This article comes from

Tom Flocco.com
http://tomflocco.com/


Government Officials Profited
Date: Wednesday, December 24 @ 13:04:23 EST
Topic:
Bush Corruption

Flashback:

[Editors Note: This story was sent to House and Senate Members before the present Iraq War]
 
Government Officials Profited From Illegal Arming of Iraq

Bush Concealed Iraqi Chemical Weapons Plant in Boca Raton, Florida which shipped WMD to Saddam Hussein just prior to Gulf War I 

by Tom Flocco 
 [ TF: Edited 12/26/2003 ]


Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz
Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz
Photo: Reuters/Bettman

PHILADELPHIA
-- October 31, 2002 (TomFlocco.com) -- Members of the Bush 41 cabinet held sizeable and conflicting financial positions in Gulf War-related companies. And the results of a financial assets analysis by his Attorney General, Richard Thornburgh, forced the elder Bush to employ a “conflict of interest waiver” -- kept secret from Congress -- to absolve his cabinet from future culpability or prosecution should Congress or surviving Gulf War military families ever question or litigate their private and/or undisclosed financial links to Iraq.
 
Shockingly, Houston’s Baker & Botts law firm -- owned by George Bush Sr.’s Secretary of State James Baker -- was mentioned in a billing statement (for legal services rendered) by a Florida chemical company headed by an Iraqi terrorist and bio-chemical engineer. The Iraqi -- Ihsan Barbouti -- had close ties to World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef, but was also the main contractor for the Rabta chemical weapons plant in terrorist Libya.

Baker’s law firm was linked to the Iraqi terrorist’s Boca Raton chemical company via multiple contracts for secret formulas and enzymes. But Baker & Botts was also mentioned with Joint Venture Agreements connected to Barbouti’s attorney during the period when illegal nerve gas precursors were shipped by the Boca Raton company to Iraq just months prior to the outbreak of Gulf War I hostilities.


“Iraq has chemical weapons of mass destruction that they used on their own people.” George W. Bush, The White House, 10/21/02

 A U.S. Congressman says 1.2 million chemical-biological combat protection suits are “missing” -- 250,000 of which are defective -- while reports cite high gas mask failure rates and the Pentagon now admits to 7,000 dead Gulf War I soldiers.

This, as Congress has voted to permit George W. Bush to deploy ground troops against biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction illegally transferred to Iraq just before the war -- while the president acted as a key advisor during his father’s Administration.

And ironically, Iraq will use the same poisonous biological and chemical agents -- acquired from the Bush 41 Administration -- against American soldiers soon to be fighting street-to-street in Baghdad among four million Iraqi citizens, while also using faulty protective gear and suspect nerve gas sensors supplied under the oversight of their Congress and the current administration.

That notwithstanding, 70% of Congress has voted to permit the President to order the U.S. military into combat without fully assuring their safety on the ground against bio-chemical weapons. Moreover, legislators have failed to pledge not to pass laws capping potential legal damages, since American soldiers would be sent into battle with demonstrated defective equipment against the identical lethal chemical and biological agents provided illegally -- by their own government -- to the same enemy just before the last war.

Unable for three weeks to oversee the protection of citizens in the Capitol Beltway region from double-figure sniper-fire deaths, and refusing to seal U.S. borders from terrorists or deport 15 million illegal aliens freely roaming the country, Congress and the President have turned their attention to pre-emptive nation-building in Iraq. This, while tragically neglecting American border and illegal “guest” protection -- notwithstanding a $40 billion intelligence budget, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.

But members of the United States Armed Forces facing imminent ordered deployment to the upcoming conflict in the Persian Gulf -- and also their families -- may want to seek assurances from their House and Senate members that their legal rights will be fully protected, given the irrefutable evidence surfacing regarding malfunctioning and “missing” anti-nerve gas equipment and clothing, financial conflicts of interest, or worse.
 
While Congress has approved a resolution permitting the President to send ground troops to fight door-to-door among innocent citizens in Iraq, it has failed to resolve a number of current and past questions surrounding Gulf War I -- related to potential legal responsibilities of the U.S. government which is placing them in harm’s way.
 
FLORIDA’S TEFLON TERRORIST

A shocking account that could have high impact upon American families if future events place thousands of United States military personnel on the ground in Iraq is the secret saga of Ishan Barbouti.
 
Ishan Barbouti
Iraqi terrorist Ishan Barbouti: his CIA-protected Florida company produced “Prussian Blue” cyanide gas derivative shipped to Iraq prior to Gulf  War I to deteriorate materials in U.S. Military gas masks especially the protective filters thus enabling a higher malfunction ratio causing permanent nerve gas injury to a larger number of young American soldiers, at least 7,000+ of whom are now dead since returning home from the Persian Gulf during the last decade.  Most of these soldiers died before the age of forty.



Robert Bickel, former senior investigator and legal analyst in the Oklahoma City law offices of John Michael Johnston calls Barbouti “probably the largest single supplier of technology and contracting for the purposes of enhancing the Iraqi military’s weapons development program.”

Bickel‘s firm has worked in conjunction with Washington, DC public interest law firm Judicial Watch, whose Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman is bringing suit because U.S. Federal agents ignored evidence indicating Iraqi involvement in the aftermath of the April 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building -- pinning the blame solely on Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Bickel is one of several who are aware of facts relating to government protection of Barbouti, which allowed the Iraqi terrorist’s chemical and nerve gas operations to continue unscathed on U.S. soil.

Various documents and individuals verify that Barbouti’s namesake company, Ihsan Barbouti International (IBI), was a primary force behind “covert conduits procuring weapons technology and equipment for the Iraqi military through several proceedings in the United States and Europe not long before the war,” according to Bickel. (The Glass Desert: War in a Petrie Dish -- White House Support of Iraqi Agents -- by Robert Bickel, The Alexandria Group, Inc.)

On July 2, 1991, Ted Koppel, host of ABC News’ Nightline, opened his program with the startling revelation that “when Qaddafi built his chemical weapons plant in Libya, the U.S. Administration was outraged. But the man who helped Qaddafi build it constructed a new chemical plant in Boca Raton, Florida. The FBI knew about it, the CIA knew about it. But no one moved to stop it.”

