Yes, you’ve heard it: “Bush Lied, People Died!” Right? Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, correct?
I’ll skip over the obvious fact that, prior to Bush 43 taking office, people like Bill Clinton were claiming that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons caches. And I’ll step over the obvious point about Iraq kicking-out weapons inspectors, twelve years and twelve UN Security Council resolutions, and the regular clap-trap that all points to Iraq and Saddam Hussein CLEARLY wanting to preserve their WMD programs. I’ll also not mention how the ISG (Iraq Survey Group) report indicated that Saddam Hussein not only continued to forward WMD research post-1991 (they were forced to admit that they were trying to weaponize VX gas), but could reconstitute a huge portion of the WMD production facilities in a matter of days to weeks.
Nope. I won’t go there.
I’ll just rely on the most recently revealed evidence of WMDs – and WMD-related evidence – revealed from government sources.
A brief overview of how all this started: The US attacked Iraq in 1991, because they invaded our ally Kuwait. Iraq was forced to sign a cease-fire agreement; one of the stipulations being that Iraq dismantle all chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons facilities. There were also certain limitations that were placed on land-based missiles (under a 90-mile range).
Of course, Iraq violated the 1991 cease-fire agreement fifty ways from Sunday. However, that’s unimportant to most liberals.
First, there’s an accounting of some of the “sticking points” to the UN weapons inspectors tally of prohibited stores that Iraq had not destroyed:
In the 5 January 1999 Compendium, UNSCOM assessed that Iraq had not adequately accounted for 550 mustard-filled artillery rounds it claimed to have lost.This issue first surfaced in 1996 because of discrepancies in Iraq’s accounting of weapons holdings, and was investigated but not resolved by UNSCOM (see the January 1999 UN compendium for details). ISG conducted extensive interviews with high- and mid-level Iraqi officials to determine the final disposition of the 550 mustard-filled rounds—which would be highly toxic, even now—cited by the UN as an unresolved disarmament issue, and found inconsistencies in the story among witting high-level officials. Most officials recounted the story of accidental destruction in a fire in Karbala, reporting provided to the UN after Iraq’s investigation of this issue prior to 1998, while the former MIC director, Huwaysh, claims the rounds were retained for future use.
- In a 7 August 2003 debriefing, Huwaysh said that as of early 2003, all 550 mustard rounds were kept by the SRG at Suwayrah, probably the former location of the II RG Corps Headquarters, just north of the Shaykh-Mazar ammunition depot.
- According to Huwaysh, the matter was discussed by the Higher Committee on Monitoring Inspections and a decision was made to declare the shells, which was done just prior to OIF.
- Amir Rashid admitted that the Higher Committee discussed the shells in February or March 2003. Rashid said the discussion focused on the connection between the burned mustard shells at the Fallujah proving ground and other shells that reportedly burned on a trailer near Karbala after the 1991 Gulf War.
Of course, we later learned that:
Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.
Gee, only 50 off. Whoops.
This accounting was also reiterated in the now famous Santorum / Negroponte memo that was roundly criticized as “propaganda” by Bush critics. But, according to a CIA report issued in 2004, this was in fact true.
But that’s not all. Remember in the run-up to the war, how Saddam relented and granted access to UN weapons inspectors again? Well, from October 2002 to the date of the invasion, weapons inspectors were destroying prohibited items within Iraq (according to actual UN technical documents):
In October 2002, lraq declared the existence of 10 mustard-filled munitions at the former Muthanna chemical weapons facility. UNMOVIC was previously aware of the I0 155-mm mustard-filled artillery projectiles remaining from uncompleted Special Commission operations. During operations in mid-February 2003, UNMOVIC inspectors used remote-controlled drilling equipment to both sample and evacuate the contents of the projectiles. Laboratory analysis of the samples confirmed the contents as high-purity mustard. Both the mustard and the projectileswere destroyed in subsequent operations.
Eighteen 122-mm rocket warheads designed for use with chemical agents were either declared by Iraq in January 2003 or were discovered by UNMOVIC inspectors. The munitions included four Firos warheads declared by Iraq and 13 Sakr-18 warheads and one Al-Buraq warhead discovered by UNMOVIC inspectors. All of the warheads were examined and no indication of prohibited chemicals was found.
