Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Was selling F-16's to Pakistan a good decision?

A bit of perspective and history regarding President Bush’s decision to sell nuclear-capable F-16’s to Pakistan. Pakistan is a fundamentalist Islamic country ruled by a military junta.

Bush supporters justify the sell by saying that the situation in Pakistan has changed. This is true, but not in a good way. Back when the embargo was put in place, the U.S. only suspected Pakistan might have nukes; today we know for sure that they do.

Furthermore, back then, Pakistan had a democratically elected leader, now it's ruled by a military dictator: the man who armed the Taliban and supported their conquest of Afghanistan, who allowed the A. Q. Khan network to spread nuclear weapons technology to other Islamic states, and who still refuses to allow US troops, agents, or reconnaissance planes to search for Osama bin Laden (remember him?) where he's hiding out... in Pakistan for goodness sake!

Now, for some history that you won’t find in your hyped-up history books:

The U.S. heavily supplied Saddam both with weapons and funding. In1982, President Ronald Reagan began selling helicopters to Iraq--in that very year U.S helicopters were the ones Saddam used to spray both the Iranians and the Kurds with mustard gas and chemical weapons. And even after we knew they'd done this monstrous thing, Reagan still sold them more weapons and allowed him to use our advanced technologies. President Bush Sr. also aided and abetted Iraq right up to the very last moment before the invasion of Kuwait.

"Despite intelligence reports that Iraq still sponsored groups on the SD's terrorist list, and "apparently without consulting Congress", the Reagan Administration removed Iraq from the State terrorism sponsorship list in 1982.[3] The removal made Iraq eligible for U.S. dual-use and military technology."

"Reagan Administration secretly began to allow Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt to transfer to Iraq U.S. howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons.[11] Reagan personally asked Italy’s Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti to channel arms to Iraq."

"In August, the CIA establishes a direct Washington-Baghdad intelligence link, and for 18 months, starting in early 1985, the CIA provided Iraq with "data from sensitive U.S. satellite reconnaissance assist Iraqi bombing raids."

"Iraq’s Saad 16 General Establishment’s director wrote a letter to the Commerce Department (CD) detailing the activities in Saad’s 70 laboratories. These activities had the trademarks of ballistic missile development.[22]"

The Defense Department’s (DOD) Under Secretary for Trade Security Policy, Stephen Bryen, informed the Commerce Department’s (CD) Assistant Secretary for Trade Administration in November that intelligence linked the Saad 16 research center with ballistic missile development.[23] Between 1985 and 1990, CD approved many computer sales to Iraq that go directly to Saad 16. CD approved over $1 million worth of computer equipment for sale to Saad 16 after Commerce received the above-mentioned November letter from DOD.[24] As of 1991 Saad 16 reportedly contained up to 40% U.S.-origin equipment.[25]"

"Following the Halabja attack and Iraq’s August CW offensive against Iraqi Kurds, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed on 8 September the "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988" the day after it is introduced.[31] The act cuts off from Iraq U.S. loans, military and non-military assistance, credits, credit guarantees, items subject to export controls, and U.S. imports of Iraqi oil.[32]

Immediately after the bill’s passage the Reagan Administration announced its opposition to the bill,[33] and SD spokesman Charles Redman called the bill "premature".[34] The Administration works with House opponents to a House companion bill, and after numerous legislation compromises and end-of-session haggling, the Senate bill died "on the last day of the legislative session".[35]"

"James Baker received an SD memo stating that Iraq was diligently developing chemical, biological, and new missiles, and that Baker was to "express our interest in broadening U.S.-Iraqi ties" to Iraqi Under-Secretary Hamdoon.[53]"

"Although the CIA and the Bush Administration knew that Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI) "controlled entities were involved in Iraq's clandestine nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and missile programs ... the Bush administration [approved] dozens of export licenses that [allowed] United States and foreign firms to ship sophisticated U.S. dual-use equipment to MIMI-controlled weapons factories".[54]"

"By October 1989, when all international banks had cut off loans to Iraq, President Bush signed National Security Directive (NSD) 26 mandating closer links with Iraq and $1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees. These guarantees freed for Iraq hard cash to continue to buy and develop WMDs, and are suspended only on 2 August 1990, the same day that Iraq invaded Kuwait."

From July 18 to 1 August (Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August) the Bush Administration approved $4.8 million in advanced technology product sales to Iraq. End-buyers included MIMI and Saad 16. Mimi was identified in 1988 as a facility for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. In 1989 Saad was linked to CW and NW development.[57]

The Bush Administration approved $695,000 worth of advanced data transmission devices the day before Iraq invades Kuwait.[58]"

"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, tetanus, and anthrax.[63]"

Thanks for the research, Adrienne.


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