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  1. #1

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    Document Details WMD Recovered In Iraq, Santorum Says
    By Melanie Hunter Senior Editor
    June 21, 2006

    ( - Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) announced Wednesday the finding of over 500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction, specifically "sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles," in Iraq.

    Reading from unclassified portions of a document developed by the U.S. intelligence community, Santorum said, "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."

    According to Santorum, "That means in addition to the 500, there are filled and unfilled munitions still believed to exist within the country."

    Reading from the document, Santorum added, "Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the Black Market. Use of these weapons by terrorist or insurgent groups would have implications for coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside of Iraq cannot be ruled out. The most likely munitions remaining are sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles. And I underscore filled."

    Santorum said the "purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions."

    While acknowledging that the agents "degrade over time," the document said that the chemicals "remain hazardous and potentially lethal."

    The media has reported that "insurgents and Iraqi groups" want to "acquire and use chemical weapons," Santorum noted.

    The Pennsylvania senator called the finding "incredibly" significant.

    "The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction is in fact false," Santorum said. "We have found over 500 weapons of mass destruction and in fact have found that there are additional chemical weapons still in the country."

    As Cybercast News Service reported on Oct. 6, 2004, the CIA's chief inspector in Iraq provides details that corroborate information contained in 42 pages of Iraqi intelligence documents obtained by

    The so-called Duelfer report, named for its author, Charles Duelfer, is widely recognized for declaring that no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. Other details of the report, however, provide a glimpse of what some Iraq experts say is Saddam's attempt to continue to wage war against the U.S. after the first Gulf War ended.

  2. #2
    WASHINGTON — The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

    "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

    Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "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."

    • Click here to read the declassified portion of the NGIC report.

    He added that the report warns about the hazards that the chemical weapons could still pose to coalition troops in Iraq.

    "The purity of the agents 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," Santorum read from the document.

    "This says weapons have been discovered, more weapons exist and they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

    The weapons are thought to be manufactured before 1991 so they would not be proof of an ongoing WMD program in the 1990s. But they do show that Saddam Hussein was lying when he said all weapons had been destroyed, and it shows that years of on-again, off-again weapons inspections did not uncover these munitions.

    Hoekstra said the report, completed in April but only declassified now, shows that "there is still a lot about Iraq that we don't fully understand."

    Asked why the Bush administration, if it had known about the information since April or earlier, didn't advertise it, Hoekstra conjectured that the president has been forward-looking and concentrating on the development of a secure government in Iraq.

    Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.

    "This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."

    The official said the findings did raise questions about the years of weapons inspections that had not resulted in locating the fairly sizeable stash of chemical weapons. And he noted that it may say something about Hussein's intent and desire. The report does suggest that some of the weapons were likely put on the black market and may have been used outside Iraq.

    He also said that the Defense Department statement shortly after the March 2003 invasion saying that "we had all known weapons facilities secured," has proven itself to be untrue.

    "It turned out the whole country was an ammo dump," he said, adding that on more than one occasion, a conventional weapons site has been uncovered and chemical weapons have been discovered mixed within them.

    Hoekstra and Santorum lamented that Americans were given the impression after a 16-month search conducted by the Iraq Survey Group that the evidence of continuing research and development of weapons of mass destruction was insignificant. But the National Ground Intelligence Center took up where the ISG left off when it completed its report in November 2004, and in the process of collecting intelligence for the purpose of force protection for soldiers and sailors still on the ground in Iraq, has shown that the weapons inspections were incomplete, they and others have said.

    "We know it was there, in place, it just wasn't operative when inspectors got there after the war, but we know what the inspectors found from talking with the scientists in Iraq that it could have been cranked up immediately, and that's what Saddam had planned to do if the sanctions against Iraq had halted and they were certainly headed in that direction," said Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor.

    "It is significant. Perhaps, the administration just, they think they weathered the debate over WMD being found there immediately and don't want to return to it again because things are otherwise going better for them, and then, I think, there's mindless resistance to releasing any classified documents from Iraq," Barnes said.

    The release of the declassified materials comes as the Senate debates Democratic proposals to create a timetable for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. The debate has had the effect of creating disunity among Democrats, a majority of whom shrunk Wednesday from an amendment proposed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to have troops to be completely withdrawn from Iraq by the middle of next year.

