From the October 2002 Idaho Observer:

Satcher letter lists biological agents CDC sent to Iraq between 1984, 1993

If the U.S. is so against Saddam developing “weapons of mass destruction” then why was the U.S. sending him the materials to build them just months before the Gulf War? Another interesting question would be, “Why would David Satcher be promoted to the post of U.S. Surgeon General in 1998 after telling Senator Don Reigle (D-MI) that his agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was supplying viruses, retroviruses, bacteria and fungi to the Iraqi government? If one of the reasons for forcibly ousting Saddam is because he supposedly gassed 1.5 million Kurds in 1988, why would the U.S. continue to send him substances to increase his bioweapons arsenal after that genocidal event? Below is the text of the June 21, 1995 letter from then CDC Director David Satcher.

The Honorable Donald W. Reigle, Jr.
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-2201

Dear Senator Reigle:

In 1993, at your request, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forwarded to your office a listing of all biological materials, including viruses, retroviruses, bacteria and fungi, which CDC provided to the government of Iraq from October 1, 1984, through October 13, 1993. Recently, in the course of reviewing our shipping records for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a private citizen, we identified an additional shipment, on May 21, 1985, that was not included on the list that was provided to your office. Following this discovery, we conducted a thorough review of all of our shipping records and are confident that we have now included a listing of all shipments. A corrected list is enclosed (Note: the new information is italicized).

Those additional materials were hand-carried by Dr. Mohammad Mahoud to Iraq after he had spent three months training in a CDC laboratory. Most of the materials were non-infectious diagnostic reagents for detecting evidence of infections to mosquito-borne viruses. Only two of the materials are on the Commodity Control List, i.e., yersinin pestis (the agent of plague) and dengue virus. (The strain of plague bacillus was non-virulent, and CDC is currently petitioning the Department of Commerce to remove this particular variant from the list of controlled materials).

We regret that our earlier list was incomplete and appreciate your understanding.


David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.


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