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el-Ghazali, most assuredly hated Bush and America. Ghazali was convicted
back in 1994 for his role in a plot to murder George Bush the Elder during
a visit to Kuwait. "Every Arab child is worth all of America," Ghazali
told Robert Fisk of the Independent. "I am an Iraqi citizen. Bush killed
16 members of my family."
Bush Senior: Hating Saddam, Selling Him Weapons

In an interview with CNN's Paula Zahn, former president George Bush spoke
recently of his "hatred" of Saddam Hussein. "I hate Saddam Hussein," said
Bush."I don't hate a lot of people. I don't hate easily, but I think he's,
as I say, his word is no good and he's a brute. He's used poison gas on
his own people. So, there's nothing redeeming about this man."
The former president claims to hate Saddam simply because he is "no good"
and a "brute." Zahn does not bother to probe deeper. Paula Zahn's ratings
are dismal these days. Her former boss over at FOX News said, "a dead
raccoon could get higher ratings." The Bush interview, obviously, is good
for Zahn's floundering career. As such, we shouldn't expect Zahn to push
Bush Senior on the particulars of his hatred. Not these days, anyway, when
the corporate media essentially plays second fiddle for the government.
Hatred in the wake of the Gulf War is not unique. For instance, Wasli
el-Ghazali, most assuredly hated Bush and America. Ghazali was convicted
back in 1994 for his role in a plot to murder George Bush the Elder during
a visit to Kuwait. "Every Arab child is worth all of America," Ghazali
told Robert Fisk of the Independent. "I am an Iraqi citizen. Bush killed
16 members of my family."
In response to the failed -- and some would say bogus -- plot to kill
Bush, Clinton fired 23 Tomahawk missiles into Baghdad on June 26, 1993
(more than a year before the conviction of Ghazali and his
co-conspirators). Seven of these "precision guided" missiles missed their
target (or did they?) and hit civilian housing, killing eight people,
including the renowned artist Leila al-Attar. Clinton later told the
American people they could "feel good" about the attack. No word if
Clinton, like Bush, hates Saddam Hussein -- or, for that matter, innocent
Iraqi civilians, including artists.
Bush did not tell CNN's Zahn if the assassination plot was the particular
incident that stoked his hatred of the Iraqi dictator, nor did the anchor
ask. It is fair to conclude Bush has not always hated Saddam. Or if he has
hated Saddam all these years, he put that hatred aside in the name of
statecraft. Reagan, Bush, the Iraqi dictator, and American corporations
have worked together over the years. War and death make for good business.
It also makes for lies and deception -- and possibly for less than
truthful interviews.
Former Reagan official and National Security Council staffer Howard
Teicher has described a less than hateful relationship between the Reagan
administration and Saddam Hussein. In 1995, Teicher offered an affidavit
in the Teledyne case, a legal sideshow to a larger scandal known as
"Iraqgate." According to Teicher, he and Donald Rumsfeld traveled to Iraq
to make sure the Iraqi dictator received what he needed in order to win
the Iran-Iraq war -- or if not win at least make sure there was a draw.
"CIA Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq
had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles," Teicher swore
in the affidavit.
Teicher claims the United States "actively supported the Iraqi war effort
by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing
US military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis, and by closely
monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to make sure Iraq had the
military weaponry required." Reagan also sent a secret message to Saddam,
which then vice president Bush delivered to Egyptian President Mubarak,
and Mubarak passed on to Saddam, "telling him that Iraq should step up its
air war and bombing of Iran." Reagan CIA director Casey wanted to give
Saddam cluster bombs, which "were a perfect 'force multiplier' that would
allow the Iraqis to defend against the 'human waves' of Iranian
attackers," explained the former NSC staffer. He recorded Casey's comments
in meeting minutes, which are now in the Ronald Reagan presidential
archives in Simi Valley, California.
In 1982, Reagan "legalized" direct military assistance to Iraq. This
resulted in more than a billion dollars in military related exports.
According to Kenneth R. Timmerman (author of The Death Lobby: How the West
Armed Iraq) the US government under Reagan and Bush sold Iraq 60 Hughes MD
500 "Defender" helicopters, eight Bell Textron AB 212 military helicopters
equipped for anti-submarine warfare, 48 Bell Textron 214 ST utility
helicopters (sold for "recreational" purposes), and US military infra-red
sensors and thermal imaging scanners (sold illegally to Iraq through a
Dutch company). After the Gulf War, the International Atomic Energy Agency
found the following US equipment in Iraq: spectrometers, oscilloscopes,
neutron initiators, high-speed switches for nuclear detonation, and other
tools used to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons.
