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Washington Post buried UNSCOM spy story prior to
Bill Clinton's bombing campaign of Iraq

The mainstream media in the U.S. inspires little hope for the next millennium. The Washington Post is an excellent example, one of many.

At the start of a recent article by John Lancaster and Colum Lynch which tells of a new arrangement between the U.N. and Iraq (11/16/99), we are told:

Nearly a year after Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ejected international arms inspectors from his country, members of the U.N. Security Council are nearing agreement on a resolution that could lead to the resumption of inspections aimed at preventing Baghdad from acquiring illegal weapons, U.S. and allied officials said yesterday.’

Note the chronology being mentioned: the Post says that around 11/98 Saddam Hussein ejected UNSCOM from Iraq. The authors never even hint why Hussein did this. However, as Seth Ackerman revealed in an article for media watchdog FAIR’s magazine (Extra!, 3/4-1999), a Washington Post writer named Barton Gellman knew that UNSCOM was spying for the US in 10/98. While it was far more timely to print it then, the Washington Post finally ran a story on this matter by Gellman on 1/6/99. When interviewed by Ackerman, Gellman acknowledged that the Post and he delayed publication of the article on the grounds they do not spoil ongoing U.S. intelligence operations by exposing them.

The Washington Post’s silence from 10/98 to 1/99 regarding the UNSCOM spying is critical: President Bill Clinton ordered cruise missiles to attack Iraq in 12/98, under the pretext that Hussein was not complying with UNSCOM. Had the Post run the UNSCOM spy story when it had it, the attack may not have come. In addition, Clinton’s action was state-sponsored terrorism, one of many international war crimes so far from the current occupant of the White House. (It also came after Clinton’s State of the Union speech, where he looked into the TV camera and threatened Saddam Hussein by name. He’s a real tough guy, Bombing Bill.)

In fact, the 11/16 article suggests in two places that the spy story the Washington Post held on to never existed. In the first sentence above (‘Nearly a year...’) we are just told Hussein ejected UNSCOM. Later in the article the incident is completely misrepresented with:

'Saddam Hussein’s decision to expel the inspectors followed a series of confrontations over giving them access to sensitive government sites and led to several days of U.S. cruise missile attacks.’

This is historical revisionism. Elsewhere in the article (Washington Post, 11/16/99) we learn:

‘The Clinton administration has been trying for months to find a formula under which Saddam Hussein would allow the inspectors to return to Iraq. If the Iraqis cooperate with the inspectors, the Security Council then would suspend the nine-year-old trade sanctions that have shattered the Iraqi economy and barred the country from using its oil revenue to purchase anything other than food and humanitarian supplies.’

The first sentence in this paragraph reveals great discipline from Lancaster and Lynch. The obvious conclusion that the Clinton administration has already demonstrated its resolve to conduct terrorism in order to have UNSCOM return to Iraq, becomes finding ‘a formula’.

The second sentence suggests that the U.S.-led, U.N. sanctions on Iraq, which are at this writing probably killing 4,000 Iraqi children a month (and 2-3,000 adults on top of that) from starvation and easily curable diseases are in place for humanitarian reasons.

Denis Haliday, former head of the U.N.’s Oil for Food program, says (The Progressive, 2/99) that this program provides far less food to its recipients than they really need to get by. In addition, there are many stories in the alternative press about how the Clinton administration has narrowly defined what constitutes ‘humanitarian supplies.’

All in all, the Free Press is offering a frightening twist of the U.S.’s relationship with Iraq, with all the conscious expertise of commisars during Stalin’s time.

What the federal government/Washington Post do not want the public to know is that the suffering of the Iraqi people right now from economic strangulation is immense. Iraqi hospitals particularly are very bad off. This is confirmed by the testimony of many activists who have visited Iraq. For example, George Capaccio paints a frightening picture of the condition of their hospitals (The Progressive, 11/97) and calls for an immediate halt to all non-military sanctions and real humanitarian relief. Ellen Barfield of the Baltimore Chronicle has said much the same thing.

History also indicates that the pummeling the U.S. is still meting out since the 1990 war, via continued missile strikes, bombs and starvation, could eventually be quite costly to us as well. As Haliday puts it (The Progressive, 2/99), National Socialism grew in Germany in the 1930s because of the unusual severity of the Versailles Treaty. Haliday suggests that another monster even worse than Hussein could eventually rise from the ashes the U.S. is creating there.

So the millennium closes with some form of fascism certainly spreading like a cancer in the U.S. In this dark hour here’s a quote by Noam Chomsky, one of the greatest men of the twentieth-century:

‘It is important for the general population to discover what is being planned for them. The efforts of governments and media to keep it all under wraps, except for their officially-recognized ‘domestic constituencies,’ are surely understandable. But such barriers have been overcome by vigorous public action before, and can be again.’ (Noam Chomsky, Z Magazine, May 1998)

Scott Loughrey

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