UPDATE: After neglecting this post for a couple of years, I finally updated it with a few links to new WMD confirmation in January 2017. Scroll down to the bottom for more updates.
This is a post I used to have on my show’s old website. It’s a compilation of several posts of I’ve done in the past, and is only a small amount of the information about WMDs out there. It is, however, more than enough to prove they existed, and were found after the invasion. Some listeners have been requesting it.
Why is it that every time we learn Iraq did have WMDs the press plays the ‘shocked’ card? Just how many times can you pretend to be shocked over the same story as if you’ve never heard it before?
Wikileaks released more documents this last week, and among them yet more evidence that Iraq did have WMDs at the time of the invasion, and we found them.
You’d have to be the intellectual equivalent of an amoeba to not get this by now. Then again, we are talking about the press along with their anti-war cocktail buddies.
So what new information did we learn, and what info has been right under your nose the whole time? You’ll find out after the jump.
“In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base…
In the summer of 2008, according to one WikiLeaked report, American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents. “These rounds were most likely left over from the [Saddam]-era regime.”
There you have it. WMDs were in fact found in Iraq, and belonged to Saddam Hussein.
Andrew Sullivan closed his article with this statement:
“I know of no incident when these weapons were actually used against US troops.”
Really? I guess he’s not much of a journalist then.
Bush administration officials told Fox News that mustard gas (search) was also recently discovered.
Two people were treated for “minor exposure” after the sarin incident but no serious injuries were reported. Soldiers transporting the shell for inspection suffered symptoms consistent with low-level chemical exposure, which is what led to the discovery, a U.S. official told Fox News.
“The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search), the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. “The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.”
I guess he missed that story. The field tests were later confirmed to be chemical agents.
The most interesting part of this discovery was that the Pentagon thought the incident was classified.
It also appears some top Pentagon officials were surprised by the sarin news; they thought the matter was classified, administration officials told Fox News.
In case you don’t like news reported by Fox, here’s a link to the Washington Post. They also reported on the story.
General Kimmitt’s admission should have been the end of the debate, but it wasn’t. The myth that Iraq had no WMDs has persisted. There was even shock expressed as a result of the mustard and sarin findings I just told you about. I wonder why everyone was so ‘shocked’ to learn that Saddam actually had these weapons.
United Nations weapons inspectors returned to the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area today to conduct further analysis of the twelfth chemical warhead found at the site earlier in the week.
“The team took additional samples from the warhead and resealed the warhead and the storage building,” said Hiro Ueki, spokesman for the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Baghdad.
That was just two months before the invasion, and they were working on their twelfth chemical warhead. If the UN was finding chemical warheads just weeks before the invasion, then why was it so ‘shocking’ to discover that Saddam had those weapons after the war had started?
We would later have another bomb dropped on us by Sen. Rick Santorum. He discovered that the Pentagon was keeping WMD findings under wraps. He petitioned to have the data released to the public, and he paid with his Senate seat. He was also viciously attacked as some kook who was clinging to some form of conspiracy theory. What conspiracy? I just told you about the UN finding WMDs in Iraq just before the invasion, and Gen. Kimmitt admitting WMDs were used against US troops in 2004. Are people’s memories so short, or are they intentionally hiding the truth?
The allegation was that none of the 500 plus WMDs were useable. That simply is not true. You can read the declassified report here.
House Intelligence chairman Peter Hoekstra (R., Mich.) said: “Iraq was not a WMD-free zone. Weapons have been discovered. More weapons exist.”
Again I ask, why did they have to pressure the government to release this data against it’s will?
Poland also found WMDs in Iraq.
Polish troops recently discovered more than a dozen warheads containing mustard or sarin gas in Iraq, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a radio interview released Thursday.
Rumsfeld said Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski told him about the find when they met earlier this week at a NATO summit in Istanbul.
“He pointed out that his troops in Iraq had recently come across — I’ve forgotten the number, but something like 16 or 17 — warheads that contained sarin and mustard gas,” Rumsfeld told Newradio 600 KOGO of San Diego, California, in an interview aired Wednesday.
Charles Duelfer, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, also testified before Congress on his findings.
There were also efforts to retain the intellectual capital of nuclear scientists by forbidding their departure from Iraq and keeping them employed in government areas. However, over time there was decay in the team.
Despite this decay, Saddam did not abandon his nuclear ambitions. He made clear his view that nuclear weapons were the right of any country that could build them.
