New revelations have emerged from the first director of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) who was threatened by the current US National Security Adviser John Bolton in the run-up to the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Brazilian diplomat Jose Bustani was first appointed head of the OPCW in 1997, acting as the organisations first director. In 2002, Bustani suggested that both Iraq and Libya join the OPCW and in so doing, any chemical weapons left in both nations could be disposed of in a legal and orderly fashion.
But for a United States led by George W. Bush that was hellbent on war, Bustaini’s civilised proposals could not be tolerated. Bolton who in 2002 was Bush’s Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, first phoned Bustani demanding that he resign from his position heading the OPCW. Bustani refused.
Later, Bolton approached Bustani in his office and according to Bustani stated,
“You have to resign and I give you 24 hours, this is what we want. You have to leave, you have to resign from your organisation, director-general”.
When Bustani refused, Bolton then told the OPCW director,
“OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are”.
At the time, one of Bustani’s children was in the United States, but nevertheless, he stood his ground against Bolton. Ultimately, Bustani was voted out of office by nations that were likely given similar threats in order to force their ‘cooperation’ in the US move to oust Bustani from his position.
In any other circumstance, Bolton would be in prison for making a criminal threat. But in 2018, he is the National Security Adviser of the United States.