Al Qaeda in Iraq Seizes Saddam’s WMD Facility

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But don’t worry, Obama has announced he’s dispatching Kerry to talk to people in the Middle East so it’s a race between which set of poison gasses will be emitted first.

 Sunni extremists in Iraq have occupied what was once Saddam Hussein’s premier chemical-weapons production facility, a complex that still contains a stockpile of old weapons, State Department and other U.S. government officials said.

U.S. officials don’t believe the Sunni militants will be able to create a functional chemical weapon from the material. The weapons stockpiled at the Al Muthanna complex are old, contaminated and hard to move, officials said.

“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site by the ISIL,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a written statement. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”

But what if ISIS, a group whose lead tactic involved suicide bombings, doesn’t care about safely moving that material?

Here’s the CIA report

Numerous bunkers, including eleven cruciform shaped bunkers were exploited. Some of the bunkers were empty. Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment (presumed disabled under UNSCOM supervision), and other hazardous industrial chemicals.

And there are more details here...

Although the damaged Bunker 13 at Muthanna contained thousands of sarin-filled rockets, the presence of leaking munitions and unstable propellant and explosive charges made it too hazardous for UNSCOM inspectors to enter. Because the rockets could not be recovered safely, Iraq declared the munitions in Bunker 13 as “destroyed in the Gulf War” and they were not included in the inventory of chemical weapons eliminated under UNSCOM supervision.

Because of the hazardous conditions in Bunker 13, UNSCOM inspectors were unable to make an accurate inventory of its contents before sealing the entrances in 1994. As a result, no record exists of the exact number or status of the sarin-filled rockets remaining in the bunker. According to the UNMOVIC final report in 2007, the rockets “may be both filled and unfilled, armed or unarmed, in good condition or deteriorated.” In the worst-case scenario, the munitions could contain as much as 15,000 liters of sarin. Although it is likely that the nerve agent has degraded substantially after nearly two decades of storage under suboptimal conditions, UNMOVIC cautioned that “the levels of degradation of the sarin fill in the rockets cannot be determined without exploring the bunker and taking samples from intact warheads.” If the sarin remains highly toxic and many of the rockets are still intact, they could pose a proliferation risk.

ISIS was allegedly already working on sarin in Iraq and Turkey. It also lacks the concern about safety precautions. It’s not going to have the same problems inventorying Bunker 13.

It’s not clear what if anything usable it will find there, but it’s best to be cautious when taking the words of experts that there’s nothing to worry about.

  • Pete

    Damaged bunker 13

    Why can’t robots retrieve & dissemble the munitions one at a time and put them in a nearby “shipping container to take to an incinerator.

    Al Qaeda often uses chlorine as part of VBIEDs in an attempt to increase casualties. They will not use sarin in the same role if they think they have a chance of accomplishing it?

    • Pete

      since when has Al Qaeda used proper safe guards?

      An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry

      http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jan/19/al-qaeda-bungles-arms-experiment/

    • Daniel Greenfield

      There was a plan to do that, but the price tag went rather high and by the time Obama came into office… well you know the rest of the story

      • Pete

        We had robots for IEDs. handling rockets on racks that are leaking & unstable would be harder, but still doable.

        Disassembly would be harder still. but once you had th actual Sarin an incinerator that burns at 2,000 or 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit is all that is needed.

        Explosives are blown up by EOD and that is easy. Explosives & rocket propellant with sarin residue is more problematic. I have no answers there.

        Do you have a link BTW?

        • UCSPanther

          I thought Sarin, when it broke down (Seeing as it is supposedly a rather chemically unstable molecule) was much less harmful to handle.

          • Pete

            Good point

            About the best time for a gas attack is a mild day without rain.

            Environmental degradation would be significant especially with the high temperatures of Iraq. the bunkers depending on how they were built should be cooler.

          • UCSPanther

            I read that due to its instability, sarin was generally kept as two precursors and mixed together when it was “time to fumigate” so to speak.

            It, along with its cousins tabun and cyclosarin, was an agent that was first developed during research into pesticides shortly before WWII.