    At the same time, congressional Republicans have stayed highly united, rallying around a White House that has seen successes in the last couple weeks, first with the death of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then the completion of the formation of Iraq's Cabinet and then the announcement Tuesday that another key Al Qaeda in Iraq leader, "religious emir" Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, was also killed in a U.S. airstrike.

    Santorum pointed out that during Wednesday's debate, several Senate Democrats said that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, a claim, he said, that the declassified document proves is untrue.

    "This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," he said.

    As a result of this new information, under the aegis of his chairmanship, Hoekstra said he is going to ask for more reporting by the various intelligence agencies about weapons of mass destruction.

    "We are working on the declassification of the report. We are going to do a thorough search of what additional reports exist in the intelligence community. And we are going to put additional pressure on the Department of Defense and the folks in Iraq to more fully pursue a complete investigation of what existed in Iraq before the war," Hoekstra said.

    FOX News' Jim Angle and Sharon Kehnemui Liss contributed to this report.

  3. #3
    OR-2 Visekonstabel
    Ble medlem
    Kommer vel egentlig ikke som noen stor overaskelse for meg det her, og heller ikke for media tydeligvis.
    Irak er jo fra tidligere av kjent for å ha produsert og lagret kjemiske våpen, og også faktisk brukt dette (Halabja-massakren i 1988),så det at man finner ammunisjon med kjemisk fylling eller produsert for å ha en slik fylling er ikke unaturlig slik jeg ser det.

    Nå er det jo slik at i et land eller område som dette, hvor krig og konflikt har herjet i mange år, så vil det ligge mye ammunisjon formelig spredd utover hele området. Dette så en jo f eks når det norske ingeniørkompaniet var i Irak juli 03-juni 04. Mange av oppdragene som EOD-lagene (eksplosivryddere) hadde i den perioden var jo nettopp steder hvor ammunisjon lå strødd utover og egentlig alle og hvermannsen har fri tilgang. Dette er alt fra tidligere stillingsområder, ammunisjonslagere og til andre militære installasjoner. I slike oppdrag og i et slikt område, vil det naturligvis ligge automatisk en trusselvurdering og forholdsregler i forhold til muligheten for å komme over ammunisjon med kjemisk fylling. Nå kommer det vel heller ikke helt frem om dette er et enkeltfunn eller om det er totale funn fra 2003 og frem til idag, men det har forsåvidt ikke så mye å si.

    Men dette er helt klart et interessant tema. Som det nevnes i de to artiklene, så dukker det jo opp noen bekymringsverdige forhold rundt dette.
    For det første så bør det forsåvidt ikke være det vi har kontroll over som er tema, men heller "resten" av dette som vi ikke har noen som helst kontroll med hvor befinner seg. I et slikt konfliktområde som Irak er, så vil det være mye ammunisjon som antagelig er unnagjemt, gravd ned osv (av flere årsaker). I tillegg når situasjonen er som den er med trusselen mot de styrkene som er der så kan en ikke se bort fra at dette også kan bli brukt i terroraksjoner mot disse styrkene. Ser en på forbindelseslinjer mellom personer og organisasjoner, så er det heller så lange veien fram til at slik ammunisjon også kan bli brukt i terroraksjoner andre steder i verden, noe som også nevnes i artiklene. Og det er vel kanskje her de virkelige utfordringene starter...
    Og da blir det forsåvidt uinteressant om man har funnet 1 eller 500, det er nok med 1 som vi ikke har funnet som blir brukt i en terroraksjon!

    En annen og kanskje ikke så omfattende i effekt, men viktig nok allikevel, er jo de helsemessige forhold rundt kjemisk ammunisjon. Og da tenker jeg både på de militære styrkene og på sivilbefolkningen. Personell kan fort påføres alvorlige skader ved å uforvarende komme i kontakt med slike stoffer. Litt bedre er det vel for militære som kanskje kjenner bedre til trusselen, enn lokalbefolkningen også, spesielt mtp barn som leker i områder hvor slik amm kan finnes.
    Og selv om en skulle kjenne litt til bomber og granater så trenger det nødvendigvis ikke være noen god synlig forskjell på vanlig konvensjonell ammunisjon og ammunisjon med et eller annet kjemisk innhold.

    Dette innlegget er ikke noe forsøk på å "forenkle" denne nyheten, men heller forsterke det som sies i artikkelen i forhold til de utfordringer som faktisk dukker opp når det nå er kjent at man har funnet slik amm i Irak.
    "Initial success or total failure"

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