I stumbled across some info the other day about the US having supplied Iraq with biological agents in the 1980's, so did a little more digging and came up with a few possibly interesting links. Of course, the fact that many western countries (and the Soviets) were supplying arms to Saddam is not news to anyone, but supplying biological agents is something I hadn't come across before.
quote:A letter written in 1995 by former CDC Director David Satcher to former Senator Donald W. Riegle, Jr., points out that the U.S. Government provided nearly two dozen viral and bacterial samples to Iraqi scientists in 1985--samples that included the plague, botulism, and anthrax, among other deadly diseases. According to the letter from Dr. Satcher to former Senator Donald Riegle, many of the materials were hand carried by an Iraqi scientist to Iraq after he had spent 3 months training in the CDC laboratory.
And from the first:
quote:Items sent from the U.S. during the Reagan and Bush Administrations that helped Iraq's non-conventional weapons programs and that were shipped to known military industrial facilities include: Computers to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons;(59) machine tools and lasers to extend ballistic missile range;(60) graphics terminals to design and analyze rockets;(61) West Nile Fever virus, a known potential BW agent, sent by the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control (CDC);(62) the agents for botulism, tetnus, and anthrax.(63)
References: (59) Sub-committee on Commerce, Consumer and Monetary Affairs of the House Committee on Government Operations, "Strengthening the Export Licensing System," 2 July 1991. (60) Committee on Government Operations, House, "Strengthening the Export Licensing System", 2 July 1991, section "National Security vs. Export Promotion: Sales to Iraq," para. 16. (61) Auerbach, "$1.5 Billion in U.S. Sales to Iraq". (62) Committee on Government Operations, House, "Strengthening the Export Licensing System". (63) Cole, p. 85. Cole cites U.S. Senate, a report by chairman Donald W. Riegle, Jr., and ranking member Alfonse M. D'Amato of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and Their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War, May 25, 1994, pp. 39-41.
While the validity (or otherwise) or getting rid of Saddam, is independent of whether or not the US supplied him with biological agents (obviously), the fact that the west (primarly Germany, UK, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and the USA) were supplying him with equipment and samples to support his non-conventional warfare research at a time when he was known to be using such weapons (chemical, not biological AFAIR) against Iran is something of a cause for concern IMHO.
[This message has been edited by vulture (edited September 30, 2002).]