He was very attentive to the growing Iranian threat—especially its potential nuclear component, and stated that he would do whatever it took to offset the Iranian threat, clearly implying matching Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.
Here’s what Duelfer said about the chemical and biological chapters of his report:
Once inspections began in 1991, Iraq chose to yield most of its weapons and bulk agent as well as the large facilities that were widely known to exist. As in the other WMD areas, Saddam sought to sustain the requisite knowledge base to restart the program eventually and, to the extent it did not threaten the Iraqi efforts to get out from sanctions, to sustain the inherent capability to produce such weapons as circumstances permitted in the future.
Duelfer also addressed the Oil-For-Food program:
Over time, and with the infusion of funding and resources following acceptance of the Oil for Food program, Iraq effectively shortened the time that would be required to reestablish CW production capacity.
By 2003, Iraq would have been able to produce mustard agent in a period of months and nerve agent in less than a year or two.
Iraq decided to retain the main BW production facility, but under guise of using it to produce single cell protein for animal feed. These decisions were taken with Saddam’s explicit approval.
Preservation of Iraq’s biological weapons capabilities was simpler than any other WMD area because of the nature of the material.
What is clear is that Saddam retained his notions of the use of force and had experience that demonstrated the utility of WMD. He was making progress in eroding sanctions and, had it not been for the events of 9-11-2001, things would have taken a different course for the Regime. Most senior members of the Regime and scientists assumed that the programs would begin in earnest when sanctions ended—and sanctions were eroding.
Duelfer also highlighted the threat of such knowledge being given to terrorists, which Saddam openly supported.
A risk that has emerged since my previous status report to Congress is the connection of former regime CW experts with anti-coalition forces. ISG uncovered evidence of such links and undertook a sizeable effort to track down and prevent any lash-up between foreign terrorists or anti-coalition forces and either existing CW stocks or experts able to produce such weapons indigenously. I believe we got ahead of this problem through a series of raids throughout the spring and summer. I am convinced we successfully contained a problem before it matured into a major threat. Nevertheless, it points to the problem that the dangerous expertise developed by the previous regime could be transferred to other hands. Certainly there are anti-coalition and terrorist elements seeking such capabilities.
Duelfer also testified before Congress seven months earlier. Here’s some highlights of his statements:
- Iraq did have facilities suitable for the production of biological and chemical agents needed for weapons. It had plans to improve and expand and even build new facilities.
- With respect to chemical production, Iraq was working up to March 2003 to construct new facilities for the production of chemicals. There were plans under the direction of a leading nuclear scientist/WMD program manager to construct plants capable of making a variety of chemicals and producing a year’s supply of any chemical in a month. This was a crash program.
- Most of the chemicals specified in this program were conventional commercial chemicals, but a few are considered “dual use.” One we are examining, commonly called DCC (N,N-Dicyclohexyl carbodiimide), was used by Iraq before 1991 as a stabilizing agent for the nerve agent VX.
I’ve taken many calls over the years from people who’ve made the claim that chemical weapons are not WMDs (dictionary be damned), and that only a nuclear weapon qualifies. Ok, let’s address that.
Likewise, in the nuclear arena, the ISG has developed information that suggests Iraqi interest in preserving and expanding the knowledge needed to design and develop nuclear weapons.
One significant effort illustrating this was a high-speed rail gun program under the direction of two senior scientists associated with Iraq’s pre-1991 nuclear weapons program. Documents from this project show that the scientists were developing a rail gun designed to achieve speeds of 2-10 kilometers per second. The ostensible purpose for this research was development of an air defense gun, but these speeds are what are necessary to conduct experiments of metals compressing together at high speed as they do in a nuclear detonation. Scientists refer to these experiments as “equation of state” measurements.
Not only were these scientists developing a rail gun, but their laboratory also contained documents describing diagnostic techniques that are important for nuclear weapons experiments, such as flash x-ray radiography, laser velocimetry, and high-speed photography. Other documents found outside the laboratory described a high-voltage switch that can be used to detonate a nuclear weapon, laser detonation, nuclear fusion, radiation measurement, and radiation safety. These fields are certainly not related to air defense.
It is this combination of topics that makes us suspect this lab was intentionally focused on research applicable for nuclear weapons development.
Charles Duelfer’s own words to Congress about the threat of Saddam’s nuclear program. While it wasn’t as advanced as the world’s intelligence agencies believed, it still existed.
