Back when Saddam Hussein was our friend and the Ayatola Khomeni the only bad guy, the United States looked upon weapons of mass destruction more fondly. In fact, the Times of London reports, the United States actually supplied Iraq with biological weapons of mass destruction back in those halcyon days.
A British cow that died in an Oxfordshire field in 1937 has emerged as the source of Saddam Hussain’s “weapons of mass destruction” programme that led to the Iraq war.
An ear from the cow was sent to an English laboratory, where scientists discovered anthrax spores that were later used in secret biological warfare tests by Winston Churchill.
The culture was sent to the United States, which exported samples to Iraq during Saddam’s war against Iran in the 1980s. Inspectors have found that this batch of anthrax was the dictator’s choice in his attempts to create biological weapons.
Well, what do you know? We were certain Saddam had WMDs because we gave them to him. It all starts to come together.
The odyssey of the Iraqi anthrax was unravelled by Geoffrey Holland, a politics student and antiwar campaigner at the University of Sussex. The exact batch chosen by Saddam was disclosed in the CIA report by Charles Duelfer, the former UN weapons inspector, last autumn.
“Iraq declared researching different strains of B. anthracis, but settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a BW,” Mr Duelfer said.
A congressional investigation into Gulf War syndrome by Don Riegle had already uncovered invoices showing that this batch was shipped from the United States between 1986 and 1988.
The English, our only real ally in the current Iraq mess, are a little hot under the collar about all this.
The discovery has angered some British politicians. Austin Mitchell, the Labour MP for Great Grimsby, has renewed his call, supported by 126 MPs in the last Parliament, for a UN investigation into whether Washington broke a weapons control agreement. “It just makes them look more hypocritical than ever,” he said.