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US increased chemical arms sales to repressive regimes: Report

7 June 2015 13:35



The United States significantly increased exports of chemical and biological weapons to authoritarian African and Middle Eastern governments during popular uprisings that swept the region in early 2011, according to a report.

During the roughly two years of Arab Spring protests, the US State Department, under Hillary Clinton, approved $66 million worth of so-called Category 14 exports–defined as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment”–to nine Middle Eastern and African governments, whose affiliated groups were stocking Clinton family interests with cash, The International Business Times reports.

That represented a 50 percent increase in such export approvals to the same authoritarian governments over the two years prior to the Arab Spring, according to the report, which is based on a review of State Department documents.

Most notably, the documents reveal, the Clinton’s State Department cleared Egypt to continue purchasing arms Washington classified as “toxicological agents,” at a time when Hosni Mubarak’s forces were widely using tear gas, a toxicological agent, as part of their bloody crackdown against protesters demanding his ouster.

The arms sales came as a group closely associated with the Mubarak regime paid Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband and former US president, a $250,000 speaking fee in 2010, and in 2012, a firm associated with the company that produced tear gas for Egyptian security forces, paid $100,000 to $250,000 for another Bill Clinton speech.

In 2010, just months before the Egyptian revolution, the State Department’s export authorizations to Mubarak government for chemical and biological agents saw a 38 percent increase, according to the documents reviewed byIBTimes.

Algeria received more than $6 million worth of State Department authorizations for chemical and biological weapons in fiscal 2009, of which $5.8 million were for items classified as “tear gases and riot control agents.”

The next year, the Algerian government, whose security forces used tear gas on Arab Spring protesters in the capital, gave $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation, the report said.

Also in 2010, Clinton’s first full fiscal year in office, Saudi Arabia was authorized to receive $18 million worth of chemical and biological arms. Riyadh, one of the Clinton Foundation’s largest donors, had received less than $5 million in such authorizations in 2008 and 2009.

Other countries that saw an increase in State Department export authorizations for chemical and biological agents during Clinton’s tenure were Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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