          • Pete

            So anything that is leaked is safe(?). So as long as they take care of the volatile degrade explosives and rocket fuel, ISIS could handle these munitions, so them out and use some of them.

          • UCSPanther

            I suspect that if they could get their hands on the precursors and figure out how to mix them, they could very well have something to upgrade their chemical weapons project.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            There are supposedly some precursors on site

          • Pete

            And UNSCOM did not ship those out?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Everything was sealed up.

          • Pete

            Very Good points

            Other than the rocket fuel and the explosives they should have had this done a long time ago.

            “The most important chemical reactions of phosphoryl halides is the hydrolysis of the bond between phosphorus and the fluoride. This P-F bond is easily broken by nucleophilic agents, such as water and hydroxide. At high pH, sarin decomposes rapidly to nontoxic phosphonic acid derivatives”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarin#Degradation_and_shelf_life

        • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

          I’m not an expert in handling sarin, but one problem is that we’re no longer in control in Iraq – al-qaeda is. And I doubt they’re going to invite us in to destroy their CW.

          • UCSPanther

            And if they figure out how to handle and even make those poisons, we could be seeing something that would make that infamous subway poison gas attack (sarin) in Japan back in the 1990s look like a mild incident in comparison.

          • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

            Quite true. Only sheer dumb luck has caused a number of terrorist attacks to go awry on Obama’s watch (Times Square bomber, Christmas Day bomber, plot by Iran to kill the Saudi Ambassador) – he’s jeopardized this country’s security over and over again, and sooner or later lives will be lost. I guess I should say “again” because of the Boston Marathon bombing.

          • Pete

            Supposedly ex-German soldiers in the employ of the South Vietnamese government got a pesticide manufacturer to make chemical munition delivered using mortars.

            This is supposedly a fictional story.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            It is not fictional. However, the agent used was mustard gas in 120mm mortar shells, against depots on the Ho Chi Minh Trail … it seems that the Germans didn’t have much respect for international borders …

            They also had a weapon they called a Partisanschreck. I’ll leave it to your imagination what this weapon was …

          • Larry Larkin

            When the other side isn’t respecting international borders you don’t have to either. Simple as that.
            As soon as the NVA started moving down through Laos and Cambodia and the Laotian and Cambodian forces weren’t capable of stopping them they became fair game for the SVN and allied forces. Despite all the bullshit you hear from the communists and their usual useful idiots to the contrary.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            We should’ve finished the North off, in 1973. There would have been no Chinese invasion, like in Korea (they were afraid both of ARVN and US capabilities). Today, Vietnam would have been unified and non-Communist.

          • Pete

            The “story” I read was that they hit a large base camp in the Mekong river delta south of Saigon that had been a thorn in the ARVN’s side, which they could not crack.

            A CIA officer investigated after it was safe, no enemy activity and found evidence or deduced what had been done. He then paid the Germans a visit. He was happy to see the Viet Cong pushed back, but he also said something to the effect “Let’s have no more of that”.

            It was a one time deal.

            I don’t know if the story is true. You really cannot web search to many newspapers or magazine before the 1990s. It is a real b-tch). Supposedly, the commander of the unit retired to a small Asian country (Singapore, Bhutan, Taiwan, Brunei or was it misdirection?). You turn up in Wehrmacht & SS in many places. My parents met a guy in the mountains of Peru back in the day. One of my parents is a linguist and the other was in the military. They could be fooled but it would be harder than the average person to fool them about this.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            There was a book published many year ago called The Devil’s Brigade which recounted the story. I’m not sure how much it was embellished. I was too young to be in the military or intel, at the time it happened.

            But I do know an intel guy who was attached to them, to make an assessment of whether or not the US should continue to provide funds to the South Vietnamese for this group. He was with them, on the raid, and it was in Cambodia.

            Truthfulness? I would trust this guy with my life.

            According to him, their people pinned down the enemy with conventional fire, while the mortar team lobbed mustard gas into the depot. Over three hundred men, women, and children were killed.

            The were … for the most part … former WaffEn $$, so, it shouldn’t surprise anyone.

