PDA

View Full Version : Chemical weapon deployed in Iraq


madape
05-17-2004, 12:48 PM
Roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent explodes
5/17/2004 11:31 AM
By: Associated Press

Baghdad, Iraq-(AP) -- A roadside bomb containing the nerve agent sarin is the first confirmed finding of a banned weapon in Iraq.

The U.S. military says the sarin was contained in an artillery round that exploded near a U.S. convoy in Baghdad. The chief military spokesman in Iraq says "a very small" amount of sarin was released and two soldiers suffered minor injuries.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt says he believes the insurgents who rigged the shell as a bomb didn't know it contained sarin. Many of the materials used for roadside bombs are believed to have been looted from arsenals after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003.

Saddam claimed to have destroyed his chemical and biological weapons. The United States based its case for war on the presence of banned weapons.

A single drop of sarin can cause quick and agonizing death. But Kimmitt says very little of the nerve agent can be dispersed in a device such as a roadside bomb.

---------------------------------------------------------

madape
05-17-2004, 12:53 PM
Roadside Bomb Releases Sarin Gas in Baghdad
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2004 -- A roadside bomb containing the nerve agent sarin — a substance Saddam Hussein's regime insisted it had destroyed more than a decade ago — exploded near a U.S. military convoy traveling near Baghdad, coalition officials said today.

Army Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy operations director for Multinational Force Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad a U.S. convoy found the 155-millimeter artillery round rigged as an improvised explosive device. The round detonated before the explosive ordnance team could render it inert, Kimmitt said, spewing a small amount of sarin gas.

The release caused two soldiers to be treated for only "minor exposure," Kimmitt said, and the surrounding area needed no additional decontamination.

Kimmitt said whoever rigged the device, likely from old regime stockpiles, probably did not realize that it contained the deadly nerve agent sarin.

The effect of the explosion was minimal because the agent was used in a roadside bomb rather than being fired by an artillery piece, Kimmitt said.

The type of round used, a "binary chemical projectile," has two chambers that keep the chemical components inside separate until they are fired by an artillery piece, Kimmitt explained. After firing, the rotation of the artillery shell in flight causes the barrier between the two substances to mix, creating sarin. The device releases the agent when it lands and explodes.

However, when the round is used in an improvised explosive device, Kimmitt said, the chemicals don't properly mix, so they produce only "very, very small traces" of sarin gas. "When you rig it as an IED, it just blows up and you have … minor amounts (of the chemical) going in different directions," he said. "It's virtually ineffective as a chemical weapon."

Kimmitt said the incident does not pose a continuing threat. He said he would leave it to the Iraqi Survey Group to determine if the incident gives credence to charges that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

"The former regime had declared all such rounds destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War," he said.

Mavdog
05-17-2004, 01:24 PM
Sarin-Filled Munitions in Iraq Worry U.S.

By KATHERINE PFLEGER SHRADER, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - U.S. officials said Monday they are concerned that other sarin-filled munitions may still exist in Iraq (news - web sites) — and may not be well marked — after evidence indicated a roadside shell that exploded contained the nerve agent.

Meanwhile, the former top U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay, said it's possible the shell was an old relic overlooked when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) said he had destroyed such weapons in the mid-1990s. Kay, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said he doubted the shell or the nerve agent came from a hidden stockpile, although he didn't rule out that possibility.

No one was injured in the initial detonation Saturday, although U.S. soldiers who later transported the round did experience symptoms consistent with low-level nerve agent exposure, said a U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity.

In this case, it appears two components in the shell, which are designed to combine and create deadly sarin, did not properly mix upon detonation, the official said.

It was unclear whether those responsible for the attack knew it was a conventional or chemical round, the official said. The 155-mm shell did not have markings to indicate it contained a chemical agent, the official added.

U.S. officials believe, based on evidence, that the shell was an experimental munition produced before the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), called a "binary type," the official said.

Saddam's government had disclosed binary sarin testing and production after the 1995 defection of Iraqi weapons chief Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Saddam's son-in-law. But Saddam's government never declared that any sarin or sarin-filled shells still remained.

For that reason, the U.S. government considers the discovery of the sarin shell as significant, the U.S. official said.

"What is of concern is that that there may be more of them out there," the official also said.

At the State Department, deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said "the jury is still out" on whether chemical or other weapons of mass destruction remained in Iraq.

Since the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, a U.S. group of weapons inspectors, called the Iraq Survey Group, has been searching for weapons of mass destruction, finding only signs of programs — but no evidence — of actual weapons.

The existence of a sarin-filled munition thus could become the first indication that Saddam's regime had not destroyed all banned weapons.

But Kay, the former head of that group, said it appears that the shell was one of tens of thousands produced for the Iran-Iraq war, which Saddam was supposed to destroy or turn over to the United Nations (news - web sites). In many cases, he said, Iraq did comply.

