The Marines blew up a captured cache without testing it first? Hard to believe.
No, you don't understand the sheer size of most of these caches they find.
It is impossible to go through and test every single shell, mortar round, etc etc etc.
Read post 13
What I have feared is that the Iraqis removd or failed to mark their chemical weapons adequately.
Remember the Sarin and Mustard gas shells 2 years ago?
ANY idiot knows you have to make them spin to mix the chemicals, so, to use them as a roadside bomb almost makes them inert from that perspective.
So, I cna easily imagine that Saddam's people removed the markings from the shells or shell containers that identified these weapons and that people are suing them soon enoug not knowing what is in them.
OR, they did it deliberately.
50/50 chance either way.
Many tests are being conducted by our NBC folks to determine the gas that was released by the explosions of this cache. XXxxxxx said that the suspected WMD's were buried in a bunker, just beneath the uncovered weapons cache
Can't always cover all the possible. Saddam hid so much, even buried in concrete, we will never find it all until some type of construction or destruction happens.
Once the markings come off of a round, it's not easy to tell what it is. Also, Saddam's ammunition was from all over the world. MI and EOD types can usually tell what something is, but the average Marine or soldier would not likely be able to tell the difference between, say, a VX chemical 155 round and a HE one. Keep in mind that we've found over 500 rockets, mortars, and artillery rounds that were chemical rounds. He had them. That's for sure.
Often weapons caches are boobytrapped. The best way to blow them is place a detonator in some of the explosives there and walk away. If you try to unload the cache it tends to blow up in your face. As for testing, how you gonna test it? open up and defuse each shell and test its contents in a laboratory?
Just does not work that way...