          • Pete

            I read both books. I have been trying to verify it. no luck yet. Chance of finding one of the principals at this point is slight to nil.

            I was hoping to find a leftwing or mainstream newspaper from the time complaining about former SS in the employ of the South Vietnamese government.

            “former WaffEn $$”, … who married the locals.

  • truebearing

    This can’t be true. The Left has gone on record one billion times declaring that Saddam had no WMDs. Bush must have planted these Sarin-filled rockets to make Obama look like a fool…as if he needs any help.

    • Pete

      The Left will simply say these were accounted for (they were) and not a problem (not exactly true).

      • 4arepublic

        The left has a very short memory. Including, but not limited to:

        “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

        “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

        “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, 2002

        • Pete

          Nice quotes.

        • rebekah26

          Excellent. But they will just claim that Bill, Hillary and Gore were republicans back then. ;)

      • gerry

        They were accounted for,and the left said they had passed their used by dates.Although no lefties volunteered to have them tested on one of them or a member of their families.Can only hope ISIS will prove it one way or the other.

  • Texas Patriot

    Not a problem. We can blow up the ISIS WMD site on the same night we take out the Iranian nuclear weapons complex. We need to maintain a credible posture of neutrality in the Shia-Sunni conflict and being an equal opportunity WMD destroyer would be a step in the right direction.

    • rebekah26

      I like your proposal.

      • Texas Patriot

        Thank you! ;-)

  • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

    Ah yes, the chemical munitions the Left insisted weren’t there, and which G. W. Bush supposedly lied about to get us into a war for Iraq’s oil (which we didn’t take). I well remember various Democrats acting as though CW was something that nice-guy Saddam would never have had anything to do with.

    At this point, we can only hope some al-qaeda terrorists kill themselves with these munitions, and that the story gets a lot of play, until every America understands that Saddam possessed and used CW. Then maybe we should tell them about all the uranium we found in Iraq…

    • Pete

      the UN knew it was there. It was accounted for. Since they considered it unusable they considered it destroyed and Saddam in compliance in regard to this lot.

      This is what The Left will hang their hat on.

      • hiernonymous

        Would “The Left” be wrong to do so?

        • Pete

          Yes, they would be wrong to “hang their hat” on it.

          They would not be wrong on that particular fact. They are wrong in their general outlook. They simply do not want to find anything and go about disparaging and destroying anyone who is looking for anything of that sort.

          Of course if the leadership of the Democrat party flipped, the pundits and true believers would flip also.

          A historical example is when Stalin made the nonaggression pact with Hit!er. The true believers followed the party line. when the USSR was attacked, they followed th party line. You can say that there is a CPUSA and there are not many communists in the Democrat Party, but I beg to differ. I have met a number of them

          Just look at 4arepublic’s post down below of the flip flops the democrat leadership has done on Iraq.

          • alericKong

            Exactly. It’s all about power. Ideology follow politics and becomes whatever is convenient at that time.

            Obama has killed as many people as Bush and the political machine still loves him.

          • hiernonymous

            “They would not be wrong on that particular fact. They are wrong in their general outlook. ”

            Except that their general outlook was that the WMD excuse for invasion was just that, an excuse. I think that outlook was nicely validated.

            I think talking about the Democrats as a communist organization is absurd, but that’s outside the scope of the thread.

          • Pete

            WMDs were one of the reasons for continuing the war.

            The fact that the Europeans and the Americans were wrong about the WMDs does not make it an excuse.

            The fact that Republicans and Democrats were wrong about the WMDs does not make it an excuse. See 4arepublics post for proof of that.

            I still intensely dislike the Lion of the Senate for holding things up. He did that in 1991 and in 2003. He is a very disreputable person. He is the only senator that we have a full moon picture of.

            How did the Syrians get some of their WMDs? From Iraq?

        • truebearing

          Yes. The Left made a big deal about the WMDs that supposedly weren’t in Iraq, yet here are some that still are, on Obama’s watch.

          The Left is so big on the UN, but the UN dropped the ball here, as usual. Obama dropped the ball too. Robots could have removed those weapons safely. Now one of the most ruthless Muslim groups on earth have access to the chemicals, and they won’t worry about how dangerous the stuff is to handle. They also won’t worry about using it if they feel so inclined.

