31 August 2013

Fake testimony helped justify the liberation of Kuwait (1990)

Nayirah Testimony refers to the controversial testimony given before the non-governmental Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990, by a female who provided only her first name, Nayirah. In her emotional testimony, Nayirah stated that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die. Though reporters did not then have access to Kuwait, her testimony was regarded as credible at the time and was widely publicized. It was cited numerous times by United States senators and the president in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War.

Her story was initially corroborated by Amnesty International and testimony from evacuees. Following the liberation of Kuwait, reporters were given access to the country and found the story of stolen incubators unsubstantiated. However, they did find that a number of people, including babies, died when nurses and doctors fled the country.

In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah's last name was al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎) and that she was the daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign which was run by Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah's testimony has largely come to be regarded as wartime propaganda.
Discussion thread at Reddit.  In the 1950s Hill & Knowlton was hired by the tobacco industry to counteract findings linking cigarette smoking to cancer.  More recently they have been one of several firms hired by the fracking industry.


  1. "fracing industry"?

    1. I was typing in a hurry on a football Saturday morning. Fixed. Tx for the heads-up.

  2. Evil, indeed, Batman...

  3. Oh, I WELL remember this shameful episode. The run-up to the illegal invasion was most heinously captured in the utterly false WMD scare, crowned by Colin Powell's UN Security Council presentation, with all its diagrams and charts - all of which Powell thought were correct, but which were all lies. The UN inspectors consistently stated that Iraq had no capacity to have a WMD program - and THIS turned out to be exactly the case. The US FAILED in its attempt to get UNSC approval for the invasion. This failure rendered every aspect of the invasion to be a violation of the UN charter, and it constituted a war crime of the first order. As everyone knows, no WMDs were found, rendering even the PRETENSE wrong. The US forces should have left Iraq immediately upon that determination, because the very reason for the invasion was found to be false. But, of course that did not happen.

    The invasion was illegal. The deaths and injuries of Iraqis (well into the hundreds of thousands) was and IS a war crime. Bush, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzalez, the neocons, Powell, and the DOJ lawyers who permitted the violation of the UN Treaty signed by the US (and therefore part of the highest laws of the land) - all of them should be prosecuted by the US Federal courts. If those don't prosecute, then the International Criminal Court is obligated to do so.

    This girl should have been prosecuted for lying to Congress, and everyone connected with it should have been prosecuted as accomplices for putting her up to it.

    The attitude that "Well, they did it for patrioitc reasons," is EXACTLY how the Germans went wrong in the years after WWI, during what is properly called the German Revolution and in the subsequent years. The Freikorps and other paramilitary groups on the right often fought with the Communists' similar gangs. In the courts, the Communists were dealt with very harshly for murdering right-wingers, while the right wing murders were often given no sentences or light sentences. Reasons judges gave for the light sentences on the right were their good intentions as patriotic Germans.

    Thus there is a case to be made that we may be on the same path that Germany was on in 1920. Does that mean there is another Hitler to come, and that he will be an American? The political temper is quite similar, right down to the anti-government right-wingers in both eras hampering government at every turn, emasculating the legislature. Their sole goal is to bring down the government. The only substantial thing missing is a culture of demagoguery focusing on one person at the top. The advent of the Tea Party is further indication of this progression into fascism, and probably totalitarianism as and end result.

    That we have not prosecuted - and, it seems - WILL not prosecute the criminals is not only a blight on America, but a sign that the constitutional form of our government is dead or dying. Without cleaning house and sending a clear signal that the constitution is paramount, the US seems doomed to follow the path of Germany in the 1920s. And that likely also includes the USA being lined up against all the other countries of the West.

    You heard it here first, folks. I am not given to wild projections. I researched that period in German history for a book I am working on, and the parallels are eerie. Keep an eye on the Tea Party and who rises to lead it. If it is a Rush Limbaugh type, watch out. Ted Cruz (who reminds me WAY too much of Joe McCarthy) is angling for that role. Hopefully he is as stupid as the rest of them and will shoot himself in the foot. But if it isn't him, it will be someone else.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...