ACCESSION NUMBER:225478 FILE ID:PO-201 DATE:04/28/92 TITLE:WHITE HOUSE REPORT, TUESDAY, APRIL 28 (04/28/92) TEXT:*92042801.POL WHITE HOUSE REPORT, TUESDAY, APRIL 28 1Iraq build-up; Peru/plane) (360) NEWS BRIEFING -- Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater covered these topics: IRAQ POLICY DEFENDED Encouraging Iraq to build up its military capability in the period before the Persian Gulf war was the right course for the United States to follow, Fitzwater told a questioner. Asked if President Bush would acknowledge he made a mistake in encouraging U.S. firms to supply the wherewithal for Baghdad's arsenal, Fitzwater said, "We think we have been on the right course with Iraq and with our policy for several years, both before the war, during the war, and after the war." When its was suggested that that policy had helped Saddam Hussein build up his biological, chemical and nuclear weapons potential, Fitzwater replied: "Without acknowledging anything about what we did in terms of the ultimate consequences, we said we were supportive of Iraq, as many other countries were, and that, of course, turned out to be a mistake, as we learned to our regret on August 2 (1990)." Asked if Bush had approved the Central Intelligence Agency's failure to provide a full report to the Senate Intelligence Committee on data-sharing with Iraq, Fitzwater said, "They did give them a full report, and I think Senator Boren's comments are quite adequate." The senator, chairman of the intelligence committee, confirmed the CIA's failure to fully inform his committee but dismissed the pre-war cooperation as "basically...insignificant." The agency said its sharing of intelligence with Iraq ended when the Iran-Iraq war stopped in 1988. Administration documents later showed the cooperation in place as of May 1990. The CIA later acknowledged, The Washington Post reported, that the cooperation ended only on August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. PERU PROBE CONTINUES Asked about Peru's attack on a U.S. transport plane in international air space 80 miles off the Peruvian coast, Fitzwater said, "We are cooperating in the investigation, but we don't have any more conclusions at this point." One American crewman was killed and several were wounded in the repeated strafing runs by Peruvian planes. NNNN .