"One entire facility, a tungsten-carbide manufacturing plant that was part
of the Al Atheer complex," Timmerman told the Senate Committee on Banking,
Housing, and Urban Affairs, "was blown up by the IAEA in April 1992
because it lay at the heart of the Iraqi clandestine nuclear weapons
program, PC-3. Equipment for this plant appears to have been supplied by
the Latrobe, Pennsylvania manufacturer, Kennametal, and by a large number
of other American companies, with financing provided by the Atlanta branch
of the BNL bank."
BNL -- or Banca Nazionale del Lavoro -- provided more than $5 billion in
unauthorized loans to Iraq, including $900 million guaranteed by the US
government. "About half of the money allegedly went to finance the
purchase of US farm products, including $900 million guaranteed by the
Agriculture Department's Commodity Credit Corp., but investigators said
much of the rest had helped fuel Iraq's military buildup," wrote George
Lardner in the Washington Post on 22 March 1992. Lardner and others were
learning about covert and illegal arms sales to Iraq through
Representative Henry B. Gonzalez, chairman of the House Banking Committee.
Gonzalez was conducting "special orders" -- uninterrupted speeches on the
House floor -- detailing the criminal behavior of Reagan and Bush. Hardly
anybody paid attention, least of all Bush, who was running for a second
While Bush Junior declares he "will not allow... a nation such as Iraq to
threaten our very future by developing weapons of mass destruction," the
administration of his father and Reagan, as the Gonzalez revelations
demonstrate, apparently didn't have the future of America in mind when
they allowed biological and chemical weapons -- as well as massive amounts
of conventional military hardware -- to be exported to Iraq. They were
only interested in making sure Saddam gassed as many Iranians as possible
-- and thus pay back the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for evicting the
despised Shah Reza Pahlavi and initiating an anti-western revolution in
Iran. No doubt it irks Bush, Cheney, neocons in general, and a few
mulitnaitonal oil corporations that Iran is calling the shots on its oil
The US Department of Commerce licensed 70 biological exports to Iraq
between 1985 and 1989, including at least 21 batches of lethal strains of
anthrax. The French newspaper Le Figaro, in an article published in 1998,
said 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 US Centers of Disease Control sent
samples of an Israeli strain of West Nile virus to a microbiologist at the
Basra University in Iraq. In addition, Iraq received other "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 pled 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 to Iraq
through Chilean arms manufacturer Carlos Cardoen. The zirconium was
intended for use in cluster bombs. In defense, Teledyne argued during the
trial that the CIA had authorized the shipments. The Baltimore company
Alcolac was convicted of illegally selling thiodiglycol -- a chemical
precursor 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 administration and Bush's involvement with Saddam Hussein
-- a full three years before Howard Teicher's revelatory affidavit -- they
were roundly condemned and mocked by the corporate media. Steven Emerson
of the Wall Street Journal called the article a "Byzantine conspiracy
theory," while Michael Fumento, a syndicated columnist, said the story was
"a big fat nothing," baseless innuendo that "spread like a flesh-eating
bacteria into newspapers, newsmagazines, and television news throughout
the country." Others accused a liberal media of attempting to derail
Bush's re-election bid.
During the election, Bill Clinton promised, if elected, he would appoint
an independent prosecutor to investigate the Iraqgate scandal. But like so
many election promises Iraqgate fell off the radar screen not long after
Clinton assumed office. Worse, when former NSC staffer Howard Teicher
presented his affidavit in 1995, 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. Except for a
few books and other "Byzantine conspiracy theories," the
Reagan-Bush-Iraqgate scandal has pretty much slipped from public view.
In general, the corporate media gave but cursory notice to the
revelations. "There's a good reason why we in the media are so partial to
a nice, torrid sex scandal," said Ted Koppel, as he opened a Nightline
Iraqgate report in 1992. "It is, among other things, so easy to explain
and so easy to understand. Nothing at all, in other words, like
allegations of a government cover-up, which tend to be not at all easy to
explain, and even more difficult to understand." In short, according to
Koppel and the corporate media, the American people do not have the
intelligence to judge for themselves if their leaders are criminals.
Obviously, Monica Lewinsky is more important.
As Dubya the Junior and his coterie of chick hawks prepare to make war on
a Frankenstein Bush the Senior -- at least in part -- created, the
revelations exposed by Representative Henry B. Gonzalez and a handful of
others need to be revisited within the full context of public debate.
However, considering the handmaiden role of corporate media in the
dissemination of government propaganda -- and its insistence upon offering
vacuous interviews by the likes of Paula Zahn -- chances are the American
people will not be allowed to understand any time soon what the government
does in their name.
Our only hope, it would seem, rests in "Byzantine conspiracy theories."
Kurt Nimmo is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New
Mexico. He can be reached at:  nimmo@zianet.com.