Later in the show Koppel summarized the essence of an astonishing story that was largely suppressed after the Gulf War and is still overlooked today, even as the former chief advisor to his father the President, George W. Bush -- now president -- is pressing for war against Iraq yet a second time:

“You would think that if this same Dr. Barbouti built a chemical plant in Boca Raton, Florida, a plant that produced a compound that can be made into extremely dangerous, highly toxic chemical weapons, and then shipped several drums of the compound to Iraq, that the U.S. government might be interested, perhaps even a little concerned, especially since a number of people had gone out of their way to bring all of this to the attention of the FBI, U.S. Customs, and the CIA,” said Koppel.

“But, for some reason, nothing happened. No one moved against the plant for three years. Not a single U.S. government agency took action against Dr. Barbouti’s chemical plant in Boca Raton, until this March, by which time the plant was no longer in operation and Ihsan Barbouti had been dead for almost a year. Strange story? You don’t know the half of it.” (ABC Nightline, 7-2-1991)

The Iraqi national actually invested in three different companies in the United States: 1) TK-7 of Oklahoma City, which makes a fuel additive; 2) Pipeline Recovery Systems of Dallas, Texas, which makes an anti-corrosive chemical that preserves pipes; and 3) Product Ingredient Technology (PIT) of Boca Raton, Florida, which makes food flavorings.

On the surface, the Iraqi engineer did not seem to be in the business of terrorism until a closer look was pursued, for TK-7 had proprietary formulas that could extend the range of jet aircraft and liquid-fueled Scud missiles, Pipeline Recovery Systems has a special coating that makes them usable in nuclear reactors and chemical weapons plants, and PIT could develop a by-product of cherry flavoring called ferric ferrocyanide -- a chemical used to manufacture hydrogen cyanide, also called “Prussian Blue” which can penetrate gas masks and protective clothing. Hydrogen cyanide is also used to make the deadly Tabun nerve gas that Iraq used on U.S. troops in the Gulf War.

On January 15, 1996, Captain Joyce Riley, RN, BSN, USAF Reserve, Ret. -- a Gulf War Veterans activist and host of a daily three-hour talk-show connected to her website The Power Hour.com -- revealed to a Houston, Texas audience the real reason why Barbouti was developing and testing Prussian Blue on gas masks at a chemical plant in Florida:

“If Saddam Hussein had wanted to kill our soldiers, he would have just outright killed them with mustard or cyanide. That wasn’t the plan. The plan was to give them a long-term illness that they would bring back to their families. What better way to give a country a disease than to give it to the military, who move all over the country. This was an experiment in biological warfare.”

“This cyanide that was to be made in Boca Raton was for Prussian Blue, which is a hydrogen cyanide derivative, and the purpose for its manufacture was that it was placed in the SCUD rockets with the biochemical substances. When the missile blew up, the Prussian Blue would deteriorate the materials of which the gas masks were made, especially the filters. So, even if they did put their protective gear on, it would not work. All the time, they thought the chemical suits were protecting them. Again, this Prussian Blue was made by a company in the United States. [Product Ingredient Technology of Boca Raton, Florida]”

According to reporter John Connolly in the September 1992 issue of Spy Magazine, Barbouti was “more than a passive investor, and soon he began pressuring the companies to ship not only their products but also their manufacturing technology to corporations he owned in Europe, from which, he told the businessmen, it would be sent to Libya and Iraq.” Barbouti was violating the law and while U.S. Customs attempted to put a stop to the illegal transfers, more powerful individuals facilitated the continued shipments.

U.S. federal investigators told the Financial Times of London (7-3-91) that “bank transfers, phone logs, chemical samples, and numerous interviews point to activities more sinister than food flavorings.”

Koppel said President George Bush Sr.’s Secretary of State James Baker, former SEC Chairman and CIA Director William Casey, and National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft were trying to convince the German government to move against the companies that were building the Rabta, Libya chemical weapons plant. But the owner of one of those companies was also in Boca Raton, Florida, building a plant focusing on extracting cyanide from fruit pits -- which are abundant in the Middle East:

“The attention of the U.S. government was not focused on Barbouti’s activities in Boca Raton. Or, for that matter, in Texas, where he was trying to acquire an anti- corrosive coating process for piping that could be used in nuclear or chemical weapons projects. Or in Oklahoma City, where Barbouti was trying to buy the formulas for advanced rocket fuel additives and the key ingredient for fuel-air explosives.” (ABC Nightline, 7-2-1991)

“I saw a company and a man who built a plant in a foreign country that we were going to bomb, chemical weapons being produced [by the same person] in the United States, and what was wrong was, it was being done almost literally in the open.” Peter Kawaja, ABC Nightline, 7-2-91

To hear legal investigator and London Financial Times reporter Alan Friedman tell the story, it would be quite conceivable to surmise that the elder Bush’s Administration had a direct business relationship with the Iraqi terrorist, given the unfolding evidence. Bush and Secretary of State Baker knew “about Iraq’s ‘unlawful’ use of chemical weapons and its abominable human rights record: They offered no argument to the fact that Saddam’s military capabilities and aspirations made him an ‘alarming prospect to Israel -- and to many in the U.S.’ ” [Spider’s Web -- The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, Alan Friedman, Bantam Books, 1993, New York, p. 133]


Spiders Web by Alan Friedman
c 1993 / photo-Peter Gridley, FPG Intl. Corp. (Photos and quotes used with written permission of Bantam Books)

Click here to buy Spiders Web by Alan Friedman

Friedman goes on to say that Bush and Baker concluded that “military exchanges should be encouraged, particularly those that would increase personal contacts, such as attendance by midlevel Iraqi officers at [U.S. military] War College seminars on infantry strategy and some “higher level dialogue” as well. And while the risk of ‘diversion’ of U.S. exports to Iraq’s war machine was great, trade was described as the key to influencing Iraq.” (Spider’s Web, page 133)

CRIMES OF PATRIOTS

Since the new policy directive was kept secret from Congress, there is no record whether or not Congress exerted after-the-fact oversight regarding the illegal and secret policy or whether the Senate exercised its constitutional responsibility of advise and consent in the matter -- especially since the Bush Administration was consorting with a rogue state.

