Thursday, September 02, 2004

RPGs In Iraq? Thank Reagan!

Just discovered this document on the Reagan administration's effort to arm Iraq:

Following is the sworn court declaration of former NSC official Howard Teicher, dated 1/31/95, regarding 'Iraqgate.'...

...7. CIA Director Casey personally spearheaded the effort to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war. Pursuant to the secred NSDD, the United States actively supported the Iraqi war effort by supplying the Iraqis with billions of dollars of credits, by providing U.S. military intelligence and advice to the Iraqis .. The United States also provided strategic operational advice [not just aerial photos as tactical help] to the Iraqis to better use their assets in combat...

...When I joined the NSC staff in early 1982, CIA Director
Casey was adamant that cluster bombs were a perfect "force multiplier"
[So THAT'S why they were so keen to get UNSCOM find Iraqi cluster bombs!] that would allow the Iraqis to defend against the "human waves" of Iranian attackers. I recorded those comments in the minutes of National Security Planning Group ("NSPG") meetings in which Casey or Gates participated.

9. The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq. [There goes blaming France and Germany and the USSR - while leaving out Britain -, subcontractors eh...]

10. The United States was anxious to have other countries supply assistance to Iraq. For example, in 1984, the Israelis .. approached the United States in a meeting in Jerusalem that I attended with Donald Rumsfeld. Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir asked Rumsfeld if the United States would deliver a secret offer of Israeli assistance to Iraq. The United States agreed. I travelled with Rumsfeld to Baghdad and was present at the meeting in which Rumsfeld told Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz about Israel's offer of assistance. Aziz refused even to accept the Israelis' letter to Hussein offering assistance, because Aziz told us that he would be executed on the spot by Hussein if he did so. [HOLY CRAP! Never heard of this.]

11. One of the reasons that the United States refused to license or sell U.S. origin weapons to Iraq was that the supply of non-U.S. origin weapons to Iraq was sufficient to meet Iraq's needs. Under CIA DIrector Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA made sure that non-U.S. manufacturers manufactured and sold to Iraq the weapons needed by Iraq. In certain instances where a key component in a weapon was not readily available, the highest levels of the United States government decided to make the component available, directly or indirectly, to Iraq. I specifically recall that the provision of anti-armor penetrators to Iraq was a case in point. The United States made a policy decision to supply penetrators to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC files will contain references to the Iraqis' need for anti-armor penetrators and the decision to provide penetrators to Iraq [read RPGs]...

...13. The United States and the CIA maintained a program known as the 'Bear Spares" program whereby the United States made sure that spare parts and ammunition for Soviet or Soviet-style weaponry were available to countries which sought to reduce their dependence on the Soviets for defense needs. If the "Bear Spares" were manufactured outside the United States, then the United States could arrange for the provision of these weapons to a third country without direct involvement. Israel, for example, had a very large stockpile of Soviet weaponry and ammunition captured during its various wars. At the suggestion of the United States, the Israelis would transfer the spare parts and weapons to third countries or insurgent movements (such as the Afghan rebels and the Contras). Similarly, Egypt manufactured weapons and spare parts from Soviet designs and porvided these weapons and ammunition to the Iraqis and other countries. Egypt also served as a supplier for the Bear Spares program. The United States approved, assisted and encouraged Egypt's manufacturing capabilities. The United States approved, assisted and encouraged Egypt's sale of weaponry, munitions and vehicles to Iraq.

Just jaw-dropping - I Googled not once for details of the Western involvement in arming Saddam, but never met with this. Nothing much to comment.


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