Thursday, June 22, 2006

WMD Found In Iraq, More Likely To Be Uncovered!

(Via Memeorandum)

Fox News reports Hundreds of WMD's Found In Iraq:

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."

I highly suspect that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Large portions of the report have yet to be declassified and may contain a wealth of additional information.

Let's hope additional declassification of the report occurs and we can finally put this contentious issue to bed once and for all. I've always maintained the weapons were either yet to be discovered or had been moved into another country, most likely Syria.

Additional declassification of the report may also reveal exactly why the Bush Administration decided to back away from the WMD claim and cite faulty intelligence as a reason they were not found. While the intelligence may have indeed been lacking, I've never been of the opinion that all of it was wrong. There's more to the story and I'd be willing to bet the answer is somewhere in the report.

There's no doubt Saddam had, and in fact used WMD in the past. So the question is not if he had them, but where they went. Hopefully we'll find out more that may finally answer these questions.

Of course the argument will be that these weapons aren't relevant because they were manufactured pre-1991, but that misses the entire point. If nothing else, this disclosure proves that Saddam never met the terms of the 1991cease-fire agreement which "included a demand that Iraq unconditionally accept the destruction and elimi-nation of all of its WMD, and that it unconditionally undertake not to use, develop or acquire any items relevant to WMD."

If you are of the mindset, which I am not, that the sole reason for invading Iraq was the threat of WMD, then the invasion has now been proven to have been justified based on WMD alone. Saddam could have stopped it at any time by simply meeting the terms of the cease-fire he agreed to in 1991.

The bottom line is this: It doesn't really matter whether the weapons that have been found since 2003 are still functional or when they were produced. What matters is that they were never eliminated in the first place.

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