And while experts on defense technology in the Pentagon had been attempting to block the transfers of dual-use technology that could be used for both civilian and military purposes, Friedman’s quotes Bush Administration documents saying that “We should begin a major effort to free up licensing requests.” In the opinion of Bush and Baker: “Iraq’s vast oil reserves promise a lucrative market for U.S. goods.”

Secretary of State James Baker and President George H. W. Bush
Secretary of State James Baker and President Bush: Will Congress investigate whether Baker, Bush, and other cabinet members held undisclosed joint venture agreement investments in biological and chemical companies whose agents and technology were acquired by Iraq and used to gas American soldiers? (photo - UPI / Bettmann)

On Monday, October 2, 1989, George H. W. Bush signed his name to a secret presidential policy to help Saddam Hussein -- just one year prior to the beginning of 7,000+ Gulf War veterans’ eventual deaths within 10 years of returning home robust and healthy. It would become known eventually as National Security Directive 26 (NSD-26)

Given the subject matter, some would consider it quite incredible that more than half of the now unclassified public document outlining secret U.S. policies toward Iraq is still redacted [blacked out]. Moreover, it is not known whether any member of the Senate has even had a look at the un-redacted secret policy, and whether the memo was nothing more than a source of cover, given the illegal transfer evidence of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Click here to view the secret Iraq policy document.

Robert Bickel promulgates the story that secret and illegal U.S. government initiatives were carried out using a network of foreign shell companies and Swiss bank accounts. And according to court documents filed by the U.S. Government, “[retired Major General] Richard Secord and U.S. naturalized Iranian Albert Hakim were at all times acting under direct control of [retired Lt. Colonel] Oliver North.”

Bickel, currently investigating Iraqi links to the Oklahoma City bombing, added that “U.S. court documents from a number of jurisdictions have enabled us to piece together elements of how North, Secord, and associates facilitated the activities of Iraq’s arms procurements agents in the U.S. right up to the invasion of Kuwait in August, 1990,” precipitating the Gulf War.

According to Bickel, Barbouti bragged about his close relationship with Major General Secord (indicted in 1989 on nine felony counts of impeding and obstructing the Congressional Select Iran/contra Committees, pleaded guilty to one felony count, and sentenced to two years probation in 1990). Barbouti was also said to be close to one of Secord’s trusted business associates, Don Seaton, a New Orleans exporter. Bickel corroborates that the Iraqi terrorist and Secord were in contact -- via telephone records in his possession.

Seaton, a former U.S. Commerce consultant, helped Iraqi terrorist facilitator Barbouti identify companies from which he could acquire equipment or weapons technology for the Iraqi military, according to Bickel. And there was even evidence that high administration officials were profiting from the transfers of lethal chemicals and other military technology to Iraq.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST WAIVER

On August 8, 1990, six days after Iraq invaded Kuwait (and just 7 weeks after future president George W. Bush executed his Harken Energy insider trade for an $848,000 profit -- the investigation of which was whitewashed by both personal attorneys representing the elder and younger Bush), [Read My Lips: Oil Was Well With Harken -- George W.‘s Perfect Storm] George Sr. signed an extraordinary document drawn up by his White House counsel Boyden Gray.

The clearly out-of-the-ordinary memorandum was a conflict of interest waiver that “authorized [Secretary of State] James Baker and ten other cabinet officers and officials -- including [National Security Advisor] Brent Skowcroft, [Secretary of Commerce] Robert Mosbacher, [White House Chief of Staff] John Sununu, and [CIA Director] Robert Gates -- to participate in ‘current United States policy-making, discussion, decisions, and actions in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.’ "

Attorney Richard Thornburgh and President George H. W. Bush
Attorney Richard Thornburgh and President Bush
(AP / Wide World Photos)

This, because White House Counsel Gray and Attorney General Richard Thornburgh’s financial conflict of interest analysis of the members of the Bush 41 cabinet revealed that they held substantial oil, defense, and “other business holdings” -- not divulged -- that might be affected by the coming war in the Persian Gulf. The secret presidential waiver, enacted without consent of Congress -- when American lives were on the line -- facilitated the violation of federal law (18 U.S.C. 208):

“I am aware that under Federal conflict-of -interest law, and Executive branch employee cannot participate personally and substantially in a particular matter, in which, to the employee’s knowledge, he has or is deemed to have a financial interest.”

“I understand that the Department of Justice has historically interpreted this statute to mean that an individual cannot personally and substantially participate in a particular matter if the resolution of the matter would have a direct and predictable effect on such financial interests.”

“....Individuals [in the White House cabinet] have quite substantial financial interests in ‘industries’ [chemical, biological, munitions, aircraft?] that may be affected (though not necessarily in a ‘direct’ or ‘predictable’ way) by the resolution of situations that may arise.”

“....even vast financial interests could not be deemed likely to affect the integrity of the services the Government may expect from its chief foreign policy officers.”
 
Click here to view complete secret presidential conflict of interest waiver:

According to Alan Friedman in Spider’s Web, “what was noteworthy about Bush’s move on behalf of Baker [and other cabinet officers] was the absolute secrecy imposed by the White House. The waiver document was regarded as so sensitive that not even Baker himself was to be given a copy.”

A State Department memorandum reported that “Because of the breadth and sensitivity of the waiver, the White House is currently unwilling to distribute copies to affected individuals.”

Legal investigator Robert Bickel reported that an unidentified lawyer from Secretary of State Baker’s family law firm in Houston, Baker & Botts, held telephone conferences, drew up enzyme contracts, and held secret formulas connected to a lawyer from Iraqi terrorist Ihsan Barbouti’s main IBI office in Houston, according to a confidential billing statement presented to IBI. The Baker & Botts attorney was unidentified.

Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz
Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz: Will Congress protect the interests of its military (past and present) against nerve gas weapons sent to Iraq from the U.S., by issuing subpoenas to Secretary of State Baker’s law firm, since it was holding secret chemical formulas and was mentioned in legal billings connected to an Iraqi terrorist’s nerve agent
chemical company operating on U.S. soil? (photo - Reuters / Bettmann)

Secret Message from James Baker to Tariq Aziz plus extra links.  (Parascope.com

Bremer dismissed WMD Claim
(courtesy of Nico Haupt--GlobalFreePress)


Bickel’s proof that Baker and his firm were linked to the terrorist was found in the confidential billing statement submitted by Barbouti’s attorney Donald Bernard to IBI Industries, Inc. in Barbouti’s Houston, Texas office, dated May 31, 1990 -- just three weeks prior to Bush’s key presidential advisor and offspring George Jr,’s Harken insider trading score, and just one month before Saddam attacked Kuwait. The billing statement had a number of curious references:

“May 9, meeting with Bob Hilton to review proposal enzyme contract.”

“May 9-10, preparation of enzyme contract for execution in Paris and faxing Bob Hilton.” “May 11, 14-17, tel cons and multiple drafts of enzyme contracts, including Baker & Botts attorney who is holding secret formulas. Tel Con with Ed Durnte re Edwards Research Venture and preparation of Joint Venture Agreement.”


Gulf War veterans (past and future) may want to question why Baker’s firm was involved in the legal billings of an Iraqi terrorist’s cyanide gas precursor company in Boca Raton.... and why their House and Senate members have not asked how "vast" Baker's and the Bush cabinet's financial conflicts were.... why the President was allowing an Iraqi-run chemical weapons plant to operate in Flordia!

In light of at least 7,000+ subsequent deaths of healthy returning Gulf War Veterans during the past decade (from exposure to biological and chemical agents), Congress has failed to question why the President of the United States found so many “vast financial conflicts of interest” in his cabinet that he had to draw up a conflict waiver -- kept secret from Congress -- to protect the legal and financial interests of individuals like his own Secretary of State.

Given that Baker’s family firm was involved in “holding secret formulas” and “executing enzyme contracts” with regard to “Joint Venture Agreements,” Gulf War veterans (past and future) may want to question why Secretary of State Baker’s firm was involved in the legal billings of an Iraqi terrorist’s cyanide gas precursor company in Boca Raton.

Veterans and military families could also ask why their House and Senate members have not asked just how “vast” Baker’s and the Bush cabinet’s financial conflicts were, whether the CIA knew about the law firm’s “secret chemical contracts and enzyme formulas” linked to an Iraqi terrorist operating within U.S. borders, but most importantly, why the President was allowing an Iraqi run chemical weapons plant to operate in Florida.

The stakes are high: American soldiers and even family members could eventually turn up dead or incapacitated for life -- and tragically, many of the same government officials who knew about that illegal operation are pushing to send a new batch of soldier/victims into combat against the same bio-chemical agents Iraq obtained from America.

The law says “An Executive Branch Employee cannot participate personally and substantially in a particular matter, in which, to the employee’s knowledge, he has or is deemed to have a financial interest.” [18 U.S.C. 202 (b) (1) ] However, there are no additional words that say “unless the President decides to invalidate the United States Code by issuing a personal conflict of interest waiver -- kept secret from Congress.”

The country faces looming consequences of past and potentially future reckless disregard for the safety of American ground forces in Iraq by the off-spring legacy of Bush 41 and certain warmonger/chickenhawk cabinet members with undisclosed agendas. But Robert Bickel suggests that there is still hope to save military lives if courage can be found:

“Documentation to prove what has taken place rests quietly in congressional committee and government enforcement agency files all over the nation. There is no single place where there is an individual or group of individuals of responsibility who value the truth and honor who will step forward to stop the greatest blight on this Nation’s history: the sacrifice without cause of its greatest asset -- those who have chosen to serve America and protect her from ‘all enemies.’ ”

“Federal agents who hold the files are bound by secrecy; congressional investigators are bound in the same manner. Those who would step forward are controlled more by fear than by the shame of their silence.” (The Glass Desert: War in a Petrie Dish -- White House Support of Iraqi Agents -- by Robert Bickel, The Alexandria Group, Inc.)

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE CIA

In 1989, Richard Babayan, a CIA contract employee, met in London with Ishan Barbouti and Saddam Hussein’s half brother and European head of Iraqi intelligence Ibrahim Sabawai. According to John Connolly of Spy Magazine (September, 1992, vol. 6 -- with reporters Eric Reguly, Margie Sloan and Wendell Smith), Barbouti was able to excite Sabawai about Texas company Pipeline Recovery Systems, which makes anti-corrosive, protective coatings for pipes in nuclear reactors and chemical weapons plants -- and he wanted the technology in place in Iraq by early 1990, six months before Saddam would invade Kuwait.

Major General Richard Secord -- marinated in the scandals of Iran/contra -- was said to have put Ishan Barbouti in touch with the Wackenhut Corporation for “security” and “private transportation” of certain shipments deemed in need of extra care and safety, according to John Connolly. The three companies in which Barbouti invested were unwilling to ship products to Iraq, according to Connolly.

The Iraqi terrorist is said to have met with Secord on a number of occasions; and phone records indicate that several calls were made to Secord’s private number in McLean, Virginia, according to the magazine.

Wackenhut is a large private company with former CIA, FBI, and Pentagon officials on its board of directors; moreover, it holds a majority of the government contracts for protecting nuclear weapons facilities, nuclear reactors, the Alaska Pipeline, and more than a dozen American embassies abroad.

It has a standing army of 30,000+ men and women under arms, a state-of-the-art undercover investigations division, offers “executive protection” services and special delivery services to transport sensitive products and equipment, and is said to have access to the largest privately-held files and dossiers (more that 4-5+ million names) of suspected “dissident Americans” in the world.

Incredibly, Connolly spoke to more than 300 people about Barbouti’s dealings with Wackenhut, among whom was a 34 year old member of the Special Investigations Division (SID) of the Wackenhut Corporation named David Ramirez -- a former Marine Corps sergeant living in Miami.

During the winter of 1990 (just months prior to the Gulf War), Ramirez was asked to fly immediately to San Antonio, Texas along with three other members of SID -- Wackenhut’s “private FBI“ -- to meet two truck drivers who had been flown in from Houston. They drove to a nearby warehouse to pick up an 18-wheel tractor-trailer, where the four SID agents proceeded to escort the drivers and undisclosed cargo to Chicago in two rented cars, according to Ramirez’ interview with Connolly.

