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The times, they are a changin’

Yep, that’s Donald Rumsfeld shaking the hand of Saddam Hussein in this photo dated December 20, 1983. The National Security Archive at George Washington University has published a series of declassified documents detailing U.S. support for Saddam Hussein in the early 1980’s.

The documents show that during this period of renewed U.S. support for Saddam, he had invaded his neighbor (Iran), had long-range nuclear aspirations that would “probably” include “an eventual nuclear weapon capability,” harbored known terrorists in Baghdad, abused the human rights of his citizens, and possessed and used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people.

The American response at that time? To renew diplomatic relations with Iraq that had been broken off since 1967, provide intelligence and aid to support Iraq in its war with Iran, and send presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld for a personal visit with Saddam.

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