"It is hard to know if this is one that just was overlooked — and there were always some that were overlooked, we knew that — or if this was one that came from a hidden stockpile," Kay said. "I rather doubt that because it appears the insurgents didn't even know they had a chemical round."

While Saturday's explosion does demonstrate that Saddam hadn't complied fully with U.N. resolutions, Kay also said, "It doesn't strike me as a big deal."

In January, Kay turned in his resignation to CIA (news - web sites) Director George Tenet and has since repeatedly said that U.S. intelligence was wrong in claiming that Saddam had stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and advanced nuclear weapons programs. Those programs were the main justification for the Iraq war.

The binary-type shell found Saturday holds chemicals in separate sections for security and storage reasons. The chemicals are then mixed after firing to produce sarin.

Because the shell blew up as part of an improvised explosive devise, Kay said, the inert chemicals inside probably wouldn't have mixed as well as they would have had they been fired, so significant amounts of sarin wouldn't have been produced.

At a Baghdad press conference Monday, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq, said he believed that insurgents who rigged the artillery shell as a bomb did not know that it contained the nerve agent. The dispersal of the nerve agent from such a rigged device is very limited, he said.

Nerve gases inhibit key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. In large enough doses, sarin causes convulsions, paralysis, loss of consciousness and potentially fatal respiratory failure. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.

An Iraqi 155-mm chemical shell can contain 2 to 5 liters of volume, which could hold a deadly concentration of sarin, if properly mixed and dispersed.

The concentration of sarin involved in Saturday's explosion wasn't clear.

madape
05-17-2004, 04:42 PM
I'm not suprised that the AP called up David Kay to get a quote, and also managed to dig up his old misrepresented quotes about weapons stockpiles. The AP clearly has an agenda on Iraq and David Kay has become the APs unwilling spokesman against Bush (even though Kay says plenty that helps Bush's case which the AP refuses to print).

The truth is that people all around the net are spinning this to match their political ideologies.

Predicably, the far left is claiming this is a conspiracy; that Donald Rumsfeld brought the weapons over and planted them himself last week.
The right is claiming that this is proof that Saddam had chemical weapons in his arsenal.

He's a compilation of opinions/spin.


http://www.lt-smash.us/archives/002897.html#002897

dude1394
05-17-2004, 07:37 PM
Pretty damn sad isn't it. We have to actually HOPE we will find WMD to shut up the incessant whining of the left-wing of the country. Pretty disgusting. If the democrats were a serious party we could all hope that none were found and chalk it up to a big mistake of intelligence.

FishForLunch
05-17-2004, 08:56 PM
Mr Blix strongly denys that it was part of Saddams arsenal. Just so that we can shut up Mr. Blix I hope we find WMD is larger quantities.

dude1394
05-17-2004, 09:17 PM
That's what I mean. Although on second thought, finding them all now would make it safer for our guys. Dubya's a big boy and serious leaders know the whining about no wmds' is bs leftist monday-morning quarterbacking. However it makes no differnence when the other partys "position" is nyah, nyah, nyah.... A once great party reduced to childishness.

madape
05-18-2004, 09:01 AM
Here's some more David Kay quotes that shed some light on this situation. Of course, none of these were (and will not be) reported by the AP.

"We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq's weapons capabilities. I think it shows that Iraq was a very dangerous place. The country had the technology, the ability to produce, and there were terrorist groups passing through the country -- and no central control."

"I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war."


So now that the link to chemical weapons has been discovered, what about the link to terrorism?

From the American Spectator:

Bush's pre-war point holds up: terrorists were operating in Iraq, and they did have access to Saddam Hussein's powder keg. The constant claim that the war in Iraq is irrelevant to the war on terrorism is impossible to sustain when U.S. forces keep capturing terrorists Hussein harbored. Just like the antiwar Democrats refused to acknowledge Central America as a link in the Communist chain, so they deny that Iraq under Hussein was a link in the chain of Islamic terror.

Who beheaded Nicholas Berg? Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi -- the very terrorist the Bush administration before the war presented to skeptics as an example of Saddam Hussein's ties to terrorism. In his 2003 address to the United Nations Security Council, Colin Powell said that "Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi."

Zarqawi received safe haven in Iraq, said Powell, traveling "to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day.…During this stay, nearly two dozen extremists converged on Baghdad and established a base of operations there. These al Qaeda affiliates, based in Baghdad, now coordinate the movement of people, money and supplies into and throughout Iraq for his network, and they've now been operating freely in the capital for more than eight months."

Powell noted that an "al Qaeda associate bragged that the situation in Iraq was, quote, 'good,' that Baghdad could be transited quickly," and that "We know these affiliates are connected to Zarqawi because they remain even today in regular contact with his direct subordinates, including the poison cell plotters, and they are involved in moving more than money and materials."

