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Sohail, No WMD's? (answers to your many questions)

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in response to reader comment: No WMD's?

Submitted by JustMe (United States), Sep 27, 2006 at 17:26

Sohail, apparently what I think is a good reason to invade is not a good reason to you. Doesn't anyone remember Saddam marching his troops in full chemical weapons suits in front of the cameras for the world to see and so we would be afraid to invade Iraq? I remember that CLEARLY. I believe the following blog entry answers your questions directed to me:

Liberals (and Sohail) keep harping on the fact that Bush lied about Weapons of mass destruction and the fact that none have been found proves it. As the old saying goes,There are none so blind as those who will not see. First of all, if Bush lied, then theUN lied for 12 years saying Saddam had WMDs and asking him thru 17 resolutions to give them up.

If Bush lied, then Bill Clinton lied for eight years saying Saddam has WMDs and has to give them up, John kerry lied then saying not to vote for him if Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction. We know he had them because pictures of Kurdish women, children and men who he used them against have been seen and made public. Not a pretty sight I might ad. When Colin Powell went before the UN with his presentation he played a transcript of a conversation between an Iraqi officer and soldier telling him "I told you to hide everything, They're coming, they're coming". Satellite transmissions picked up convoys headed into Syria.

It is now presumed those were the weapons being transferred into there. David kay, the chief Inspector was told the co-ordinates and where they were being sent, but was powerless to do anything because his orders were to look just in Iraq and we couldn't just invade a sovereign country. The capture of Saddam is the biggest WMD since he is responsible for 500,000 people in mass graves including one grave with hundreds of kids still clutching their teddy bears. The reading of that account still haunts me to this day.

Now with the recent Jordanian situation where Al Queda terrorists were intercepted coming from Syria with trucks containing thirteen tons of explosives and enough Serin and VX Nerve gas and other gases to kill up to 80,000 people in the US embassy there and Jordanian Intelligence building and surrounding areas, the media should be featuring it on the front pages, but with the exception of Fox News and NY Post and a few talk radio shows, noone mentions it hardly. When 80,000 people are planned to be killed, that's mass destruction, the implement used to kill those people is a weapon. The explosives and gasses were traced back to Iraq. WAKE UP! WHAT MORE PROOF DO YOU NEED?

The WMDs are in Syria, transferred from Iraq and given to terrorists for maybe even here. Al Queda is warning that the next attack here will be worse than 911, yet the media and its' sycophant followers and libs still insist there are no WMDs and Bush lied. I hope they have their affairs in order then.

Written by jaycee7109

What the president's critics and the media widely have portrayed as the most dramatic failure of the U.S. case against Saddam has been the claimed failure to find "stockpiles" of chemical and biological weapons. But in a June 2003 Washington Post op-ed, former chief U.N. weapons inspector Rolf Ekeus called such criticism "a distortion and a trivialization of a major threat to international peace and security."

The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction concluded that Saddam "probably has stocked at least 100 metric tons [MT] and possibly as much as 500 MT of CW [chemical warfare] agents -- much of it added in the last year."

That assessment was based, in part, on conclusions contained in the final report from U.N. weapons inspectors in 1999, which highlighted discrepancies in what the Iraqis reported to the United Nations and the amount of precursor chemicals U.N. arms inspectors could document Iraq had imported but for which it no longer could account.

Until now, Bush's critics say, no stockpiles of CW agents made with those precursors have been found. The snap conclusion they draw is that the administration "lied" to the American people to create a pretext for invading Iraq.

But what are "stockpiles" of CW agents supposed to look like? Was anyone seriously expecting Saddam to have left behind freshly painted warehouses packed with chemical munitions, all neatly laid out in serried rows, with labels written in English?

Or did they think that a captured Saddam would guide U.S. troops to smoking vats full of nerve gas in an abandoned factory?

Stockpiles found

In fact, as recent evidence made public by a former operations officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority's intelligence unit in Iraq shows, some of those stockpiles have been found - not all at once, and not all in nice working order -- but found all the same.

Douglas Hanson was a U.S. Army cavalry reconnaissance officer for 20 years, and a veteran of Gulf War I. He was an atomic demolitions munitions security officer and a nuclear, biological and chemical defense officer. As a civilian analyst in Iraq last summer, he worked for an operations intelligence unit of the CPA in Iraq, and later, with the newly formed Ministry of Science and Technology, which was responsible for finding new, nonlethal employment for Iraqi WMD scientists.

In an interview with Insight and in an article he wrote for the online magazine AmericanThinker.com, Hanson examines reports from U.S. combat units and public information confirming that many of Iraq's CW stockpiles have indeed been found.

Until now, however, journalists have devoted scant attention to this evidence, in part because it contradicts the story line they have been putting forward since the U.S.-led inspections began after the war.

