P120 - The Nayirah Testimony
In 1990, two Senators (one Democrat and one Republican) conspired to trick the United States into going to war in Kuwait after Iraq had invaded. The political climate was such that U.S. citizens didn't want to go to war to rescue Kuwait. The powerful interests who wanted war needed to figure out a way to change public opinion. They did it with a grand conspiracy.
The conspiracy centered on a 15-year old Kuwaiti girl, named Nayirah, who testified during a press-attended event that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers removing babies from incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital and leaving them on the floor to die. This testimony was later used by then president George HW Bush in his speeches to fire up anti-Iraq sentiment and led to the U.S. entering the war. However, the story that Nayirah told was not true. It was later discovered that she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States and her story was entirely fabricated - with help from a Washington DC public relations firm.
The story is riveting and maddening. It's a lesson about how dirty and dishonest DC politics can get. Typical for political scandals of this type is that nobody went to jail and the central PR person was promoted. What we still don't know is whether George HW Bush was part of the conspiracy.
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