1,000 Tons of American-Made Weapons-Grade Handwavium In Iraq
A Brief History Behind the Current US-Iraq Relations
1953-01-20: Dwight Eisenhower sworn in as US President
1953-08-19: Operation Ajax. US CIA and British MI-6 lead a covert coup d’etat against the democratically elected administration of the Iranian government. They reinstall the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to power. One major reason for the overthrow of the Iranian government was that it had nationalized it’s oil production, which had until that time been monopolized by the British and it’s main corporation, British Petroleum. In 1951, Winston Churchill ordered the British Navy to blockade Iran to force Iran into giving up nationalization. Failing that, the British turned to America for help, saying Iran was coming under the influence of communists (pretty potent charge, given it was the height of the cold war). Truman declined to get involved. Eisenhower approved Operation Ajax. The Shah is put into power. Iranian oil revenues are divided between British and American interests.
1961-01-20: John F. Kennedy sworn in as US President
1961: Dick Cheney gets his first draft deferral from Vietnam War. He will get a total of six deferrals until he turns 26, at which point he is too old for the draft.
1963-11-22: John F. Kennedy assasinated. Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in as US President.
1969-01-20: Richard Nixon sworn in as US President.
1974-08-08: Richard Nixon resigns. Gerald Ford sworn in as US President. Dick Cheney is White House Chief of Staff.
1976-10-28: The Shah of Iran, installed by CIA and MI6 agents to maintain western control of Iranian oil, has turned Iran into a police state and centralized power to himself. His secret police, SAVAK, regularly tortures Iranian civilians he views as political threats. Amnesty International estimates the total number of political prisoners in Iran to be somewhere between 25,000 and 100,000. Iranians estimate the number to be near 60,000.
Amnesty International described Iran as having the “highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid system of civilian courts and a history of torture which is beyond belief. No country in the world has a worse record in human rights than Iran”
1977-01-20: Jimmy Carter sworn in as US President.
1978: Dick Cheney elected to US House of Representatives from Wyoming
US COVERT AID INSTIGATES AFGHAN REBELION
1979-07-03: Jimmy Carter authorizes covert aid to Afghan insurgents. Five hundred Million dollars in non-lethal aid is sent to opponents of the Soviet puppet regime in Kabul. The hope was that the opponents would draw the Soviet Union into their own version of America’s Vietnam War.
1979-12-24: The Soviet Army invades Afghanistan. They will not withdraw for ten years, on 1989-02-15.
1979-12-25: The war between Afghanistan rebels and its Soviet-controlled government in Kabul started in 1978 and even earlier. In 1979, Osama bin Laden will leave Saudi Arabia to fight the invading Soviets. He received security training from the CIA itself, according to Middle Eastern analyst Hazhir Teimourian. He founded the Maktab al-Khidimat (MAK), which recruited fighters from around the world
1980-01-23: The Carter Doctrine is announced, “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.”
1979-02-11: Decades of increasingly harsh rule by the Shah finally erupts into massive backlash. The Iranian Revolution against the Shah of Iran begins. The Shah fled Iran in January. In February, the Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran, greeted by millions. On Feb 11, Iran’s military declares itself “neutral” to the revolution. April 1, Iran becomes an Islamic Republic after Iranians overwhelmingly approve a national referendum.
1979-07-15: Saddam travels to several Arab countries, negotiating with several leaders to gain their support for his invasion of Iran. In Amman, Jordan, there is considerable evidence that he discussed his plans to invade Iran with the CIA agents. Carter’s position is to remain neutral in the war. His main concerns are to keep oil flowing to the US, to keep the Soviet union out of Iran. He will eventually wonder if he can leverage the war to get Iran to release its American hostages (see 1979-11-04)
1979-10-01: The Shah is admitted to the United States for cancer treatment. Iranians demand the Shah be returned to Iran for trial and execution. Iranians are reminded of Operation Ajax where the US installed the Shah into power. Iranian students invade the US embassy in Iran.
1979-11-04: Iranian Hostage Crisis begins. 52 Americans taken hostage at the American Embassy in Iran.
Graphic timeline of major highlights from 1979-2002:
1980-09-22 Iraq invades Iran, starting the Iran-Iraq war, which will last until 1988-08-20. At first, Iraq is somewhat successful and pushes into Iran.
1981-01-20: Iranian Hostage Crisis ends. Iran releases all American hostages minutes after Reagan is sworn in.
1981-01-20 Ronald Reagan becomes US president. Bush Sr becomes Vice President.
1982-04-01: Iran counteroffensive pushes Iraq back. Iran reclaims all of its original territory from Iraq and goes on offensive against Iraq.
1982-06-08: US special national intelligence estimate explores both the domestic and foreign implications of Iran’s apparent victory over Iraq. It states “Iraq has essentially lost the war with Iran” (p.6) It spends a page and a half discussing how Iraq losing the war could affect oil prices (at the time, around $34 a barrel)
1982-06-10: President Reagan said the US “would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.” Iraq was removed from the U.S. Department of State list of terrorist-supporting nations to allow the transfer of military aid to Iraq. US support of Iraq included technological aid, intelligence, the sale of dual-use and military equipment and satellite intelligence to Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld met with Saddam 1983-12-20 and 1984-03-24 (the famous handshake photo). Hughes Aircraft ships 60 Defender helicopters to Iraq. Five Billion Dollars in illegal US loans will be funneled through an Italian Banking company, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), to Iraq at taxpayer’s expense.
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPON DEVELOPMENT:
1982-06-15: From June 1982 till the end of the war in 1988, the US and other countries helped Iraq build up its chemical and biological weapons. US intelligence was aware that Iraq was using Chemical Weapons against Iran on nearly a daily basis by November
1983. The day Rumsfeld visited Iraq, December 1983, the UN reported that Iraq had used mustard gas and tabun nerve agent against Iranian troops. To help support Iraq, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 agents “with biological warfare significance.” March, 1986: The United States with Great Britain block all Security Council resolutions condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. US becomes the only country refusing to sign a Security Council statement condemning Iraq’s use of these weapons. 1985-1989, The U.S. Department of Commerce licenses 70 biological exports to Iraq, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax, weapons grade botulin poison, and west nile virus. These biological agents will eventually be the subject of Iraqi WMD inspections by the UN years later. A total of 24 different US firms were involved in exporting arms and material to Iraq, including a Florida company that shipped cyanide to Iraq which would be used against Iran. Reagan approved 771 different export licenses for sale of dual-use technology to Iraq.
Senior American military officers knew about Iraq using chemical and biological weapons during the Iran-Iraq war, and even though Reagan publicly condemned the use of mustard gas, sarin, VX, and other agents, the US military continued giving Iraq military intelligence.
1984-03-xx: Iran presents a draft resolution to the UN which condemns Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The US resists. US ambassador to UN Jeane Kirkpatrick, calls for “restraint”. The draft is eventually passed, but only after all mention of Iraq is removed from the resolution.
1985-1989: American Type Culture Collection, a nonprofit bioresource center in Virginia that exported anthrax bacteria and other pathogens to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq from 1985 to 1989.
1985-1989: the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control sent Iraq 14 agents “with biological warfare significance,” including West Nile virus,
1985-1989: U.S. exports that ended up in Iraq’s nuclear weapons and long-range missile programs: Unisys made $2.6-million, Semetex $5.1-million, Hewlett Packard $1.6-million and International Computer Systems $7.4-million.
1986-02-xx: Iraq attacks Iranian forces using mustard and the nerve agent Tabun, allegedly resulting in 8,000 to 10,000 fatalities.
1988-02-01: Saddam uses chemical weapons against the kurds, killing 100,000 civilians.
1998-09-29: American Type Culture Collection shipped 11 items to Iraq’s Ministry of Trade, including four strains of anthrax bacteria.
1982-1989: A State Department document, released by Rep. Henry B.Gonzalez (D-Tex.), concluded that the US approved exports to “probably proliferation-related” users-makers of chemical, missile, nuclear and germ weapons-inside Iraq. The cases included: “At least 17 licenses . . . for the export of bacteria or fungus cultures either to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission or the University of Baghdad
( The Washington Post, Jul 22, 1992, page a.01)
1988-04-xx: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of chemicals used in manufacture of mustard gas. 1988-08-xx: Iran-Iraq cease fire. Saddam orders chemical attacks against Kurds. 1988-09-xx: US Department of Commerce approves shipment of weapons grade anthrax and botulinum to Iraq. 1988-12-xx: Dow chemical sells $1.5 million in pesticides to Iraq to be used in chemical weapons. Iraq received approximately 17,000 tons of chemicals for weapons use during the 1980′s.
