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[ cerca in archivio ] ARCHIVIO STORICO RADICALE
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Cicciomessere Roberto - 8 febbraio 1991
(1) THE POISON GAS CONNECTION
Western suppliers of unconventional weapons and technologies to Iraq and Libya

A Special Report Commisioned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Prepared by Kenneth R. Timmerman

Copyright 1990, Middle East Defense News, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Citation of this report must be accompanied by the following acknowledgement, or its stylistic equivalent,

"According to a Special Report commisioned by the Simon Wiesenthal Center from Middle East Defense News(Mednews)"

Simon Wiesenthal Center

Los Angeles, California

Tel:(213)553-9036

Fax:(213)553-8007

Middle East Defense News

Paris, France

Tel:(331)39626830

The Poison Gas Connection

Western Suppliers of unconventional weapons and technologies to the Middle East

Contents:

Preface.......................................

About the Author..............................Executive Summary.................................

I.Iraq

Introduction......................................

A. Chemical Weapons production today.......

B. The Akashat plant.......................

C. Iraq's "Special Relationship" with West Germany..

D. Karl kolb, or the "secrets of Samarra"........

E. The German government report..................

F. Short-list of German Contributers.............

G. Project 395...................................

H. The MMB/Consen Connection.....................

Conclusion..............................................

II.Libya

Introduction...........................................

A. Quiet beginnings.............................

B. The Storm erupts.............................

C. The Schauble report..........................

D. The Chronology...............................

E. From Rabta to Sebha..........................

Conclusion: Toward a united will.......................

III.Appendices

A. Company register..............................

B. A Chronology of Horror........................

C. The Schauble Report

Simon Wiesenthal Center

9760 West Pico blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90035-4792

(213) 553-9036

Fax (213) 553-8007

Dear Friend,

Not since the 1930's has one man riveted the world's attention as has Saddam Hussein.

His naked aggression and willingness to push mankind to the very brink is the most serious threat facing the civilized world since the end of the Second World War.

But Saddam Hussein's Iraq did not become what one Western intelligence official described as "the most experienced government in the world in the production and use of chemical weapons" by some freak accident. Who supplied this madman with the technology? Who handed his poisonous gases and potent chemicals? Staffed his research facilities and built his plants?

This report gives the startling answers to these questions. It reveals how 50 years after the holocaust, German technology is again in the forefront of helping dictators achieve their destructive aims.

How German firms, as well as companies from France and elsewhere claimed ignorance and denied culpability. "We are only supplying them with chemicals for pesticides", was the incredible claim of one company official. This report tells how governments chose to look the other way for geopolitical considerations and in the name of greed - - doing buisness with Saddam Hussein right up to the invasion of Kuwait.

To be indifferent to the facts is to admit that we have learned nothing from the experience of Auschwitz. It is simply not enough to draw the line in the desert. We must have the courage and commitment to draw a line in the corporate boardrooms and in the pocketbooks of wealthy corporations.

It is time to remember that in 1946 a British court in Hamburg refused to believe the civilian principles of a German chemical company that they were ignorant of the use of Zyklon B against innocent civilians. Two of the principals of that firm were hanged for aiding and abetting in crimes against humanity. The Simon Wiesenthal Center believes that international legal scholars should look seriously at this relative precedent.

The investigative trial has already led to 86 German firms. Surely Berlin must lead the way in closing off the wholesale transfer of the technology of death. For it would be an unforgiveable stain on the unified Germany to once again find German labels at the sites of another despot's mass murders.

But Germany does not stand indicted alone. Firms from 21 countries are listed in this report (see page 46). If you feel as strongly as we do after reading this report, we urge you to write the leaders of your country and the civilized world to demand action.

Rabbi Marvin Hier

Dean

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Investigative journalist Kenneth R. Timmerman is well known in Europe and in the U.S. for his work on the Middle East and on black market arms networks. He has written for numerous publications, including Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, l'Express, the American Spectator, and has made numerous television appearances(ABC, CBS, CNN, BBC television, etc.). He has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, and publishes a newsletter on Middle East Security issues, Mednews.

A first book of non-fiction, FANNING THE FLAMES:AN EXPOSE OF GREED; GUNS; and GEOPOLITICS IN THE GULF WAR, was serialized by the New York Times Syndication Service in 1987-88 before pubblication in Switzerland under the title OL INS FEUER in 1988. A second book, devoted to high-tech spionage, was published in France last year by les Editions Plon, under the title LA GRANDE FAUCHE(GORBACHEV'S TECHNOLOGY WARS).

Mr. Timmerman is 36, and lives outside Paris with his swedish wife and four children.

Executive Summary

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East poses the greatest threat to world peace since the end of the World War II.

Four distinct types of weapons are involved: chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and on long-range delivery vectors such as ballistic missiles or Iraq's "super-gun."

Four Middle Eastern nations have spent large sums of money to acquire these weapons and technologies: Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran. Except for Iran, all are still in a state of war with Israel. While none of these four is yet believed to have acquired nuclear weapons, Iraq, Syria and libya have extensive arsenals of chemical weapons, and at least two - Iraq and libya - have used them in combat.

In a speech broadcast by Iraqi television on April 2, 1990, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to "burn half of Israel" in the event of an Israeli attack on Iraq. Later, Iraq's Ambassador to the United Nations, Abdul-Amir al Anbari, extended the definition of an Israeli attack to include an attack by U.S. warplanes, since their pilots were really Jews in disguise "who have been issued American passports and whose planes have received American markings." (BBC World Service, August 8, 1990). By Iraqi accounts these threats, if carried out, would involve a massive launch of Iraqi-made ballistic missiles loaded with poison gas against Israel's densely-populated coastal plain. The death toll from such an attack could reach into the hundreds of thousands.

This backround document focuses on Iraq and Libya, since their CW programs are beyond a doubt the most extensive.

It examines the web of international companies, the vast majority of them German, which have supplied Iraq and Libya with weapons of mass destruction and the means to manufacture them, and gives a detailed run-down of CW production facilities now in operation in those two countries.

Two key documents are present in the appendix.

The first is a data base printout, based on open source material,listing more than two hundred companies in western Europe and the U.S. that have actively supplied Iraq with critical elements for its strategic weapons programs. If the list were extended to cover conventional arms deliveries (aircraft, helicopters, missiles, munitions,etc), it would stretch into the thousands.

The second is a report presented to the German Bundestag by the West German government on February 15, 1989, which details the involvement of West Germany companies in Libyan chemical weapons programs. This report, which is a public document, shows in illuminating detail that the West German government was aware of poison gas deliveries by German companies to Libya beginning in April 1980, but did nothing to stop them.

 
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