Jan 5, 2004
The Pentagon has already announced that the trial of Saddam Hussein will be closed to everyone, journalists included. It’s a matter of so-called “national security.”
Oh, yes, we can see just exactly what kind of “security” is involved here.
When Saddam Hussein is accused of invading Iran in 1980, ultimately costing the lives of one million people, he can explain that the U.S. government under “peace-loving” Jimmy Carter let Hussein know that the U.S. favored such an attack on Iran. He can show that the Reagan administration issued a National Security Directive in 1982 to support him so Iraq would not lose the war against Iran.
When the accusation comes up that Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds in 1987, Hussein can show that the U.S. government not only did NOT protest, but it continued to supply Iraq with the means – like chemical weapons from Eastman Kodak, Dow and Union Carbide – to do the gassing. Reagan’s Secretary of State, George Shultz, defended Hussein in front of the United Nations, claiming there was no “conclusive” proof Iraq was actually using chemical weapons.
When the accusation follows that Saddam Hussein accumulated biological agents for possible use in germ warfare, the former dictator might explain he got these agents from U.S. laboratories with U.S. government approval. A company called American Type Culture Collection supplied equipment for making biological weapons. When the accusation is made that Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, it was four months after Hussein met with the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie. Glaspie told Hussein, “We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction ... that Kuwait is not associated with America.” Glaspie served in the first Bush administration.
When the accusation comes up that Saddam Hussein carried out a massacre of Shiites after the first Gulf War, he can explain that the first Bush administration not only left him in power, it gave him back most of his army, his combat helicopters, his weaponry – which allowed his army to crush the uprising of the Shiites in the south of Iraq and the Kurds in the north of Iraq.
In other words, the “national security” that’s being protected by keeping the trial proceedings secret is the U.S. involvement in this whole series of catastrophes – which it directed, provided, induced or implicitly okayed – all for the purpose of maintaining a tight U.S. grip on the Middle East’s most valuable resource: OIL.