Ramirez recalled that his instructions were clear from the company: “Do not look into the trailer, secure it, and make sure it safely gets to Chicago,” while he and his three co-workers loaded and secured their 870 pump-action shotguns.

The convoy drove 30 hours straight, stopping only for food and gas, with one agent standing guard at stops while the others ate -- and with an open car trunk to easily reach a shotgun if necessary.

Ramirez had been told the cargo contained $40 million worth of food stamps after he delivered the truck to an empty warehouse; and the guards were told to fly back to Miami immediately. Ramirez told Connolly he did not believe the story; and Connolly said a government official told him the U.S. Department of Agriculture does not ship food stamps that way.

Connolly also revealed that he spent six months investigating the story; and he found that the truck contained equipment necessary for the manufacture of chemical weapons and that it was ultimately headed to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Moreover he concluded that “Wackenhut -- a publicly-traded company with strong ties to the CIA and federal contracts worth $200 million [at the time] a year -- was making sure Saddam would be getting his equipment intact. The question is why.”

Connolly started poking around, asking questions; and his efforts to get the State Department to explain “whether embassy [security] contracts were awarded arbitrarily or through competitive bidding, resulted in the Department saying ‘some of both.’ ”

“All those [Wackenhut government security] contracts,” said one security-firm executive, “are just another way to pay Wackenhut for their clandestine help.” Then Connolly asked about the nature of the help: “It is known throughout the industry,” said retired FBI special agent William Hinshaw, “that if you [the U.S. government] want a dirty job done, call Wackenhut.” Connelly even interviewed owner George Wackenhut in his opulent Coral Gables, Florida offices; but he denied that his company was an arm of the CIA.

Connolly found out that in 1990, 2,000 gallons of ferrocyanide were found to be missing from the cherry-flavor factory in Boca Raton, Florida. Peter Kawaja, head of security for all of Barbouti’s U.S. investments, told Spy, “We were never burglarized, but that stuff didn’t walk out of here.”

According to Louis Champon, owner of Product Ingredient Technology, it was Wackenhut that guarded his Boca Raton plant; and this was confirmed by Murray Levine, a Wackenhut vice-president. But both said “security” consisted of one unarmed guard.

A Wackenhut spokesman told Connolly that Barbouti never paid them for the lone guard. However, Spy obtained four separate checks from Barbouti to Wackenhut, all written within ten days: March 27, 1990 for $168.89 / March 28, 1990 for $24,828.07 / April 5, 1990 for $756.00 / and April 6, 1990 for $40,116.25.

When Connolly asked Richard Kneip, Wackenhut’s senior vice president for corporate planning why one security guard was worth $66,000.00 per year, Kneip was at a loss. And he could not explain “a fifth check from another Barbouti company made out to Wackenhut’s TRAVEL-SERVICE DIVISION in 1987 -- almost two years before Wackenhut even acknowledged providing security for the Boca Raton plant.”

PETER KAWAJA BUGGED A LOT OF OFFICIALS

It is impossible to consider how the Bush Administration illegally and secretly armed Saddam Hussein without mentioning Peter Kawaja, Ihsan Barbouti’s security specialist. On an ABC Nightline program, host Ted Koppel interviewed Kawaja, who was hired in early 1989 to provide an elaborate security system for the PIT plant.

Kawaja told Koppel that “when [Barbouti’s involvement with] Libya’s Rabta chemical weapons plant became common knowledge and IBI’s role was exposed, Barbouti continued to move freely in the United States. IBI [Barbouti’s Iraqi home company] continued to wire-transfer in millions and millions of dollars. IBI operated boldly. Barbouti felt no threat in operating in the United States.” (ABC Nightline, 7-2-1991)
 [Where is Congress?]

That some of the aforementioned Bush 41 cabinet members and presidential advisors [conveniently absolved of conflict of interest or other charges via a secret presidential memo violating the United States Code] may have participated in Barbouti’s pecuniary largesse seemed never to occur to a bamboozled Congress, looking in the other direction.
 
They just never pressed hard enough -- and thousands of Gulf War soldiers and family members would soon be dead from the chemicals and biological agents within the next decade. Tragically, U.S. citizens actually pay millions for soft congressional oversight.

In an another interview with Dr. Norm Resnick and Ex-National Security Agency Agent Joe Jordan, for an Internet newsletter (SAFAN Internet News, No. 29, 6-24-1996), Kawaja expanded the shocking story:

“I went to the CIA and FBI, and operated for the U.S. government under a code name, because they said these people were international terrorists and that they were going to prosecute them. However, they did not count on me bugging telephone lines, buildings, and certain other locations throughout the United States.”

“I intercepted the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Banca Nazionale del Lavorro (CCC-BNL), the letters of credit of the BNL, which came from Switzerland, as well as a lot of other communications regarding the Gulf War that was to come. I recorded calls going to and coming from Badhdad, to and from the United States and London, CIA, FBI, FBI Counter-intelligence, U.S. Customs, certain politicians and numerous other individuals. This is my information. It is not second-hand.”

Click here to read portions of a confidential State Department memorandum of October 2, 1989, written by Frank Lemay, warning of Iraqi abuse of the CCC program and describing allegations of wrongdoing uncovered in BNL investigation -- all of which helps to corroborate Kawaja’s assertions above.
 
“What I found at the PIT plant [in Boca Raton] was very heinous. I found that a strain of hydrogen cyanide called Prussian Blue was being tested on gas mask filters more than one year prior to the Persian Gulf War. This information was known to the President of the United States, George H. W. Bush. It was arranged through Trevor Armbrister, a CIA asset and a Senior Editor of Reader’s Digest, to fly me to the steps of the White House.”

“I want to get out to the American people that the Gulf War illnesses are actually communicable diseases. The microbes will live almost indefinitely, but for a minimum of seven years. It’s on the gas masks, the clothing, the weapons -- any of the materials brought back from the Gulf War. I have reports from several different states where civilians bought some of clothing [in Army-Navy stores] and went home and wore them, and now the entire family is in wheel chairs; there have been some deaths as a result of this.”