          • hiernonymous

            “Yes. The Left made a big deal about the WMDs that supposedly weren’t in Iraq, yet here are some that still are, on Obama’s watch.”

            So you don’t understand what this site is, its background, the claims made by the Bush Administration, and the fact that those claims proved false.

            “The Left is so big on the UN, but the UN dropped the ball here, as usual. Obama dropped the ball too. Robots could have removed those weapons safely.”

            Can you think of anyone else that dropped the ball here? That’s a curiously selective list with a curiously conspicuous gap.

            At any rate, you might know enough in a few days to offer an informed opinion on whether anyone at all dropped any balls. The site was bombed in the first Gulf War, and UNSCOM was pretty thorough about excavating the remains. A decision to seal in unstable chemicals that generally didn’t maintain military effectiveness for more than a few months wasn’t necessarily the wrong one.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            “A decision to seal in unstable chemicals that generally didn’t maintain military effectiveness for more than a few months wasn’t necessarily the wrong one.”

            We’ll find out a little while after Al Qaeda does.

          • hiernonymous

            Perhaps so. As WMDs go, chemical agents are not as easy to use as you might think, nor are they as rare. AQ has presumably had access to chlorine since its inception.

          • hiernonymous

            This might help: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/sep/19/iraq.features11

            A 2002 report notes that Sarin, the chemical in question, lasts about 5 years.

          • truebearing

            What Bush claimed? You mean Bush and every intelligence agency on earth. You mean Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Hillary, et al. Bush was hardly the only one saying Saddam had WMDs in unacceptable quantities.

            The WMDs were likely moved to Syria. The claims weren’t false. We know for a fact that Saddam had WMDs and that he used them against the Kurds, Iranians, and Shiites.

            If it wasn’t necessarily the wrong one, then why are they so concerned now? It seems to me that if something that deadly is even potentially reusable it should have been destroyed. Of course, if Obama had done his duty as CIC and secured a Status of Forces agreement, we wouldn’t be debating this right now. Or maybe if he hadn’t released from Gitmo the leader of ISIS, they wouldn’t have overrun most of Iraq or be in control of the site.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Don’t forget that Saddam, himself, said that he had massive amounts of these weapons. On several disks his government provided the UN, he claimed to possess massive amounts of WMDs. I believe that his motivation was to frighten the West from invading. The Second “Mother of all Battles”, and all that …

            It was another nail in his coffin. It convinced leaders in the West … who weren’t convinced … that his regime was dangerous, and had to be taken down.

          • truebearing

            I recall the Left bought it, big time. They were blustering mightily about what should be done (since they didn’t have to do it and knew they could reverse course later and demonize Bush).

          • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

            And the final Duelfer report concluded that Saddam was indeed reconstituting his WMD programs, which were the real danger – Colin Powell fumbled the ball when he claimed that Saddam still had X amount of WMD, because it gave the Left the opening it needed to claim that Bush was lying just because Saddam didn’t have as much material as we thought.

          • hiernonymous

            “Bush was hardly the only one saying Saddam had WMDs in unacceptable quantities. That selective memory fog plaguing you again?”

            You’re letting your emotions get in the way of your reading again. I noted that the Bush Administration had made claims about the WMD, and those claims were false. Nothing about that suggests that others did not accept those claims. The intelligence agencies, by the way, were part of the Bush Administration. Even President Bush eventually acknowledged that the intelligence was wrong.

            That said, acceptance was not universal, and there were those who understood that the actual intelligence did not support the conclusions being reached. There was the David Kelly affair in Britain, in which Kelly admitted to a journalist that the UK government had ordered that the threat and readiness of Iraqi WMD be “sexed up” to support the case for war.

            The Senate Report for Prewar Intelligence on Iraq reached this conclusion about the intel: “Most of the major key judgments in the Intelligence Community’s October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), Iraq’s Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction, either overstated, or were not supported by, the underlying intelligence reporting. A series of failures, particularly in analytic trade craft, led to the mischaracterization of the intelligence.” Note that the committee comprised 9 Republicans and 8 Democrats, so this was not a case of partisan sniping.

