Monday, December 04, 2006

The most important story, but the most under reported strory of 2006: 500 CHEMICAL WEAPONS MUNITIONS FOUND IN IRAQ

You would have thought that this would have been one of the biggest stories of the year, but the media just was not interested. In fact they were so uninterested there was only 5 reporters at the press conference.

According to declassified information from a National Ground Intelligence Report on the recovery of chemical munitions in Iraq hundreds of chemical weapons have been found there.

You can read whats in the report below, but don't take my word for it. Here is a link to the declassified section of the report in pdf format.

Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.

Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.

The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.
The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.

It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.

This is an old story but I thought you could use a reminder. Especially since the news media reported this story for about a three day period back in June and did everything they could to discredit it.

When they did cover it was burried on page 13.

Critics claimed that the weapons were not the ones that the US was looking for and that they were old and useless, but former U.N. weapons inspector Tim Trevan, who said some of the weapons could still have posed a danger, even in a deteriorated state.

"Sarin could be a danger," he said. "The mustard, the problem is when it sits in the munition for a very long time in these high temperatures, it polymerizes. It goes from a liquid to a gooey mass."

The news media had an easy time spinning this story because the Bush Administration never made this story public as soon as it happened. Something that I myself never quite understood until I found this quote.

"Probably more important is why has the administration not made this public beforehand," retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Tom McInerny said of the report. "I think the fact is that the Russians moved large stocks [of WMDs] out in the fall of 2002. ... They went into three locations into Syria, in one location in the Bekaa Valley. If you get in there and if you found those weapons and found the precursors, the fingerprints would go back to Russia, China and France. Now those are the three countries that had the most conventional weapons sales to Saddam Hussein. ... I believe they were complicit. So I don't think the administration wants to trash three of the five members of the [U.N.] Security Council."

The point is that stories like Abu Ghraib and bad news from Iraq gets continues coverage even after the story is not even a story anymore.

However, any story that might actually legitamize our presence in Iraq, like finding chemical weapons gets burried.

I wonder how many people are even aware that we found chemical weapons in Iraq? I am willing to bet that it is not many.

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