Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The WMDs in Iraq

From a Department of Defense press release:
WASHINGTON, June 29, 2006 – 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."
Though about 500 chemical weapons - the exact number has not been released publicly - have been found, Maples said he doesn't believe Iraq is a "WMD-free zone."
"I do believe the former regime did a very poor job of accountability of munitions, and certainly did not document the destruction of munitions," he said. "The recovery program goes on, and I do not believe we have found all the weapons."

2 comments:

Windy Wilson said...

2006? How did this manage to crawl out of the memory hole?
Bush lied and people died, but lies of omission are just as wrong, as the New York Times (all the news that fits our narrative, we print) would be the first to say had it been President Romney who suggested going along with the Russian suggestion to delay all action and wait until the chemical weapons are found, identified, contained, inventoried, measured, removed, and destroyed.

Clayton Cramer said...

It has been there all along, but it wasn't the narrative requested.