            “We know for a fact that Saddam had WMDs and that he used them against the Kurds, Iranians, and Shiites.”

            We knew that he had them prior to Gulf War I. UNSCOM had verified the destruction of 90-95% of Iraq’s prewar WMD by the time they were withdrawn for DESERT FOX, with one of the inspectors noting that the remaining 5% uncertainty was not due to hidden weapons, but to accounting problems due to preemptive destruction of stockpiles that Saddam then claimed had never existed. Inspectors invited back to Iraq in 2002 found nothing of military significance; something on the order of 14 old mustard gas shells and some old 122mm rounds.

            “If it wasn’t necessarily the wrong one, then why are they so concerned now?”

            Good question. Who is “so concerned” now? I’m sure there’s always going to be a bit of CYA angst, but here’s a 2002 report concerning the materials in question: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/sep/19/iraq.features11

            P: Couldn’t the Iraqis have hidden some?

            R: That’s a very real possibility. The problem is that whatever they diverted would have had to have been produced in the Muthanna state establishment, which means that once we blew it up, the Iraqis no longer had the ability to produce new agent, and in five years the sarin and tabun would have degraded and become useless sludge. All this talk about Iraq having chemical weapons is no longer valid.

            And that interview was 12 years ago.

            “It seems to me that if something that deadly is even potentially reusable it should have been destroyed.”

            The U.S. was in full legal control of that facility from 2003 until 30 June 2004.

            From 1 July 2004 to 30 Jan 2009, U.S. forces could probably have effected de facto control of the facility and done what they wanted. After that date, U.S. troops were required to withdraw from the cities under the agreement reached between the Bush Administration and Iraq.

            “Of course, if Obama had done his duty as CIC and secured a Status of Forces agreement…”

            We had a SOFA with Iraq. It was signed 17 November 2008.

            “Or maybe if he hadn’t released from Gitmo the leader of ISIS…”

            He didn’t. Where do you get this stuff? Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was captured by U.S. forces, held at Camp Bucca, then turned over to Iraqi authorities under the terms of the agreement reached between the Iraqi government and the Bush Administration. In 2009, the U.S. built a case for continued detention and asked the Iraqis to keep him, but they decided to release him.

            Did you want to make up some other reasons to assign blame?

          • truebearing

            “You’re letting your emotions get in the way of your reading again. I noted that the Bush Administration had made claims about the WMD, and those claims were false. Nothing about that suggests that others did not accept those claims. The intelligence agencies, by the way, were part of the Bush Administration. Even President Bush eventually acknowledged that the intelligence was wrong.”

            What is getting in the way of your reading? I just pointed out that “every intelligence agency on earth” believed Saddam had WMDs. How did you miss that? Also, you failed to address my question about what it takes to officially confirm that Saddam had WMDs, since he indisputably used them on three different groups. Is four groups the threshold for establishing possession of WMDs? Five? Six? Or are you contending he only had enough for three attacks, then ran out?

            “We knew that he had them prior to Gulf War I. UNSCOM had verified the destruction of 90-95% of Iraq’s prewar WMD by the time they were withdrawn for DESERT FOX”

            UNSCOM verified? Not according to everyone.

            “In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. Some former UNSCOM inspectors disagree about whether the United States could know for certain whether or not Iraq had renewed production of weapons of mass destruction. Robert Gallucci said, “If Iraq had [uranium or plutonium], a fair assessment would be they could fabricate a nuclear weapon, and there’s no reason for us to assume we’d find out if they had.” Similarly, former inspector Jonathan Tucker said, “Nobody really knows what Iraq has. You really can’t tell from a satellite image what’s going on inside a factory.” However, Hans Blix said in late January 2003 that Iraq had “not genuinely accepted UN resolutions demanding that it disarm.”[74]He claimed there were some materials which had not been accounted for”

            And it turns out that Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake in Niger, which prompted the ultra-conservative, Bush loving Washington Post to editorialize that ““Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth” in claiming Bush was lying about the Saddam’s attempt to acquire yellowcake in Niger.

