US Wanted Head of Chemical Weapons Non-Proliferation Group Fired in ’02 for Undermining Pretext for Iraq War

by Oct 23, 2013Foreign Policy0 comments

The U.S. lobbied for the ousting of Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) José Bustani in 2002 because he understood that Iraq's chemical weapons were destroyed following the '91 Gulf War.

The New York Times tells the story of how the U.S. lobbied for the ousting of Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) José Bustani in 2002 because he understood that Iraq’s chemical weapons were destroyed following the ’91 Gulf War and was moving forward with plans for Iraq to join the organization and permit inspections to verify that it had no CW stockpiles, which would undermine the pretext for the planned war.

“Everybody knew there weren’t any,” he said. “An inspection would make it obvious there were no weapons to destroy. This would completely nullify the decision to invade.”

Then Undersecretary of State and later Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton denied this, saying:

“The kind of person who believes that argument is the kind who puts tin foil on his ears to ward off cosmic waves.”

But the Times confirmed that Bolton’s office had indeed circulated a document calling for Bustani’s ouster for “ill-considered initiatives”, meaning the plan to have Iraq, along with Libya, join the OPCW, and for seeking an “inappropriate role in Iraq”.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

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