- An eight-year-old Senate report confirms that disease-producing and poisonous materials were exported, under U.S. government license, to Iraq from 1985 to 1988 during the Iran-Iraq War. The report adds that the American-exported materials were identical to micro-organisms destroyed by United Nations inspectors after the Gulf War. These shipments were approved despite allegations that Saddam used biological weapons against Kurdish rebels and (according to the current official U.S. position) initiated war with Iran.
- While biological warfare exports were approved by the U.S. government, the first President George Bush signed a policy directive proposing "normal" relations with Saddam in the interest of Middle East stability.
- According to a May 25, 1994, Senate Banking Committee report, in 1985 (five years after the Iraq-Iran war started) and succeeding years, "pathogenic (meaning "disease producing"), toxigenic (meaning "poisonous") and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq, pursuant to application and licensing by the U.S. Department of Commerce." The report added: "These exported biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction." The report then details 70 shipments (including anthrax bacillus) from the United States to Iraqi government agencies over three years, concluding, "It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program."
- With Baghdad having survived combat against Iran's revolutionary regime with U.S. help, President George H.W. Bush signed National Security Directive 26 on Oct. 2, 1989. Classified "Secret" but recently declassified, it said: "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 . . . "
- Rumsfeld visited Baghdad Dec. 20, 1983, as an expression of U.S. support for Saddam against Iran.
- Iraq's bioweapons program that President Bush wants to eradicate got its start with help from Uncle Sam two decades ago, according to government records. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent samples directly to several Iraqi sites that U.N. weapons inspectors determined were part of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons program, CDC and congressional records from the early 1990s show. Iraq had ordered the samples, claiming it needed them for legitimate medical research. The CDC and a biological sample company, the American Type Culture Collection, sent strains of all the germs Iraq used to make weapons, including anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and the germs that cause gas gangrene, the records show. Iraq also got samples of other deadly pathogens, including the West Nile virus. The transfers came in the 1980s, when the United States supported Iraq in its war against Iran. They were detailed in a 1994 Senate Banking Committee report and a 1995 follow-up letter from the CDC to the Senate. The exports were legal at the time and approved under a program administered by the Commerce Department. The disclosures put the United States in the uncomfortable position of possibly having provided the key ingredients of the weapons America is considering waging war to destroy, said Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
- Byrd entered the documents into the Congressional Record this month. Byrd asked Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld about the germ transfers at a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Byrd noted that Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1983, when Rumsfeld was President Reagan's Middle East envoy. "Are we, in fact, now facing the possibility of reaping what we have sown?" Byrd asked Rumsfeld after reading parts of a Newsweek article on the transfers. "I have never heard anything like what you've read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it," Rumsfeld said. Invoices included in the documents read like shopping lists for biological weapons programs. One 1986 shipment from the Virginia-based American Type Culture Collection included three strains of anthrax, six strains of the bacteria that make botulinum toxin and three strains of the bacteria that cause gas gangrene. Iraq later admitted to the United Nations that it had made weapons out of all three.
- From an AP article: Dozens of suppliers, most in Europe, the United States and Japan, provided the components and know-how Saddam Hussein needed to build an atomic bomb, according to Iraq's 1996 accounting of its nuclear program. The secret declaration, shown to The Associated Press, is virtually identical to the one submitted to U.N. inspectors on Dec. 7, according to U.N. officials. The reports have not been made public to prevent nuclear know-how from falling into the wrong hands and also to protect the names of companies that wittingly or unwittingly supplied Iraq with the means to make nuclear weapons.
And we're now supposed to believe that Rummy and the other chumps, who have been consistently either incompetent or evil in the past, are going to somehow get it right this time!