Pentagon withheld information about decades-old chemical weapons during Iraq War, report claims

Well, well, well.

American troops were exposed to chemical weapons multiple times in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, while the Pentagon kept their discoveries of the expired or degraded weapons secret from investigators, fellow soldiers, and military doctors, according to a published report.

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that American troops reported finding approximately 5,000 chemical warheads, shells, or aviation bombs in the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. On at least six occasions, soldiers were wounded by those weapons, which had been manufactured before 1991. In all, the paper reported that 17 U.S. soldiers and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to chemical agents during the war. The U.S. government said its number was slightly higher, but did not release a specific figure.

This is true. If one reads the NY Times story though, I’m under the impression that while there has/had been found a large stockpile of chemical weapons, a lot of them were built pre-1990 so these that were largely found it would seem were not part of an active program to make chemical weapons. However, that said, they would still constitute a large supply of WMDs.

It will be interesting to follow the commentary and see how this story develops.

Huffington Post: ISIS likely captured Iraqi Chemical Weapons NY Times Confirms.

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons (the original story)

Iraq Chemical Weapons Harmed U.S. Troops

So having been told ad nauseum there were no WMD we are now told there is a problem with these non-existent WMDs falling into the hands of ISIS. I wonder how long it will take all the “Bush lied, people died” people to apologize to President Bush?

This has a stink to it. If there were WMD, then why didn’t President Bush say so? It was hidden from him? I doubt it.

It does has a stink to it. After 12 years of ceaseless criticism we find out Bush was right all along. Now we see the NYT and the usual suspects desperately trying to spin this into somehow being Bush’s fault.

Because, I’ll tell you why, because it’s early in this news story. Always trying to be honest, it looks like so far as I wrote in my post above, these are “pre-1990” weapons of mass destruction. One news outlet spun it that these were weapons, the US may have helped them develop or something like that. We will see.

Note the headline "decades-old chemical weapons ", so some of these might have been from 1986 or something.

I have known since the war that we discovered WMDs it was reported but not by the Liberal Media. When I told people that chemical weapons were found they said that it couldn’t be true because it was never reported on. :mad:

Surprised? Not.

updated 7/5/2008 6:57:12 PM ET

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

And there was this too.

Remember one of the big reasons we went to war was to destroy Iraq’s ability to produce WMDs. It’s well known that Iraq had that capability before the first Iraqi War, so I don’t see the revelation that a stockpile of WDMs produced prior to the Iraqi War was found. Anyway where is the conspiracy by the media to cover this up when the US Military, whom Bush was the Commander and Chief of, suppressed the information? Especially when it’s the NY Times that broke the story, I’ve never seen the Times included in the Pantheon of “conservative” news sources.

Actually, no. In the end, Bush himself said that there were no WMD in Iraq. He and his administration didn’t sell the war on some neglected, degraded, and forgotten pile of junk from the 80s.

President Bush didn’t claim after the war that they found a stockpile of weapons … I don’t know for sure, but this seems to read like they found some cruddy old stuff while cleaning out the back of the shed after Uncle Joe passed away than any real weapons that were an eminent threat to the US and worth going to war over.

As posted above, they found 250 metric tonnes of Yellow Cake to develop Nukes, however much it was and these stockpiles hurt soldiers. So this is no small deal. I won’t judge this prematurely.

However this goes, this isn’t a small cache of weapons.

The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

So we need to see how this pans out.

President Bush lost A LOT of political capital by not publicizing this, so it just doesn’t add up at this point. I’ll wait and see as well.

The yellowcake is ancient history. The whole world knew not only that it was there but that it was supposed to be there. It was itemized and stored in sealed containers in a secure facility and had been monitored all by the IAEA for over 10 years before the United States, in its infinite wisdom, dropped a bomb on the facility and allowed Iraqis to loot it after we toppled Saddam.

I think we all need to wait and see. But another cache of them was destroyed by the Brits two summers ago at the request of the Iraqi government. It’s entirely possible that we really didn’t know where they were. Certainly Saddam had good reason to keep them hidden. Possibly they were still useable in 2003, or maybe Saddam thought they were.

Regardless, ISIS got chemical agents from somewhere. From where? Did they find some that were still good? Did they steal them from Assad? Did they fire up one of Saddam’s old plants and produce their own?

My impression is that most of Iraq is trackless desert where nobody goes. I still suspect that somewhere out there are buried all kinds of things we don’t know about today. It was Saddam’s practice, when he hid things, to kill the people who hid them for him.

Saddam had it just the same, and IAEA or no IAEA, it was rightly worrisome.

Not at all. Saddam’s regime didn’t have the will, technological know-how, or capability to do anything with it. Though I find it absolutely mind boggling that some people view the secure and strictly monitored condition of the yellowcake to be more “worrisome” than bombing the facility and allowing people to loot it. We’re lucky they chose to dump the yellowcake on the floor and just take the containers.

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