August 13-14, 2012 --
WMR has learned from U.S. military intelligence sources that U.S. ground troops will be deployed to Syria in two weeks to help secure chemical weapons that were transported from Iraq to Syria in the months prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
A veteran military intelligence agent confirmed that a deal was struck between the Bush administration and Saddam Hussein that permitted Saddam Hussein's intelligence service, the Mukhabarat, as well as members of the Republican Guard and Bashar al-Assad's cousin, Assif Shokat -- the chief executive officer of Bhaha -- a Syrian import-export firm, to secretly transport its chemical weapons, including deadly VX nerve gas, to the heavily-fortified al-Safir chemical weapons storage complex southeast of Aleppo. The Bush administration promised Saddam that as long as all the chemical weapons were placed under the supervision of Bashar al-Assad's government, which was then an intelligence partner of the CIA for intelligence sharing and the rendition and torture program the Bush administration would refrain from invading Iraq.
However, the actual goal of the Bush administration was to keep the U.S.-supplied VX and its weapons casings from falling into the hands of United Nations inspectors and even U.S. military and intelligence officers after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration then relied on the Assad government to keep the weapons and associated equipment under lock and key to hide the involvement of the Reagan and George H W Bush administrations in supplying the material to Saddam Hussein.
After the transfer of the material to Syria, Saddam realized that he had been double crossed by the Bush administration and he then made arrangement for all the microfiche files with the documents on the chemical weapons transfers from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other western countries to be gathered up in a central repository in Baghdad and be transferred to a neutral party to disseminate to the world's media.
In late 2002, this editor received an offer through a British intermediary close to the Saddam Hussein government to collect copies of the weapons of mass destruction files in Baghdad and transport them by land to Jordan and then back to the United States to make them public. Because of the danger involved in the proposed file transfer, I did not take up the offer because of the tremendous personal risk involved. The files, which included purchase orders, canceled checks, bank statements, bills of lading, customs documents, and other files showed the involvement of Phillips Petroleum, which merged with Conoco in August 2002; a Spanish and French firm in which the Carlyle Group was heavily invested; Halliburton; and U.S. banks in facilitating the sale of VX, pre-cursor materials, and storage and mixing equipment for chemical weapons development to Iraq.
When Saddam and the Mukhabarat realized that Iraq had been double crossed by the Bush administration and they were unable to trasnfer the weapons files to the Western media, they sank the original files in Lake Tharthar, which is 75 miles north of Baghdad. The operation was code-named the "Al Alma Project." Later attempts by the U.S. military, CIA, and FBI to recover the files proved unsuccessful.
The 120,000-page weapons declaration submitted to the United Nations on December 7, 2002, did not contain the "smoking gun" documents linking the Iraqi weapons program to the United States, Britain, and France because the three countries, which received unedited copies of the declaration as permanent members of the Security Council, were not trusted by Iraq to release the files in full. The other two permanent members that received the unedited declaration, Russia and China, were concerned that their own weapons exports to Iraq would be made public. Russia was especially concerned that the files contained evidence of the Soviet Communist Party's total bankrolling of the Iraqi Communist Party in the 1980s. For Saddam, the solution was simple: he had the entire WMD files cache sunk in the lake in the hope that it might be recovered intact by a trusted party at a later date and be exposed to the world.
Iraq maintained that the United States would tamper with the weapons declaration, titled "A Currently Accurate, Full and Complete Declaration plus supporting documents." On December 14, 2002, The Economist reported on another set of Iraqi weapons documents when it stated that the Iraqis were not concerned about American document tampering because "another full set exists."
Somewhere under Iraq's Lake Tharthar exist microfiche records that implicate the Bush and Obama administrations in covering up illegal smuggling of chemical weapons Iraq and, subsequently, into Syria.
Syria, a member of the Security Council, voted for UN Security Council resolution 1441, which demanded that Iraq turn over to the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), headed by Hans Blix, all documents on Iraq's WMD program. Syria's vote for the resolution provided cover for its physical possession of the Iraqi chemical WMDs in Syria. In a March 7, 2003 report to the UN Security Council, Blix appeared to have discovered that a large number of documents were not handed over by Saddam to his UNMOVIC team. Blix wrote, "Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections." Blix's statement came only 13 days before the U.S. invasion and the entire WMD files cache had already been sunk in Lake Tharthar.
Saddam Hussein's chief procurement official and banker, Sa'ad Hassan Ali, also known as Abu Seger, confirmed the Al Alma Project to U.S. military intelligence officers after the invasion of Iraq and his detention. As WMR reported in November 2005, Abu Seger, who suffered from repeated beatings by U.S. torturers, died in captivity the day after his wife delivered his blood pressure medicine to the black marble palace where he was being held in Tikrit. U.S. interrogators were unable to get Abu Seger to provide the exact coordinates where the WMD files cache was sunk in Lake Tharthar.
Although the WMD data files have not been recovered by the United States, the physical evidence remains in the Al-Safir facility southeast of Aleppo. The U.S. troops who will be deployed into Syria in two weeks will have the job of recovering the physical evidence in what represents a second double cross, this time against Bashar al-Assad. Just as in Iraq, U.S. troops in Syria, will, once again, risk their lives to cover up the involvement of the United States in providing chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein. The planned U.S. military operation in Syria will have the primary focus of protecting the illegal activities of the Bush family, Carlyle Group, the CIA, and Dick Cheney's Halliburton in providing chemical weapons, pre-cursor chemicals, and equipment for Saddam Hussein's WMD armory.