While George Bush junior declares he "will not allow a nation such as Iraq to threaten our very future by developing weapons of mass destruction," his father's and Ronald Reagan's administrations apparently didn't have the future in mind at all. Especially in the 80s, when they allowed the export of biological and chemical weapons and massive amounts of conventional military hardware, to Iraq.They were only interested in making sure Saddam gassed as many Iranians as possible, to pay back the Ayatollah Khomeini for evicting the Shah and initiating an anti-U.S. revolution.
The U.S. Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological exports to Iraq between 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of anthrax. Researchers at the Rockville, Maryland, lab of the American Type Culture Collection confirmed sending anthrax samples via mail order to Iraq.
After the Gulf War, Iraq made several declarations to UN weapons inspectors about how they had weaponized the anthrax sent to them by the American corporation. In 1985, the U.S. Center for Disease Control sent samples of an Israeli strain of West Nile virus to a microbiologist at Iraq's Basra University. In addition, Iraq received "various toxins and bacteria," including botulins and E. coli.
Corporations that have sold dual-use chemicals and biological samples to Iraq for its weapons program include: Phillips Petroleum, Unilever, Alcolac, Allied Signal, the American Type Culture Collection and Teledyne. Teledyne pleaded guilty to charges of criminal conspiracy, false statements and violations of the Export Administration Act and the Arms Export Control Act for indirectly exporting 130 tons of zirconium, intended for use in cluster bombs, to Iraq through Chilean arms manufacturer Carlos Cardoen. In defence, Teledyne argued at trial that the CIA had authorized the shipments.
The Baltimore company Alcolac was convicted of illegally selling thiodiglycol -- a chemical used in the production of mustard gas -- for use in Iraq's chemical warfare program.
When Murray Waas and Craig Unger published an article in the New Yorker about the Reagan admin and Bush's involvement with Saddam Hussein, they were roundly condemned and mocked by the corporate media.
This was a full three years before Howard Teicher's revelatory 1995 affidavit. Teicher had been a national security council staffer under Reagan, and he testified in the Teledyne case that he and Donald Rumsfeld travelled to Iraq to make sure the Iraqi dictator received what he needed to win the Iran-Iraq war. Teicher claims the U.S. actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying them with billions of dollars of credits, plus U.S. military intelligence and advice. In 1982, Reagan legalized direct military assistance. This resulted in more than a billion dollars in military-related exports.
When Teicher presented his affidavit, the Clinton Justice Department went on the offensive, accused Teicher of lying and then promptly classified the document as a state secret. On January 15, 1995, Attorney General Janet Reno and deputy John Hogan released a Final Report whitewashing the entire affair. It was hoped the whole thing would simply fade away.
As Dubya Junior prepares to make war on a Frankenstein that Bush Senior -- at least in part -- created, these investigations need to be revisited within the full context of public debate.