Posted by Curt on 1 July, 2006 at 11:11 am. 1 comment.

I know this is not “news” to most of you but it bears repeating. WMD’s were found in Iraq:

The 500 munitions discovered throughout Iraq since 2003 and discussed in a National Ground Intelligence Center report meet the criteria of weapons of mass destruction, the center’s commander said here today.

“These are chemical weapons as defined under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and yes … they do constitute weapons of mass destruction,” Army Col. John Chu told the House Armed Services Committee.

The Chemical Weapons Convention is an arms control agreement which outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons. It was signed in 1993 and entered into force in 1997.

The munitions found contain sarin and mustard gases, Army Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said. Sarin attacks the neurological system and is potentially lethal.

“Mustard is a blister agent (that) actually produces burning of any area (where) an individual may come in contact with the agent,” he said. It also is potentially fatal if it gets into a person’s lungs.

The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended, Chu added.

While that’s reassuring, the agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents, Maples said. “We’re talking chemical agents here that could be packaged in a different format and have a great effect,” he said, referencing the sarin-gas attack on a Japanese subway in the mid-1990s.

This is true even considering any degradation of the chemical agents that may have occurred, Chu said. It’s not known exactly how sarin breaks down, but no matter how degraded the agent is, it’s still toxic.

“Regardless of (how much material in the weapon is actually chemical agent), any remaining agent is toxic,” he said. “Anything above zero (percent agent) would prove to be toxic, and if you were exposed to it long enough, lethal.”

It’s quite interesting that according to the left Saddam just misplaced these WMD’s and couldn’t find them. He could not find them in 12 years of searching, but the coalition found them in 3 years. Exactly how hard was he looking?

Another interesting fact is that the left is dismissing these weapons because they are old. But Colin Powell’s speech to the UN the month before we invaded makes no mention that we believed he had “new” WMD’s:

Second, as with biological weapons, Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents. If we consider just one category of missing weaponry — 6,500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq war — UNMOVIC says the amount of chemical agent in them would be in the order of 1,000 tons. These quantities of chemical weapons are now unaccounted for.

We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with it, and he has not come clean with the international community. We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don’t have is evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still waiting for.

[…]Third point, Iraq’s record on chemical weapons is replete with lies. It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons.

The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law. UNSCOM also gained forensic evidence that Iraq had produced VX and put it into weapons for delivery. Yet, to this day, Iraq denies it had ever weaponized VX.

He goes on to say that Iraq’s history is to build dual-use complexes which could sustain inspections, that he could very well start reconstituting his WMD program at any moment, and that this should not be allowed to happen.

To support its deadly biological and chemical weapons programs, Iraq procures needed items from around the world using an extensive clandestine network. What we know comes largely from intercepted communications and human sources who are in a position to know the facts.

Iraq’s procurement efforts include equipment that can filter and separate micro-organisms and toxins involved in biological weapons, equipment that can be used to concentrate the agent, growth media that can be used to continue producing anthrax and botulism toxin, sterilization equipment for laboratories, glass-lined reactors and specialty pumps that can handle corrosive chemical weapons agents and recursors, large amounts of vinyl chloride, a precursor for nerve and blister agents, and other chemicals such as sodium sulfide, an important mustard agent precursor.

Go re-read some of my earlier posts under the Saddam Documents catagory and you will see internal Iraqi documents requesting and receiving these pieces of equipment and supplies.

Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets.

Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan.

Let me remind you that, of the 122 millimeter chemical warheads, that the U.N. inspectors found recently, this discovery could very well be, as has been noted, the tip of the submerged iceberg. The question before us, all my friends, is when will we see the rest of the submerged iceberg?

Does he say anything about brand spanking new weapons? No, he stated “stockpiles”. Kinda like the stockpiles of Mustard and Sarin filled warheads found recently….

Rep. Weldon at the recent hearing:

For those who claim these weapons are not the weapons of mass destruction that the United States went to war over, I would like to refer them to the 17 United Nations Security Council Resolutions that Saddam Hussein violated – and in particular, the 14 that specifically addressed WMD. The very first one after the Operation Desert Storm – UNSCR 687 – directed the destruction of Iraq’s stockpiles of chemical weapons. Saddam Hussein violated this resolution and others like it, and the verified existence of such chemical weapons proves that. In part because of such violations, we voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

Other may claim that this newly declassified information is not signficant. In fact inthe September 2004 report of the “Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction” – Charles Duelfer – states that coalition forces could expect to find numbers of these munitions throughout the Iraqi countryside. This bears repeating: we will find weapons filled with deadly chemical agents in Iraq. We now have verified the existence of about 500 such weapons, and the intelligence report assesses that others – ones that could be sold on the black market, that could fall into the hands of terrorists or insurgents, that could end up outside of Iraq – still exist there.