Zarqawi was killing Americans long before the war began. Powell in his 2003 address to the U.N. said that Zarqawi had American diplomat Lawrence Foley gunned down in Jordan: "We, in the United States, all of us at the State Department, and the Agency for International Development -- we all lost a dear friend with the cold-blooded murder of Mr. Lawrence Foley in Amman, Jordan last October, a despicable act was committed that day. The assassination of an individual whose sole mission was to assist the people of Jordan. The captured assassin says his cell received money and weapons from Zarqawi for that murder."

The Bush administration gave Saddam Hussein's regime a chance to distance itself from Zarqawi by helping to locate him. It provided no help, and continued to let his network operate in Baghdad. "We asked a friendly security service to approach Baghdad about extraditing Zarqawi and providing information about him and his close associates," said Powell. "This service contacted Iraqi officials twice, and we passed details that should have made it easy to find Zarqawi. The network remains in Baghdad. Zarqawi still remains at large to come and go."

In discrediting the war, the Democrats have pushed the idea that neither dangerous weapons nor terrorist networks existed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. How do they explain that terrorists Hussein harbored are beheading American civilians and trying to kill American soldiers with poisons he spread?

Mavdog
05-18-2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by: dude1394
Pretty damn sad isn't it. We have to actually HOPE we will find WMD to shut up the incessant whining of the left-wing of the country. Pretty disgusting. If the democrats were a serious party we could all hope that none were found and chalk it up to a big mistake of intelligence.

yeah, it's "pretty disgusting" that the critics have an "incessant whining" about the primary justification for attacking a country, for the loss of life to both Iraq and America, being just "a big mistake of intelligence". Is that a big "Whoops, guess we were wrong" by the WH? memo to the WH: there are no "do overs" when it comes to war.

One thing correctly said is that the invasion was "a big mistake of intelligence", but not of the spook variety...

Mavdog
05-18-2004, 10:45 AM
Sarin Nerve Agent Bomb Explodes in Iraq
Tue May 18, 8:22 AM ET Add Top Stories - AP to My Yahoo!
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, Associated Press Writer

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. soldiers found a roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent in Baghdad, the military said Monday. The device, which partially detonated, was apparently a leftover from Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s arsenals. It was unclear whether more such weapons were in the hands of insurgents.

Soldiers who removed the bomb experienced symptoms consistent with low-level nerve agent exposure, U.S. officials said. No one was wounded in the partial blast Saturday, and the dispersal of sarin from the bomb was very limited, the military said.

If confirmed in subsequent testing, the discovery would be the first evidence of a banned weapon in Iraq (news - web sites) since the war began. The Bush administration based its case for the war on the existence of such weapons.

Earlier this month, some trace residue of mustard agent, an older type of chemical weapon, was detected in an artillery shell found in a Baghdad street, a U.S. official said Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The shell was believed to be from one of Saddam's old stockpiles and was not regarded as evidence of recent weapons of mass destruction production in Iraq.

In Washington, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld cautioned that the sarin results were from a field test, which can be imperfect and more analysis needed to be done.

"We have to be careful," he told an audience in Washington Monday afternoon. Rumsfeld said it many take some time to determine precisely what the chemical was, what its presence means in terms of risks to U.S. forces and other implications.

U.S. troops have announced the discovery of other chemical weapons before, only to see them disproved by later tests. Deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said "the jury is still out" on whether chemical or other weapons of mass destruction remained in Iraq.

The former top U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, David Kay, said it was possible the shell was an old relic overlooked when Saddam said he had destroyed such weapons in the mid-1990s.

Kay, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, said he doubted the shell or the nerve agent came from a hidden stockpile, although he didn't rule out that possibility.

Former U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix, speaking to the AP in Sweden, agreed the shell was likely a stray weapon scavenged from a dump and did not signify that Iraq had large stockpiles.

Numerous arsenals and weapons depots were looted in the turmoil following the collapse of the regime last April. Some depots are still only lightly guarded. Many of the materials used for roadside bombs were believed to have been looted.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said he believed that insurgents who planted the explosive did not know it contained the nerve agent. The 155-mm shell did not have markings to indicate it contained a chemical agent, a U.S. official said.

He said a U.S. military convoy discovered the round, which had been rigged as an explosive device. A detonation took place before soldiers could make the bomb inoperable, producing "a very small dispersal of agent."

U.S. officials believe, based on evidence, that the shell was an experimental munition produced before the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites), called a binary type — a bomb carrying two separate chemicals that when combined in an explosion, produce sarin.

Dispersal would be far more effective if a shell containing nerve agent were fired from an artillery piece, Kimmitt said.

Even so, it appears that two components in the shell that exploded Saturday did not properly mix upon detonation, the U.S. official said.