1986-11-01: Kuwait petitions foreign powers to protect its oil tankers. Iran has been attacking its tankers.
1987-03-07: US reflags Kuwaiti oil tankers. If Iran attacks tankers, international law would allow US to attack Iran. 1987-10-??: Operation Nimble Archer: US attacks Iranian oil platforms in retaliation for Iranian atack on US flagged tanker.
1988-04-14: US frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts damaged by Iranian mine. 1988-04-14: Operation Praying Mantis: US forces destroy two Iranian oil platforms, two Iranian ships, and six Iranian gunboats.
1988-07-03: USS Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655, a civilian air liner, killing all 290 passengers. The Vincenne had been engaged in naval operations attempting to lure out Iranian gunboats and engage them.
IRAN-IRAQ CEASE FIRE:
1988-08-20: Iran-Iraq cease fire
1989-01-20: Bush Sr sworn in as US President. Dan Quale is Vice President. Dick Cheney is Secretary of Defense.
SOVIETS PULL OUT OF AFGHANISTAN
1989-02-15: Soviets pull out of Afghanistan. 14,453 killed. 53,753 wounded.
Afghan costs: 1 million killed. 5 million (one-third of the population) fled to Pakistan and Iran. 1.2 million permanently disabled. 3 million wounded.
10-15 million landmines would be planted in the country by the Soviets. By 2005, an estimated 3 to 4 percent of the population is disabled from landmines.
Once the Soviets withdrew American interests in Afghanistan also halted. The US decided not to help with reconstruction of the country and instead the US handed over the interests of the country to its allies: Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden takes the withdrawal of the Soviet Union as what a small group of holy warriors are capable of. “the collapse of the Soviet Union in which the US has no mentionable role, but rather the credit goes to God, Praise and Glory be to Him, and the Mujahidin in Afghanistan”. He has formed al Queada by this point. After the Soviets withdraw, he returns to Saudi Arabia.
The power vacuum left by the Soviet pullout will be filled by Mujahideen warlords and the Taliban, who would start fighting each other by 1994. By 1996, the Taliban had captured Kabul and the Mujahideen regrouped itself as the “Northern Alliance”.
Iraq Invaded Kuwait
At the end of the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq was bankrupt and heavily in debt to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Iraq also had a long standing border dispute with Kuwait that went all the way back to an arbitrary border drawn by by British when they treated the area as a colony. Iraq also accused Kuwait of slant-drilling into Iraqi land.
1989, Kuwait defied OPEC quotas and increased it’s oil production by 40%, dropping the price of oil, and significantly impacting Iraq’s economy.
1990, July, negotiations between Iraq and Kuwait have stalled. Iraq masses troops at the Kuwaiti border. Iraq lists its grievances with Kuwait to the US ambassador to Iraq. The embassador’s reply opens with the phrase: “We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.” Some have suggested that, given the US’s support of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, this may have been interpreted as the US giving Saddam a greenlight to invade.
1990-08-02: Saddam invades Kuwait. In two days, all Kuwaiti military forces have been overrun or retreated to Saudi Arabia.
1990-08-02: UN Resolution 660 is passed condemning the invasion and demanding Iraq withdraw.
1990-08-06: UN Resolution 661 is passed imposing economic sanctions on Iraq including a full trade embargo that includes everything but medical supplies, food, and humanitarian necessities. Food quickly becomes extremely scarce. Most Iraqis will be living on 1,000 calories a day. Because chlorine is restricted due to possible chemical weapon uses, water purification becomes non-existent.
1990-08-07: Operation Desert Shield begins, Bush Sr. starts moving US troops to Saudi Arabia.
1990-xx-xx: Osama bin Laden, in Saudi Arabia, tell the Crown Prince not to depend on non-muslim troops to defend Saudi Arabia. Osama offers to help defend against a possible Iraq invasion. Osama bin Laden is rebuffed. Osama is publicly critical of the Saudi monarchy and is forced to leave the country by 1992.
JUSTIFICATIONS FOR MILITARY ACTION AGAINST IRAQ:
1990-??-??: US State Department puts Iraq back on the list of designated State Sponsors of Terrorism.
1990-08-07: President Bush Sr. announces Operation Desert Shield to move US troops into Saudi Arabia. There were some White House claims of Iraqi troops massing near the Saudi border, ready to invade into Saudi oil fields, however, the St Petersburg Times purchased satellite photos of the area and they showed empty desert.
1990-10-01 A 15 year old girl named Nayirah testified before the Human Rights Caucus of the US Congress, that she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking Kuwaiti babies out of incubators, sending the incubators back to Iraq, and letting the babies die. President Bush Sr. referred to the story six times as an example of the evil of Saddam’s regime. In the Senate debate whether to approve military action, seven senators specifically mentioned the incubator babies atrocity and the final margin in favour of war was just five votes. Two years later, it would be revealed that Nayirah was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, that she was connected with the Kuwaiti royal family, that she had been coached and rehearsed by an American public relations company for her appearance before the Congressional Committee, that she wasn’t in Kuwait when Iraq invaded, and that everything she said was a lie. And that Congressman Santos, who had brought her in to testify, had received a number of indirect contributions from the PR firm.
Other justifications for using the military to force Iraq out of Kuwait was that Iraq had committed attrocities in its own country, human rights violations against Iraqi civilians, that Iraq had biological and chemical weapons and had used those weapons against Iran and its own civilians, that Iraq was working on developing a nuclear program as well.
All of which was true. Iraq had a chemical and biological weapons program: because we’d helped them build it in the 80′s. During the Iran-Iraq war, multiple US companies shipped tons of chemical agents to Iraq for weapons. Iraq had gassed Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war while the US was giving them technological aid, military intelligence, and equipment to fight Iran. Iraq had been listed by the US state department as a Terrorist Sponsor, but had been taken off the list in 1982 to legalize the transfer of military equipment to Iraq.
These accusations were true, but were all things committed by Iraq during the US’s most intense support of Iraq in history. These actions were committed by Iraq with chemicals received from the US and other countries. These actions were commited by Iraq while the US Navy was engaging Iranian ships during the Iran-Iraq war.
What had changed from July 1988 to August 2000? What had caused massive US support to disappear? Was it because Iraq was an aggressor and invaded Kuwait?
That can’t be the reason, because Iraq had initiated the invasion of Iran in 1980. Iraq had been the aggressor in 1980 against Iran. And in 1982, when Iraq looked like it was going to lose the Iran-Iraq war, we backed Iraq, took it off the terrorist list, gave it military equipment, gave it military intelligence, gave it chemical and biological agents, gave it five billion dollars in loans, and used the US Navy to attack Iranian gunboats.
So, why send the military against Iraq?
On 1990-09-11, Bush Senior stated: “Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression.”
You see, the mistake Sadaam made that got US military forces after him wasn’t in invading another country. He told the US before he invaded Iran that he planned to invade, and the US didnt stop him. After two years, when it appeared that Iraq might lose the war with Iran, the US stepped in will billions of dollars, military equipment, chemical/biological weapons, and satellite intelligence to help Saddam.
No, Saddam’s mistake was thinking that the US was supporting him so he could win the war against Iran, when the US was supporting him so that neither country could win.
To quote Henry Kissinger at the time: “it’s a pity they [Iran and Iraq] both can’t lose.”
The US supported Iraq because the US didn’t want Iran to conquer Iraq. In 1982, US intelligence stated that Iraq had effectively lost the war unless something drastic changed. And if Iraq lost the war, it might come under Iranian control. And if it came under Iranian control, it would further monopolize oil reserves into one country. A country who hated us for overthrowing their democratically elected government in 1953 and installing a dictator who turtured and imprisoned innocent people for 25 years up until 1979, just a few years prior.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, it was a similar act of aggression as it’s invasion of Iran in 1980, with one major difference. This time, Iraq won the war in a few days, rather than stalemate with fighting that lasted for eight years. At this point, with Kuwaiti oil reserves, Iraq nearly doubled the oil reserves under its control. Bush Senior said that Iraqi tanks had moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia, and that’s when he decided to act.
