Can we back up
by Jim Babka
Claim #5: One of our radio ads makes the startling claim that our government lied to the world before the last Gulf War when we claimed that Iraqi troops were massed on the border of Saudi Arabia, ready to invade. Can we support this serious charge?
The story of this lie is also well established. An investigative reporter from the St. Petersburg Times in Florida was the first person to uncover the lie. The Christian Science Monitor then confirmed the story. "60 Minutes" has also reported on this lie, based on John MacArthur's book The Second Front, about media coverage of the first Gulf War.
Here's how the lie worked…
The first Bush administration did not feel that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait provided sufficient justification for a U.S. military response in the eyes of the American public. But this problem would go away if it became apparent that Iraq wasn't going to stop with Kuwait, but also planned to attack Saudi Arabia.
The Bush administration also had the problem of where to stage its troops for a U.S. invasion of Kuwait and Iraq. Saudi Arabia was needed to provide a starting point for the American force. To address these problems the Bush administration told the Saudis that Iraqi troops were massing to invade them. The Saudis sent out investigators to check the U.S. claim and found nothing. So the Bush administration provided the Saudis with secret satellite photos showing a huge Iraqi force massed on their border. At the same time the Bush administration also ordered commercial satellite firms to turn off their coverage of the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. But there was one loophole in their plans—Russia's satellites.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, images from Russia's spy satellites have become commercially available. And what do the Russian images from that time show for the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia? Absolutely nothing. No Iraqi tanks, no trucks, no planes, no soldiers. American fighter planes can be seen, parked tip-to-tip, but no Iraqi military presence is anywhere near the Saudi border.
The first Bush administration faked satellite photos to gain Saudi participation in its war, and to convince the American people that Hussein must be stopped from conquering the whole region. But Saddam never had any such intention (as can be seen in Claim #4). The whole thing was a fabrication by our government, and by many of the same people who are now urging war on us again (see also Claim #6).