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Turf war keeping lid on evidence of WMD in Iraq?
Houston Chronicle ^ | June 24, 2006, 9:07PM | By KATHLEEN PARKER

Posted on 06/25/2006 10:41:00 AM PDT by april15Bendovr

Turf war keeping lid on evidence of WMD in Iraq? By KATHLEEN PARKER

If you thought Democrats and Republicans were politically divided over the war in Iraq, you haven't seen anything yet. The real battle apparently is being waged under the radar between the White House, the intelligence community and Congress. ADVERTISEMENT

At the center of the current skirmish is a newly unclassified document released last Wednesday that seems to confirm evidence of WMD in Saddam's Iraq, including both degraded and possibly lethal chemical agents.

According to the document, coalition forces have recovered some 500 weapons munitions since 2003 that contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agents. Other key points are that these chemical agents could be used outside Iraq and that "most likely munitions remaining are sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles."

Which is to say, we don't know what other stores may remain, or where they are, or who else may know about them.

Most significant, perhaps, is the assertion that while agents degrade over time, "chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," according to the released document.

In other words, the word "degraded" doesn't necessarily mean "nothing to worry about." Moreover, Wednesday's document is but a small piece of a much larger document that remains classified and that Republican insiders consider "very significant."

The unclassified document was released Wednesday by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., to thin fanfare and much speculation. Why are we hearing about these findings only now? Why is the White House so quiet about them?

Those questions have had congressional offices buzzing the past couple of days, while theories have offered little comfort or clarity.

To answer the first question, we might not be hearing about the document at all if not for the persistent hammering by Santorum, who has spent more than two months hounding intelligence officials to declassify them.

Santorum heard about the documents from an unnamed source and sought the help of Hoekstra, who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

One would imagine that, given the importance of WMD, the White House would be happy to spread the news. Instead, all has been relatively quiet on the presidential front. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley commented Thursday only that the document "is what it is."

"It's really all we can say about it. And I think people are going to have to draw their own conclusions. But the bottom line is, 500 chemical munitions in Iraq, and obviously we're concerned about the potential threat they pose to Iraqis and to our forces."

Later in the day, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld confirmed during a press conference that the reports are accurate. "They are weapons of mass destruction ... and it shows Saddam Hussein did not declare all his weapons," he said.

Santorum and Hoekstra promise to keep pushing for more details from this document, as well as other captured Iraqi data, media and maps from Saddam Hussein's regime.

The document that Santorum and Hoekstra circulated makes clear that these are pre-Gulf War munitions. Thus, they were not necessarily part of an ongoing WMD program. On the other hand, old chemical programs can be reinstituted relatively easily where remnants remain.

If the White House and the Republican congressional leaders can't agree on what constitutes evidence of WMD, what's a divided America to think?

Conventional wisdom on the Republican side of the Hill is that something isn't quite kosher at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The White House response — companion to "staying the course" — is that the president "never looks back." He is, they say, "forward-looking."

Translated, President George W. Bush doesn't have to explain himself, especially if new evidence suggests he was right all along. Other theories tilt toward the CYA school of thought — that American intelligence would prefer to keep such documents under wraps to hide yet more intelligence failures.

In a June 5 letter to John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence, Santorum urged that these materials be released and hinted that territorial politics seemed to be taking precedence over national security. He wrote:

"While some of this information had been defined as 'For Official Use Only,' my staff has learned that many of the captured Iraqi documents have been reclassified and are not to be released until each classified section 'owned' by an agency has been reviewed and cleared for release."

Only a few with security clearance, Santorum among them, know what is in these various documents. Given the importance of what is suggested here, one can only wonder why the president resists declassifying what can only help the current debate about how to proceed in Iraq.

A new and improved White House maxim might go something like this: Sometimes one has to look back in order to go forward.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cia; harmony; hoekstra; iraqdocs; iraqiwmd; iraqiwmds; iraqwmd; negroponte; prewarintel; projectharmony; santorum

1 posted on 06/25/2006 10:41:03 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: All
Sorry I didn't delete the advertisement folks.
2 posted on 06/25/2006 10:43:24 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: april15Bendovr

Actually, the maxim is , Look in the direction you want to
throw your opponent.


3 posted on 06/25/2006 10:44:36 AM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: april15Bendovr

Actually, the term "degraded" means not as potent but more dangerous to those employing the weapons.


4 posted on 06/25/2006 10:46:49 AM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
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To: april15Bendovr

Makes you wonder if there are major WMD discoverys that simply cannnot be made public for tipping off the terrorists on where to look too.

Could you imagine the frustration of that scenario for the administration?