For his part, according to Koppel, Kawaja said he also contacted the CIA about Barbouti building a chemical weapons plant in Florida similar to the one he built in Libya. Amazingly, the CIA said that their charter prohibits it from operating within the United States, and they told him to contact the FBI.

“I went through a friend [in early 1990], a recently retired CIA station chief, to contact Carol Hallett, George H. W. Bush’s Commissioner of U.S. Customs in Washington,” Kawaja told Financial Times of London (FT). (7-3-1991)

But Ms. Hallet declined to be interviewed for the Financial Times article, saying she “could not speak about an ‘ongoing’ inquiry.” But FT intimated that Hallet was being less than candid, reporting that “the formal investigation of the Boca Raton plant by U.S. Customs agents in Florida did not, however, begin until October, 1990 -- two months after Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Customs Agents visited the plant in late 1990, but a search did not take place until March, 1991 -- three weeks after the end of the Gulf War, according to FT.

Curiously, Kawaja told Koppel that “an FBI agent told me that because the plant was a food processing plant, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that I should call the FDA,” adding that “my mouth was wide open -- I was literally in shock.”
 
EXPENSIVE INTELLIGENCE

Ted Koppel also interviewed Art Vallens, former senior vice president of Ihsan Barbouti Industries (IBI), who had a falling-out with Barbouti, and took a file of incriminating documents that he had accumulated while running Barbouti’s Houston, Texas operation.

The ABC Nightline host listened in amazement as Vallens related another shocker:

“I went to the FBI. I had bank account numbers and names from all of his European -- if he had wire-transferred money to me, IBI Industries, Houston, or money had been wired from IBI Houston. I had kept a record of all of those transactions, Panama, Uruguay. When I realized, you know, what I thought was a bad situation for myself and that I had been set up, I went to the FBI and I said ‘Look, if something happens to me, this is why.’ ”

“At that point, the FBI, the guy, you know, looked at me and he said, ‘These are bad people.’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you propose I do?’ And he said, ‘Do you know how to shoot a gun?’ I said, ‘Yes, I do.’ And he said, ‘It’s only a misdemeanor. Carry one.’ That was the end of the conversation.”

“Some time later, Customs contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in talking to them and I said, ‘absolutely.’ I told them what I had given the FBI and that it was very important information. He [the FBI agent Vallens talked to] had contacted these people [at Customs] and [said] that information had gotten lost.”

This, courtesy of a yearly U.S. taxpayer-funded intelligence budget of $40 billion dollars. Yet every other November the citizenry votes to place 98% of Congress back into office. The irrefutable and unambiguous evidence revealed by so many persons seems to foster continued indolence -- coming at a very high price in dollars and dead soldiers.

Investigative reporter Ken Timmerman reported this week that “an Oklahoma City lawyer named Mike Johnston, aided by Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch, filed a federal lawsuit against Iraq on behalf of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.”

Curiously, however, Timmerman said new evidence uncovered by Johnston suggests that [Ramzi] Yousef may have had direct ties to Iraqi intelligence all along -- and Dr. Barbouti:

“We have sworn witness statements and affidavits from court cases that predate the Oklahoma City bombing that directly ties Ramzi Yousef to Dr. Ihsan Barbouti. The witnesses say Barbouti introduced [World Trade Center bomber] Ramzi Yousef as an ‘explosives expert for the Iraqi National Oil Company,’ and that Yousef was working in Kuwait for Barbouti prior to the Iraqi invasion.” (Insight, 10-29-2002)

And subsequently, Kawaja has said that the government transferred all his sealed documents to the Murrah Building, where they were destroyed in the terrorist bombing. [Evidence of prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City Bombing?]

After emphasizing that by 1989, the CIA, FBI, and U.S. Customs had been told about Barbouti’s activities in the United States, Koppel also interviewed Israeli-born citizen Moshe Tal, who “ran an Oklahoma City company that developed several fuel-enhancement formulas which could be used in everything from jet aircraft to rockets, and that these formulas were made up of ingredients that could also be used in fuel-air explosives and in chemical and biological weapons.”

Moshe Tal said “Barbouti gave me a list of chemicals that he wanted me to get and ship to Rotterdam or to the Europe facility, that they would have to be in large quantities, and that there was urgency for the chemicals.”

Then Koppel added, “Tal had the list analyzed by experts. It was, they told him, a shopping list for chemical and biological weapons production. Tal then contacted Israeli intelligence to find out more about Dr. Barbouti.” And they told him that Barbouti was the main contractor for the Libya terrorists and their Rabta chemical weapons plant.

“So we’re talking about in August of 1988 [the origin of Barbouti‘s activity in Florida], you supplied this information, yet the plant, subsequent to that, the plant was designed, built, constructed, operated and, in fact, never shut down. How do you explain that?,” said an ABC reporter from Nightline.

“Seems like Barbouti or some of his people had a lot of pull in Washington. It seems like every time it [the issue of Barbouti’s chemical weapons shipments] had to go to Washington, it was somehow slowed down,” said Tal to the reporter.

CIA ADMITS SHIPPING CHEMICALS TO IRAQ

The outrageous story gains even more credibility when Connolly asks two former CIA operatives, interviewed separately, to discuss the matter: “Supplying Iraq was originally a good idea,” said Charles Hayes, describing himself as a “CIA asset,” but “then it got out of hand. Wackenhut was just in it for the money.”
 
Map showing the route of Barbouti’s chemical weapons and manufacturing equipment on its way to Iraq through U.S. cities

Richard Babayan, one of the 300+ individuals to whom Connolly talked -- and a former CIA contract employee, confirmed Charles Hayes’ account, saying that Barbouti was linked to Wackenhut before the Florida chemical plant even opened: “Barbouti was placed in the hands of [General Richard] Secord by the CIA, and Secord called in Wackenhut to handle security and travel and protection for Barbouti and his [illegal bio-chemical formulas and manufacturing equipment for chemical weapons technology ] export plans.”
 
Connolly’s incredible Spy Magazine narrative further supports the corroborated assertions, as Babayan told the reporter that “Wackenhut was working for the CIA in helping Barbouti ship the chemical and nuclear weapons-making equipment first to Texas, then to Chicago, and then to Baltimore to be shipped overseas.