Not because it was an act of aggression.
No. We can’t overthrow a democratically elected government in 1953 and install a dictactor to control a country’s oil supply, we can’t use the Shah of Iran as our puppet to gain access to Iranian oil and turn a blind eye to the tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of people he tortured and imprisoned all the way up to 1979, and we can’t support Iraq in it’s war against Iran for six years while supplying it with chemical and biological weapons and billions of dollars in loans and turn a blind eye to all of Saddam’s attrocities…
we can’t do all that and then claim the high ground.
No, it was simple math that had Bush Senior in a tizzy. If Saddam controlled Kuwait and then managed to annex Saudi Arabia’s oil fields, Saddam would suddenly control more than half of the entire world’s oil reserves. And if there’s one thing Bush had learned, it was that you can’t control a tyrant, but you can get multiple tyrants to fight against each other and keep them all weak. Bush didn’t want a single, powerful, middle eastern country of Iraq-kuwait-arabia that was too powerful and too rich to buy off or bully. So, Bush had to keep Saddam out of Saudi Arabia, kick him out of Kuwait, and reinstall the Kuwaiti monarchy to keep the dictators at each other’s throats. We had to separate the countries back to their original, and much weaker, states.
Here’s countries with the world’s largest oil reserves: (1) Saudi Arabia, (2) Canada, (3) Iran, (3) Iraq, (4) Kuwait
Iraq+Kuwait+Saudia Arabia = most of the oil reserves on the entire planet.
DIVIDED THEY FALL
In short, the only reason we went to war with Iraq, the only reason we forced Iraq out of Kuwait, was because of oil. The US was taking a “Divided they fall, united they stand” approach to the Middle East. The idea was to keep the countries separate, keep the oil divided, keep the individual countries weak so we have a better chance of buying them off or bullying them.
BOGUS REASONS FOR GULF WAR 1
BOGUS REASON: WMDs
Anyone who claims it was WMD’s forgets that two years earlier the US was still supporting Saddam and helping him get chemical weapons.
BOGUS REASON: GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE
Anyone who claims it was because Saddam gassed Iranians and gassed his own people forget that it was the US and Great Britain who blocked all UN Security Council resolutions during the 1980′s condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons.
BOGUS REASON: INVADED THE SOVEREIGN NATION OF KUWAIT
Anyone who claims it was because Saddam had invaded Kuwait in an act of aggression forgets that Saddam had invaded Iran in 1980, and we supported him for the duration of that war. They also forget the US going in and overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran.
BOGUS REASON: TYRANT AND DICTATOR
Anyone who claims it was because Saddam was a tyrant and a dictator forgets he was a dictator when we supported him in his war agaisnt Iran.
BOGUS REASON: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Anyone who claims it was because of his human rights violations forgets Saddam committed most of his human rights violations during the Iran-Iraq war at the height of US support. They also forget all the attrocities that the US puppet, the Shah of Iran, had committed to stay in power while we used him for access to Iranian oil and as a US pawn against communism.
BOGUS REASON: SUPPORT FOR TERRORISTS
Anyone who claims it was because Saddam supported Terrorists forgets that Iraq was on the State Departments list of Designated Terrorist supporters up until 1982 when we needed to pump money and guns and chemical weapons into Iraq to keep them from losing the war with Iran. We took them off the terrorist support list so it would be legal to ship them chemical and biological agents.
Anyone who claims it was for any other reason other than oil doesn’t know US history.
From 1982 up until July, 1990, US administration is strongly supportive of Iraq. As long as Iraq oil is separate from Iranian oil and Kuwaiti oil. All human rights violations, WMD programs, terrorist activities, were obviously not important enough to stop the US from sending Iraq Five Billion dollars, from sending Iraq chemical weapons. As long as Iraq oil, Iran oil, Kuwait oil, and Saudi oil are controlled by separate, smaller, governments, the US is not only willing to overlook human rights violations, WMD’s, tyranny and aggression, the US is willing to support those very things it will soon claim are the reasons for kicking Saddam out of Kuwait.
Congratulations, you made it to
THE FIRST GULF WAR
1991-01-12: Congress authorizes the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. Senate: 52-47. House: 250-183. Note the senate passes the bill by only five votes. Yet seven senators specifically mentioned Nurse Nayirah’s completely falsified testimony of Iraqi soldiers killing babies in incubators as part of the reason for their vote. Seven senators are duped by war propaganda and the vote to go to war is decided by a difference of only five votes.
1991-01-17: US military operations to force Iraq out of Kuwait begin. Nearly one million troops from a multi-national coalition (half a million from the US) against an Iraqi force of a quarter million.
1991-02-27: Bush Sr. declares a cease fire, declares that Kuwait has been liberated.
Coalition Casualties: 358 killed in action, 776 wounded in action. By the year 2000, US Department of Veterans Affairs will have declared 183,000 US veterans of the Gulf War to be *permanently disabled* from effects of Gulf War syndrome.
Iraq Casualties: between 20,000 to 200,000 troops killed, 75,000 troops wounded. Estimates of Iraq civilians killed range from 2,300 to 100,000 to 200,000 deaths.
Kuwaiti Casualties: estimates that 86,000 men, 40,000 women and 32,000 children died at the hands of coalition forces, during domestic rebellions, and from post-war deprivation.
Total monetary cost: Calcuated by US congress to be 61 Billion Dollars.
SOVIET UNION COLLAPSING
1990-02-07: the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union agreed to give up its monopoly of power. Over the next several weeks, the 15 constituent republics of the USSR held their first competitive elections.
1991-08-19: Soviet Coup Attempt of 1991: Hardline members in the Soviet Union’s Communist Party try to stop Gorbachev’s reform program and try to keep the republic’s power in the central government. The “Committee” put Gorbachev under house arrest, reintroduced political censorship, and attempted to stop the perestroika. The coup leaders quickly issued an emergency decree suspending political activity and banning most newspapers.
1991-08-21: Soviet coup collapses. Gorbachev returns as president, but his power is greatly diminished. After the coup, Soviet republics declare their indepence one after another.
1991-12-xx: The Soviet Union is officially dissolved.
1992: With the Soviet Union collapsed, several countries around the Caspian sea become independent. Western oil firms flocked to Azerbaijan and other countries around the Caspian Sea, eager to invest billions of dollars to tap unexploited oil and gas reserves. Caspian oil has attracted some of the biggest names in oil, among them Chevron, Mobil, British Petroleum, Agip, Unocal, Arco, Exxon, Pennzoil and the Russian firm, Lukoil. They are individually or in concert exploring for the crude and developing ways of getting it out of the landlocked region.
SADDAM OUT OF KUWAIT, BACK IN IRAQ
Coalition forces pushed Saddam and his military out of Kuwait, but did not invade into Iraq. At the time, Bush Sr and Brent Scowcroft (US National Security Adviser) said invading Iraq would have fractured the coalition and would have had many unnecessary political and human costs.
The UN resolution authorizing force was limited to forcing Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.
The CIA had plans for instigating an internal coup against Saddam, but this would not succeed.
1992-08-xx: Dick Cheney, US Secretary of Defense, a year and a half after the First Gulf War, explains the reason we didn’t go into Iraq was because the US would still have forces there. “And for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is, not that damned many.” “we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq”
1991-03-10: US troops start leaving the Persian Gulf.
In Kuwait, the Emir (Monarch) is restored to power. Approximately 400,000 suspected Iraqi sympathizers are expelled from Kuwait.
This wasn’t a war for Democracy. Kuwait’s Monarch was restored to power once Iraqi forces were pushed out of Kuwait. This was a war for Status Quo, of a divided-they-fall strategy.
And even though Bush Sr doesn’t push into Iraq to remove Saddam, from this point forward, the operative phrase is “regime change” in the White House.
Sanctions were initially started in an attempt to force Saddam out of Kuwait, Resolution 661. Saddam remains in Kuwait. The first Gulf War is launched. After Saddam if forced out of Kuwait, Sanctions are extended and tied to disarmament via Resolution 687
1991-04-03: UN Resolution 687 is passed. It requires that Iraq disarm all of its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Sanctions from Resolution 661 are linked to Iraq disarmament. The Oil-For-Food program is also a part of this resolution.
