Melanie Morgan

Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

WMD in Iraq, Claims Vindicated

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Julian Assange is a revolting man.

He will roast in the hottest corner of hell for the military documents that he has made public on the Internet, causing tremendous jeopardy for American soldiers still in the field.

But the founder of WikiLeaks has accomplished one good thing, and that is dispelling the lies around the American Left's anti-war agenda from the hot summers and cold winters leading up to the war in Iraq.

I delight in the unintended consequence Assange's revelations has produced - vindication for my original reporting from Iraq in 2005-  that Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) indeed existed, discovered by American troops, in the thousands of pages of documents now public.

I withstood blistering attacks from the George Soros funded organization Media Matters, bloggers, and other left-wing media such as NPR  which banned me from it's show The NewsHour because I maintained that the Bush administration correctly identified Hussein possessed WMD and sought to eliminate it (as well proudly supporting military families, our mission in Iraq and denouncing those who tried to undermine it.)

Those salty critiques did nothing to dampen my convinction concerning WMD, (in fact, we doubled down on getting the word out) but my utter contempt for the Bush administration that refused to support it's own case continues to this day.

 I will be waiting for the apology and correction that I just know is on the tip of David Brock's tongue. I know that NPR wants to make things right with me, and invite me back on the air to hear my point of view as a news analyst. And I can just feel the remorse from Jodi Evans, Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan.

I'm waiting.

Still waiting.

Credit Wired Magazine

By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction.

An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.

In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base.

Three months later, in northern Iraq, U.S. scouts went to look in on a “chemical weapons” complex. “One of the bunkers has been tampered with,” they write. “The integrity of the seal [around the complex] appears intact, but it seems someone is interesting in trying to get into the bunkers.”

Meanwhile, the second battle of Fallujah was raging in Anbar province. In the southeastern corner of the city, American forces came across a “house with a chemical lab … substances found are similar to ones (in lesser quantities located a previous chemical lab.” The following day, there’s a call in another part of the city for explosive experts to dispose of a “chemical cache.”

Nearly three years later, American troops were still finding WMD in the region. An armored Buffalo vehicle unearthed a cache of artillery shells “that was covered by sacks and leaves under an Iraqi Community Watch checkpoint. “The 155mm rounds are filled with an unknown liquid, and several of which are leaking a black tar-like substance.” Initial tests were inconclusive. But later, “the rounds tested positive for mustard.”

In WikiLeaks’ massive trove of nearly 392,000 Iraq war logs, there are hundreds of references to chemical and biological weapons. Most of those are intelligence reports or initial suspicions of WMD that don’t pan out. In July 2004, for example, U.S. forces come across a Baghdad building with gas masks, gas filters, and containers with “unknown contents” inside. Later investigation revealed those contents to be vitamins.

But even late in the war, WMDs were still being unearthed. In the summer of 2008, according to one WikiLeaked report, American troops found at least 10 rounds that tested positive for chemical agents. “These rounds were most likely left over from the [Saddam]-era regime. Based on location, these rounds may be an AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] cache. However, the rounds were all total disrepair and did not appear to have been moved for a long time.”

A small group — mostly of the political right — has long maintained that there was more evidence of a major and modern WMD program than the American people were lead to believe. A few Congressmen and Senators gravitated to the idea, but it was largely dismissed as conspiratorial hooey.

The WMD diehards will likely find some comfort in these newly-WikiLeaked documents. Skeptics will note that these relatively small WMD stockpiles were hardly the kind of grave danger that the Bush administration presented in the run-up to the war.

But the more salient issue may be how insurgents and Islamic extremists (possibly with the help of Iran) attempted to use these lethal and exotic arms. As Spencer noted earlier, a January 2006 war log claims that “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons were smuggled in from Iran.

That same month, then “chemical weapons specialists” were apprehended in Balad. These “foreigners” were there specifically “to support the chemical weapons operations.” The following month, an intelligence report refers to a “chemical weapons expert” that “provided assistance with the gas weapons.” What happened to that specialist, the WikiLeaked document doesn’t say.



Read More http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/10/wikileaks-show-wmd-hunt-continued-in-iraq-with-surprising-results/#ixzz13KmOPBVT

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