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U.S. had role in Iraq's chemical weapons

I want my local newspaper to be fearless and to report the unvarnished truth. I am aware that opinion writers have a different role from reporters. However, in expressing an opinion, one must place everything on the table. This came to mind when I read Jules Witcover's commentary, "Chemical weapons cover-up reignites old argument" (Oct. 21).

Mr. Witcover indicates that the New York Times discovered that U.S. troops during the invasion of Iraq were not informed that they were handling dangerous chemicals and then suffered serious injuries. It seems these were "nerve or mustard gas weapons." Unfortunately, the opinion writer failed to indicate where these chemical weapons came from.

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In most of the cases in which U.S. troops were wounded by chemical agents, the "munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies." Saddam Hussein was at one time a U.S. ally. See the infamous photograph of Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with the notorious dictator. Sadly, our government provided the seeds of destruction to Saddam. He in turn used some of the chemical weapons on the Kurds and the Iranians.

This information which Mr. Witcover failed to share explains why the Bush administration covered up the injuries which occurred when handling the chemical weapons. When will our government learn that working with dictators will inevitably cause blow back, violent responses and embarrassment?

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore

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