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Saddam hanged for crimes committed while backed by United States.

The media has widely reported the fact that Saddam Hussein's December 30 execution had been ordered as punishment for the killings of 148 men and boys in the northern town of Dujail in 1982. Less reported is the fact that Saddam enjoyed a considerable amount of U.S. support during the 1980s and before.

An April 10, 2003 report by UPI writer Richard Sale stated that Saddam's "first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim.... The CIA/Defense Intelligence Agency relation with Saddam intensified after the start of the Iran-Iraq war in September of 1980."

In a briefing with White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer on January 27, 2003, White House reporter Russell Mokhiber referenced an article the previous day in the San Francisco Chronicle that a number of major American corporations--including Hewlett-Packard and Bechtel--helped Saddam Hussein beef up his military in the 1980s. Mokhiber said that in the same article, it was reported that Donald Rumsfeld (who recently resigned as Secretary of Defense) went to Baghdad in December 1983 and met with Saddam Hussein.

In an article in the Washington Post for December 30, 2002, "U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup," Michael Dobbs also referenced the 1983 meeting between Rumsfeld and Saddam, describing the future defense secretary as being "among the people instrumental in tilting U.S. policy toward Baghdad during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war." Dobbs continued: "The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague."

It is ironic that of all the possible charges that could have been leveled against the now-deceased dictator, those responsible for his conviction and execution focused on a massacre that occurred when he enjoyed considerable U.S. support.
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Title Annotation:Inside Track
Publication:The New American
Date:Jan 22, 2007
Words:328
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