a "presentable young man" with "engaging smile,"
Let's "do business," said British Embassy in 1969.
met Saddam in 1984 with instructions to improve relations,
Despite chemical weapons use and sanctuary for terrorists.
construction giant Bechtel planned to evade 1988 CW sanctions,
Now has biggest AID contract for reconstructing Iraq.
declassified documents reveal secret U.S.-British-Iraq history;
Saddam Hussein Sourcebook published by National Security Archive.
Washington D.C., 18 December 2003 - Newly
declassified documents posted today on the Web by the National
Security Archive show the British Embassy in Baghdad recommending Saddam
Hussein to London in 1969 as a "presentable young man" with
an "engaging smile," "with whom, if only one could see
more of him, it would be possible to do business."
U.S. documents published in today's Saddam Hussein Sourcebook
quote Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975 telling the Iraqi foreign
minister "we do not think there is a basic clash of national interests
between Iraq and the United States" (the Iraqi disagreed), and
that Israeli influence on U.S. policy would diminish given "our
new electoral law" which means "the influence of some who
financed the elections before isn't so great."
newly declassified briefing notes for special envoy Donald Rumsfeld's
second trip to Baghdad in March 1984 reveal Rumsfeld's instructions
to reinforce the message of U.S. interest in improved relations "at
a pace of Iraq's own choosing," and to emphasize that U.S. criticism
of Saddam's chemical weapons use versus Iran was not meant as a pro-Iranian
or anti-Iraq gesture. Saturday, December 20, marks the 20th anniversary
of Rumsfeld's famous handshake meeting
with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad.
When the U.S. Senate passed economic sanctions on Iraq in 1988 for
using poison gas against the Kurds, U.S. ambassador April Glaspie reported
that the U.S. construction company Bechtel planned to employ "non-U.S.
suppliers of technology and continue to do business in Iraq," according
to a CONFIDENTIAL State Department cable. In April 2003, Bechtel landed
the largest U.S. Agency for International Development contract to date
for infrastructure repair work in Iraq, with an initial payment of $34.6
million and long-term value of up to $680 million.
The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook posted today also brings together
five briefing books previously published by the National Security Archive
into one searchable file of primary sources. These include "Iraq
and Weapons of Mass Destruction," "Eyes
on Saddam," "Alleged Iraqi
War Criminals in 1992," "Operation
Desert Storm," and "Shaking
Hands with Saddam: U.S. Policy before the Gulf War."