            “We had a SOFA with Iraq. It was signed 17 November 2008.”

            That was the one Bush signed. it expired in 2011. Obama did nothing to keep it in force.

            Nice try.

            al Baghdadi was released in 2009. Bush wasn’t president in 2009. Obama reversed many things Bush did, such as trying to close Gitmo by releasing the worst terrorists alive. If he had done his job as CIC and had been maintaining a relationship with Iraq, including an updated SOFA, Baghdadi might still be in prison, just like Maliki might have been more balanced in the way he treated the Sunnis, both of which would have prevented the current disaster.

            I’ll stick with blaming Obama. All he’s done since getting elected is blame everyone else for his incompetence. It’s long overdue that he take the hammering he deserves, and no amount of spin on your part will prevent it.

          • hiernonymous

            Also, you failed to address my question about what it takes to officially confirm that Saddam had WMDs, since he indisputably used them on three different groups. Is four groups the threshold for establishing possession of WMDs? Five? Six? Or are you contending he only had enough for three attacks, then ran out?

            No, I didn’t fail to address it. It isn’t the number of groups he used them against that is germane, it is when he used them, and therefore demonstrated evidence of the continued existence of the weapons stockpiles. Your question demonstrated poor thinking. There is no number of target groups, such that employment in 1988 would demonstrate possession in 2003; one group in 2002 would have been strong evidence indeed.

            “…Some former UNSCOM inspectors disagree about whether the United States could know for certain whether or not Iraq had renewed production of weapons of mass destruction.

            What they agree on is that they didn’t find evidence that he possessed WMD. Speculation that he ‘might have renewed’ production is not evidence that he renewed production.

            And it turns out that Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake in Niger, which prompted the ultra-conservative, Bush loving Washington Post to editorialize that ““Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth” in claiming Bush was lying about the Saddam’s attempt to acquire yellowcake in Niger.

            That’s not quite complete. Here’s what Mr. Bush claimed in his speech:

            “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”

            Wilson did indeed make some bogus statements. But the primary evidence of the nature and scope of what the Iraqis were allegedly trying to do rested on the forged documents obtained from the Italians. We still don’t know who forged them, but they were the only basis for any conclusive statement of what the Iraqis were trying to do in Niger. The British revisited their conclusions, and claimed to have sufficient alternate intelligence to say with certainty that Iraqi officials had visited Niger. The Senate Select Committee concluded that an Iraqi official had approached a Nigerien official about expanding commercial relations. Both the British and the SSC inferred that, given the dominant role that uranium exports play in the Nigerien economy, the Iraqis must have been seeking discussions about the purchase of uranium.

            The Bush statement was based on bogus documents. It is likely, though not proved, that Iraqi officials made some sort of contact with Nigerien officials concerning uranium purchases; there is quite plainly no basis for characterizing that as “sought significant quantities of uranium.”

            And, of course, no purchase was made. The most recent yellowcake discovered in Iraq was dated to 1991.

            That was the one Bush signed. it expired in 2011.

            Right. The one Bush signed also called for the removal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq in 2011. How do you conclude that it was the duty of the Commander in Chief to establish a SOFA with a state for which the departure of U.S. troops had been negotiated and agreed?

            What a weasel.

            Here’s what you said:

            “Or maybe if he hadn’t released from Gitmo the leader of ISIS…”

            He was never in Guantanamo. You were wrong.

            The Obama administration “decided to shut down the Bucca prison camp” as part of a process of transferring prisoners required by the security agreement signed between Iraq and the Bush Administration. This article and this one, both from 2009, announce the closure of the camp and link it to the security agreement. Fox News reported that when the U.S. transferred Abu Bakr al Baghdadi to the Iraqis, “The U.S. built a solid case for detention, but the Iraqi government decided to release al-Baghdadi. ‘Their decision to let him go was personally disappointing,’ King said. ‘But I have to respect the decisions of a sovereign government.’” The agreement that required COL King to respect the decisions of the sovereign Iraqi government were penned and signed by the Bush Administration.

            You have no integrity.