But another reason for the media silence may stem from the seemingly undramatic nature of the "finds" Hanson and others have described. The materials that constitute Saddam's chemical-weapons "stockpiles" look an awful lot like pesticides, which they indeed resemble.

"Pesticides are the key elements in the chemical-agent arena," Hanson says. "In fact, the general pesticide chemical formula (organophosphate) is the 'grandfather' of modern-day nerve agents."

The United Nations was fully aware that Saddam had established his chemical-weapons plants under the guise of a permitted civilian chemical-industry infrastructure. Plants inspected in the early 1990s as CW production facilities had been set up to appear as if they were producing pesticides, or in the case of a giant plant near Fallujah, chlorine, which is used to produce mustard gas.

When coalition forces entered Iraq, "huge warehouses and caches of 'commercial and agricultural' chemicals were seized and painstakingly tested by Army and Marine chemical specialists," Hanson writes. "What was surprising was how quickly the ISG refuted the findings of our ground forces and how silent they have been on the significance of these caches."

Caches of "commercial and agricultural" chemicals don't match the expectation of "stockpiles" of chemical weapons. But, in fact, that is precisely what they are. "At a very minimum," Hanson tells Insight, "they were storing the precursors to restart a chemical-warfare program very quickly."

Kay and Duelfer came to a similar conclusion, telling Congress under oath that Saddam had built new facilities and stockpiled the materials to relaunch production of chemical and biological weapons at a moment's notice. 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."

That wasn't the only significant find by coalition troops of probable CW stockpiles, Hanson believes. Near the northern Iraqi town of Bai'ji, where Saddam had built a chemical-weapons plant known to the United States from nearly 12 years of inspections, elements of the 4th Infantry Division found 55-gallon drums containing a substance identified through mass spectrometry analysis as cyclosarin -- a nerve agent.

Nearby were surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, gas masks and a mobile laboratory that could have been used to mix chemicals at the site.

"Of course, later tests by the experts revealed that these were only the ubiquitous pesticides that everybody was turning up," Hanson says. "It seems Iraqi soldiers were obsessed with keeping ammo dumps insect-free, according to the reading of the evidence now enshrined by the conventional wisdom that 'no WMD stockpiles have been discovered.'"

At Taji -- an Iraqi weapons complex as large as the District of Columbia -- U.S. combat units discovered more "pesticides" stockpiled in specially built containers, smaller in diameter but much longer than the standard 55-gallon drum.

Hanson says he still recalls the military sending digital images of the canisters to his office, where his boss at the Ministry of Science and Technology translated the Arabic-language markings. "They were labeled as pesticides," he says. "Gee, you sure have got a lot of pesticides stored in ammo dumps."

Again, this January, Danish forces found 120-millimeter mortar shells filled with a mysterious liquid that initially tested positive for blister agents. But subsequent tests by the United States disputed that finding.

"If it wasn't a chemical agent, what was it?" Hanson asks. "More pesticides? Dish-washing detergent? From this old soldier's perspective, I gain nothing from putting a liquid in my mortar rounds unless that stuff will do bad things to the enemy."

The discoveries Hanson describes are not dramatic. And that's the problem: Finding real stockpiles in grubby ammo dumps doesn't fit the image the media and the president's critics carefully have fed to the public of what Iraq's weapons ought to look like. A senior administration official who has gone through the intelligence reporting from Iraq as well as the earlier reports from U.N. arms inspectors refers to another well-documented allegation.

"The Iraqis admitted they had made 3.9 tons of VX," a powerful nerve gas, but claimed they had never weaponized it. The U.N. inspectors "felt they had more. But where did it go?" The Iraqis never provided any explanation of what had happened to their VX stockpiles.

What does 3.9 tons of VX look like? "It could fit in one large garage," the official says. Assuming, of course, that Saddam would assemble every bit of VX gas his scientists had produced at a single site, that still amounts to one large garage in an area the size of the state of California.

Senior administration officials stress that the investigation will continue as inspectors comb through millions of pages of documents in Iraq and attempt to interview Iraqi weapons scientists who have been trained all their professional lives to conceal their activities from the outside world.

"The conditions under which the ISG is working are not very conducive," one official said. "But this president wants the truth to come out. This is not an exercise in spinning or censoring."Kenneth R. Timmerman is a senior writer for Insight.

So, no, we didn't go AGAINST the U.N., Sohail, or don't you remember ALL those resolutions? We simply kept OUR word that Saddam could get with the program for once or reap the consequences.

Saddam was no threat? That's the most ridiculous conclusion a person could come up with. Why not stop the charade? How can you be so easy on Saddam and so harsh on the U.S.? Looks like the liar is Saddam and people like you just hate to admit that!!!!!

And the FACT that the majority of terrorism in this world is ISLAMIC is just the plain truth. So sorry that offends you.


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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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