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Context of 'June 23, 1992: Commerce Department Official Acknowledges Falsifying Documents for Iraq Export Licenses'

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The US Commerce Department allows the export of equipment to Iraq for its SCUD missile program, allowing the Iraqis to increase the range of its SCUD missiles. (US Congress 7/2/1991)

In response to a US company’s concern that their product might be used by Iraq to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the US Department of Commerce asks Iraq’s government to provide a written guarantee that the company’s product will be used for civilian purposes only. The Commerce Department tells the company that a license and review is unnecessary, and that there is no reason why the product in question should not be exported to Iraq. (Jentleson 1994, pp. 110)

Frank DeGeorge, inspector general for the Commerce Department, concedes that the department’s officials altered 66 export licenses for Iraq prior to turning them over to congressional investigators. The export licenses had been changed from “vehicles designed for military use” to “commercial utility cargo trucks.” (Colhoun 1992)

The US Department of Commerce blocks publication of a news release about an article on global warming written by NOAA research meteorologist Richard Wetherald. No reason is provided. This is the third time the DOC has rejected a news release written about an article by Wetherald. The other two times were in 2001 and 2002 (see (April 2001) and Fall 2002, respectively). (MacPherson 10/1/2006)


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