American intelligence and chemical weapons


Bureau of Industry and Security
U.S. Department of Commerce


1980s. Carlos Cardoen, arms dealer to Iraq and former friend of the U.S. government, meets with Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein.


American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons

June 17, 2004 – ‘How Reagan Armed Saddam with Chemical Weapons’
On August 18, 2002, the New York Times carried a front-page story headlined, “Officers say U.S. aided Iraq despite the use of gas”. Quoting anonymous US “senior military officers”, the NYT “revealed” that in the 1980s, the administration of US President Ronald Reagan covertly provided “critical battle planning assistance at a time when American intelligence knew that Iraqi commanders would employ chemical weapons in waging the decisive battles of the Iran-Iraq war”. The story made a brief splash in the international media, then died.


About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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3 Responses to American intelligence and chemical weapons

  1. kruitvat says:

    U.S. intelligence and war propaganda

    The United States Department of Defense says they ‘suspect Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on a “small scale”, despite lacking solid evidence and having “varying degrees of confidence” in the allegations…


    ‘U.S. intelligence: Syrian regime used chemical weapons’…

    WASHINGTON, April 25 2013 (UPI) — U.S. intelligence believes Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military has used chemical weapons in that country’s civil war, the White House said Thursday

    But officials cautioned that assessment is made “with varying degree of confidence” and “credible and corroborated facts” are still needed.

    President Obama has said use of the chemical weapons by Assad, or any move to give them to terrorists, would cross a “red line,” but didn’t specify the consequences.

    “Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” Miguel Rodriguez, director of the White House office of legislative affairs, said in a letter to U.S. senators.

    The administration cautioned that U.S. intelligence still has to “build on these intelligence assessments as we seek to establish credible and corroborated facts,” The Hill newspaper reported, indicating no military action is yet planned…

  2. kruitvat says:

    ‘White House seeks ‘facts’ on chemical weapons finding – as it happened’

  3. kruitvat says:

    Enforcement Case Histories: ‘Anatomy of a Successful Investigation’

    ‘Commerce Special Agents and Licensing Officers Work Together to Uncover a Scheme to Send Zirconium to Iraq for Use in Cluster Bombs’

    The Lead:

    In the summer of 1990, Commerce Department special agents in Dallas received information that a Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopter, owned by a subsidiary of Swissco Management, Inc. in South Florida, was being tested in Texas by the Federal Aviation Administration for “airworthiness” and was then to be exported to a Chilean “arms merchant” named Carlos Cardoen.

    Information they received led the Commerce agents to believe the helicopter was a prototype for helicopters that would be modified for military applications and eventually exported to Iraq. The Commerce Export Enforcement (EE) office in Dallas requested that its sister office in Fort Lauderdale assist with the helicopter investigation. Because of the August 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the possibility of illegal exports to Iraq, and the connection of the Dallas case with a South Florida company, the Fort Lauderdale EE office initiated a separate investigation to determine if Cardoen or Swissco had made prior illegal exports or would attempt to violate the U.S. embargo of Iraq.

    The Investigation and the Trail:

    EE in Fort Lauderdale made a detailed analysis of past export records maintained by freight forwarders dealing with Cardoen and Swissco, and requested local forwarders be on the lookout for future exports by Swissco or to Cardoen. They also worked closely with their licensing counterparts in Washington to review all export license applicants related to Swissco and Cardoen. The investigation gave EE reason to believe that over a five year period Teledyne Wah Chang, a division of Teledyne Industries and Swissco had exported over 130 tons of zirconium to Cardoen’s bomb plant, Industrias Cardoen, Ltda., in Chile.

    Although export license applications showed the zirconium was for use in explosives for “mining operations,” witnesses alleged the zirconium was actually used as an incendiary additive in the production of cluster bombs sold to the government of Iraq. Further investigation uncovered copies of Cardoen’s cluster bomb production manuals that outlined how the zirconium was used in the manufacture of these munitions. In addition, the head of Swissco’s Miami office, a high level official in Cardoen’s operations and his international sales and marketing representative, testified at the trial that the end user statements on the license applications submitted to BIS were false and there was no intention of using the zirconium for “mining operations.”

