History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Monday, April 26, 2004

    The Status of WMDs

    Solomon at Solomonia links to an article at Insight Magazine, which states an interesting premise: That reports of WMD discoveries have been underplayed in the press, and/or under-reported by the administration. Some parts of note:

    Both Duelfer and Kay found that Iraq had "a clandestine network of laboratories and safe houses with equipment that was suitable to continuing its prohibited chemical- and biological-weapons [BW] programs," the official said. "They found a prison laboratory where we suspect they tested biological weapons on human subjects." They found equipment for "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.

    "Saddam Hussein's prohibited missile programs are as close to a slam dunk as you will ever find for violating United Nations resolutions," the first official said. Both senior administration officials spoke to Insight on condition that neither their name nor their agency be identified, but their accounts of what the United States has found in Iraq coincided in every major area.

    It is painfully obvious to everyone, except those willfully blinded by their hatred of either America or the President, that Iraq was in clear violation of numerous UN resolutions. The Hussein regime had no intention of disarming as requested by the UN, and did what it wished when the UN was looking away. No large stockpiles of what has so far been identified as WMDs have been reported, but such stockpiles are far less dangerous than the equipment and facilities to make them. Many WMDs have a shelf life of only a few years, perhaps a decade at most. No, the true threat was always the ability to manufacture such weapons and sell them to hostile parties, and most importantly, to share the expertise and equipment needed to produce WMDs with those who would attack America and US allies.

    What is interesting is the amount of pesticide reported by inspectors.

    At Karbala, U.S. troops stumbled upon 55-gallon drums of pesticides at what appeared to be a very large "agricultural supply" area, Hanson says. Some of the drums were stored in a "camouflaged bunker complex" that was shown to reporters - with unpleasant results. "More than a dozen soldiers, a Knight-Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman, and two Iraqi POWs came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to a nerve agent," Hanson says. "But later ISG tests resulted in a proclamation of negative, end of story, nothing to see here, etc., and the earlier findings and injuries dissolved into nonexistence. Left unexplained is the small matter of the obvious pains taken to disguise the cache of ostensibly legitimate pesticides. One wonders about the advantage an agricultural-commodities business gains by securing drums of pesticide in camouflaged bunkers 6 feet underground. The 'agricultural site' was also colocated with a military ammunition dump - evidently nothing more than a coincidence in the eyes of the ISG."

    Why go to all that trouble just to hide common agricultural pesticide. Something was obviously going on that was covert, the question is: what? Since pesticides are often the key ingredients of nerve gases, Iraq possibly had organized a means by which it could produce nerve gas quickly, by adding in the essential ingredients right before they are needed. Hence the storage of pesticides in camo bunkers.

    It is apparent that what is happening on the ground is not being reported in full. This leads to the question of: why? Is the press deliberately not reporting stories that might justify the war on one of its core tenets, Saddam's WMD programs? Or is it something else? Is the Bush administration deliberately keeping the true extent of the discoveries quiet for another reason? An October Surprise? A move to create disinformation and confuse Iranian or Syrian intelligence operatives? Even though some questions have been answered, we end up with more unanswered questions that we started with.

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