The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Iraq’s Biological Weapons:
Rumsfeld Pretends He Doesn’t Know Anything about Them

Oct 7, 2002

Newsweek magazine created a stir when it published documents detailing U.S. government shipments of disease producing, toxic and other biological research materials to Iraq in the late 1980s. The chief use of these materials was to make biological weapons. The shipments included anthrax, botulinum and the bacteria that cause gas gangrene, as well as the West Nile virus. They were sent by the U.S.‘s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Type Culture Collection. And although the U.S. government today claims they were sent only for "medical research," in fact the shipments went directly to Iraq’s Atomic Energy Commission, to the Sera and Vaccine Institute, which was known to carry out Iraq’s biological weapons program, and to its chemical weapons program laboratory.

When Senator Robert Byrd read from the Newsweek article to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at a Senate hearing, Rumsfeld said, "I have never heard anything like what you’ve read, I have no knowledge of it whatsoever, and I doubt it." Obviously Rumsfeld has a lot of practice at telling barefaced lies–shamelessly!

Newsweek pointed out that Rumsfeld himself met with Saddam Hussein on December 20, 1983. This meeting was shown to the world via TV. The U.S. note taker at the meeting recorded that Rumsfeld conveyed President Reagan’s greetings and then got down to the business of arranging for U.S. aid to Iraq in its war against Iran. Newsweek also detailed the agreements to ship U.S. tanks to Iraq via Egypt, as well as helicopters, which were used to spray poison gas on the Kurds.The Newsweek article, while giving some new details, was not the first to reveal this information. U.N. inspectors who detected and destroyed Iraq’s biological weapons, had already reported that these weapons were built from biological strains given by the U.S.

Nonetheless, this exposé reveals something else interesting: when confronted by overwhelming amounts of evidence Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney and company continue to lie in the most blatant fashion.

These liars are the same people who today are trying to convince us to accept another war against Iraq.