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21 May 2003  |     mail this article   |     print   |  
This article is part of the series: Iraq-US-connection
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 ]
'Former National Security Council official says':
CIA helped Baath party to power
By Daan de Wit
'[The] CIA had a hand in two coups in Iraq during the darkest days of the Cold War, including a 1968 putsch that set Saddam Hussein firmly on the path to power'. Dit zegt 'Roger Morris, a former State Department foreign service officer who was on the NSC staff during the Johnson and Nixon administrations' tegen persbureau Reuters.

'Morris says that in 1963, two years after the ill-fated U.S. attempt at overthrow in Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs, the CIA helped organize a bloody coup in Iraq that deposed the Soviet-leaning government of Gen. Abdel-Karim Kassem. [...] Kassem, who had allowed communists to hold positions of responsibility in his government, was machine-gunned to death. And the country wound up in the hands of the Baath party.'

Saddam on payroll CIA
'At the time, Morris continues, Saddam was a Baath operative studying law in Cairo, one of the venues the CIA chose to plan the coup. [Saddam] was actually on the CIA payroll in those days . "There's no question," Morris says. "It was there in Cairo that (Saddam) and others were first contacted by the agency." In 1968, Morris says, the CIA encouraged a palace revolt among Baath party elements led by long-time Saddam mentor Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, who would turn over the reins of power to his ambitious protégé [Saddam] in 1979. "It's a regime that was unquestionably midwived by the United States, and the (CIA's) involvement there was really primary," Morris says.
Morris, who resigned from the NSC staff over the 1970 U.S. invasion of Cambodia, says he learned the details of American covert involvement in Iraq from ranking CIA officials of the day, including Teddy Roosevelt's grandson, Archibald Roosevelt. Now 65, Morris went on to become a Nixon biographer and is currently writing a book about U.S. covert action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Close ties Irak-VS
'The United States and other Western powers supported Saddam's regime during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, even after the Baghdad government used chemical weapons to kill thousands of Kurdish villagers in Halabja. [zie ook deze DaanSpeak: 'Onderzoeker onthult: Gifgasaanval [in Halabja] op Koerden niet door Saddam']. Before war broke out last month, a flurry of U.S. headlines also called attention to reports that pathogens used by Iraq for its biological warfare program came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a private Manassas, Va.-based biological samples repository called the American Type Culture Collection. Officials at the two institutions said shipments of anthrax, West Nile virus, botulinum toxins and other pathogens were sent to Iraq in the 1980s with U.S. commerce department approval for medical research purposes. [zie ook deze DaanSpeak: 'Amerikaans gifgas voor Saddam dankzij Rumsfeld']. Even Iraq's alleged nuclear weapons program, which U.S. officials said was on the verge of producing a nuclear bomb last year, got under way with help from a 1950s Eisenhower administration program to share the peaceful benefits of nuclear energy called "Atoms for Peace."'


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