‘A racket is best described … as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. … It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many.’ — US Maj. Gen. Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940), most-decorated Marine in US history
The destruction of Sudan’s Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory on Aug. 30, 1998, is a template of the U.S. method of keeping developing countries permanently backward. This game has been deployed before and ever since. The plant was bombed by the Crime Syndicate after one year in operation.
The message was clear: There will be no independent or self-sufficient economic players impinging on western pharma profits and their global empires.
Based on what turned out to be flimsy pretenses, 13 Tomahawk missiles, at a taxpayer price tag of million dollars a pop, wrecked the factory. The U.S. claimed the plant was helping phantom boogeyman Osama bin Laden build chemical weapons.
Soon after the attacks, the U.S. evidence and rationale were criticized as faulty, and academics Max Taylor and Mohamed Elbushra cited “a broad acceptance that this plant was not involved in the production of any chemical weapons.”
Medicinal Production of Al-Shifa Pharmaceutical Factory
‘I have personal knowledge of the need for medicine in Sudan, as I almost died while working out there. The loss of this factory is a tragedy for the rural communities who need these medicines.’ — British engineer Thomas Carnaffin in August 1998
Al-Shifa was extremely important to the Sudan. It had raised the country’s self-sufficiency in medicine from about 3% to over 50%. It produced 60-90% of the drugs used to treat the Sudan’s seven leading causes of death, of which malaria and tuberculosis are at the top of the list. Al-Shifa also produced virtually all of the country’s veterinary medicine.
“The $30 million factory supplied 50 to 60 percent of Sudan’s pharmaceutical needs, as well as exporting products abroad. This included drugs for veterinary use, including an anti-parasitic that played an important role in sustaining Sudan’s livestock production. Shifa’s human medicines — including drugs for treating malaria, diabetes, hypertension, ulcers, rheumatism, gonorrhea, and tuberculosis — were widely available in Khartoum pharmacies,” wrote Hirst, Norton-Taylor and Seenan in “Sudan Calls for UN Inspection” [“U.S. Bombing Accelerates Health Crisis, says Sudan,” Electronic Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), Aug. 25, 1998].
A Sudanese named Salah Idris purchased the plant in March 1998. The CIA had been unaware at the time that Idris even owned the Al-Shifa facility. Idris hired investigators firm Kroll, Inc., which reported in February 1999 that neither Idris nor Al-Shifa was connected to “terrorism”.
INR analysts concluded that “the evidence linking Al-Shifa to bin Laden and chemical weapons was weak.”
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir formed a commission to investigate the factory.
Sudan invited the U.S. to conduct chemical tests at the site for evidence to support its claim that the plant might have been a chemical weapons factory.
The U.S. refused the invitation to investigate and did not officially apologize for the attacks.
Press coverage indicated that Al-Shifa was not a secure, restricted-access factory, as the U.S. alleged, and American officials later conceded that Al-Shifa manufactured pharmaceutical drugs.
Sudan requested a U.N. investigation of the Al-Shifa plant to verify or disprove the allegations of weapons production. While the proposal was backed by several international organizations, it was opposed by the U.S.
U.S. President Bill “Eddie Haskell” Clinton ordered an investigation into the evidence used to justify the Al-Shifa strike, while as of July 1999, the House and Senate intelligence committees were also investigating the target-selection process, the evidence cited, and whether intelligence officials actually recommended attacking the plant.
How the US Sets up Phony Hanlon’s Razor Plausible Deniability
Michael Barletta, who wrote “Chemical Weapons in the Sudan Allegations and Evidence,” detailed the whole racket. Prior to Aug. 20, 1998, no U.S. official had ever publicly identified the Sudan as a confirmed chemical weapons proliferant or “country of concern.”
We see the familiar pattern of pleading incompetence with nobody held responsible. It’s the black magic of claiming “shit happens” while evil is carried out with impunity.
Once the dirty deed was done, sycophants in the Clinton administration played the Eddie Haskell card.
U.S. officials later acknowledged that the evidence cited by the U.S. in its rationale for the Al-Shifa strike was weaker than initially believed. The facility had not been involved in chemical weapons production and was not connected to bin Laden.
Senior Agency officials met with Tenet before he briefed the White House on bin Laden and Al-Shifa, and the majority of them opposed attacking the plant, according to CIA officer Paul R. Pillar.
Clinton’s U.S. Attorney Gen. Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis J. Freeh were not informed of the plan until one day prior to the scheduled attack. When briefed, Reno reportedly urged delay to enable the FBI to compile more convincing evidence linking bin Laden both to the embassy bombings and to the facilities targeted for attack.
Reno was apparently concerned that the available evidence was insufficient to meet standards of international law, but she was overruled. Neither the Defense Intelligence Agency nor the FBI was involved in evaluating the data that led U.S. officials to attack Shifa.
It should be noted that attorneys general and the FBI traditionally deal with matters primarily related to domestic policies and investigations, not U.S. military actions abroad. A bombing in Sudan would fall squarely on the shoulders of the U.S. Secretary of State, who in 1998 was Madeleine Albright. It should also be noted for context that August 1998 was the height of Clinton’s Lewinsky scandal.
Barletta questions the operative’s bona fides, arguing that they may have misled U.S. intelligence. He also notes that the U.S. withdrew its intelligence staff from Sudan in 1996 and later retracted 100 intelligence reports from a fraudulent Sudanese source [Barletta 1998, p. 124].
Imaginary Fictitious Chemicals
It was later hypothesized that the EMPTA detected was the result of the breakdown of a pesticide, or confused with Fonofos, which is a structurally similar insecticide used in African agriculture [Barletta 1998, p. 125].
Eric Croddy contends that the sample did not even contain Fonofos, arguing that Fonofos has a distinct ethyl group and a benzene group, which distinguishes it from EMPTA, and that the two chemicals could not be easily confused [Croddy 2002, p. 56]. Tests conducted in October 1999 by Idris’ defense team found no trace of EMPTA.
Winter Watch Takeaway:
Polls in the U.S. afterward showed the zombies fully supported the destruction of Sudan’s pharmaceutical industry.
The issue then as now, is that it usually takes a couple years for the malfeasance to be revealed.
Meanwhile, because attention spans are minuscule, the new underworld order continues to recycle this template for criminality.