From The House Congressional Record - February 2, 1992
H 212 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD - HOUSE
Attached is a document from the Helmy trial giving a brief overview of the Condor missile. By 1989, Iraq had begun development of its own version of the missile referred to as Project 395.
Subject: Assessment on the Activities of Abdel Kader Helmy*, et. al. and the Egyptian/Iraqi Condor Missile Program.
U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
U.S. Courthouse, Sacramento, CA.
This specific missile would represent a significant improvement over currently assessed missile capabilities of Egypt. DIA believes Dr. Helmy was procuring these materials for the Condor missile.
MICHAEL R. HIGGINS
Technology Security Intelligence Analyst
*Helmy, who held a DoD-issued secret level security clearance, could have been charged with espionage. However, at the insistence of both the State and Defense Departments, his indictment was limited to "smuggling" restricted technology. Can you believe this?! Apparently everybody was scared to death that a full-blown spy trial might sour diplomatic relations with Egypt. And that, of course, had to be avoided at all costs.
Helmy's unindicted co-conspirator, by the way, was none other than Field Marshal Abu Ghazala, the Egyptian Minister of Defense at the time. Although Ghazala was eventually forced to retire as a result of his involvement in the affair, his close friend, Caspar Weinberger, succeeded in protecting him from any further legal problems. Perhaps Weinberger's greatest accomplishment as far as Egypt was concerned, though, was the way in which he was able to bury the whole incident. Indeed, to this day, hardly anybody -is even aware of the Helmy case, let alone of its link to the Gulf War.
1 In view of the fact that the U.S. was a member of the MTCR at this time, why wasn't Israel warned about the Condor? Why was I given the unhappy task of alerting Israel to the threat? Didn't the U.S. have both a political and a moral obligation to do this? Evidently, Mr. Weinberger and Admiral Inman didn't think so...
2 So much for Camp David!
3 Damaging to U.S. interests? I'll say! It was, after all, one of Dr. Helmy's enhanced SCUDS that struck a U.S. barracks in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, killing and wounding scores of our soldiers. And then there was Tel Aviv... I guess what everybody seems to have conveniently forgotten is that Americans actually died as a result of Helmy's actions. Then again, if the SCUDS which hit Israel had been equipped with biotoxin warheads, can you even begin to imagine what the body count would have been?
Despite all of this, though, Helmy was slapped on the wrist with only a 45-month sentence. Think of it - a 45-month sentence! Granted, the nature of the Iraqi threat was not generally appreciated at the time of Helmy's sentencing. But our government certainly knew exactly what both the Iraqis and the Egyptians were intending to do to Israel with their Condors.
And yet our DoD and Intelligence community essentially remained silent about all this when it came time for them to provide the court with a detailed damage assessment of Helmy's crime.. Indeed, the one they did submit was so bland and under-stated that it almost seemed as if the government deliberately went out of its way to minimize the potential consequences of Helmy's actions. At the very least, don't you think that the government should have informed the court that Helmy was fully aware of the fact that both Egypt and Iraq had decided to arm their Condors with mass destruction weapons for use against Israeli population centers? Well, in the end, neither the court nor the intended victim - Israel - was ever apprised of this fact.
I suppose the only conclusion one can draw from this whole sordid episode is that, nearly 50 years after the Holocaust, it's still politically acceptable in some Washington circles to look the other way while the Jewish people are threatened with "final solutions". Not very reassuring, is it?