Third, some people claim that these weapons are pre-Gulf War munitions with a badly degraded chemical agent that is no longer lethal or even harmful. To them, I point to the declassified statement from the intelligence report that chemical warfare agents might degrade over time, but they still remain hazardous and potentially lethal. I also point to the Secretary of Defense himself, who expressed strong concern about these weapons just last week. Secretary Rumsfeld said, QUOTE “They are dangerous… They are weapons of mass destruction. They’re harmful to human beings. And they have been found. And they had not been reported by Saddam Hussein as he inaccurately alleged that he had reported all of his weapons. And they are still being found and discovered.” UN-QUOTE

Finally, there are some who insist that despite finding more than 500 munitions filled with mustard or sarin nerve agent, there are no WMD in Iraq. Allow me to quote statements made two weeks ago on the floor of the House during the debate on the Iraq resolution, straight from the Congressional Record:

  • “Absolutely no evidence of any kind of weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
  • “I am struck to hear people still defending the arguments about the weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “We know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We know that to be the case.”
  • “I knew from the very beginning that there were no weapons of mass destruction.”
  • “We are certain that Iraq does not possess weapons of mass destruction–and never did.”

This is patently not the case.

Rep. Frank Gaffney had these points to make:

With all this as backdrop, let me offer several observations about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, the threat they posed and the implications of the latest revelations by the National Ground Intelligence Center about some 500 chemical munitions previously secured by U.S. forces.

  • First, it is undeniable that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons in the years before the liberation of Iraq. For one thing, he acknowledged as much. For another, he used some of these capabilities against Iranian forces and his own Kurdish population. He never accounted, as he was obliged to, for the destruction of that arsenal and it would be irresponsible to operate on any assumption other than that he continued to retain such capabilities.
  • Second, Saddam had the know-how, technology, trained personnel and facilities to manufacture chemical and biological agents at will. Having done so in the past meant that he could do so in the future. Even if, arguendo, he had eliminated every gram of chemical or biological agent and every munition in which it was or could be placed, producing more could be accomplished quickly.
  • Third, in a relatively little-noted finding, the Iraq Survey Group established that the Iraqi dictator was actually engaged in continuing, low-level research and development on and even production of chemical and biological agents such as sulfur mustard, nitrogen mustard, ricin and aflatoxin. He thus maintained not only the potential to generate small quantities of such toxic materials – say, the quantities suitable for terrorist or “intelligence” purposes. He actually was still in that business at or about the time of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Fourth, the Iraq Survey Group also found that Saddam Hussein’s henchmen had plans to emplace sarin nerve gas and sulfur mustard in “perfume sprayers and medicine bottles which they would ship to the United States and Europe.” This, Mr. Chairman, is for me the sort of “smoking gun” we should have been looking for: Hard evidence that the so-called “Butcher of Baghdad” was, in fact, bent on unleashing terror attacks against this country and its allies as part of his pursuit of revenge against those who humiliated him in the first Gulf War.
  • Fifth, the Iraq Survey Group learned that “ricin [a deadly toxin] was being developed into stable liquid to deliver as an aerosol.” As one of the ISG’s inspectors, Richard Spertzel, observed in the Wall Street Journal last October: “Such development was not just for assassination. If Iraq was successful in developing an aerosolizable ricin, it made a significant step forward. The development had to be for terrorist delivery. Even on a small scale, this must be considered as a WMD.”
  • Sixth, Saddam’s regime actually tested its arsenal of WMD against human subjects. According to Mr. Spertzel, this may have continued as late as 2002. It is hard to square such ongoing and inhumane activity with any purpose other than the intent to confirm the ability to cause assured, and probably mass, destruction.
    The Latest Revelations

So, against this backdrop, what are we to make of the finding that a large number of “pre-Gulf War” munitions apparently containing aging and degraded chemical agents have, in fact, been found by U.S. forces since the fall of Saddam’s regime?

Given the foregoing facts, such a revelation should not come as a particular surprise. That is especially true insofar as Saddam’s military stashed innumerable ordnance caches all over the country and, evidently with some frequency, emplaced chemical weapons amidst conventional ones.