“Two independent sources...say that the transportation [of illegal chemicals] was coordinated with the U.S. government and that the arrangements were handled by an Iraqi intelligence officer from the embassy here in Washington, DC.” (ABC Nightline, 7-2-91)

According to ABC Nightline’s Ted Koppel: “We’ve been able to track in some detail the path that the shipment took:
 
“Our sources claim that the drums of cyanide were crated and trucked from Boca Raton to Houston....There they were shipped to the port of Baltimore where they were transferred to a 20-foot container. According to our sources, the container was marked as containing the personal effects of a diplomat, and thus was not subject to inspection by U.S. Customs.”

“The container, including the cyanide [soon to be used on U.S. soldiers in its deadly Prussian Blue and Tabun nerve gas form -- in about one year], was then loaded aboard a ship which left Baltimore in November of 1989 [Eight months before Iraq would attack Kuwait to precipitate the Gulf War], arriving in Europe about two weeks later. In Europe, it was transferred to another ship, this time bound for Aqaba, Jordan, then trucked overland to Iraq.”

“Two independent sources who claim a direct role in the shipment say that the transportation was coordinated with the U.S. government and that the arrangements were handled by an Iraqi intelligence officer from the embassy here in Washington, DC....the shipment, our sources tell us, was to be used in the trial manufacture of a nerve gas.”

This part of the story was further corroborated by the Financial Times of London (7-3-1991) who talked to the shipper in Baltimore -- who a Bush Administration official says regularly works for the CIA and has asked that his name be withheld -- and who revealed that “the operation was done with the knowledge of the CIA. The cyanide, he says, ‘could not move one inch without the CIA knowing.’ ”

But Congress permitted the story to go nowhere, failing to ask “First, did the CIA use Wackenhut to conduct operations that it has been forbidden to undertake? Second, did the [Bush 41] White House or some other party in the executive branch work through Wackenhut to conduct operations that it did not want Congress to know about?”

Nightline’s Koppel (who had put some 30 reporters on the story for three months) was subjected to amazing verbal evasion by multiple government agencies, as he concluded his report on how the administration facilitated the illegal arming of Iraq:

“....Technology was transferred from the United States and, in some cases, with the apparent knowledge of U.S. government agencies. We have requested reaction to our story tonight from a number of federal agencies. The CIA had this statement: ‘CIA was made aware of some allegations that Dr. Barbouti was undertaking activities in support of the proliferation of weapons in the Middle East. In keeping with our legal and professional responsibilities, such information was turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.’ ”

“So we turned to the FBI. Their statement was even less helpful: ‘We do not feel that we have anything that we could lend to your story.’ The [Bush 41] White House simply supported the statement we got from the CIA and said it didn’t want to go beyond that. Customs at least implied that someone is looking into the charges.” (ABC Nightline, 7-2-91)
 
When Kawaja contacted [Nightline] and asked why they did not tell his whole story, an ABC editor answered, “We do not wish to topple the entire United States government.” (recorded on tape by Peter Kawaja, after 7-2-91)
 
STOLEN NERVE GAS- PROTECTIVE SUITS

A recent Government Accounting Office (GAO) report indicated that Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s Department of Defense (DOD) could not account for 1.2 million protective chemical and biological suits needed to shield U.S. troops in combat against Iraq.

“The Pentagon’s inability to pass an independent audit has cost taxpayers trillions of dollars in wasted spending, and now recent evidence shows that Defense Department accounting problems are putting our troops at risk.” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)

According to Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), “the Pentagon’s accounting systems are so bad that several military units actually thought they had an excess of [protective] suits; so they resold suits costing $200 for $3 a piece on the Internet.” But even worse, Kucinich said “some of the suits were purchased by individuals now under investigation by the U.S. terrorism task force.”

But at least the terrorists who purchased the American protective suits will share the same problem with U.S. soldiers: “250,000 of the missing suits are defective, cannot be located, and therefore could be shipped to soldiers in the field,” according to official testimony. Recently, it was revealed that executives from the Isratex Company, makers of the faulty suits, are currently in prison for fraud, save Isratex Vice President Yehudah Yoav Brin -- who fled the country and is considered a fugitive.

Kucinich added that “The Pentagon’s inability to pass an independent audit has cost taxpayers trillions of dollars in wasted spending, and now recent evidence shows that Defense Department accounting problems are putting our troops at risk.” The Ohio congressman also revealed that “in March 2000, the Pentagon’s Inspector General found that of $7.6 trillion in accounting entries, $2.3 trillion were ‘not supported by adequate audit trails or sufficient evidence to determine their validity.’ ”

Congressional oversight regarding stolen equipment is so weak, that it has thus far continued in its failure to ascertain why $2.3 trillion in taxpayer-funded U.S. military supplies are missing.

But worse, Congress has no idea who is responsible for the theft, whether inventory was illegally transferred by military profiteers to countries supporting terrorism, or that other countries in need of protection against chemical warfare may have illegally “acquired” such items as protective suits -- courtesy of U.S. taxpayers who are none the wiser.

At a three-hour hearing on Capitol Hill just days ago on October 1, 2002, Congressman Christopher Shays asked if the troops were not just playing "Russian roulette" when being issued protective garments for chemical warfare.

The number of Americans in favor of going to war with Iraq plummets -- down to 39% in a Zogby poll -- when the prospect of “thousands of American casualties” is added to the question. “We have to be prepared to fight block by block in Baghdad,” says General Joseph Hoar, former commander of the military’s central command.

“All our advantages of command and control, technology, mobility, all of those things are in part given up, and you are working with corporals and sergeants and young men fighting street to street. It will look like the last 15 minutes of ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ ”

Bush41 and Bush43
Will Junior order troops into Baghdad with faulty protective equipment to face poisonous biological and chemical agents given to Iraq by Senior’s “advisors” and associates who profited from financial conflicts of interest?  Will Congress hold them accountable?
 


Curiously, many of the same officials from Bush 41 who were aware that lethal chemical and biological agents were being sent to Iraq right before the war are still plying their governmental trades for Bush 43 according to the National Journal, which notes that “43 % of Bush Jr.’s top 300 appointees worked for Bush Sr.”

