 included children and the women who were trying to shield them, witnesses told a Washington Post special correspondent in Haditha this week and U.S. investigators said in Washington. The girls killed inside Khafif's house were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1, according to death certificates." In Haditha, Memories of a Massacre Iraqi Townspeople Describe Slaying of 24 Civilians by Marines in Nov. 19 Incident


"In his comments, Mr. Maliki said violence against civilians had become a "daily phenomenon" by many troops in the American-led coalition who "do not respect the Iraqi people." "They crush them with their vehicles and kill them just on suspicion," he said. "This is completely unacceptable." Attacks on civilians will play a role in future decisions on how long to ask American forces to remain in Iraq, the prime minister added" Iraqi Assails U.S. for Strikes on Civilians NYT By Richard A. Oppel Jr.June 2, 2006





"You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine until we arrived, and kind of "we're going to stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East.


Question: What did Iraqi have to do with that?


Bush: What did Iraq have to do with what?


Question: The attack upon the World Trade Center.


Bush: Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case." Transcript of Bush's News Conference WSJ Aug. 21, 2006


Unverified Sources


"They approved everything we sent — spare parts for airplanes, antitank missiles, and ammunition for the artillery. Israel was a U.S. proxy." There were even reports in Israel that Saddam offered to recognize Israel if it would stop supporting Iran." Iraq-Iran war General Avraham Tamir national security advisor to the Israeli min- ister of defense


How U.S. Arms and Technology were transferred to Iraq," ABC News Nightline, Show No. 2690, September 13, 1991


Secretary of State George Shultz, entitled "Swan Song for Iraq's Kurds." He warned, "Now with cease fire [with Iran], government forces appear ready to settle Kurdish dissidence once and for all. . . . Baghdad is likely to feel little restraint in using chemical weapons against the rebels and against villages that continue to support them." Saddam Hussein's forces, he pointed out, would consider Kurdish civilians and soldiers alike fair game


Swan Song for Iraq's Kurds?," top secret cable from Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research Morton Abramowitz to Secretary of State George Shultz September 2 1988


"It is in no way USG [U.S. government] policy to suggest that the Government of Iraq is illegitimate or that the people of Iraq should or will revolt against the Government of Iraq… I am sorry that the Government of Iraq did not inform me of its con- cern about the editorial earlier, so that I could have provided you with the official assurance of our regret without delay" Ambassador April Glaspie


"I hope he enjoyed that applause, because this will turn out to be the most expensive vote he ever cast." The Washington Post November 25 1990 James Baker (Yemen's vote on the Gulf War resolution and aid cuts)


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