The left and our MSM continue to propagate the notion that ALL of our intelligence was flawed because no WMD’s were found. They were found, and the intelligence that turned out to be untrue (according to our MSM) may not be so untrue as we first thought. Take a look at last weeks report in the Washington Post which details another “good samaritan” employee of our Government who tried to “warn” Bush that some intel was flawed. Of course this good samaritan has a new book coming out, but hey, he isn’t looking for money:

In late January 2003, as Secretary of State Colin Powell prepared to argue the Bush administration’s case against Iraq at the United Nations, veteran CIA officer Tyler Drumheller sat down with a classified draft of Powell’s speech to look for errors. He found a whopper: a claim about mobile biological labs built by Iraq for germ warfare.

Drumheller instantly recognized the source, an Iraqi defector suspected of being mentally unstable and a liar. The CIA officer took his pen, he recounted in an interview, and crossed out the whole paragraph.

A few days later, the lines were back in the speech. Powell stood before the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 5 and said: “We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails.”

The sentence took Drumheller completely by surprise.

“We thought we had taken care of the problem,” said the man who was the CIA’s European operations chief before retiring last year, “but I turn on the television and there it was, again.”

But Ray Robison found the lines in Colin Powell’s speech that Drumheller is talking about and what does he find?

Okay, lets pick this apart. Let’s look at Powell’s speech again:

Although Iraq’s mobile production program began in the mid-1990s, U.N. inspectors at the time only had vague hints of such programs. Confirmation came later, in the year 2000.

The source was an eye witness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents.

He reported that when UNSCOM was in country and inspecting, the biological weapons agent production always began on Thursdays at midnight because Iraq thought UNSCOM would not inspect on the Muslim Holy Day, Thursday night through Friday. He added that this was important because the units could not be broken down in the middle of a production run, which had to be completed by Friday evening before the inspectors might arrive again.

This defector is currently hiding in another country with the certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein will kill him if he finds him. His eye-witness account of these mobile production facilities has been corroborated by other sources.

A second source, an Iraqi civil engineer in a position to know the details of the program, confirmed the existence of transportable facilities moving on trailers.

A third source, also in a position to know, reported in summer 2002 that Iraq had manufactured mobile production systems mounted on road trailer units and on rail cars.

Finally, a fourth source, an Iraqi major, who defected, confirmed that Iraq has mobile biological research laboratories, in addition to the production facilities I mentioned earlier.

Okay, first off the WP makes one reference in the 4 page article to “curveball” being only one of several sources. The rest of the article is dedicated to Drumheller and his attempt to warn about “curveball”‘s credibility. It also states flatly, the mobile labs were never found. As a matter of fact, 2 out of 3 teams of experts indicated that the trailers that were found could have been used for weapons production. You would think that would merit some mention in an honest examination of the facts of this case. But anyway…..

Now let’s look at the real intel on the bio trailers.

Powell says firstly, that “U.N. inspectors at the time only had vague hints of such programs.”

Well what does that mean? It certainly sounds to me like UN officials were the first to detect this program. That might have been nice to know in the WPs extensive article. Kind of sounds like it wasn’t a Bush set up then doesn’t it, since this was brought up by the UN in the mid-nineties…..but anyway….

Who else said Saddam had bio trailers? Another engineer, another undisclosed source, and a former Iraqi military officer. Did all their stories fall apart? Were they all lying? What is the deal on these sources? The Washington Post doesn’t mention them specifically or the veracity of their claims. They only focus on one informant who’s story has fallen apart and tried to discredit the whole administration because of one potentially bad source.

A long article by our MSM details only ONE out of four intel sources about ONE aspect of Saddam’s WMD program. They ignore the other three sources, plus all the other WMD programs that Saddam had. They ignore all this in an attempt to portray the speech as one big lie….

Who say’s our MSM is biased?

It’s quite funny really. In the leftist mind there is supposed to an official list of WMDs for which we invaded Iraq. The list will contain precisely the quantity, the type, the age and serial numbers of the WMDs we went to war over. If those exact WMDs are not found then “the war is unjustified”. Since these 500+ warheads are not on the magic list then hey, Bush Lied People Died.

Get used to it lefties. Iraq had WMD’s, wished to reconstitute it’s WMD programs, and was a danger to our country.

Other’s Blogging:

  • Junkyard Blog
  • Sister Toldjah
  • Blue Crab Boulevard
  • A Soldiers Perspective
  • All Things Conservative

  • It’s quite funny really. In the leftist mind there is supposed to an official list of WMDs for which we invaded Iraq. The list will contain precisely the quantity, the type, the age and serial numbers of the WMDs we went to war over. If those exact WMDs are not found then “the war is unjustified”. Since these 500+ warheads are not on the magic list then hey, Bush Lied People Died.