1991-05-20: Even though UN Resolution ties sanctions to disarmament, Bush Sr. states “At this juncture, my view is we don’t want to lift these sanctions as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.” James Baker, Secretary of State: “We are not interested in seeing a relaxation of sanctions as long as Saddam Hussein is in power.”
1996-03-26: Madeleine Albright, during an interview on 60 Minutes, is told that estimates indicate that half a million children have died in Iraq as a direct outcome of sanctions. Albright says: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”
1997-03-26: Madeleine Albright, as Secretary of State, states that the US does not support the lifing of sanctions against Iraq if Iraq comlies with its obligations concerning disarmament and inspections. She says Iraq must prove it is peaceful and that Saddam will never be peaceful.
1997-11-14: National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger states that disarmament is a condition for lifting of sanctions, but that it may not be a sufficient condition.
Sanctions will continue until 2003-05-22 with UN Resolution 1483.
By the year 2000, estimates are that sanctions caused the additional deaths of approximately one million Iraqi civilians.
The exact numbers of Iraqi civilians killed by sanctions is greatly debated, but conservative estimates are over 100,000 dead. Some estimates limited to just the number of children killed include 170,000 to 350,000 children who died as a result of sanctions.
A Summary of Sanctions:
UN Resolutions call for Iraq to disarm its WMD program and to submit to inspections. The Resolution also enforces economic sanctions on Iraq until it complies with inspections. If Iraq disarms, sanctions are lifted. Thus Saddam has incentive to disarm.
Although the Resolution does not authorize it, Bush Sr. and Clinton both insist that sanctions will not be lifted until Saddam steps down from power. There is only one problem with this strategy:
“If you surround the enemy, leave an outlet; do not press an enemy that is cornered. These are the principles of warfare.” –Sun Tzu
With sanctions tied to regime change, Saddam has no escape, no reason to cooperate, no incentive to disarm. The US has made it clear they want Saddam dead. They’ve called for internal forces to rise up and kill Saddam since 1991, the CIA will try to kill Saddam in 1996, Clinton will launch Operation Desert Fox in 1998 and target Saddam. As far as the US is concerned, nothing will lift sanctions but Saddam’s head. Even though UN resolutions don’t authorize this connection.
With no incentive to comply with inspections, and as the US uses inspection teams to spy on Saddam, inspections will drag out for nearly a decade.
NO FLY ZONES
1991-02-02: Voice of Free Iraq, a CIA radio station broadcasting out of Saudi Arabia encouraged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam. The Arabic service of the Voice of America said the Iraqi rebellion was large and that the rebels would soon be liberated from Saddam.
A Shiite uprising occurs in the south of Iraq. Saddam sends much of his military forces to crush the uprising.
Kurdish leaders in the north believe they will get US support if they rebel against Saddam and begin fighting Saddam’s troops in hopes of starting a coup. No US support materialized, and Saddam’s military crushes the Kurdish rebellion. Many Kurds flee to Turkey and Iran.
The US declares two No-Fly-Zones (NFZ) in Iraq. The north NFZ was established after Saddam attacked the Kurdish uprising in the north. The 1992-08, the southern NFZ was established to protect the Shiite population there. The US cited UN Resolution 688 as authorizing the enforcement of No Fly Zones, however Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Sectretary General of the UN, called the No Fly Zones illegal.
1991-04-03: UN Resolution 687 is passed. It requires that Iraq disarm all of its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Sanctions from Resolution 661 are linked to Iraq disarmament. The Oil-For-Food program is also a part of this resolution.
1991-1998: Scott Ritter served as United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq. Ritter claims that the CIA and British Intelligence had infiltrated UNSCOM and was using weapons inspections as a means to gain intelligence information for overthrowing Saddam. This is later confirmed.
1991-2003: Operation Rockingham, involving departments from the UK intelligence establishment – MI6, MI5, GCHQ and defence intelligence, cherry-picked intelligence from UN inspections. It received hard data, but had a preordained outcome in mind. It only put forward a small percentage of the facts when most were ambiguous or noted no WMD… It became part of an effort to maintain a public mindset that Iraq was not in compliance with the inspections.
1993-01-20: Bill Clinton sworn in as US President. Al Gore is Vice President.
1995-xx-xx: Dick Cheney is asked by Haliburton to become CEO. As one of the largest global providers of equipment and services to the oil industry, Halliburton needed a chief executive who could ensure that the company had the government's full support. Cheney's close connections to top government and industry decision makers made him perfect for this role.
1996-1998: UN weapons inspector, American Bill Tierney, spied for the Americans while working in Iraq. Tierney stated he gave the Pentagon targets for military action when he was a member of an inspection team between 1996 and 1998.
1998-01-xx: Iraqi officials stops Ritter’s inspection team from continuing inspections. They claim that the inspection teams contain US spies who are gathering information from inspections sites to be used for future attack plans. There are US spies in the inspection teams, they are relaying site information to the US, and the US will end up using this information by the end of the year for selecting targets in Operation Desert Fox.
1998-08-26: Scott Ritter resigns from UNSCOM. The inspections had come to a standstill. Iraq no longer trusted any of the Americans on the inspection teams.
1998-10-31: President Clinton signs “Iraq Liberation Act” into law. The act permits the president to designate an opposition group inside Iraq that would be believed to be capable of removing Saddam from power. The act allocates funds and possibly weapons for the group once it is designated. It concludes by stating: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize or otherwise speak to the use of United States Armed Forces in carrying out this Act.” It does not authorize an invasion in any way.
1998-12-16: Operation Desert Fox. A four day bombing campaign by US forces. Claimed to be in an attempt to reduce Iraq’s weapons programs, and in retaliation for Iraq not submitting to inspections. However, Ritter will later state that Iraq is 90% disarmed at this point. Inspections have stopped because Iraqi officials had refused entry to inspection teams because there were CIA spies on his team, against UN regulations. US Army intel analyst William Arkin in 1999-01 writes in teh Washington Post that the Desert Fox had less to do with WMD’s and more to do with destabilizing the Iraqi government. Only 13 of 100 targets were associated with WMDs. 35 targets were anti-aircraft installations. And nearly 50 targets were directed specifically at Saddam himself, half a dozen palace strongholds, secret police, guards, Saddam’s sleeping quarters, etc. Most of these targets had been inspected by UNSCOM at some point.
1998-12-19: After Operation Desert Fox is over, Iraqi officials announce it will no longer cooperate with inspections.
Scott Ritter later explains his experience of sanctions against Iraq and the inspections for WMD disarmament during the 1990′s: “the American policy was regime change. At first they wanted to be passive, we’re just going to contain Saddam through economic sanctions, and he’s going to collapse of his own volition in six months. That failed. We’re going to put pressure on the Iraqis, and we’re going to get some Sunni general to apply the 75-cent solution–the cost of a 9 mm bullet put in the back of Saddam’s head–and the Sunni general will take over. If you want proof positive about the corrupt nature of our regime-change policy, understand this, it wasn’t about changing the regime. It wasn’t about getting rid of the Baathist party or transforming Iraq into a modern democracy back in the early 1990s. It was about getting rid of one man, Saddam Hussein. And if he was replaced by a Sunni general who governed Iraq in the exact same fashion, that was okay. And that shows the utter hypocrisy of everything we did.” … “every time a UN weapons inspector went into Iraq–somebody with a blue hat–they weren’t viewed by the Iraqis as somebody who was trying to disarm Iraq, they were viewed by the Iraqis as somebody trying to kill their President, and they were right.”
Summation of 1998:
Inspections had been going on from 1991 to 1998. Iraq was resisting, but much progress had been made, to the point that the main UN inspector would declare that inspections are 90% finished. While inspections are succeeding, the CIA and White House try to use inspections to determine where Saddam might be located, and then use that information to try to kill him. There is a CIA led coup in the summer of 1996. By January 1998, Iraq refuses further inspections due to spying.
The response to this is for the US to sign the Iraqi Liberation Act, which will fund any Iraqi force capable of overthrowing/killing Saddam, and then followed up by Operation Desert Fox which bombs one hundred targets most with the intent to kill Saddam.
END OF WMD INSPECTIONS IN IRAQ 1998-12-19
ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ WILL CONTINUE.
