Thursday, August 27, 1998 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Sudan Sues the United States
1998-08-27

Empta

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
DONATE →
This is viewer supported news

The United States State Department has, at different times, offered several reasons for bombing the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant near Khartoum, Sudan: that it was linked to Saudi dissident Osama ben Laden, that U.S. intelligence had secretly found traces of a chemical component Empta that can only be used to make VX nerve gas, that the factory was producing chemical weapons for the Iraqi government.

But now it’s clear that nothing’s clear: experts disagree with the government’s contentions about Empta. A spokesperson for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague says that EMPTA does have legitimate commercial uses. In the strangest twist yet, the New York Times yesterday implied that the U.S. had bombed the factory for humanitarian purposes! The report said, "a military complex on the southern outskirts of the city, not the plant that was attacked, was the most likely place for the production." The story went on to quote American diplomats who said, "they believed that the factory had been chosen as a target because it could be more precisely hit than the military plant and without running the risk of deadly vapors."

But the Sudanese government says the factory produced nearly half of the country’s medicine, including anti-malarial drugs.

Guest:

  • Amy Smithson, a Senior Associate at the Henry L. Stimson Center based in Washington, D.C.

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Davis_mcbath_dunn_rally_protest_black-lives-matter
    Black Lives Matter: New Film on Jordan Davis Captures Family’s Struggle to Convict White Vigilante
    We are broadcasting from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, where a new film takes on the subject of the growing nationwide protests over the killing of unarmed African Americans by examining one of the cases to make national headlines in recent years: the killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The film, "3 1/2 Minutes," tells the story of what happened on Nov. 23, 2012, when four teenagers pulled into a Florida gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. They were soon confronted by Michael Dunn, a middle-aged white man who pulled...

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.