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August 9, 2005

Iraq’s Anglo-American anthrax

I gotta say, this has to be the funkiest story of the summer:

A BRITISH cow that died in an Oxfordshire field in 1937 has emerged as the source of Saddam Hussain’s “weapons of mass destruction” programme that led to the Iraq war.
An ear from the cow was sent to an English laboratory, where scientists discovered anthrax spores that were later used in secret biological warfare tests by Winston Churchill.
The culture was sent to the United States, which exported samples to Iraq during Saddam’s war against Iran in the 1980s. Inspectors have found that this batch of anthrax was the dictator’s choice in his attempts to create biological weapons.
… “Iraq declared researching different strains of B. anthracis, but settled on the American Type Culture Collection strain 14578 as the exclusive strain for use as a BW,” Mr Duelfer said.
A congressional investigation into Gulf War syndrome by Don Riegle had already uncovered invoices showing that this batch was shipped from the United States between 1986 and 1988.

The, uh, bovine bombshell prompted Labour MP Austin Mitchell to renew his call for a U.N. investigation into whether Washington broke a weapons control agreement—a call that was supported by 126 MPs in the last parliamentary session. Mitchell noted to the London Times that “It just makes [the U.S.] look more hypocritical than ever.”

Posted by Stephen at 12:15 AM in War | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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