IRAQ: British company sold 'bio-lab' trailers



During his trip to Europe earlier this month, US President George Bush claimed that US occupation forces in Iraq had "found the weapons of mass destruction". The claim was based on the discovery of two trailers bearing laboratory equipment.

On May 28, the CIA issued a "white paper" describing the vehicles as "Iraqi mobile biological warfare agent production plants", while acknowledging that no trace of biological agents required for weapons production were found in the trailers.

The report dismissed claims by Iraqi scientists that the trailers were used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons, while acknowledging the equipment in the trailers "could be used to produce hydrogen using a chemical reaction".

On June 8, the British Observer revealed that the Iraqi military possessed precisely the kind of hydrogen-producing equipment for balloons described by the scientists questioned by US intelligence.

The equipment was sold to Iraq in 1987 by the British Marconi company, now known as AMS, when both Washington and London were supporting Saddam Hussein's regime in its war against Iran.

From Green Left Weekly, June 18, 2003.

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