Amid Syria Uproar, CIA Files Show U.S. Helped Saddam Gas Iranians

By:  Alex Newman
Amid Syria Uproar, CIA Files Show U.S. Helped Saddam Gas Iranians

Recently declassified CIA documents show that the U.S. government was helping Saddam Hussein in the '80s even though it knew he was engaged in brutal chemical attacks against Iran.

As the Western establishment bangs the war drums over a chemical weapons attack the Obama administration implausibly claims was perpetrated by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, recently declassified CIA documents reveal that the U.S. federal government was helping Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein (shown prior to 2003 Iraq War) even though it knew he was engaged in some of the worst chemical attacks in world history. The latest revelations, first uncovered by Foreign Policy, illustrate what some analysts call the hypocrisy and apparent insanity of U.S. foreign policy.

Of course, like Assad, Hussein was once considered a strong U.S. government ally before suddenly becoming an enemy of the U.S. establishment and, therefore, a target for “regime change.” In the late 1980’s, in fact, American intelligence operatives were secretly helping the Iraqi dictator fight his barbaric wars against Iran and his own people — even giving the regime in Baghdad information that they knew would be used to more effectively employ deadly chemical weapons attacks.

Declassified government documents and interviews with former U.S. intelligence officials cited in news reports show conclusively that the U.S. government knew about the chemical attacks for years, including the use of mustard gas on Iraqi and Iranian civilians. “They show that senior U.S. officials were being regularly informed about the scale of the nerve gas attacks,” reported Shane Harris and Matthew Aid for Foreign Policy. “They are tantamount to an official American admission of complicity in some of the most gruesome chemical weapons attacks ever launched.”

Incredibly, the declassified documents expose top American officials — in their zeal to ensure victory for the ruthless Iraqi dictator in his war against Iran — apparently more concerned about getting caught than the gruesome killings being perpetrated with chemical weapons and U.S. assistance. The documents warned, for example, that Iranian authorities might be able to gather evidence to present to the United Nations linking the U.S. government to the apparent violations of international laws on war in the Geneva Protocol.

Because the Soviet Union had previously deployed chemical weapons without serious repercussions, however, U.S. officials sounded less concerned about getting caught than they might otherwise have been. "As Iraqi attacks continue and intensify the chances increase that Iranian forces will acquire a shell containing mustard agent with Iraqi markings," states one of the secret CIA reports. "Tehran would take such evidence to the U.N. and charge U.S. complicity in violating international law." The Iran-Contra scandal also later exposed the U.S. government’s secret and unlawful arming of the Iranian regime, too.

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Photos of Saddam Hussein prior to 2003 Iraq War: AP Images

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