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Guess Where Those Chemical Weapons Came From, Mr. President?

September 16, 2013

On September 11, 2001, I wrote a column entitled “Now We Know How Israel Feels.” Now, 12 years later, with a community organizer in the White House who has no idea about the proper use of America’s military might, who believes our only real ally in the Middle East, Israel, is the cause of all the trouble there, and who opposed pursuing our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, I’m not sure we do.
After all, he doesn’t even seem to know where those chemical weapons in Syria came from in the first place. Ironically, at least some of them came from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. They were part of those weapons of mass destruction we never found.
Georges Sada is an Iraqi of Assyrian descent. Born in 1939, he was raised in the Assyrian Church of the East, a Christian sect in predominantly Muslim Iraq. Sada says he later became a born-again Christian and began attending an evangelical church. With such a background, it would be unlikely that Sada would ever rise through the ranks in Saddam Hussein’s military after the dictator’s rise to power in 1968.
But rise he did. Like the Old Testament’s Joseph, who found favor with Pharaoh in Egypt, or Daniel in the land of Nebuchadnezzar, he was elevated to the position of Air Vice-Marshall, second in command of Saddam’s Air Force.
Graduating from the Iraqi Air Academy in 1959, Sada became a pilot in the Iraqi Air Force. In 1964, he trained on American military aircraft in Texas. He officially retired in 1986 with the rank of two-star general (the equivalent of major general in the U.S. Air Force), but was later called back to active service as an Air Vice-Marshall and a top advisor to Saddam during Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. However, during that invasion, Sada refused to carry out Saddam’s orders to execute POWs, an offense that would have meant death for most Iraqis.
In 2003, Sada sided with the U.S. during the invasion that toppled Saddam’s government. During that conflict, he served as a spokesman for interim leader Ayad Allawi and was appointed National Security Advisor.
In 2006, Sada laid out the case against Saddam Hussein in a book titled “Saddam’s Secrets,” wherein he writes that the Iraqi leader ordered barrels of chemical weapons loaded onto civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats had been removed and flew them into — you guessed it — Syria.
“There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria,” Sada claimed at the time, “and they must be found and returned to safe hands.”
Sada also said that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the WMDs to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.
“I know them very well,” Sada said of the pilots. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots.”
The pilots told Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats. Special Republican Guard brigades loaded the materials onto the planes, he said, including “yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel.”
Sada claims there were a total of 56 such flights. “Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming,” he said. “They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians.” He also said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the WMDs was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as “Chemical Ali,” and that the Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad.
In an interview on Fox News Channel at the time of his book’s release, Sada said, “I want to make it clear, very clear to everybody in the world that we had the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and the regime used them against our Iraqi people. I know it because I have got the captains of the Iraqi airway that were my friends, and they told me these weapons of mass destruction had been moved to Syria.”
Sada also expressed confidence that the truth would come out in Congressional hearings. Again, that was in 2006. Unfortunately, Democrats took control of both Houses of Congress that year and that, my friends, is why you very likely have never heard this story before.

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Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.