            Let’s see if I have this straight. You claimed that the head of ISIS was in Guantanamo and then released. That’s demonstrably false. I told you that he was transferred from Camp Bucca to the Iraqis as part of the security agreement. You accuse me of lying, apparently because you got your information from Joseph Klein, and Joseph Klein left that detail out of his article. One of the dangers of getting all of your information from “advocacy journalism” sites is that they don’t have the same commitment to completeness that a more objective source might have, and that incompleteness then leads readers like you to make stupid accusations.

            If you’re not embarrassed right now, you should be. What you really owe me is an apology, but I think I know you better than that by now.

            I understand why you did it, however.

            Good. I wrote that because it was accurate. I’ve shown you the sources.

            As for Obama, I’ll stick with blaming him as much as possible.

            Yes, I’m sure you will. But when you start making up facts (“released from Gitmo”) or leaving them out (the closure of Bucca was part of the implementation of the 2008 security agreement), you should be very, very careful about continuing your accusations about lack of integrity.

          • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

            “The Senate Select Committee concluded that an Iraqi official had
            approached a Nigerien official about expanding commercial relations.
            Both the British and the SSC inferred that, given the dominant role that
            uranium exports play in the Nigerien economy, the Iraqis must have been
            seeking discussions about the purchase of uranium. This was lent some
            credence by noting that a member of the Iraqi delegation was experienced
            in nuclear matters.”

            “Some credence”? Niger’s only other significant export was cow peas! So once again, we consider which is more likely – that Saddam wanted cow peas or that he wanted uranium. I don’t have any trouble reaching the correct conclusion and neither should you. Saddam wanted to keep all his WMD options open.

          • hiernonymous

            ” Saddam wanted to keep all his WMD options open.”

            Probably so. Which is a far cry from “he had WMD” and does not support the claim that he was trying to buy large amounts of uranium.

          • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

            Well, the large quantities of uranium we found in Iraq would indeed seem to indicate he was interested in buying the stuff. And like I said, Saddam was interested in buying something from Niger, and it wasn’t cow peas!

          • hiernonymous

            We found no yellowcake in Iraq more recent than 1991.

          • truebearing

            As usual, you make a big deal out of minor mistakes to obscure what is important. Mistakes aren’t intentional dishonesty, which is what you specialize in with your devious editing. So al-Baghdadi was released from Bucca instead of Gitmo. Big deal. The important thing is that he was released. He is a bloodthirsty psychopath who is threatening to take over Iraq, is beheading people like it’s a bodily function, and has energized Al Queda like Bin Laden. All you can come back with is my mistake on which prison Obama released the latest homicidal, genocidal maniac from. You strain at gnats.

            As for your long-winded explanation/excuse making for the Obama administration releasing al-Baghdadi, you again omit important details like the following:

            “Despite the handover, the Iraqi government has asked the US military to keep about 200 prisoners, many of them suspected or convicted of terrorism, as well as eight former regime officials – five of whom have been sentenced to death. Those considered the most dangerous detainees are from organizations that didn’t exist before the war – Al Qaeda in Iraq and a host of both Sunni and Shiite groups carefully segregated by the Americans.”

            http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0715/As-US-hands-over-last-prison-in-Iraq-a-glimpse-at-how-detainees-lived

            Iraq wanted us to keep the most dangerous detainees, but Obama wanted to empty Gitmo, at ALL costs. He clearly had the option of ordering a review of the list of detainees and transferring the dangerous ones to Gitmo, but his ideology overruled his common sense, not to mention duty to the nation. Now he has contibuted greatly to the slaughter in Iraq, in addition to all of the other consequences that will result from his obsession to close Gitmo and further the cause of the Islamists, worldwide.

            Yes, there was a security agreement, but clearly Iraq wanted our help and Obama refused it, just like he refused to obtain a SOFA, and just like he has refused to provide air support even when Americans are surrounded by deranged Muslims.

            So, all of that maundering on Saddam’s attempt to buy yellowcake ended with you essentially agreeing that he was trying to buy yellowcake. But we already knew that, and we already knew Saddam had nuclear aspirations which obviously never ended until he was found hiding in a hole. Do you blather on and on in the hope of putting people to sleep or just to confuse them?