BUT INSPECTIONS WILL NOT RESUME FOR ANOTHER FOUR YEARS.
1997-2000: With Dick Cheney as CEO, Halliburton subsidiaries, Dresser-Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump Co., sold water and sewage treatment pumps, spare parts for oil facilities and pipeline equipment to Baghdad through French affiliates from the first half of 1997 to the summer of 2000. The Halliburton subsidiaries joined dozens of American and foreign oil supply companies that helped Iraq increase its crude exports from $4 billion in 1997 to nearly $18 billion in 2000.
1995-2000: Under Cheney’s tenure, the number of Halliburton subsidiaries in offshore tax havens increased from 9 to 44. Meanwhile, Halliburton went from paying $302 million in company taxes in 1998 to getting an $85 million tax refund in 1999.
1999: Scott Ritter, writes book “Endgame: Solving Iraq Problem”, in it he rejects the push for regime change and overthrowing Saddam. Instead, he calls for a return to normalized relations with Iraq and inspections to verify abandonment of their WMD program.
2000: Scott Ritter, films documentary, “Shifting Sands: The truth about UNSCOM and disarming Iraq”. In it, he argues that Iraq is a “defanged tiger”, that inspections were successful in eliminating significant Iraqi WMD capabilities.
2000-xx-xx: Dick Cheney steps down as Haliburton CEO, leaving with a
2001-01-20: George Bush Jr. sworn in as US President. Dick Cheney is Vice President.
WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACKs
2001-09-11: Nineteen Al Queda terrorists will hijack four American airliners. They will crash two into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon, and one will crash in a field in Pennsylvania. Fifteen of the hijackers are from Saudi Arabia, two are from the United Arab Emirates, one is from Egypt, and one is from Lebanon. FBI and government investigations concluded thta al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, was responsible for organizing and executing the attacks.
al Qaeda was founded in Afghanistan after the Soviet war there. Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda at the time, was born and raised in Saudi Arabia.
Despite the fact that none of the hijackers are from Iraq, that al Quaeda was based in Afghanistan, and that bin Laden was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, President George Bush Jr. links the events of 9-11 to Iraq and repeatedly overstates the WMD capacities of Iraq.
THE DRIVE TO IMPLICATE IRAQ IN 9-11 STARTS ON 9-11
or, to put it bluntly, what immediately follows is best described as:
One Thousand Tons of American-Made, Weapons-Grade Handwavium
2001-09-11: Within 5 hours of the al Quaeda attacks on 9-11, Donald Rumsfeld wanted to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time we respond to whoever was really behind 9-11. “Sweep it all up. Things related or not”.
The day after the attacks, 12 Sept, 2001, Richard Clarke, former chief counter-terrorism adviser on the US National Security Council, claims that Bush cornered him and tells him to see if Saddam is involved in any way to 9-11. Any shred of a connection. Clarke informs the president that his people have looked into any state sponsorship for al Queada and found no linkage to Iraq, and that there is somewhat of a link between al Queada and Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Bush says testily “Look into Iraq, Saddam” and leaves.
2001-09-15: when Americans were asked open-ended questions about who was behind the attacks, only 3 percent mentioned Iraq or Hussein
2001-09-19: Bush Jr, according to Ron Suskind, told CIA chief George Tenet, “I want to know about links between Saddam and al Qaeda. The Vice President knows some things that might be helpful.” Vice President Cheney tells Tenet about a report that one of the hijackers, Mohammed Atta, met with senior Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague. The CIA checks and says the story doesn’t add up. But Cheney will repeat the story in public appearances.
2001-09-21: Bush is informed that the US intelligence community could not link Saddam Hussein to the 9/11 attacks and that there is little evidence pointing to collaborative ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda. the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime.
2001-09-27: Donald Rumsfeld called the link between Iraq and al Qaeda “accurate and not debatable.”
2001-09-20: A letter to President Bush from the neoconservative Project for the New American Century says “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.”
2001-11-21: According to Bob Woodward’s “Plan of Attack”, Bush Jr. collars Rumsfeld, asking him, “What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret.”
2001-11-30: According to Ron Suskind, Dick Cheney lays out the “one percent doctrine”. If there is a one-percent chance that something will happen, the US has to treat it as a certainty. (unless it relates to Global Warming, of course)
2001-12-01: According to Bob Woodward, Rumsfeld orders Franks to begin work on an Iraq war plan. Bush will meet with military leaders regarding the war plan on a regular basis.
2001-12-09: Vice President Cheney, appearing on Meet the Press, claims it has “been pretty well confirmed that [Mohammed Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence”. The 9-11 commission will debunk this claim.
2001-12-20: Right-wing hack reporter, Judith Miller wrote a front page story titled “Iraqi Defector Tells of Work on at Least 20 Hidden Weapons Sites”. The “source” for the story is a man delivered to Miller by Ahmed Chalabi. Chalabi headed the Iraqi National Congress, created in 1992 for the purpose of formenting the overthrow of Saddam. Chalabi has hopes that he will become the new ruler of Iraq once Saddam is out.
2002-01-01: Captured terrorist Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi is tortured by US agents. During this time, al-Libi claims that al Quaeda sent operatives to Iraq to acquire chemcial and biological weapons and training. In Feb 2002, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) states al-Libi “has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may be describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest”. (Apparently, “debriefing” is code for “torture”.) Even though the DIA doubts al-Libi’s claims, CIA Director, George Tenet, authorized the use of al-Libi’s claims in Secretary Powell’s Feb 2003 speech to the UN.
2002: Scott Ritter writes book, “War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn’t Want you to KNow”. In it, he claims that as of 1998, Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed, 90-95% of Iraqi’s WMD’s have been verifiably eliminated.
2002-xx-xx President Bush will claim that officials foiled a plan by terrorists to fly a hijacked plane into what was then called the Library Tower in Los Angeles, now known as the U.S. Bank Tower. However, Micheal Scheuer, who was the leading al-Qaida expert in the CIA’s counter-terrorism center in 2002, says he is not aware of any such serious threat against the West Coast in 2002.
2002-01-25: Alberto Gonzoles issues a policy memo that renders the Geneva Convention obsolete. When Colin Powell reads it he tells Bush Jr. it will “reverse over a century of U.S. policy and practice.”
2002-01-29: Bush Jr. calls Iraq, Iran, North Korea the “Axis of Evil”.
2002-02-08: Bush Jr. citing testimony extracted from al-Libi under torture, testimony that the DIA says is likely a fabrication, says in a radio address: “Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”
2002-02-26: Former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson travels to Niger to investigate allegations that Saddam tried to buy yellow cake there to build a nuclear weapon. He finds the allegations are baseless.
2002-03-01: According to Seymour Hersh, by March 2002, the President had decided, in his own mind, to go to war. Hersh also reports that during this time Bush Jr. is “stovepiping” the intelligence from the CIA. Normally, intel from the field is first vetted for accuracy by agents before it is passed up to the White House. Bush Jr. would request any and all intelligence be brought to his attention if it implicated Iraq in some way, bypassing the vetting process and “stovepiping” the raq intelligence straight to the president.
2002-03-xx: Chalabi’s defector reports are now flowing (stovepiping) from the Pentagon directly to Vice President Cheney’s office. Greg Thielmann, top intelligence official for the State Department, says that at the time “There was considerable skepticism throughout the intelligence community about the reliability of Chalabi’s sources, but the defector reports were coming all the time. Knock one down and another comes along. Meanwhile, the garbage was being shoved straight to the President.”
2002-03-xx: Condoleezza Rice was having a meeting in her office with three US Senators discussing how to deal with Iraq through the UN or perhaps a Middle East coalition. Bush Jr. poked his head into the office and , waved his hands dismissively, and says “Fuck Saddam. We’re taking him out.”
2002-03-xx: US Intelligence report regarding the yellow cake/Niger allegations comes to several conclusions about what the intelligence community was saying during this time. The main conclusion is that it is clear that the CIA was cooking the intelligence about Iraq/Niger connections, and it wasn’t telling seniour policy makers all the information known about the intel, especially witholding significants doubts that surrounded the allegations:
“Conclusion 14: The CIA should have told Cheney and senior policy makers that it had sent someone (Wilson) to niger to look into the allegations, and should have briefed Cheney on the former ambassador’s findings” (that the allegations were baseless)
“Conclusion 16: Language in the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq/Yellow cake overstated what the Intelligence Community knew.”