5 posted on 06/25/2006 10:47:39 AM PDT by Names Ash Housewares
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To: tet68
Ya exactly why haven't journalists and Democrats done their own homework. They would rather attack their own country and help the enemy with their propaganda.
6 posted on 06/25/2006 10:47:49 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: april15Bendovr

This is so old news. Over a year and half ago the military reported finding 300 shells that had contained sarin & other chemical traces. We knew back before the war even started that large convoys had gone to where most of the WMD were located and moved stuff to Syria. The military reported one what was left behind, which indicated WMD.

Remember, most of the US population is illiterate, and gets there view from rumers, TV, newspaper head lines(the same thing).


7 posted on 06/25/2006 10:48:26 AM PDT by stubernx98 (cranky, but reasonable)
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To: april15Bendovr

I'm sure the battle behind the scenes is ugly but it is time the President orders the release of all we have on the WMDs.
It is time to pull the rug out from under the Cowardcrats.


8 posted on 06/25/2006 10:49:09 AM PDT by Ma3lst0rm (The truth exists and will make itself known whether we support it or not.)
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To: april15Bendovr
Why is the White House so quiet about them? ... One would imagine that, given the importance of WMD, the White House would be happy to spread the news.

This is what I have been asking from the beginning.

I haven't really been following the story. Things just didn't add up.

Our front man for the story is not in the White House, Pentagon or the CIA. It is a man who is in the toughest re-election fight of the year.

I thought, "If this story is true, why is the White House not talking about it?"

9 posted on 06/25/2006 10:49:16 AM PDT by Mr. Brightside
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To: april15Bendovr
In other words, the word "degraded" doesn't necessarily mean "nothing to worry about."

You've got that right. Here in MD, we have Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood Arsenal, and Fort Detrick. Let some 'degraded' chemical or biological material get out and see what happens. The same people downplaying 'degraded' chemical weapons are among the first to claim depleted uranium munitions are dangerous.

Bin Laden has been in hiding since 2001. If we don't find him within the next few years, will the Left consider him 'degraded' and no longer a threat?

10 posted on 06/25/2006 10:52:04 AM PDT by edpc
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To: stubernx98

It doesn't matter how old the news is. It needs to be kept in the news so that the political disengaged can continue to hear that WMDs were indeed found. Too many form opinions based upon catch phrases they pick up in the background. The only way you reach these types is to make sure that your views are there in the background too otherwise you the leftist MSM creates what is considered "common knowledge" to laypeople.


11 posted on 06/25/2006 10:53:11 AM PDT by Ma3lst0rm (The truth exists and will make itself known whether we support it or not.)
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To: april15Bendovr

INTELLIGENCE: Why Iraq WMD Finds Were Kept Secret

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1654974/posts


12 posted on 06/25/2006 10:53:41 AM PDT by LowOiL ("I am neither . I am a Christocrat" -Benjamin Rush)
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To: stubernx98
Try telling that liberals and the drive by media that cant get past the Duelfer Report and what UNSCOM weapons inspectors have stated.
13 posted on 06/25/2006 10:55:46 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: LowOiL

Thanks for the link


14 posted on 06/25/2006 10:57:18 AM PDT by april15Bendovr
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To: Mr. Brightside
<>"...why is the White House not talking about it?"

It could be for a number of reasons:

1. The White House has been beaten up repeatedly by the press/Democrats and doesn't want to revisit the argument;
2. The White House has actual intelligence that at least 'some' of the WMD was transported to/by 'friendly' nations (France, Russia) and doesn't want to embarrass them;
3. It's true that outing these documents may embarrass our intelligence community even further and the White House doesn't want to go through this before an election;
4. The White House isn't against the outing of this information; they'd just rather see it handled by someone other than the administration.

Those are my guesses. I'm sure others have different opinions.

15 posted on 06/25/2006 11:01:13 AM PDT by bcsco (KOs = KOincidence of KOmmie KOrruption!)
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To: edpc

These liberals never have considered OBL a threat to begin with. They find conservatives the one and only enemy to their words of mass deception.


16 posted on 06/25/2006 11:02:20 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: edpc
YOu got that right, Here in Alabama (Anniston) there is a old WW2 era weapons disposal factory that has had the libs going full nuts about. If these Iraq weapons are not WMD, you sure couldn't tell it here, they call them WMD and they are much much older stuff...


Here's a link to your article:

Not Iraq, but Anniston, Ala.

17 posted on 06/25/2006 11:05:42 AM PDT by LowOiL ("I am neither . I am a Christocrat" -Benjamin Rush)
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To: april15Bendovr

The issue isn't whether the weapons have been degraded. The issue is, and remains, that they were indeed stockpiled, and the Saddam government did indeed hide them from inspectors, and did indeed refuse to hand them over.

Thats what we said from the beginning.

Saddam's generals all expected these weapons to be used, and were suprprised that they were not. That means they existed, and now we have at least some of them.

