[SPORK] Something I REALLY want John Hall to Try To Understand

James Rogers jamesr@best.com
Wed, 26 Mar 2003 10:56:27 -0800


From: Elias Sinderson
>
> For example, in case anyone missed the news, it was the US who sold =
Iraq
the=20
> majority of their chem/bio stockpiles in the first place and Rumsfeld =
(as=20
> secretary of state) who approved the deal under the Reagan =
administration.


I have done research on this claim (because I didn't know too much about =
it)
and have come to the conclusion that it is, in a word, bullshit.  Much =
noise
has been made about this, but if you look into it the claim dissolves =
into
so much spin and rather excessive stretching of the truth.

Bio:  The only "bio-weapons" we gave to Saddam Hussein were standard
bacterial cultures that we give to *everybody*.  They were standard
scientific cultures that are sold throughout the world for scientific =
and
medical research.  Your local college probably has the same culture set.
And if they were really interested, they could have always made their =
own
cultures.  No "stockpiles" and no bio-weapons were sold. =20

Chem:  As far as I can tell, the US never gave Iraq any chemical =
weapons.
We knew they were using them and gave them targetting intelligence, but =
that
is a very far cry from "selling them the majority of their stockpiles".  =
We
sold some Iraqi companies "precursors", but as most chemists will tell =
you,
chemical weapons are not high science and the so-called precursors we =
sold
them have a multitude of legitimate uses.  Ammonia, formaldehyde, and =
nitric
acid are the essential precursors for plastic explosives, but I'm not =
going
to give anyone a second thought if they buy any or all of these =
chemicals.
There are too many other reasonable uses.  "Chemical precursors" is =
almost
always a very weak excuse to accuse anyone of anything; I strongly =
object to
it when law enforcement acts like this is some kind of heavy =
incriminating
evidence.  If we'd actually sold them chemical weapons or applications
specific chemicals (i.e. complex chemicals with no other use), you might
have a point.  But this does not appear to be the case.


It appears that the only case that CAN be made is that we knew about =
their
chemical weapons program for a long time and their use of chemical =
weapons
in general.  But that isn't a surprise to anybody.


Cheers,

-James Rogers
 jamesr@best.com