U.S. Warns It May Hit Libya 'Factory'
John Yemma - The Boston Globe - April 4, 1996
Defense Secretary William Perry indicated yesterday that US military force might be used against a huge, well-fortified factory in the Libyan desert that the administration alleges is gearing up to produce deadly chemical weapons.
The facility, 40 miles south of the Libyan capital, is dug into the side of a mountain, a precaution Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy is believed to have taken to prevent sabotage or air attack.
Asked yesterday if the US military might be used against the facility, Perry responded, "I wouldn't rule anything out or anything in."
In 1990, a smaller Libyan chemical plant under US criticism mysteriously burned to the ground.
And almost exactly 10 years ago, US warplanes carried out a bombing raid on Libya in response to evidence that Khadafy had backed terror attacks against US military personnel in Europe.
Perry, traveling in Egypt yesterday, said he showed intelligence photographs of the new Libyan chemical facility to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at a meeting in Cairo.*
So how really "sensitive" is this satellite imagery? Judging by the way it's shared with so many "friends," it's safe to say that politics, perhaps more than any other consideration - save money determines the way in which such intelligence is disseminated abroad.
(*Lockheed Missiles & Space-The Washington Post-April 27, 1994 - Excerpt: " Recently the Clinton administration reversed a policy that made satellite pictures with a high degree of resolution off-limits to anyone but the government.")
With this in mind, it should be noted that Israel, given its special Cold War strategic relationship with the U.S., had been granted virtually unrestricted access to KH-11 satellite coverage of the Middle East by Bill Casey. That is, until Admiral Inman and Mr. Weinberger decided, on their own, to deny her certain types of imagery vital to her security. Of course, when Jonathan was caught, these men couldn't exactly accuse him of circumventing their undeclared intelligence embargo which, all things considered, would have created far more problems for them than for Jonathan. So instead, they simply accused him of having compromised, amongst other things, satellite associated "sources and methods." By doing this, Inman and Weinberger were not only able to exaggerate the "damage" Jonathan had supposedly caused, but they were also able to avoid explaining their off-the-books policy of withholding critical SATINT from Israel. Whether the latter constituted a "crime" is for Congress to determine. But in as much as Inman and Weinberger knew that their sources and methods argument was untrue, they actually committed perjury by submitting sworn statements to the court that said otherwise. They can and should be held accountable for their actions.
See Also: The Admiral Bobby Ray Inman Page