WMD Again

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Senator Santorum Makes Major Announcement Regarding Newly Declassified Information Concerning Chemical Weapons Discovered in Iraq
“This is critically important information that the world community needs to know” – Senator Santorum

June 21, 2006
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, joined Congressman Peter Hoekstra, (R-MI-2), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today to make a major announcement regarding the release of newly declassified information that proves the existence of chemical munitions in Iraq since 2003. The information was released by the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, and contained an unclassified summary of analysis conducted by the National Ground Intelligence Center. In March, Senator Santorum began advocating for the release of these documents to the American public.

“The information released today proves that weapons of mass destruction are, in fact, in Iraq,” said Senator Santorum. “It is essential for the American people to understand that these weapons are in Iraq. I will continue to advocate for the complete declassification of this report so we can more fully understand the complete WMD picture inside Iraq.”

The following are the six key points contained in the unclassified overview:

• Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

• Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.

• Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.

• The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.

• The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.

• It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.


People are asking why the Bush administration kept this secret. I think they wanted to see what else could be found before they went public. Will this change the minds of the antiwar fanatics? Probably not.

14 comments:

Skookumchuk said...

terrye:

Will this change the minds of the antiwar fanatics? Probably not.

Nope. Not among the MSMocrats, anyway. Too old, maybe from before 1991, degraded, therefore doesn't count and must not be construed as evidence that the Rovian Cheneyist Bushitler rationale of oil for war, or whatever . . . was correct.

Actually, the situation is similar to that of Europe after the World Wars, where a farmer's plow might uncover all sorts of things even after many years.

Americans have no patience. The silver lining in all this is that decades from now, new discoveries will continue to be made that will prove the President to have been right.

terrye said...

skook:

It does however, demonstrate that the Iraqi regime was either fibbing or they had lost track of unstable chemical weapons.

It makes you wonder what else Saddam might have overlooked, forgotten about or squirreled away. Like the mafia these guys figure dead men tell no tales and they kill so many of their own that heaven knows what that back hoe operator in Iraq might come across.

David Thomson said...

Saddam Hussein had every intention of continuing to discretely fund terrorist groups. America's citizens could never rest easy while he was still in power. The former dictator had to be removed. This is beyond dispute.

Barry Dauphin said...

Not having found the large stockpiles that UNSCOM had catalogued continues to be of great concern. There has been no verifiable accounting of where that stuff went. The he dumped it in the desert just isn't good enough. The anti-war folks are not persuadable and that should not be a major goal. However, even war skeptics ought to be concerned that there have been no records discovered nor detailed/verifiable testimony of what he did with the stuff.

Luther McLeod said...

I know I'm going against the flow here, but...

I, personally, would not make too big a deal out of this information. IMHO, we found what was considered by Saddam to be among the least serious of his transgressions (otherwise they would be elsewhere). Not seeing MM reported on the shells, but none the less, nothing that could be flung beyond 20 or so miles. Genocidal (Kurds, etc.) weapons of destruction, yes. I just think that we should be careful not to make mountains out of molehills.

There is a need to be both circumspect and precise in our discoveries.

terrye said...

luther:

You are probably right.

Syl said...

Luther

Stop with the sensibility already.

We've been battered and bludgeoned too long by the Left to dare open our mouths.

What was the first thing the Right said after hearing the news about Zarqawi? That we're not saying this will end the insurgency.

Damn. We've become pre-emptively defensive. We didn't have to add that to every blog post re the demise of that killer.

Circa 1991? What the f difference does that make? Saddam was not supposed to have them! WMD are WMD.

And you all think the Dems are defeatist? In my trips following links re these shells, all I hear is 'let's not get too excited' or 'well, it's good, but it's not all that impressive' or 'the left won't believe it anyway'.

What has become of you people anyway? You've allowed the left to cower you that much?

Barry Dauphin said...

If this pans out the categorical statements that “Iraq did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction” will be political millstones and albatrosses. I suspect KosKidz and the like will note observations like mine that 500 shells is not a large stockpile. It’s not, but that’s consolation only for the most cynical of spinners and superficial of reporters. I suspect one conspiracy theory we’ll hear is that the shells were planted by the CIA or Pentagon– how long before that crops up?

From Austin Bay

Luther McLeod said...

Syl

Was that tongue in cheek? I don't give a tinker's dam about the left. I try to speak with a logical and rational voice. Though sometimes the brandy overwhelms.

It is not sensibility I speak to; it is the facts of what was disclosed.

My words..."nothing that could be flung beyond 20 or so miles. Genocidal (Kurds, etc.) weapons of destruction, yes."

But weapons of "mass" destruction as commonly thought...No.
They were not.

I just ask that we be;

"circumspect and precise in our discoveries."

Truth wins out, now is no time for hysteria nor gloating.

Syl said...

luther

I forgot my little :) as usual. Or maybe not.

However, the only thing we can think of as a weapon of MASS destruction is nuclear. And that is not why we went to Iraq.

Chem and Bio count.

If you want to split hairs over how many constitutes 'mass' be my guest. But 5000 kurds were killed with 15 shells.

Put the whole damn thing in context. Saddam, terrorists, intent, chem and bio, sanctions failing, box crumbling, hatred of America, the threat that 'one Arab can reach you' and there ya go.

This is neither hysteria nor gloating. It's the facts.

If you want to be dismissive, go ahead. I don't have to agree with you--and I don't.

terrye said...

Syl:

You are both right. This is not the huge stockpiles were looking for, but it still a clear indication that Saddam was hiding something and the he did not get rid of all the weapons.

But you know I think maybe you are right about the right being defensive.

Luther McLeod said...

I'm not being dismissive Syl, not of the "find" and certainly not of you :-)

I agree, of course, that Chem and Bio fill out the triad of WMD. I also understand that the shells were indeed "mass" to the populace of Iraq. Its just that to me those chemicals would be more indicative of classic WMD had they been found on the tips of missiles; and thereby a threat to nearby countries, i.e. Israel.

loner said...

All that's of interest (and new) here is that Santorum is this desperate this early.

I take it back. He's done come November.

Barry Dauphin said...

Never waste a good meme: Bush lied; People died:
For example, the January 18, 2005 Today show:
DAVID GREGORY: It's clear, sir, there's no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

President BUSH: Right.