"One of Saddam Hussein's most loathed henchman, Ali Hassan al-Majid, otherwise known as Chemical Ali, will be hanged within days, a senior official said tonight, setting the scene for Iraq's highest profile execution since Saddam himself was put to death more than three years ago.
The former spy chief and first cousin of Saddam was today sentenced to death for ordering the slaughter of more than 5,000 Kurds in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja with chemical weapons in 1988."
[CENTER]August 18, 2002[/CENTER]
"A covert American program during the Reagan administration provided Iraq with critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence agencies knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war, according to senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program.
Those officers, most of whom agreed to speak on the condition that they not be identified, spoke in response to a reporter's questions about the nature of gas warfare on both sides of the conflict between Iran and Iraq from 1981 to 1988. Iraq's use of gas in that conflict is repeatedly cited by President Bush and, this week, by his national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, as justification for "regime change" in Iraq. The covert program was carried out at a time when President Reagan's top aides, including Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then the national security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja in March 1988.
Another former senior D.I.A. official who was an expert on the Iraqi military said the Reagan administration's treatment of the issue -- publicly condemning Iraq's use of gas while privately acquiescing in its employment on the battlefield -- was an example of the "Realpolitik" of American interests in the war.
The effort on behalf of Iraq "was heavily compartmented," a former D.I.A. official said, using the military jargon for restricting secrets to those who need to know them.
"Having gone through the 440 days of the hostage crisis in Iran," he said, "the period when we were the Great Satan, if Iraq had gone down it would have had a catastrophic effect on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and the whole region might have gone down. That was the backdrop of the policy." (See: ReRon Reagan's Domino-Excuse)
One officer said, "They had gotten better and better" and after a while chemical weapons "were integrated into their fire plan for any large operation, and it became more and more obvious."
A number of D.I.A. officers who took part in aiding Iraq more than a decade ago when its military was actively using chemical weapons, now say they believe that the United States should overthrow Mr. Hussein at some point. But at the time, they say, they all believed that their covert assistance to Mr. Hussein's military in the mid-1980's was a crucial factor in Iraq's victory in the war and the containment of a far more dangerous threat from Iran.
The Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas," said one veteran of the program. "It was just another way of killing people -- whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference," he said."
[CENTER]Selective Amnesia - 2004[/CENTER]
"This is regarding Deroy Murdock’s March 22 column “… but if Iraq’s dead could talk, they’d thank Bush.” Selective amnesia seems to be the hallmark of the Bush administration’s apologists these days. In May, it was the media that broke the news of mass graves in Iraq.
A careful reading of the cited U.S. Agency for International Development report reveals a curious fact. The dates of these tragic events began in the 1980s and ended in 1991, the years of the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Certainly Saddam Hussein was responsible for murders and tortures until the day he took up residence in his hole. But the mass graves date from the Iran-Iraq War, the first Gulf War, and the Kurdish and Shiite rebellions."