Jonathan Moyles

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The British journalist Jonathan Moyles was believed to have been murdered for discovering details of Saddam Hussein's program just after the first Gulf War to develop weapons of mass destruction and also develop a so-called "Iraqi supergun." Others were allegedly killed mysteriously for the possibility that they might tell what they knew of the supergun program as well.

The Iraqi supergun affair involved the prosecution of the directors of Ordnance Technologies who were accused of illegally exporting an artillery fuse assembly line to Iraq via Jordan. Some of the military fuses were allegedly to be used in Iraq's nuclear programme.

The four men were advised by their lawyers to plead guilty after the then Home Secretary Kenneth Baker and Trade Secretary Peter Lilley signed PII certificates seeking to withhold official papers relating to the case.

Paul Grecian (from Ordnance Technologies) had been passing information to the British security services about Saddam Hussein's weapons procurement programme, including details of the Iraqi supergun.

His conviction and those of his co-defendants were eventually overturned by the Court of Appeal in 1995. [1]

See also: the very similar Arms-to-Iraq affair

British companies Walter Somers and Forgemasters were involved in making components for the supergun. Euromac was also prosecuted.

Connected assassinations?

  • Gerald Bull, arms dealer and inventor of the "super gun", was assassinated in Belgium in a 1990 professional hit.
  • A 28-year-old British journalist, Jonathan Moyles, was killed in Santiago, Chile, the day after interviewing arms dealer Carlos Cardoen. Cardoen had been involved in selling Iraq 50 Bell helicopters containing the ultra-sophisticated Helos guidance system, illegally exported from Britain.
  • Andre Cools, former deputy prime minister of Belgium, was murdered in 1991, shortly after being asked to investigate Belgian involvement with Iraqi arms deals.

It has been alleged that the bizarre fetishistic death of former Tory MP Stephen Milligan is also connected. According to some insiders, the MP, who worked for the Defence Ministry, was killed for asking too many questions about arms trade corruption.[2])

External Links

"In September of 1990, Customs Service agents padlocked the doors of an Iraqi front company in a Cleveland suburb and, in response to a presidential order, froze its $2 million in assets. Customs Commissioner Carol Hallett said the action against Matrix Churchill Corp. came after agents learned that Iraq, which had invaded Kuwait one month earlier, had bought the firm "for the specific purpose of illegally acquiring critical weapons technology." But, unknown to Customs officials, government intelligence agencies had been aware of Matrix Churchill's role in Baghdad's arms procurement network for more than a year and had warned Bush Administration policy-makers, according to newly obtained documents and sources interviewed by The Times. The Administration, however, allowed Matrix Churchill to continue operations, in keeping with President Bush's decision to try to influence Iraqi President Saddam Hussein through favorable policy on high-tech exports and economic incentives. Administration officials maintain that any military assistance to Iraq was an inadvertent consequence of the attempt to moderate Iraqi actions. They said that they were unaware of the extent of the network's operations in this country and that top officials were distracted by other foreign policy concerns. But Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.), whose House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee has been investigating Matrix Churchill and the Administration's policies toward Iraq, said: "The Administration knew a great deal about Saddam Hussein's military procurement program and made a conscious decision to tolerate it, and in many cases facilitated the effort." As early as June, 1989, a top-secret U.S. intelligence report had identified Matrix Churchill's British parent company as a key component of the Iraqi network, according to a newly disclosed document. And two months later, Defense Department analysts discovered that the Cleveland operation had funneled tens of millions of dollars worth of U.S. technology to Iraq's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, according to sources. Recently declassified State Department documents show that after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Administration officials calculated that the Iraqi regime spent $10 billion to $20 billion acquiring nuclear weapons and missile technology in the 1980s. Most of the buying took place through a series of front companies and shadowy agents operating in Europe, but some occurred in the United States."

"In the spring of 1989, a CIA officer approached the president of a small engineering firm in Alabama and quizzed him about a carbide-tool manufacturing facility the company was building at an Iraqi government installation southwest of Baghdad. In the fall of that year, a Customs Service agent and an Agriculture Department criminal investigator visited the firm, XYZ Options Inc. in Tuscaloosa, and posed a similar set of questions to its president, William H. Muscarella. "In both instances, I told the government what we were doing," said Muscarella. "I gave them blueprints and told them everything about the plant. They knew everything." By the fall of 1989, U.S. authorities suspected that Iraq intended to use the plant as part of its ambitious weapons program, according to newly obtained records. Yet, while the government blocked the export of a key piece of machinery, it apparently did nothing to discourage construction of the $14-million plant by withholding export licenses for other components, which were shipped to Iraq. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August, 1990, the plant was virtually complete and capable of turning out military goods as well as consumer products, according to Muscarella. After the Gulf War, the military use was confirmed. U.N. inspectors hunting for Iraqi weapons facilities discovered the carbide factory was part of Iraq's main nuclear-weapons complex. After determining that the factory had been used in the effort to develop a bomb, the inspectors blew up the plant, U.N. documents show...

The Times reported previously that U.S. intelligence agencies warned high-level Administration officials as early as June, 1989, that a company outside Cleveland named Matrix Churchill was a front in Iraq's worldwide arms-procurement network. However, the Administration rejected efforts to restrict sales of U.S. technology to Baghdad as late as May, 1990. The XYZ Options deal is a clear example of how the Iraqi network operated. Described as a commercial transaction, the arrangement was set up by Matrix Churchill and financed by the Atlanta branch of Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro."

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