“Conclusion 19: Even after obtaining the forged documents and being alerted by INR about problems with the documents, analysts at both the CIA and DIA did not examine them to see the obvious problems with the documents. Both agencies continued to publish assessments that Iraq may have been seeking Uranium from Africa. The CIA continued to approve the use of similar language in the President’s speeches.”
“Conclusion 20: The CIA’s comments and assessments about the Iraq-Niger Uranium reporting were inconsistent and, at times, contradictory.”
“Conclusion 21: When coordinating the State of the Union, no CIA analysts or officials told the NSC to remove the “16 words” or that there were concerns about the credibility of the Iraq-Niger unanium reporting. A CIA official’s original testimony to the Committee that he told the NSC to remove the words “Niger” and “500 tons” from the speech, is incorrect”
“Conclusion 24: In responding to a letter from Senator Carl Levin on behalf of the Intelligence Community in February 2003, should not have said that “reporting suggest Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger” without indicating that State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) believed the reporting was based on forged documents, or without indicating that the CIA was reviewing the Niger report.”
2002-03-08: Iraq Options Papers, a secret memo from the British Defence Secretary to the Prime Minister states: “CONTAINMENT generally involves the implementation of existing UNSCRs and has a firm legal foundation. Of itself, REGIME CHANGE has no basis in international law.”
2002-03-24: Appearing on CNN Late Edition, Cheney says Saddam “is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time”. Apparently, he didn’t get Wilson’s memo that the Yellow Cake story is baseless. The House Oversite “Iraq on the Record Report” will list this as one 237 misleading statements made by the Bush administration about Iraq.
2002-04-04: President George Bush says in an interview on Britain’s ITV television network, “I made up my mind that Saddam [Hussein] needs to go.
2002-05-xx: The CIA had said that three sources corroborated Curveball’s stories of mobile bioweapons factories. All would turn out to be frauds. The most important corroborator, a former Major in the Iraqi intelligence service, was deemed a liar by the CIA and DIA in May 2002 and a fabricator warning was posted in U.S. intelligence databases.
2002-06-xx Between March and June of 2002, FBI Interrogator, Ali Soufan, is extracting actionable intelligence from Abu Zubaydah without resorting to torture. In an op-ed in the New York Times years later, Soufan will state that torture defenders claim they saved lives with intel extracted from torture, but he shows how each claim is false.
2002-04-xx Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian national, was arrested by the Pakistani government. He was transferred to a CIA prison in Morocco. There, he was tortured, including having his genitals sliced with a razor blade. During this torture, Binyam confessed to being an Al Queda operative. It will be sometime after April of 2009 before all charges against Binyam were dropped and he is released from Guantanamo.
2002-06-xx: Operation Southern Focus. US Bombing campaign begins in Iraq. The operation is not publicly declared at the time. It was claimed at the time to be an intensification of Operation Sourthern Watch, enforcing the No-Fly-Zones in southern Iraq. But 21,376 sorties will be flown between June 2002 and March 2003 in preparation for an invasion.
2002-08-26: In a speech, Cheney says: “there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction … We now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons … we’ve gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors — including Saddam’s own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam’s direction.” Cheney either doesn’t explain or doesn’t realize that Saddam’s son-in-law defected in 1994, told US intelligence that Iraq had no nuclear program, and was assassinated in 1996, and therefore Saddam’s son-in-law’s testimony would be irrelevant for 2002.
2002-09-01: U.S. Army General James “Spider” Marks is named the top intelligence officer for the coalition forces planning to invade Iraq. He begins looking at the intelligence on WMD. He finds the information in disarray and top officials disinterested. Intelligence analysts offer him 946 sites in Iraq that could hold WMD, but the information is old, poorly sourced, or not sourced at all.
2002-09-xx: Tyler Drumheller, then the head of CIA spying in Europe, called the BND station chief at the German embassy, seeking access to Curveball. Drumheller was told that “there are a lot of problems. Principally, we think he’s probably a fabricator.”
2002-09-xx: Some 30 Americans are sent as CIA moles to Iraq, reports James Risen in his 2006 book “State of War.” They all have relatives in Iraq who are close to Iraq’s weapons program, and are supposed to come back with information on WMD. All report that Iraq’s unconventional weapons programs have been abandoned, and that the nuclear program hasn’t been active for years. This intelligence is buried in the CIA, which suspects the moles were duped. No one informs President Bush.
2002-08-xx Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded by CIA 82 times during the month of August.
2002-09-08: Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, citing unnamed administration sources, write on the front page of the New York Times, “Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium.
2002-09-08: Dick Cheney says that Saddam is trying “to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium, specifically aluminum tubes..”
2002-09-08: Condoleezza Rice says the aluminum tubes “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs.
But almost a year before, Ms. Rice’s staff had been told that the government’s foremost nuclear experts seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear weapons, according to four officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and two senior administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. The experts, at the Energy Department, believed the tubes were likely intended for small artillery rockets.
2002-09-08: Cheney says Mohamed Atta, the lead 9-11 hijacker, traveled to Prague on a number of occaisions, and on at least one occasion met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer a few months before the 9-11 attacks. Cheney says the CIA deems this information to be “credible”.
The CIA in fact deemed this not credible as early as 2001-09-21
2002-09-12: Bush tells the UN General Assembly that “Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.” The aluminum tubes as centrifuge story has already been discredited by this time.
2002-09-16: Iraq agrees to let UN weapons inspectors return the country “without conditions.”
2002-09-19: Rumsfeld tells Congress that Saddam “has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of biological weapons, including Anthrax, botulism, toxins, and possibly Smallpox. He’s amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas. His regime has an active program to acquire nuclear weapons.” It is comletely and totally false.
2002-09-25: Four days after being told by intelligence agencies that there is no connection between Iraq and al-Queada, Bush is telling journalists “You can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror.”
2002-09-25: Rice “There clearly are contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq that can be documented; there clearly is testimony that some of the contacts have been important contacts and that there’s a relationship here. … And there are some al-Qaeda personnel who found refuge in Baghdad.”
2002-09-26: Bush says Iraq “possesses biological and chemical weapons.”
2002-09-28: Bush addresses the nation “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more… The regime has long-standing and continuing ties to terrorist groups, and there are al Qaeda terrorists inside Iraq. This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb”
2002-09-xx: Cheney and Scooter Libby make about 10 trips to CIA headquarters, where they personally questioned analysts. To some in the CIA, it looked like the vice president himself was determined to control the content of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE). One former CIA officer tells PBS, “I was at the CIA for 24 years. The only time a Vice President came to the CIA building was for a ceremony, to cut a ribbon, to stand on the stage. But not to harangue analysts about finished intelligence.”
2002-10-01: FAULTY INTELLIGENCE: the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is sent to Congress days before lawmakers voted to authorize use of military force against Saddam. The report states with “high confidence” that Iraq “has now established large-scale, redundant and concealed BW agent production capabilities.” It said “all key aspects” of Iraq’s offensive BW program “are active and that most elements are larger and more advanced than they were before the Gulf War.”
The presidential commission would state that this assessment was “the most important and most alarming” judgements in the document, and was based largely on information from Curveball. Even though in the last few months the CIA had flagged Curveball’s biggest corraborator as a liar and even though Germany had told the CIA that they thought Curveball was a fabricator, the NIE says it has “high confidence” on what amounts to Curveball’s fantasies.
The NIE also reports that Iraq has 500 tons of yellow cake from Niger (it doesn’t), mentions the aluminum tubes for centrifuges (which aren’t), that Saddam has stockpiled 100 to 500 tons of chemical weapons (he hasn’t), that Saddam is producing biological weapons in mobile labs (he isn’t). The report states it has “high confidence” that “Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs” (it isn’t), “high confidence” that “Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles” (it doesn’t).
One of the big arguments that comes up around the 2003 invasion of Iraq is that pro-war folks point to the authorization of war in October 2002, and point to the voting record that was overwhelmingly in favor of war, and then say that “They all had the same intelligence reports” or “They were all looking at the same intel”.
They may have all been looking at the same NIE. But the NIE was crap. Cheney and Libby had been leaning on the CIA to cook the intelligence, and the NIE grossly overstated the confidence levels of its intelligence.
