So it turns out that a sick cow and Ronald Reagan (the two are, of course, virtually indistinguishable, genetically speaking) were the true sources of the deadliest weapon in Saddam’s American-stocked, Republican-approved WMD arsenal: an arsenal which no longer existed — and was KNOWN not to exist — when Bush launched his invasion.

My god, these cows have made asses of us all!

UPDATE: As ever, Deep Blade is way ahead of the curve. He had the actual report on the Oxford anthrax up on his site long ago. Go here and take a gander. Meanwhile, another sharp blade, commentator Waldo, reminds us that wise man William Blum also had goods on the vast extent of the Reagan-Bush role in building Saddam’s WMD arsenal. No link, but here’s some quotes from Blum, who in turn is largely quoting from a 1994 Senate investigation of “Iraqgate.” This was one of the many probes into Bush I-era crime that were inexplicably deep-sixed or ignored by Bill Clinton.

“According to a 1994 Senate report, private American suppliers, licensed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, exported a witch’s brew of biological and chemical materials to Iraq from 1985 through 1989. Among the biological materials, which often produce slow, agonizing death, were:

* Bacillus Anthracis, cause of anthrax.
* Clostridium Botulinum, a source of botulinum toxin.
* Histoplasma Capsulatam, cause of a disease attacking lungs, brain, spinal cord, and heart.
* Brucella Melitensis, a bacteria that can damage major organs.* Clostridium Perfringens, a highly toxic bacteria causing systemic illness.
* Clostridium tetani, a highly toxigenic substance.Also on the list: Escherichia coli (E. coli), genetic materials, human and bacterial DNA, and dozens of other pathogenic biological agents.

“These biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction,” the Senate report stated. “It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare program. The report noted further that U.S. exports to Iraq included the precursors to chemical-warfare agents, plans for chemical and biological warfare production facilities, and chemical-warhead filling equipment. From 1985 to 1990, the United States Government approved 771 licenses for the export to Iraq of $1.5 billion worth of biological agents and high-tech equipment with military application. [Only thirty-nine applications were rejected.] The United States spent virtually an entire decade making sure that Saddam Hussein had almost whatever he wanted. . . . The Administration has never acknowledged that it took this course of action, nor has it explained why it did so. In reviewing documents and press accounts, and interviewing knowledgeable sources, it becomes clear that United States export-control policy was directed by U.S. foreign policy as formulated by the State Department, and it was U.S. foreign policy to assist the regime of Saddam Hussein.”

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