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American Gulf War Veterans Association
Joyce Riley vonKleist, RN, BSN spokesperson
 P.O.Box 85, Versailles, Missouri 65084 
(573) 378-6049 voice, (573) 378-5998 fax

10 Sept. 2002
Contact Person: Gary Treece



As the Bush administration works to gain world support to conduct a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, new disturbing information has surfaced with regard to U.S. involvement in the development of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons program. 

The pre-emptive strike is based upon President Bush and Vice-President Cheney’s beliefs that there must be an invasion of Iraq because Saddam Hussein:

  1.   possesses weapons of mass destruction and the potential for nuclear weapons,

  2.   used these weapons on his own people (Kurds) and the Iranians,

  3.   has a history of lying to the world. 

According to information obtained by the AGWVA, there is irrefutable evidence to show that the United States government provided and encouraged Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The United States Department of Commerce and The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) provided at least 80 shipments of biological agents that were not attenuated (or weakened) and were capable of reproduction. These shipments included such virulent agents as Anthrax, West Nile Virus and Clostridium botulinum (S.R.103-900, May 25, 1994, pg. 264). 

The AGWVA also found it very disturbing to learn that on December 19, 1983, the Middle Eastern envoy who carried a handwritten note from President Reagan to Saddam Hussein,  to “resume our diplomatic relations with Iraq” was none other than our present Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.  

According to “U.S. Diplomatic and Commercial Relationships with Iraq”, 1980-August 2, 2000, (, Nathaniel Hurd states:  

“Iraq reportedly began using chemical weapons (CW) against Iranian troops in 1982, and significantly increased CW use in 1983… Shortly after removing Iraq from the terrorism sponsorship list, the Reagan administration approved the sale of 60 Hughes helicopters. Analysts recognized that “civilian” helicopters can be weaponized in a matter of hours and selling a civilian kit can be a way of giving military aid under the guise of civilian assistance.” 

Mark Phythian, in his book Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam’s War Machine” (Northeastern University Press, 1997) stated: 

“ …the Secretaries of Commerce and State (George Baldridge and George Shultz) lobbied the NSC (National Security Council) advisor into agreeing to the sale to Iraq of 10 Bell helicopters, officially for crop spraying. It is believed that US-supplied choppers were used in the 1988 chemical attack on the Kurdish village Halabja, which killed 5000 people.” 

In his own book Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, George Shultz refers to a declassified CIA report which notes Iraq’s use of mustard gas in August 1983, giving further credence to the suggestion that the State Department and/or the National Security Council (NSC) was well aware of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons at this time. If the use of chemical weapons was known in August of 1983, and Donald Rumsfeld went to Iraq in December of 1983, he was on notice that this country was using and was going to continue to use weapons of mass destruction.  Why, then, did the United States move to de-list Iraq from those considered to be terrorist nations? 

On March 23, 1984, Iran accused Iraq of poisoning 600 of its soldiers with mustard gas and Tabun nerve gas. Donald Rumsfeld returned to Baghdad on March 24, 1984. On that same day, the UPI wire service reported that a team of UN experts had concluded that: 

“Mustard gas laced with a nerve agent has been used on Iranian soldiers. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld held talks with foreign minister Tariq Aziz.”  

Probably the most critical piece of information is that according to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, in a December 15, 1986 article, the CIA began to secretly supply Iraq with intelligence in 1984 that was used to “calibrate” mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops

It is public record that the U.S. not only armed Iraq from 1983 thru August 1, 1990, but that they also provided the money to Iraq to purchase the weapons via the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), George Bush, Sr., and the Export-Import Bank. Iraq received $5 Billion dollars funneled through the Commercial Credit Corporation ostensibly for food credits. It is also public information that at least $2 Billion dollars from the defaulted loan was repaid by the U.S. citizen taxpayers. 

Joyce Riley, spokesperson for the American Gulf War Veterans Association has for seven years been shining the light of accountability on the Department of Defense for having armed our “enemy” with weapons of mass destruction, exposing our military to these weapons and then denying not only their culpability but the very existence of the mystery diseases. She often quotes Senator Donald Riegle (D-MI) who stated in Senate Report 103-900, “Our troops are not just sick, they are dying.” 

Riley, a former Captain in the United States Air Force Reserve and Flight Nurse states: “If it wasn’t bad enough to watch our troops become ill from our own weapons… the Department of Defense labeled our sick men and women as “mental cases.” These proud men and women have been abandoned, are now sick and must fight the battle alone. These needless illnesses and deaths now lie at the feet of the Pentagon and Veterans’ Administration Hospitals.”

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