They weren’t looking at the same intelligence. Bush Jr. and company had cooked it from September 11, and all Congress saw was the the cooked results.
The NIE report was basically a sausage made before FDA regulations required proper labeling. Complete crap.
There is only one thing you can take away from this history:
EVERYTHING THAT BUSH JR. SAID ABOUT IRAQ WAS WAS PURPOSELY MISLEADING.
Everything BUSH JR. SAID ABOUT IRAQ WAS WAR-MONGERING PROPAGANDA.
Everything. Everything. Everything.
Nothing he said reflected his full understanding of the truth.
Not the yellow cake from Niger.
Not the aluminum tubes.
Not the mobile labs.
Not the nukle-air weapons.
Not the Unmanned Arial Vehicles.
What we see from September 11, 2001 to March 2003 is that the White House is transporting thousands of tons of American made, weapons grade handwavium into Iraq.
With Bush Jr. and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Scooter Libby leaning on the CIA to cook the intelligence and concoct a completely bogus NIE, this completely bogus NIE is handed to congress who will take the NIE and then vote to authorize the use of force against Iraq.
The propaganda from the Bush war machine has been going for a year straight linking 9/11 with Iraq, that by 2003-01-01, a Knight Ridder poll shows 44 percent of Americans reported that either “most” or “some” of the Sept. 11 hijackers were Iraqi citizens. In fact, none of the hijackers were from Iraq.
2002-10-02: Barack Obama at this time is a member of the Illinois legislature. He is also at this time running for US Senate for Illinois for the 2004 election. Obama gives a speech against the War Authorization bill currently being debated in congress, saying that Saddam is not an immediate threat, that an occupation will be long, that the war will be a recruitment poster for al Queda.
“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.”
“I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al Queada.”
“I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”
2002-10-07: Bush “We know that Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy — the United States of America. We know that Iraq and al-Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade” and “we’ve learned that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.”
AUTHORIZATION OF MILITARY FORCE
2002-10-16: “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002″ is passed by US Senate and House. It authorizes: “the President to strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq” also “The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”
Though the bill says military force is allowed “in order to” defend against Iraq and to enforce UN resolutions regarding Iraq, it is considered a “blank check” by those who oppose the run up to the invasion. And Bush Jr. will treat it as a blank check
The vote is approved 77-23 in the Senate. 22 Democrats, 1 Republican, 1 Independent vote against the bill.
The vote is approved 296-133 in the House. 126 Democrats, 6 Republicans, 1 Independent vote against the bill.
2002-10-11: Senator John McCain votes for the War Authorization bill. McCain attacks those opposed to the war with a strawman. He sums up all opposition to a war with Iraq as some kind of hippy / flower child “give peace a chance” fantasy.
“Giving peace a chance only gives Saddam Hussein more time to prepare for war on his terms, at a time of his choosing, in pursuit of ambitions that will only grow as his power to achieve them grows,”
UN Resolution 1441
2002-11-08: UN passes Resolution 1441, calling for immediate and comlete disarmament of Iraq, demanding declare all WMD’s, and requiring that Iraq submit to inspections. The Resolution does not authorize the use of force if Iraq fails to comply. Automatic triggers with respect to the resolution have been removed from the resolution before it is approved. Another UN Resolution is needed to approve the use of force.
The ambassador for the United States, John Negroponte, said this resolution contains no “hidden triggers” and no “automaticity” with respect to the use of force. The ambassador for the United Kingdom said There is no “automaticity” in this resolution. The ambassador from France said “France welcomes the fact that all ambiguity on this point and all elements of automaticity have disappeared from the resolution.” The ambassador from Mexico said “this resolution also constitutes progress, as it eliminates the concept of automaticity in the use of force” The ambassador from China said “The text no longer includes automaticity for authorizing the use of force.”
2002-11-13: UN weapons inspectors enter Iraq for first time since 1998. Hans Blix heads inspection team.
2003-01-09: Hans Blix reports to UN that he has found no “smoking gun” so far while inspecting Iraq.
2003-01-27: UN press release states “It would appear that Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on substance in order to complete the disarmament task through inspection.” After 60 days of work, 106 sites have been inspected.
2003-01-28: Bush state of teh Union Address: “And this Congress and the American people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaeda.”
2003-02-06: Bush “Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al-Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al-Qaeda” and “Iraq has also provided al-Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training.”
2003-02-08: three days earlier, Powell’s speech to the UN mentions codename Curveball’s former work site. UN Team Bravo conducts a search of the site. The search proves Curveball had lied.
2003-02-14: Hans Blix reports to UN that they have inspected 300 sites without restrictions in 11 weeks. No WMD’s found.
2003-03-07: Hans Blix reports to UN that Iraqis are cooperating with inspections and that they have found no evidence of mobile biological labs.
2003-xx-xx: Khalid Sheik Mohammed is captured in Pakistan and transferred to US authorities.
2003-03-xx Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA during the month of March, 2003.
2003-03-14: A New York Times/CBS poll this week shows that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was “personally involved” in 9/11.
2003-03-14: Bush has been pushing for a UN Resolution authorizing military force against Iraq. It becomes clear it will not pass.
2003-03-17: Bush withdraws UN resolution authorizing military force against Iraq before it is formally rejected. Bush announces the “Coalition of the Willing” will enforce the resolution without UN approval. Only four countries provide troops for the actual invasion: The US, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Australia, Poland, and Denmark.
2003-03-17: Bush Jr. addresses the nation, saying “every measure has been taken to avoid war”, then he gives Saddam and his sons 48 hours to step down from power. Bush invokes “regime change” as the trigger for the war, when no UN resolution ever approved it, when the reason given in the months preceding were that Iraq had to comply with UN Resolution 1441 demanding Iraq disarm and comply with inspections to confirm. UN Inspector Hans Blix’s most recent report states that inspections are working and he should be complete in a few months.
At the moment of victory, when inspections are working and the end is in sight, Bush Jr. changes the goal posts from 1441 Inspections to his personal goal of “regime change”.
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
25.5 hours after giving Saddam 48 hours to step down from power, the first bombing mission of the invasion occurs, specifically targeting a location where Saddam is believed to be located. If there was any doubt that this was about killing Saddam, this should clear that up.
So, after giving Saddam 48 hours to step down to avoid war, Bush Jr. breaks his own arbitrary rules and tries to kill Saddam, forcing the US into war.
US INVASION OF IRAQ
2003-03-19: US forces start invasion of Iraq.
2003-04-09: US forces take Baghdad.
2003-04-15: US forces take Tikrit, the last major outpost in central Iraq.
2003-05-01: Bush stages “Mission Accomplished” on aircraft carrier.
NO WMD’s FOUND AFTER INVASION. WMD’s DESTROYED IN 1991 and
DURING 1990′s INSPECTIONS BY SCOTT RITTER’S TEAM
2003-10-03: The Iraq Survey Group (ISG), headed by American David Kay, was tasked with searching for WMDs. The survey ultimately concluded that Iraqi production of WMD ceased and most stockpiles of WMD’s were destroyed in 1991 by US bombardment during the first Gulf War and by UN Weapons Inspectors during the 90′s.
2004-01-21: Cheney: “I continue to believe — I think there’s overwhelming evidence that there was a connection between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government. I’m very confident that there was an established relationship there.”
2004-06-17: Cheney: Hussein “had long-established ties with al Qaeda.” Bush, asked on Tuesday to verify or qualify that claim, defended it by pointing to Abu Musab Zarqawi, who has taken credit for a wave of attacks in Iraq.
2004-xx-xx CIA Inspector General issues a classified report that says “no proof that (torture) stopped terror attacks”
2004-09-30: The Iraq Survey Group (ISG), under Charles Duelfer, issued a comprehensive report. The report stated that “Iraq’s WMD capability was essentially destroyed in 1991.” The report indicates that at the time of the U.S. invasion in March
2003, Saddam possessed no stockpiles of WMD’s and had not begun any program to produce them.
The Inspectors were right all along.
Bush Jr. was wrong from the beginning.
Scott Ritter had been saying from 1999 that Iraq’s WMD program was 90-95% disarmed, and that the US was using his inspection teams as a means to target Saddam and as a means to provoke Saddam into not complying with inspections so as to justify an attack.
