US lied over napalm use in Iraq

US lied to Britain over use of napalm in Iraq war
By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor
17 June 2005

American officials lied to British ministers over the use of "internationally reviled" napalm-type firebombs in Iraq.

Yesterday's disclosure led to calls by MPs for a full statement to the Commons and opened ministers to allegations that they held back the facts until after the general election.

Despite persistent rumours of injuries among Iraqis consistent with the use of incendiary weapons such as napalm, Adam Ingram, the Defence minister, assured Labour MPs in January that US forces had not used a new generation of incendiary weapons, codenamed MK77, in Iraq.

But Mr Ingram admitted to the Labour MP Harry Cohen in a private letter obtained by The Independent that he had inadvertently misled Parliament because he had been misinformed by the US. "The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you," he told Mr Cohen. "I regret to say that I have since discovered that this is not the case and must now correct the position."

Mr Ingram said 30 MK77 firebombs were used by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the invasion of Iraq between 31 March and 2 April 2003. They were used against military targets "away from civilian targets", he said. This avoids breaching the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), which permits their use only against military targets.

Britain, which has no stockpiles of the weapons, ratified the convention, but the US did not.

The confirmation that US officials misled British ministers led to new questions last night about the value of the latest assurances by the US. Mr Cohen said there were rumours that the firebombs were used in the US assault on the insurgent stronghold in Fallujah last year, claims denied by the US. He is tabling more questions seeking assurances that the weapons were not used against civilians.

Mr Ingram did not explain why the US officials had misled him, but the US and British governments were accused of a cover-up. The Iraq Analysis Group, which campaigned against the war, said the US authorities only admitted the use of the weapons after the evidence from reporters had become irrefutable.

Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the group, said: "The US has used internationally reviled weapons that the UK refuses to use, and has then apparently lied to UK officials, showing how little weight the UK carries in influencing American policy."

He added: "Evidence that Mr Ingram had given false information to Parliament was publicly available months ago. He has waited until after the election to admit to it - a clear sign of the Government's embarrassment that they are doing nothing to restrain their own coalition partner in Iraq."

The US State Department website admitted in the run-up to the election that US forces had used MK77s in Iraq. Protests were made by MPs, but it was only this week that Mr Ingram confirmed the reports were true.

Mike Moore, the Liberal Democrat defence spokes-man, said: "It is very serious that this type of weapon was used in Iraq, but this shows the US has not been completely open with the UK. We are supposed to have a special relationship.

"It has also taken two months for the minister to clear this up. This is welcome candour, but it will raise fresh questions about how open the Government wished to be... before the election."

The MK77 bombs, an evolution of the napalm used in Vietnam and Korea, carry kerosene-based jet fuel and polystyrene so that, like napalm, the gel sticks to structures and to its victims. The bombs lack stabilising fins, making them far from precise.
Quite apart from the ludicrous comment regrding precision napalm weapons (or 'firebombs') in the last paragraph, I am frankly somewhat astonished that people seem surprised at this news. Is it the use of the emotive word 'napalm', which evokes Vietnam-era images of naked kids running down roads, or is it simply that the vast majority of civvies don't understand that flame is a viable tactical weapon?

Answers on a suitably burnt postcard please...


Well I’m not impressed that the Americans lied to us and I’m not surprised that our government lied to us, but so what if they used napalm? In a battle you must always use the best tactics and weapons available to bring the fight to a swift end with the minimal amount of casualties from your own side. If that means using napalm then I say let the cu*ts burn, they’re always welcome to surrender and many of them did.
Reminds me of the old saying - if you play with fire.......
Technically there's a difference between napalm and FAE, one burns and the other explodes - but you're right, they're both pretty spectacular and you wouldn't want either of them in your lounge! 8O :? :oops: :wink:
Well the idea that a country that has never said that it wouldn't use a certain type of weapon would then go and use that weapon against a military target away from civillians. I'm appalled.

What frigging world do these people live on? The Yanks have never said they wouldn't use fuel-air bombs, they only used them against military targets, no civvies were harmed in the using of this weapon, where's the problem?
The issue is surely not that they were using Mk 77s (as Darth said, that's just the press picking up on the N-word), but that they misled the government of their most loyal ally?

Who, in turn, withheld this information for as long as possible?

Then again - I guess it's about par for the course for this government...

there is no "issue", just sanctimonous posturing from a bunch of leftie liberal cnuts.

lets look at some facts here. a UK minister (minor one at that) asks the UK department of defence if they use these weapons. automatic response by US civil servant "how the feck would i know" he asks some local military bod, who says "don't know, maybe, will get back to you, oh and why do you ask?" US civil servant tells him and US mil bod, thinks, "right, well that's at the top of my to do list!"

two months later they get an answer.

so, they didn't lie, did they, they just didn't drop everything and bend over backwards to anwser some stupid question, from a faint hearted UK politican.
Gentlemen, who cares, i mean really? the septics have always done their own thing, regardless of what we, or the rest of the world thinks, besides as long as it gets the job done as goku so perfectly put it let the cnuts burn. More hate for them less for us
I take it that this was used on the same insurgent types who have a habit of slowly removing peoples heads with a knife?

Yanks were being too kind to them IMHO.
Consult me please! My English is poor and I'm not native English-speaker.

But Mr Ingram admitted ..."The US confirmed to my officials that they had not used MK77s in Iraq at any time and this was the basis of my response to you"
I understand it this way: Americans hadn't used napalm any time (only sometimes).

If napalm was never used then why word never hasn't been sounded by highly esteemed mr.Ingram?

Why mr.Ingram hasn't said something like this: The US confirmed to my officials that they had never used MK77s in Iraq?

Probably because mr.Ingram reserves possible explanation. If American would say that they informed Britons in time then mr.Ingram could say that he simply misunderstood the message.

It's a very sharpminded move I should say. Mr.Ingram is very talented politician.
Reminds me of my response upon hearing abunch of tree-hugging lefties complaning about how the colaition removed the Iraqi front lines during the first 91 gulf war.
The americans used an armoured bulldozzer to fill in the Iraqi trench lines.

When that came out the lefties complained about it. My resposne was something like: "Fine, here's a rifle, go clear them out the old fashioned way. If you don't want to do it, shut up."

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