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Kuwaiti Incubator Babies: the debate

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Tuesday, December 2nd, 2003

A Debate on One of the Most Frequently Cited Justifications for the 1991 Persian Gulf War: Did PR Firm Hill & Knowlton Invent the Story of Iraqi Soldiers Pulling Kuwaiti Babies From Incubators?

We spend the hour with Lauri Fitz-Pegado, the woman who ran the PR campaign for Hill and Knowlton, and John Stauber, co-author of "Weapons Of Mass Deception."
On December 19, 1990, Amnesty International published an 84-page report on human rights violations in occupied Kuwait. The report stated that, “300 premature babies were reported to have died after Iraqi soldiers removed them from incubators, which were then looted.”

This allegation, which was widely reported by the global media, became one of the most often cited justifications for the 1991 Gulf War. On January 9 1991, President George HW Bush cited Amnesty’s report in a letter sent to campus newspapers across the country. In the Senate, six senators specifically cited the story in their speeches supporting the resolution to give Bush authorization to use American forces in Kuwait. That vote ultimately passed by a mere half-dozen votes.

But the most dramatic moment in this story came on October 10, 1990, when a 15 year old Kuwaiti girl, identified simply as Nayirah testified in front of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she had personally witnessed 15 infants taken from incubators by Iraqi forces who she said, “left the babies on the coal floor to die.” California Democrat Tom Lantos explained that her identity would be kept secret to protect her family.

What was not said at the time is that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, Saud Nasir al-Sabah. By March of 1991, Amnesty International took the unprecedented move of retracting its report, saying it had become clear that the allegations were baseless. [Includes transcript]

On October 17, Democracy Now! spoke with author and PR Watch co-founder John Stauber as well as retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner about the U.S. government’s use of psy-ops, propaganda and information warfare in the build up to the Iraq invasion.

Within that conversation John Stauber spoke about his findings that a new Jessica Lynch-related book is: “being promoted by … [the] Livingston Group’s Lauri Fitz-Pegado. She is infamous for her work at Hill & Knowlton PR in 1990 coaching the Kuwaiti girl called "Nayirah" in her shocking but phony testimony on Congressional hill that she'd seen Iraqi soldiers murdering Kuwaiti babies. That stunt helped propel the U.S. to war against Iraq in 1991. Fitz-Pegado's client was the ruling family of Kuwait and the baby-killing claims were later shown to be false.”

-“Toxic Sludge is Good for You” – excerpt of a documentary about the book Weapons of Mass Deception co-authored by PR Watch editors John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton.

-Lauri Fitz-Pegado, principal at the Livingston Group. She formerly worked at Gray and Company and Hill and Knowlton. Lauri Fitz-Pegado also served as Assistant Secretary and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the Department of Commerce under former President Clinton. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

-John Stauber, co-founder of PR Watch and co-author of the book, Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq which takes a look at how the Bush administration’s highly successful public relations campaign sold the Iraqi war to the American public.

the debate here


TRIBE Member
I didn't think there was still a debate.. it was an admitted hoax flat out.. was it not?


TRIBE Member
There's a good book called "Second Front" by John Macarthur that covers this in fairly good detail. I'm sure someone in the politics room has mentioned Macarthur's book before.

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
I didn't think there was still a debate.. it was an admitted hoax flat out.. was it not?

no, it's not... I was referring to the debate they hold in the link...
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