Moreover, the elder Bush’s Administration armed Iraq with some of the world’s most deadly and sophisticated weapons which Saddam used on his own citizenry -- a rogue state -- a potential enemy -- but most importantly, a country that did in fact become an enemy that has been embargoed in order to remove those very armaments that the Bush 41 Administration illegally transferred to Saddam Hussein.
 
Tragically, the same Congressmen, Senators and the President (a key advisor to his father’s administration that provided Iraq with the chemical weapons in the first place) will now ask the military to risk their lives in combat using faulty protective equipment.

Insurance lobbyists literally visited congressional offices -- intent on bribing them with campaign cash -- on the afternoon of the September 11 attacks, before clouds of disintegrated bodies could settle from the air into the dust of the World Trade Center pit.

But worse, Congress has given no assurances that it will not enact future legislation limiting potential legal liability by capping damages -- essentially abrogating the rights of due process under the law in a manner similar to the reprehensible and bribe-influenced stunt they pulled on the 9/11 victim families.

For insurance lobbyists literally visited congressional offices -- intent on bribing them with campaign cash -- on the afternoon of the September 11 attacks, before clouds of disintegrated bodies could settle from the air into the dust of the World Trade Center pit. This, in exchange for legislating restrictions on legal damage payouts to victim families.

The only difference is that dead or injured soldiers thinking they survived the war -will either return to their families in body bags or forever be impaired by lethal chemicals that have already killed at least 7,000+ young, healthy (or so they thought) returning Gulf War Vets. And nerve gas and biochemical agents were provided to the Iraqi enemy by the Bush 41 Administration, with some officials likely profiting from conflict of interest “investments.”

BETRAYING THE MILITARY....AND THE PATRIOT

Peter Kawaja never gave up trying to save lives of Gulf War Veterans who he knew would die as a result of the illegal transfer of the deadly bio-chemical agents to Iraq. He witnessed the operation at the PIT plant in Florida. And in a letter to the New American, found on the few internet websites that still survive the crews of laundered taxpayer-funded hackers and off-budget cyber-terrorists employed by whoever has control of the politics and purse strings, Kawaja reveals that he did finally get an answer from the CIA.

His time-line notes-- available on-line-- reveal that he sent a warning document to code Name - M323CF at the National Security Agency, July 16, 1990 -- days before Iraq invaded Kuwait -- and signed for on July 17th by D. Pyle at Fort Meade, Virginia. In this document, Kawaja asked if the U.S. was in a joint venture with IBI to develop these binary weapons FOR our U.S. military, and then, does the President know? Kawaja knew the answers, but wanted a reply.

Soon thereafter, Kawaja received his reply: Eight agents armed with automatic weapons stormed his security company offices, held him under armed guard for four hours, and ransacked his offices. He was told not to go the press to tell his story. And Kawaja’s evidence was considered so critical, that an illegal affidavit/search warrant was approved by President George H. W. Bush, under the Emergency War Powers Act -- an unprecedented action.

According to Kawaja, the evidence taken, which would expose a president (s) for Gulf War crimes, was sealed and remains sealed as “National Security” to this day. And on August 5, 1990, Kawaja sent copies of all the documents to the Washington Post, hoping they would warn U.S. troops who would go to the Gulf; but the Post sat on the story.

On August 7, 1990, Kawaja sent similar packages to CNN, but no answer. This, while Iraq had just invaded Kuwait, President Bush had declared war on Iraq, and the press was silent -- refusing a sensational story during a war.

So in 1990, “before any American was killed even in friendly fire,” added Kawaja, “federal agents sealed documents which prove that U.S. troops were going to be placed in harm’s way, and were knowingly placed in harm’s way.”

When Peter Kawaja contacted [Nightline] and asked why they did not tell his whole story, an ABC editor answered, “We do not wish to topple the entire United States government.” (recorded on tape by Peter Kawaja, after 7-2-91)

Kawaja’s letter to Joe L. Jordan of the National Vietnam P.O.W. Strike Force revealed some striking thoughts that probably go through the minds of the million or so patriotic but “dissident” Americans, thoroughly fed up with their money being stolen from pension and stock funds, porous national borders that allow drugs and terrorists to come in at will -- and kidnapped children sold into sexual slavery to go out, but also a Congress so inclined to feather its perks, pensions, and political positions, that it has lost sight of the fact that it is the people who honor them with high office:

“I was just like a regular guy who was sold on America, sold on our Government being the ‘good guys,’ and all this type stuff. I did not understand who the “Corporate” United States was. I really did not understand the ‘New World Order.’ I did not understand many, many things that I do understand today. other words, the scales fell from my eyes real fast in 1990.”

Sadly, government types can play rough when it comes to those holding critical -- and incriminating evidence: In late 1991, three months after he began receiving death threats, Peter Kawaja’s wife Eileen died, bleeding to death from an Ebola-like virus delivered to her body from some “unidentified” source.

So much for that patriotic fervor. But at least he really tried to do something for his country. Tragically, however, the real lack resides inside the Washington Beltway.

In the wishful-thinking world of secret congressional floor votes when it comes to war, it would be nice to hope that the same legislators we keep returning to the DC trough (for those naive enough to think that the computer tabulated electronic voting machines do not play a part in “fixing” elections that continually return politicians to Washington at a 98% clip) would at least take another look at the demonstrated evidence promulgated here and seek truth, accountability, and justice. Or will it be business as usual?

But given past congressional and presidential track records, astute parents, wives and/or husbands of soon-to-be -deployed Gulf War II soldiers would be wise to consult with their attorneys.

They may need to press right away to hold legally accountable in a court of law those who would knowingly send their loved ones into combat with faulty gas masks and protective suits, suspect bio-chemical weapons detectors, and against deadly biological and chemical weapons provided to the enemy by some of the same government officials who secretly profited from the deaths of 7,000+ Gulf War I soldiers occurring during the last decade. The evidence in incontrovertible.

For therein lies one of the great tragedies of this or any generation: The legacy of dead soldiers -- with families left behind -- who trusted in vain that their government and military leaders would not betray them to the enemy. Who will protect our armies now?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” Who will guard the guards? (Juvenol, Roman poet, 1st Century)

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