Are there more?

Its a big desert out there.


18 posted on 06/25/2006 11:05:43 AM PDT by marron
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To: april15Bendovr
They would rather attack their own country and help the enemy with their propaganda.

The left likes to say stuff like, 'just because we disagree with Bush, you call us traitors and that is wrong'. No it is not. IF you have the Freedom to act like a traitor, then I should have the Freedom to call you a traitor.

I don't like to call people a traitor without a reason. I've posted this before, but this is my reason for calling them traitors:

Our Troops in Iraq are trying to build a relationship with the Iraqi people. We are asking the Iraqi people to be Police and Soldiers. We are asking the Iraqi people to Govern their own nation. We are asking the Iraqi people to show us where the bad guys are. Then Hack Murtha, Coward Dean, and a mess of other commie traitors stand up and yell, 'we need to pull out of Iraq!!! YEEEEHAAAAW!!!!'.

Well this makes the Iraqi Government, the Iraqi Police, the Iraqi Soldiers, and especially the Iraqi people who would like to show us where the bad guys are think twice about helping our Troops. Now, let's not forget that the terrorist threaten the Iraqi people by saying, 'if you work with the US we will kill your family'. Then when we ask the Iraqi people to help and the Iraqi people are hearing our politicians back home yelling, 'we need to pull out'. Who would you work with if you were in that situation?

The Iraqi people know that Al Quada in Iraq are not talking about pulling out. We all know that a US early withdraw is exactly what the terrorist in Iraq want. All good people know that if we withdraw now the terrorist will survive. And it don't take an genius to figure that out. Because of Murtha and Dean's words and actions, the Iraqi people will think twice about helping our Troops. The words of Murtha hurts our cause and helps the terrorist. That is treason. Therefore, Demorats like Kerry, Kennedy, Dean, and Murtha are traitors.

I said it once and I'll say it again: if you have the damn freedom to act like a traitor, then by my inalienable right I can call you a frickin' traitor!

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.


19 posted on 06/25/2006 11:08:00 AM PDT by do the dhue (I hope y'all will help bail me out of jail after I dot Scarry Belefonte's eyes.)
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To: april15Bendovr
And another thing:

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/05/13/sprj.irq.mobile.lab/
above - mobile Bio weapons lab found CNN

We found mobile labs. We found a mess of WMDs. See below:
http://www.humaneventsonline.com/sarticle.php?id=10101&o=DIB004
above: every American should read the above book by: Richard Miniter. This is only a partial list of the deadly weapons Richard Miniter reveals in his new book, Disinformation. Miniter systematically dissects the "No-WMD Myth" (how it started, and why it continues), as well as 21 other War-on-Terror myths perpetuated by the media.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/07/07/iraq.nuclear/

above - 1.77 metric tons of uranium and 1000 and 1,000 "highly radioactive sources" CNN

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3872201.stm

above - 1.77 metric tons of uranium and 1000 and 1,000 "highly radioactive sources" BBC

http://www.mensnewsdaily.com/archive/m-n/mariani/2004/mariani052804.htm
above - mortor shell sarin gas

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120137,00.html
above - Roadside Bomb and Mustard gas found FOXNews

http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1078&dept_id=151021&newsid=12185667&PAG=461&rfi=9
above - WMDs Found in Iraq Consisted of Cyclosarin By MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writer ©Indiana Printing & Publishing Co.


http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040624-112920-5897r.htm
above - Iraqi insurgents seek Saddam's chemical arms Washington Times (if the insurgents seek them, then they may know that they are present while are press seems to be naive about it - me). and here is more related to this concern: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=39158



http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0306/25/se.04.html
above - CNN has learned that the Central Intelligence Agency has in its hands the critical parts of a key piece of Iraqi nuclear technology CNN

http://www.cia.gov/cia/public_affairs/speeches/2003/david_kay_10022003.html
above - I think this is a good read for all Americans

http://www.iaea.org/worldatom/Programmes/ActionTeam/nwp2.html
above: 27 December 2002, IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)

http://www.kentimmerman.com/2004_04_25syria.htm
above - more interesting reading and here is more from Timmerman: http://www.kentimmerman.com/2004_04_25wmd.htm


http://www.deanesmay.com/archives/005965.html
above - a good essay

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/13/115752.shtml?s=lh
Saddam's ambitions are clear


But the final report is this:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-10-06-wmd_x.htm
20 posted on 06/25/2006 11:09:27 AM PDT by do the dhue (I hope y'all will help bail me out of jail after I dot Scarry Reid's eyes.)
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To: LowOiL
Quote for the article above that I linked...

Anniston is a vivid reminder that the weapons of mass destruction from the 20th century were a lot easier to make than they are to destroy.