Blix, whose inspection team didn't make any significant weapons finds during months of searching Iraq before the war, said he and his team found 16 warheads that were tagged as used for containing sarin but were empty.

Saddam's government had disclosed binary sarin testing and production after the 1995 defection of Iraqi weapons chief Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid, Saddam's son-in-law. But Saddam's government never declared that any sarin or sarin-filled shells still remained.

Iraq used the chemical during its war with Iran in the 1980s and is believed to have used it against Kurdish Iraqi civilians. According to U.N. weapons inspectors, sarin-type agents constituted a significant part of Iraq's chemical weapons arsenal — about 20 percent of all chemical weapons agents that Saddam's government declared it had produced.

Nerve gases inhibit key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. In large enough doses, sarin causes convulsions, paralysis, loss of consciousness and potentially fatal respiratory failure. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.

In 1995, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult unleashed sarin gas in Tokyo's subways, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. In February of this year, Japanese courts convicted the cult's former leader, Shoko Asahara, and sentenced him to be executed.

Developed in the mid-1930s by Nazi scientists, a single drop of sarin can cause quick, agonizing choking death. There are no known instances of the Nazis actually using the gas, but that didn't stop other nations from stocking it.

While the finding an artillery shell designed to disperse the nerve gas sarin is notable, it would take an arsenal of such weapons to pose a meaningful military threat, arms policy experts said.

"You would fire hundreds of these shells on the battlefield to have any significant effect," said Jonathan B. Tucker, a senior researcher at the Monterey Institute's Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington.

In that way "you try to saturate an area" containing enemy troops, said Michael Powers, a senior fellow at the Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute in Washington.

U.S. military officials in Baghdad said the Iraq Survey Group, a U.S.-led organization whose task was to search for weapons of mass destruction after the ouster of Saddam, confirmed the presence of sarin.

The team has run into a number of dead ends. In January, for example, field tests on discovered mortar shells near Qurnah in southern Iraq indicated a blister agent was in the shells. But follow-up tests indicated that the munitions did not contain the agents, though U.S. officials said Saddam had such agents in the early to mid-1990s.

Officials say there are chemicals associated with certain munitions, such as phosphorous, that can produce false positives. Some field tests are designed to favor a positive reading, erring on the side of caution to protect soldiers.

dude1394
05-18-2004, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by: Mavdog

Originally posted by: dude1394
Pretty damn sad isn't it. We have to actually HOPE we will find WMD to shut up the incessant whining of the left-wing of the country. Pretty disgusting. If the democrats were a serious party we could all hope that none were found and chalk it up to a big mistake of intelligence.

yeah, it's "pretty disgusting" that the critics have an "incessant whining" about the primary justification for attacking a country, for the loss of life to both Iraq and America, being just "a big mistake of intelligence". Is that a big "Whoops, guess we were wrong" by the WH? memo to the WH: there are no "do overs" when it comes to war.

One thing correctly said is that the invasion was "a big mistake of intelligence", but not of the spook variety...

No sir. What is disgusting is that the left can honestly engage in revisionist history and because the msm also is willing to do just about anything to defeat the president they are called idiots and dismissed out of hand.

Name one world leader who said that Sadaam didn't have wmd? France...nope, germany...nope, clinton....nope, kerry....nope, hillary.....nope. Michael Moore, Al Franken...yup.

Mavdog
05-18-2004, 09:00 PM
Originally posted by: dude1394
No sir. What is disgusting is that the left can honestly engage in revisionist history and because the msm also is willing to do just about anything to defeat the president they are called idiots and dismissed out of hand.

Name one world leader who said that Sadaam didn't have wmd? France...nope, germany...nope, clinton....nope, kerry....nope, hillary.....nope. Michael Moore, Al Franken...yup.


name one world leader who said that Saddam must be attacked at once because he had WMD? oh, that's right, that list only had GWBush's name on it.

dude1394
05-18-2004, 09:27 PM
Let's take a little trip down memory lane. UN Security council resolution 1441. Here's a relevant snippet.

"Recognizing the threat Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles pose to internation peace and security."

"Deploring the fact that Iraq has not provided an accurate, full, final, and complete disclosures....of all aspects of its programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles...."

"Recalling that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein...."

1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions...
3. Decides that, in order to begin to comply with its disarmament obligations, .....the government of Iraq shall provide UNMOVIC, the IAEA and the Council, not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution, a currently accurate, full, and COMPLETE declration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems ....
4. Decides that false statements or omissions....shall constitute a further materail breach...

UNANIMOUS SIGNATURES FROM THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL.

dude1394
05-18-2004, 10:09 PM
So a Sarin-infected device is exploded in Iraq, and across the border in Jordan the authorities say that nerve and gas weapons have been discovered for use against them by the followers of Zarqawi, who was in Baghdad well before the invasion. Where, one idly inquires, did these toys come from? No, it couldn't be. …

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship.