Bye Bye Saddam, We Hardly Knew Ye
In the past Saddam was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism and they used him as their instrument for more than 40 years … his first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with assassinating then Iraqi Prime Minister Gen. Abd al-Karim Qasim … The CIA/Defense Intelligence Agency relation with Saddam intensified after the start of the Iran-Iraq war in September of 1980. During the war, the CIA regularly sent a team to Saddam to deliver battlefield intelligence obtained from Saudi AWACS surveillance aircraft … the CIA and DIA provided military assistance to Saddam’s ferocious February 1988 assault on Iranian positions in the al-Fao peninsula by blinding Iranian radars for three days.
In February 1963 Qasim was overthrown – and assassinated – by a Baâ€™athist Party coup, with the direct connivance of the CIA. This resulted in the return to Iraq of young fellow-Baâ€™athist Saddam Hussein who had fled the country (to Egypt) after his earlier abortive attempt to assassinate Qasim. Saddam was immediately assigned to the job of … the killing of some five thousand communists … It is also common knowledge that the US supplied Iraq with strategic information gleaned from its satellites during the Iran\Iraq War of 1980 to 1988. Less well publicized was the substantial American aid brokered by such as: the US\Iraq Business Forum, set up in May 1985 with many top US corporations as members; the Kissinger Associates consulting firm, boasting such alumni as Brent Scowcroft, Lawrence Eagleburger and Lord Carrington; and the Bechtel Group, boasting such alumni as George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger.
The overthrow of president Abdul Karim Kassim on February 8, 1963 was not, of course, the first intervention in the region by the [CIA], but it was the bloodiest … 5,000 were killed … including many doctors, lawyers, teachers and professors who formed Iraq’s educated elite. The massacre was carried out on the basis of death lists provided by the CIA. The lists were compiled in CIA stations throughout the Middle East with the assistance of Iraqi exiles like Saddam, who was based in Egypt … the American agent who produced the longest list was William McHale, who operated under the cover of a news correspondent for the Beirut bureau of Time magazine.