West Germany On Second Thought

A tale of intrigue and deceit unfolds over Libya's chemical-arms plant

The turnaround may not have been quite 180 degrees, but it was close enough -- and sudden enough -- to qualify as a mighty abrupt about-face. After first insisting that his government could find nothing to substantiate U.S. charges that West German companies helped the Libyans build a chemical-weapons factory in the desert outside Tripoli, Chancellor Helmut Kohl last week admitted that Washington might, after all, know what it was talking about. He changed his mind, Kohl said, after the government examined "certain documents" that had been "seized in the past few days." As prosecutors opened a criminal investigation of the...

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