IRAQ REJECTS UN INVESTIGATION OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS USE – 17/09/1988

[Diary of a Vengeance Foretold] Part 77

SEPTEMBER 17 1988

“Susan, if the United States government would let me, I could identify the men behind this attack [Pan Am 1003] today. I could do it right now. You want a police line up? I could go into any crowded restaurant of 200 people, and pick out these men. […] And you know what, Susan? You won’t find this restaurant anywhere in Libya. No, you will only find this restaurant in Damascus.”

Dr. Richard Fuisz to Suzan Lindauer – September 1994

Dr Richard Fuisz

Dr Richard Fuisz

Iraq today formally rebuffed an attempt by the United Nations to send an inspection team to determine whether Iraqi forces used poison gas in recent offensives against Kurdish separatists.

United States officials have said they are convinced Iraq has been using poison gas against the minority, as many Kurds have claimed, after listening to intercepted radio communications between Iraqi military commanders engaged in operations against the Kurds. UN investigators have reached the same conclusion earlier.

”It’s a negative response,” Iraq’s acting representative at the United Nations, Ali Mahmoud Sumaida, said after giving his Government’s formal reply to Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

He said he had told the Secretary General that both the Turkish Government, which has received thousands of fleeing Kurdish refugees, and the Red Cross have said they can find no evidence that poison gas was used against Kurdish fighters.

Intelligence

In the fall of 1994, Dr. Richard Fuisz, a major CIA operative in Syria during the 1980s, met with Lindauer, then a congressional staffer.

Fuisz told her that the perpetrators of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie were based in Syria. He was adamant that Libya had played no role whatsoever in the tragedy.

One month after their meeting, the Clinton administration placed a gag order on Dr. Fuisz preventing him from publicly discussing the issue. In 1998, Lindauer filed a formal deposition in which she recounts their discussion.

“I learned that Dr. Fuisz is covered by the Secrets Act, which severely restricts his ability to communicate information about Pan Am 103. Though he says freely that he knows first hand that Libya was not involved in any capacity whatsoever, it’s my understanding that he can provide no further details regarding his part in the investigation, or details identifying the true criminals in this case,” Lindauer wrote.

On July 14 of this year (2008), Dr Fuisz confirmed to me that he was not allowed to discuss this matter. When asked if Megrahi and Fimah had played a role in the bombing of Pan Am 103, he answered without hesitation: NO.

The TEREX Allegation

On Jan. 25 1992, Seymour M. Hersh published an article in the NYT headlined “U.S. Linked to Iraq Scud Launchers”. [1]

Hersh reported that a Congressional subcommittee was investigating allegations against the Terex Corporation made by Dr. Fuisz. In Sept. 1987, Dr Fuisz was given a tour of the main Terex plant in Motherwell, Scotland. The Terex Corporation is a subsidiary of KCS of Westport, Connecticut.

“I had noticed two large armor-plated vehicles painted in desert camouflage with specially attached steel backs. I asked the plant manager, Art Rowe, about them and was told they were missile launchers for the Iraqi military,” Fuisz said in an affidavit taken for a US Congressional subcommittee investigating the matter.

“These shipments were all requested by the C.I.A. with the cooperation of the British intelligence people,” David J. Langevin, the vice president of Terex, told Fuisz according to his deposition.

Terex successfully sued Fuisz for libel and the NYT apologized for the story in 1995. [2]

“The gist of the article could be read to charge Terex with supplying Scud missile launchers to Iraq before the Persian Gulf War, a charge neither The Times nor Mr. Hersh intended. This resulted from an inaccurate headline, erroneous changes made to the content and emphasis of the article in the course of the editorial process, and the inclusion of information supplied by Dr. Fuisz that Terex asserts is false. Terex vigorously denied the charge and instituted a libel suit against Mr. Hersh and Dr. Fuisz.

“The article should not have suggested that Terex has ever supplied Scud missile launchers to Iraq, and The Times regrets any damage that may have resulted to Terex from any false impression the article may have created.

On Feb 23 2003, the Sunday Herald published a story headlined “Revealed: 17 British Firms Armed Saddam with his Weapons”.

The Terex Corporation is listed as a UK company having provided rocket technology to Iraq. To my knowledge, Terex never sued the Herald for libel. [3]

Back to the Present (2008)

‘The Appeal Court in Edinburgh has decided to appoint a special defender to view confidential documents thought to contain vital information for the defense of Megrahi. Pr Black posted the following on his website.

‘The decision follows an unprecedented hearing, held behind closed doors, at which the UK Government argued that revealing the documents would compromise security.

‘The advocate general, who represents the UK Government in Scottish courts, asked the court to appoint a security-vetted lawyer who could look at the documents on behalf of the defence team of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing.

‘This special defender would then argue which parts of the document should be published – although judges would make the final decision about how much, if anything, should be revealed. ‘So far the court has not published its decision, but Foreign Office minister Kim Howells has written a letter confirming that the court has decided to appoint a special defender.

‘It will be the first time such a course has been taken in Scotland, although some English courts have appointed special defenders to examine evidence in terrorism cases.

NOTES AND REFERENCES

 U.S. Linked to Iraqi Scud Launchers, January 26, 1992

Editors’ Note, December 7, 1995

Revealed: 17 British Firms Armed Saddam with his Weapons, February 23, 2003

Iraq Rejects Attempt by the UN to See if Gas Was Used on Kurds , September 17, 1988

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