Hans Blix was reporting by February and March of 2003, just before the invasion, that Iraq was complying with inspections, that inspections were working, that they had inspected over 300 sites so far, and that he estimated they would have completely inspected Iraq within a few months.
In 2004, the US created its own inspection teams to find WMD’s after the US invaded Iraq and was occupying its territories. They found nothing. Not only did they find nothing, they reported that most of Iraq’s WMDs were destroyed in 1991 from the US bombardment during the first Gulf War and that what WMD’s were left were destroyed by Scott Ritter’s inspection teams in the 1990′s.
Iraq had essentially disarmed since the mid 1990′s. What was left was to allow inspections to finish their job. A job that could have been finished by Scott Ritter if the CIA hadn’t repeatedly used his inspection teams as a way to target, track, and attempt to kill, Saddam.
When inspections resumed in 2002, by February, 2003, Iraq was complying with inspections via Hans Blix, and the job would be finished in a few months. But instead, Bush Jr. decided that just when inspections were working, just when Saddam was comlying with UN Resolution 1441, just when real progress is being made, Bush Jr. changes the goal posts and says that what we really need is for Saddam to step down from power, and that we’ll invade to do it.
And Bush spends the months from October 2002 to March 2003 fabricating lies, repeating them even in the face of Ritter’s and Blix’s reports to the contrary, to whip the American people into a fearful frenzy that Iraq had an arsenal of WMD’s and was ready to launch them at New York.
Deception has become an industrial process, and Bush is its mouthpiece.
The Iraq on the Record Report, prepared by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, is a searchable collection of 237 specific misleading statements made by Bush Jr. administration officials about the threat posed by Iraq.
A study coauthored by nonprofit journalism organization the Center for Public Integrity found that in the two years after September 11, 2001 the president and top administration officials had made 935 false statements, in an orchestrated public relations campaign to galvanize public opinion for the war
REASONS FOR INVASION:
Bush Jr. cites many of the reasons for invasion that his father invoked to justify the first Gulf War into Kuwait. They are all bogus:
BOGUS REASON: WMDs, UN Resolution for Disarmament and Inspections
Anyone who claims we invaded Iraq because Saddam had WMD’s and refused to disarm and refused inspections forgets that just before the invasion, UN Weapon Inspector Hans Blix had stated that *inspections were working and inspections would be completed in a few months*. If they quote from 1998, then they also forget that INSPECTIONS WERE WORKING in 1998, but because the CIA was trying to kill Saddam, and because they were using inspections as an excuse to launch an attack, the CIA actually wanted Iraq to NOT comply.
BOGUS REASON: GASSED HIS OWN PEOPLE: Anyone who claims we invaded because Saddam gassed Iranians and gassed his own people forget that it was the US and Great Britain who blocked all UN Security Council resolutions during the 1980′s condemning Iraq’s use of chemical weapons during the 1980′s. They also overlook the million Iraqis caused by enforcement of economic sanctions from 1990 to 2003 and the hundred thousand or more Iraqis who were killed as a result of our invasion or occupation.
BOGUS REASON: INVADED THE SOVEREIGN NATION OF KUWAIT: Anyone who claims it was because Saddam had invaded Kuwait in an act of aggression forgets that Saddam had invaded Iran in 1980, and we supported him for the duration of that war. They also forget the US going in and overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran.
BOGUS REASON: TYRANT AND DICTATOR: Anyone who claims it was because Saddam was a tyrant and a dictator forgets he was a dictator when we supported him in his war against Iran.
BOGUS REASON: HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS: Anyone who claims it was because of his human rights violations forgets Saddam committed most of his human rights violations during the Iran-Iraq war at the height of US support. They also forget all the attrocities that the US puppet, the Shah of Iran, had committed to stay in power while we used him for access to Iranian oil and as a US pawn against communism.
They also forget that US enforced sanctions against Iraq killed one million people, half of them children. Sanctions that the UN resolution tied to disarmament, but that the US shifted so they were tied to regime change. Sanctions that could have been lifted by the mid 1990′s if inspections were allowed to occur without CIA-planted spies, if the US hadn’t been so hell bent on killing Saddam.
One million Iraqi civilians were killed by US enforced sanctions, because disarmament wasn’t good enough for the US.
Also, using human rights as a justification for war, when your execution of that war leads to thousands of iraqis being black-bagged and tortured indefinitely, doesn’t really fly. Extraordinary Rendition wasn’t “just a few bad apples” in the system. It was Bush Jr. policy. Abu Graib wasn’t an anomoly. Gitmo wasn’t an unfortunate accident that has been remedied.
Anyone who brushed aside issues of US-driven human rights violations in Iraq during the invasion and occupation have forgotten history. It was the Shah’s behaviour towards his own people, detaining tens of thousands of political prisoners without due process, torturing them, killing them, that eventually enraged the Iranian population to the point that it sparked the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
We are operating in a vacuum, completely unaware of history.
BOGUS REASON: SUPPORT FOR TERRORISTS: Anyone who claims it was because Saddam supported Terrorists forgets that Iraq was on the State Departments list of Designated Terrorist supporters up until 1982 when we needed to pump money and guns and chemical weapons into Iraq to keep them from losing the war with Iran. We took them off the terrorist support list in 1982 so it would be legal to ship them chemical and biological agents. What they also forget is that there was absolutely NO meaningful connection between Iraq and al Quaeda on 2001-09-11. Al Quaeda didn’t come into Iraq in any meaningful way until the US occupation, US
BOGUS REASON: HUMAN SHREDDER: 2003-03-12: James Mahon tells the British House of COmmons that Saddam and his son, Qusay, regularly killed Iraqis by feeding them into an industrial shredding machine. 2003-03-18: The Times posts a story about the shredder, with a headline “See men shredded, then say you don’t back war”
[http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/thunderer/article1120757.ece]. 2004-02-25: The Guardian newspaper prints an article “The Missing People Shredder” that says evidence indicates the shredder was a complete fabrication.
BOGUS REASON: NUCLEAR PROGRAM: Bush Jr. invented a series of lies about Iraq having a nuclear program. This included stories about Iraq trying to purchase uranium from Niger and Iraq purchasing aluminum tubes for a centrifuge.
Bush, Cheney, political positions from 1982-1988?
In 1982, when his father was Vice President and Bush Sr supported Saddam to prevent Saddam from losing the Iran-Iraq war, Bush Jr. was 36 years old. Yet, there is no record from the 80′s of Bush Jr objecting to his father supporting Saddam when Saddam had started a war of aggresssion in invading Iran. There is no record of Jr’s objection to his father supportin Saddam who at the time had a clear record of using weapons of mass destruction against Iran and against Iraqi civilians. There is no record of Bush Jr. objecting to his father’s support in taking Iraq off the State Terror list in 1982. No record of Bush Jr. objecting to his father helping Saddam get biological weapons samples from the CDC, or chemicals from American companies.
During the 1980′s, Dick Cheney is a member of the US House of Representatives from Wyoming. If Cheney opposed Reagan’s actions to take Iraq off the terrorist sponsor list in 1982, if Cheney opposed Reagan’s military assistance to Iraq, if Cheney opposed the loaning of 5 billion dollars to Iraq through BNL, if Cheney opposed the sending of military equipment and intelligence to Iraq during the 80′s, if Cheney demanded that Iraq be sanctioned for using chemical and biological weapons against Iran and against Iraqi civilians, then there ought to be some voting record of some sort that would support that assertion.
Otherwise, if both Bush Jr and Cheney supported the idea of arming a tyrant with chemical and biological weapons, loaning him five billion dollars, sending him satellite intelligence, and blocking UN resolutions condemning his use of chemical weapons, during the 80′s, then it sort of rings hollow that they oppose those very same actions now.
If they oppose them now, why didn’t they oppose them then?
END OF INVASION, BEGINNING OF OCCUPATION
By June 2008, the cost of the Iraq war is 530 Billion Dollars in direct costs, an estimated 2.5 Trillion Dollars in Indirect costs, 3340 American troops killed, 30,000 wounded.
All this because Bush couldn’t wait a few months and let Blix finish his job.
2008-05-28: “Many believe all we need to do to end the nuclear programs of hostile
governments is have our president talk with leaders in Pyongyang and
Tehran, as if we haven’t tried talking to these governments repeatedly
over the past two decades.” –John McCain