Susan Rice’s Viagra Hoax: The New Incubator Babies

Eric Garris, April 30, 2011

On Thursday, US ambassador Susan Rice announced that Libyan government troops were being issued Viagra and told to rape as a terror weapon. She made the comment as part of a debate with another envoy to highlight that “the coalition is confronting an adversary doing reprehensible things.” Several diplomats said Rice provided no evidence for the Viagra allegation, which they said was made in an attempt to persuade doubters the conflict in Libya was not just a standard civil war but a much nastier fight in which Gadhafi is not afraid to order his troops to commit heinous acts.

However, today, MSNBC was told by US military and intelligence officials that there is no basis for Rice’s claims. While rape has been reported as a “weapon” in many conflicts, the US officials say they’ve seen no such reports out of Libya.

This sort of tactic is nothing new. It is reminiscent of the incubator babies story. In the run-up to the first gulf war in 1990, a tearful Kuwaiti girl testified before a congressional committee that she had witnessed Iraqi troops removing premature babies from incubators and stealing the incubators, levaing the babies to die. The story was used to promote the attack on Iraq, and continues to be cited as a reason for going to war in 1991.

However, the story has been widely debunked. The girl who made the allegations turned out to the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador the US, a resident of Washington, DC. Investigations by human rights groups and others found no evidence that the event ever occurred, or that the ambassdor’s daughter was even in Kuwait at the time.

My guess is that the Viagra story will still be repeated years from now as a reason we attacked Libya.

Truth is the first casualty of war.




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