In February 2003, Iraq invited UNMOVIC to witness the excavation of the remains of R-400 series bombs that had been unilaterally destroyed. Eight intact R-400 bombs were recovered, together with components from 96 additional bombs of the same type. As noted in earlier reports to the Security Council, subsequent laboratory analysis of liquid samples collected by UNMOVIC from two of the intact bombs revealed evidence of fragments of the DNA of Bacillus anthracis and of the chemical compounds Iraq used to neutralize the biological agent.
Some of this was echoed in a report by Has Blix, in March 2003 (around the time we invaded):
There is a significant Iraqi effort underway to clarify a major source of uncertainty as to the quantities of biological and chemical weapons, which were unilaterally destroyed in 1991. A part of this effort concerns a disposal site, which was deemed too dangerous for full investigation in the past. It is now being re-excavated. To date, Iraq has unearthed eight complete bombs comprising two liquid-filled intact R-400 bombs and six other complete bombs. Bomb fragments were also found. Samples have been taken. The investigation of the destruction site could, in the best case, allow the determination of the number of bombs destroyed at that site. It should be followed by a serious and credible effort to determine the separate issue of how many R-400 type bombs were produced. In this, as in other matters, inspection work is moving on and may yield results.
So, from 2001 and on, Iraq KNOWINGLY had WMDs and WMD infrastructure in place.
But wait, there’s more.
That 2004 report from the CIA also turned up a bunch of interesting stuff as it concerns Iraq’s attempt to bypass sanctions, and smuggle in WMD-related items. The most intresting of these violations were highlighted:
2002—French Company Carbone Lorraine Supplied the MIC with Chemical Warfare Raw Materials
As of August 2002 the former Iraqi Regime and the French company Carbone Lorraine had been cooperating for many years in the procurement of high-tech industrial equipment, some of which had WMD applications.
2002—Procurement of CBW Protective Equipment
A Turkish firm sold and transferred atropine autoinjectors to the Iraqi government starting in August 2002. The company also provided coordination in response to Iraqi requests for chemical protective equipment, unspecified laboratory chemicals and biological growth media.
Even the New York Times, as late as November 2002, reported on the suspicious Turkish transaction:
Iraq has ordered, mainly from a Turkish company, a million doses of the drug, atropine, and the 7-inch autoinjectors that inject it into a person’s leg, the officials said.
It is not clear how much, if any, of the drug has actually been delivered.
Atropine is highly effective at blocking such nerve agents as sarin and VX, both of which Iraq has acknowledged having made and stockpiled. Iraq claims to have destroyed those stockpiles, but American intelligence agencies doubt it has done so.
One official said Iraq had also placed orders for another antidote for chemical weapons, obidoxime chloride.
Officials said hospitals and clinics around the world commonly stocked atropine to resuscitate patients who have had heart attacks. As a result, atropine was not included on a list of thousands of ”dual use” items that the United Nations Security Council members drafted in May that inspectors must review more carefully before they can be sold to Iraq.
The bulk purchases of autoinjectors and atropine, however, have raised concerns among chemical weapons experts, intelligence analysts and senior White House officials, who argue that atropine to counter heart attacks is normally given intravenously and in much smaller doses. Obidoxime chloride is not used at all for that purpose, one expert said.
For hospital use, atropine is delivered in a conventional IV drip bag, not an autoinjector. Plus, as the New York Times article points out, atropine was not a prohibited item under UN sanctions. So, there was no need to “cannibalize” autoinjectors for the drug. There is clearly only one specific use for these items.
Of course, it’s not surprising to me that the author of the aforementioned article was Judith Miller. If you’ll remember, she was discharged from her duties at the New York Times because she had become “too comfortable” with the Bush administration.
What I’ve cited here is just the tip of the iceberg. There is loads of documentation that shows that, indeed, WMDs did exist in Iraq during the run-up to the Iraq War, and were discovered after the war was over.
So the liberals lied, and they continue to lie.
This entry can also be found on the Liberal Myths page.