    In fact, the testimony given at the trial made it clear representatives from Teledyne Wah Chang were told the zirconium was intended for use in cluster bombs rather than mining, that the Teledyne representatives had made several visits to the Cardoen facilities in Chile, that the use of the zirconium for “mining operations” was never mentioned as the intended end use for the zirconium, and that tests on cluster bombs were held in the presence of the Teledyne officials.

    Two of the defendants in the trial, Mr. Edward A. Johnson, the manager for ordnance sales for Teledyne Wah Chang, and Ronald W. Griffin, a research technician for the Teledyne division, claimed the approval of the Commerce licenses granted to Teledyne and Swissco were based on U.S. Government policy to help Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war.

    Commerce agents spent many hours with their counterparts in the licensing branches, inquiring whether any pressure was applied to approve the Teledyne licenses, whether there was any indication at the time of the license approvals that the zirconium was to be used for other than “mining operations,” and whether they would have approved the applications if they had known the zirconium was to be used in munitions. EE believed that there was no substance to the allegations by Johnson and Griffin, and during the trial , BIS’s licensing officials provided strong evidence in support of the prosecution’s case. Commerce contended the licenses obtained by Teledyne Wah Chang and Swissco were based on false statements. BIS’s Export Enforcement special agents were joined in this investigation by special agents from the U.S. Customs Service in support of the prosecution’s case.
    The Outcome:

    Teledyne Industries, Inc., pled guilty to charges of criminal conspiracy, false statements, and violations of the Export Administration Act and the Arms Export Control Act prior to the trial and agreed to pay the U.S. Government criminal fines and civil penalties of approximately $13 million, to resolve the charges related to the illegal zirconium exports to Cardoen and the illegal zirconium exports in another related case.

    Teledyne’s division, Teledyne Wah Chang, was denied export privileges for three years, all but three months of which was suspended. In addition, Teledyne Wah Chang’s authority to use general license G-NSG was suspended for nine months.

    Augusto Giangrandi, a Cardoen associate who testified for the prosecution during the trial, was denied export privileges for a period of ten years for his part in illegally conspiring with Cardoen to export zirconium from the U.S. to Chile contrary to the terms of the Commerce export licenses. Five years of the Denial were suspended.

    The nine week trial ended in April 1995 with the following results:

    Swissco Management Group, Inc., which was tried in absentia, was found guilty of conspiracy to export approximately 130 tons of zirconium without the required U.S. export licenses, and guilty of exporting the zirconium in violation of the terms of a Commerce export license. The company has been sentenced to pay a fine of $1,309,230 as a result of this investigation. The Department of Commerce has also denied the export privileges of the company for a period of ten years.

    Edward A. Johnson was found guilty of conspiracy to export approximately 130 tons of zirconium without the required U.S. export licenses; guilty on two counts of making false statements on Commerce export license documents; and guilty of exporting the zirconium without obtaining the appropriate State Department export license. At an August 7 hearing on this matter, Johnson was sentenced to a 41 month prison term and a $25,000 fine. The Commerce Department has also denied his export privileges for a period of ten years.

    Ronald W. Griffin was found innocent of the charge of making false statements to Federal Agents.

    Penalties for Violators:
    The Export Administration Act (EAA) provides that both criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including civil monetary penalties and the denial of export privileges, may be imposed for the same violation. In addition, under the EAA and the Export Administration Regulations, the Department of Commerce may deny the export privileges of any person who is convicted of violating certain statues including the EAA, for up to ten years from the date of conviction. Under Commerce denial orders those who provide “dual use” U.S.-origin goods and services to denied parties may find themselves subject to both criminal and civil penalties, including being denied export privileges.

    This article originally appeared in the Autumn 1995 issue of “The BXA Insider” and was authored by Robert Schoonmaker and Bill Sargent.

    Robert Schoonmaker was the Commerce Special Agent who handled this investigation and now serves as the Special Agent In Charge of the EE Los Angeles Field Office. He received the Department of Commerce’s highest award — the Gold Medal — for his work on this case.

    Bill Sargent was a Senior Program and Policy Analyst with BIS and a member of the BXA Insider Editorial Board. He now serves as BIS’s Web Master

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