“Uranium-enrichment centrifuges” whose only plausible use was as part of a clandestine nuclear-weapons program. In all these cases, “Iraqi scientists had been told before the war not to declare their activities to the U.N. inspectors,” the official said.
Since we now know Saddam had a nuclear weapons program, it brings into question the amount of uranium Saddam had.
Saddam had 500 tons of uranium. 1.8 tons of that was partially enriched (process to make weaponable uranium). In case you are curious, 500 tons is enough to make 142 nuclear bombs.
I can’t tell you how many people called me a liar when I told them about that uranium. So here’s a few links to the story:
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/3/13/101911.shtml — this quotes a NY Times article
But wait there’s more! An additional 500 tons of uranium was made public years later.
What possible use could Saddam have for 1000 tons of uranium? Enough to make 284 nuclear bombs.
Fast forward to 2010.
Our listeners are well aware of this story, but it came and went so fast many of you may have missed it.
In early 2010, the press was again ‘shocked’ to learn that even more WMDs were found in Iraq.
They have been searching in Iraq for the past nine years, 10 months and 15 days.
Today, the hard work finally paid off as soldiers found one of those elusive ‘weapons of mass destruction’ that Saddam Hussein was supposed to have been hiding.
Another genius reporter who’s hearing about WMDs for the first time.
So the press was shocked when the UN found WMDs in Iraq weeks before the invasion, when Gen. Kimmitt confirmed WMDs were used against our troops, when the Pentagon thought it was classified, when a report was declassified on the number of WMDs found in Iraq, when a cache of uranium was found, again when another cache of uranium was found, in early 2010 when another WMD was confirmed, and yet again now that Wikileaks has confirmed what I’ve been telling you for years. Do you get the pattern?
While all of this information is compelling, and obliterates the argument that no WMDs were found, it is in no way all that I have. I guess I’ll save that for the book (if I ever write it).
No one is disputing that Saddam’s weapons program wasn’t nearly as advanced as we believed. That is simple fact. However, to say no WMDs were found in Iraq is patently absurd. To say they weren’t a threat is intellectually immature. To say the threat of Saddam’s WMDs wasn’t worth going to war … well, that’s a difference of opinion. It’s also a debate worth having. You can’t have that debate, however, so long as the media and its ignorant victims continue to put their fingers in their ears to block out the truth. The simple fact is that Saddam had WMDs, and we found them. We are still finding them, and will likely continue to find them in the future.
I want to leave you with something interesting on this topic.
I’ve often spoken of organophosphates (a chemical I’m very familiar with) as a WMD in the form of a chemical weapon. Saddam had massive amounts of organophosphates stored on military installations. The anti-war crowd has dismissed these findings as a simple pesticide. Anyone who knows about organophosphates knows they are used as chemical weapons all the time. They are cheap, easy to obtain, and provide plausible deniability.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently decried a poison-gas attack on Afghan schoolchildren. The chemical agent used in the poison-gas was an organophosphate.
If all the evidence I’ve given you doesn’t meet your personal criteria for WMDs then I have to ask your opinion on a recent story from March of this year.
If the US government deems their weapons WMDs then why don’t they consider sarin, mustard, cyclosarin, organophosphates, and enriched uranium as WMDs?
It kind of makes you wonder where all the black helicopter conspiracy theorists have been on this issue, doesn’t it? Why have they been so busy fabricating stories about 9/11 or Obama’s birth certificate when they had a legit, full-fledged conspiracy on their hands as it pertains to WMDs in Iraq? One that is easy to prove with no possibility to refute the evidence. I guess they got so caught up in their world of make-believe that they were unable to see what was right in front of them. What a shame. I could have used some support on this all these years.
Isis jihadists have seized a chemical weapons facility built by Saddam Hussein which contains a stockpile of old weapons, State Department officials have told the Wall Street Journal:
From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.
In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The under secretary of the Army on Wednesday apologized for the military’s treatment of American service members exposed to chemical weapons in Iraq, and he announced new steps to provide medical support to those with lingering health effects and to recognize veterans who had been denied awards.
The Central Intelligence Agency, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.
WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.
Islamic State militants attacked Kurdish forces in Iraq with mustard gas last year, a diplomat said, citing tests by the global chemical arms watchdog.
Article also confirms US forces encountered WMDs regularly after the invasion.
Iraqi militia has uncovered empty canisters of corrosive chemicals in sites recently controlled by ISIS – suggesting the militants have swiped the poison.
- WikiLeaks docs prove Saddam had WMD, threats remain (peregrine5700.wordpress.com)