Thursday, June 22, 2006

About Those WMD Claims

Sen. Santorum and Rep. Hoekstra noted yesterday that more than 500 WMD shells had been discovered in Iraq since 2003. Well, there's a bit more information about the age of these weapons, according to an unnamed Pentagon official:
A Pentagon official who confirmed the findings said that all the weapons were pre-1991 vintage munitions "in such a degraded state they couldn't be used for what they are designed for."

The official, who asked not to be identified, said most were 155 millimeter artillery projectiles with mustard gas or sarin of varying degrees of potency.

"We're destroying them where we find them in the normal manner," the official said.
To me, the existence of these older WMD shows that Iraq didn't comply with UN SCR 687, which required the destruction of all WMD - not some, or most WMD. That they're in a degraded state could suggest that they were mishandled and/or lost by the Iraqis at some point, but that doesn't excuse them from not destroying all their WMD stocks.

However, it does highlight that the intel on the matter was still faulty and the world didn't have a good gauge on Iraq's current WMD status in 2002-2003. This has repercussions relating to Iran, as we might be seeing the world err on the side of too much caution, permitting Iran to obtain nuclear weapons because no one is willing to take the chance of being wrong.

Wouldn't it be interesting if this unnamed official put a name to those statements? Does he have an axe to grind? Is he using Jedi mind tricks on folks by saying that these aren't the WMD you're looking for (noted by Blue Crab Boulevard and Junk Yard Blog).

Confederate Yankee tries to put together the numbers on WMD and thinks that this might finally close the book on a full accounting of pre-1991 Iraqi WMD. It doesn't address post-1991 WMD, but closing the book on the whereabouts of these particular WMD is a good thing. He also questions the seeming media blackout on the whole issue. It's those Jedi mind tricks again.

Hot Air has a roundup, including video.

Others blogging: Flopping Aces and memeorandum is keeping tabs on who's talking.

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