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[casi] Cheney, Powell Feared They Signed Amiriyah Bombs

A tragic reminder for Dick Cheney and Colin Powell of war's uncertainties ...

On Feb 13, 1991, the 28th day of Gulf War bombing, the Amiriyah shelter (known
as the "Al Firdos C3 bunker" to US military planners) was bombed by US forces
killing more than 300 civilians.  In a little-known twist to this tale, Cheney
(then Secretary of Defense) and Powell (then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) both
feared they'd signed the bombs that destroyed the shelter.

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MN USA

>From "The General's War - The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf"
by Michael R. Gordon (Pentagon Corresp, NYTimes) and General Bernard E. Trainor
(Dir, Nat. Sec Prog, JFK School of Go., Harvard Univ; fmr Mil Corresp, NYTimes)
Litle and Brown, 1995

p324 "Cheney and Powell paid a quick trip to the Saudi air base at Khamis
Mushait" ... (slogans "Bombs R Us" and "We live so others may die")  ... "Cheney
and Powell delivered brief speeches to the pilots ... After their brief pep
talks to the airmen, the two Pentagon chiefs inscribed separate 2,000 pound
        "'To Saddam, with fond regards'," wrote Cheney."

p325 ... (Three days later the Al Firdos bunker was bombed)
"Pete Williams, the Pentagon's top spokesman, placed a number of quick calls.
... It was with relief that Williams later called reporters, saying that neither
of the bombs signed by the Pentagon chielfs had been dropped on the bunker. ...
(e.g., Cheney's bomb was dropped by Maj. Wes Wyrich on a chemical bunker in
northern Iraq)

p. 327 Colin Powell (On the aftermath of the bombing of Al Firdos bunker) - "We
did not need another situation where a large number of civilians were killed
with (CNN reporter) Peter Arnett all over the place."

See also

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