21 posted on 06/25/2006 11:09:43 AM PDT by LowOiL ("I am neither . I am a Christocrat" -Benjamin Rush)
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To: LowOiL

Also, I am not sure of the specific munitions found in Iraq. I would think if they were the binary type of shells, the chemicals are kept separate and would not be subjected to the same type of degredation over time. Storage and handling were one of the reasons they were designed that way.


22 posted on 06/25/2006 11:15:49 AM PDT by edpc
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To: april15Bendovr

Republicans and patriotic Americans are fighting a war on terror. The Democrats are fighting a war to regain power against Republicans.

Nothing is too dirty in the democrats war.


23 posted on 06/25/2006 11:38:59 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: april15Bendovr
I have been saying the same thing here on FR for over two years. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Or the top of a mountain of WMD that may still be hidden in Iraq.

I heard Congressman Curt Weldon on Michael Savage this week. He said that most of Saddam's WMD were smuggled to Syria with the help of Russia. He also said Santorum is trying to declassify secret reports that show four storage sites for WMD in Iraq. Investigators confirmed WMD had been (or are currently) hidden there. But Rumsfeld ordered the weapons investigators out of the country. In the meantime, the White House has classified all reports about Iraqi WMD. Read About 150 News Reports Here

What the heck is going on in D.C.? Is the White House concerned about the truth coming out? Russia most certainly is not our friend. By hiding Iraq's WMD in Syria, Putin sought to cause President Bush great political harm. It is time to call a spade a spade. Americans need to wake up from sleeping in front of their television sets. Time to smell the coffee. The world is a very dangerous place.

24 posted on 06/25/2006 12:35:09 PM PDT by ex-Texan (Matthew 7:1 through 6)
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To: edpc
Also, I am not sure of the specific munitions found in Iraq. I would think if they were the binary type of shells, the chemicals are kept separate and would not be subjected to the same type of degredation over time. Storage and handling were one of the reasons they were designed that way.

Saddam stopped making the old gas shells before 1991 ( 1st Gulf War )...
Iraq had started implementing the binary type of shell you refer to by then..

During Desert Storm, millions of tons of "pesticide" were discovered, and a lot was simply dumped into the Euphrates river, before Allied troops got to it..
Most Nerve Gas Agents are simply pesticide.. ( Chemical 1 ) and a chemical "booster" ( chemical 2 ) which make up the ingredients in a binary shell..

Because pesticide has an agricultural use, the media and the left discounted it's existence as proof of WMD's..
The Bush gov let them get away with it..
God only knows why..

Every drop of that pesticide was Nerve Agent in my opinion..
Saddam sure as H**l wasn't using it to feed his people..

25 posted on 06/25/2006 1:00:55 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom... Not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: Mr. Brightside
I thought, "If this story is true, why is the White House not talking about it?"

Well, we do know that keeping the lid on this story does NOT help the president politically, so the reason must be to protect national security. I find it refreshing that someone in D.C. is putting national security above his own political reputation, and I do not need to know the details if that information would somehow help our enemies.

26 posted on 06/25/2006 1:05:07 PM PDT by alnick
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

I wonder how the naysayers can say that the "old" wmds are not dangerous simply because they're slightly older than weapons manufactured a few years later constituting a new wmd program. There is no info on the date of the manufacture of the discovered weapons. But we do know that degraded means not at one hundred percent potency. But since mustard gas degrades slowly, a slightly degraded canister can be very lethal ...as farmers in Europe are still finding out. More info is needed, but new or old, these are wmds made by Hussein.


27 posted on 06/25/2006 1:30:35 PM PDT by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: stubernx98
"illiterate"

Excellent point. The dismissers of these findings fail to realize that many Americans, like a few of my lib friends, have been made to believe that Saddam had absolutely no wmds whatsoever. These findings destroy that argument. Now the naysayers are left with the "they're not dangerous" argument. How do they know they're not dangerous? Why don't they open up a mustard gas canister and show us? How about we correctly mix one of the sarin gas projectiles and explode it in room filled with the naysayers? I'm willing to bet that they'd scatter pretty quickly.

28 posted on 06/25/2006 1:35:00 PM PDT by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: do the dhue
Post 20

Thanks for the links. The fact of the matter is that we have discovered many of Hussein's wmds that he was supposed to have turned over. Terrorists unwittingly or knowlingly tried to use them on our troops. And all we get from Big Media is a collective yawn. People who claim that the sarin gas projectiles found recently are harmless should be willing to undergo a simple experiment: we put them in a room, and explode one of those "harmless" properly mixed sarin gas projectiles in the room. I'm sure they'll agree to the experiment...especially Keith Olbermann (smirk).

29 posted on 06/25/2006 1:50:53 PM PDT by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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