            You are the last person who should be demanding apologies. If your behavior on FPM is any indication of the sum total of your life, you should apologize for both.

          • hiernonymous

            As usual, you make a big deal out of minor mistakes to obscure what is important.

            Except that you’ve gotten everything you’ve said about this wrong. Including the additional bit of squirming that you just added. You were wrong about Guantanamo, you were wrong about the reason Bucca closed, and in your endless parade of error, you have the sheer effrontery to season your gaffes with self-righteous claims that the other fellow is lying. In this post, you continue to double down on your incompetence (al Baghdadi was not one of the prisoners the U.S. was asked to keep, and, in fact, was considered by the Iraqis at the time to be so insignificant that they didn’t bother to retain him when we suggested they do so, a fact that has already been drawn to your obviously limited attention) and insist that, although you have been proved wrong at every turn here, nonetheless your insults were well-deserved because, well, just because.

            Yes, there was a security agreement, but clearly Iraq wanted our help…

            Clearly, Iraq wanted us out. Have you forgotten the agreement they negotiated with President Bush? You’re still insisting that Obama’s crime was in not reversing Bush’s policy, but you seem to forget that it was al Maliki’s policy, as well, and al Maliki was still in office.

            Do you blather on and on in the hope of putting people to sleep or just to confuse them?

            Usually I post in hopes that the other person will understand an argument. I realize that this does not seem to be an option in your case, and, as your recognize, the choice is generally between you ending asleep or confused. At least, one hopes that you are confused, and not taking this approach on purpose.

            You are the last person who should be demanding apologies. If your behavior on FPM is any indication of the sum total of your life, you should apologize for both.

            Translation: “Okay, I was completely wrong about my initial comment, and by relying on Klein’s opinion piece for my understanding of what happened, I compounded error with even more aggressive error, and, yeah, I called you a liar when I had no command of the facts, but now that I’ve been shown how wrong I was, I’m going to double down on the insults, because, well, you make me feel really bad when you’re on FPM.”

            “If you’re not embarrassed right now, you should be. What you really owe me is an apology, but I think I know you better than that by now.”

            Called it. In spades.

        • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

          Yes. As I replied to Pete, “What bothers me is that the Left acted as though the idea that Saddam would possess and use CW was unthinkable, when in fact he was known to
          have done so.”

          There was a fundamental dishonesty in pretending that Saddam was not already known to have used CW. A dictator who has used CW in the past might be reasonably supposed to still be stockpiling them. And indeed a lot of precursor agents, labeled “Insecticide,” were found by our weapons inspectors at military sites. I guess Saddam really wanted those barracks clean – or maybe he wanted more chemical weapons. You figure out which is more likely.

          • hiernonymous

            The precursors likely actually were insecticides.

            I remember clearly that the extra credit question on my plebe chemistry final was an organic chemistry transformation that started with the chemical formula for an insecticide, ended with the formula for a nerve agent, and the challenge was to identify the necessary steps to transform the former into the latter.

            Each step required one to draw an arrow labeled with the chemical process occurring, pointing to the formula for the result of that step, until one finally reached the last step. I ran out of time before I was remotely close to success, so I drew an arrow from the last step I was able to think of to the nerve agent formula and put as the reason “and then a miracle occurs.”

            I did not get any credit.

          • truebearing

            That’s a shame.

          • hiernonymous

            Yeah, well, the good news was that I didn’t need the extra credit. Things work out.

          • Webb

            Then just wet the tip of your little pinkie, touch it to the powder and then put it on your tongue. I’ll bet you anything that you’re right and it went inactive after 5 years. Then you will have earned your extra credit and can go to the head of the class! A great miracle of Allah!

          • hiernonymous

            Oh, dear, you’re right. I hadn’t thought of the possibility that AQ might round up villagers, truck them to Samarra, and meek them lick the remains of the plant.

          • Webb

            And it won’t hurt ‘em a bit. And you’ll be the hero. Double extra credit!

          • hiernonymous

            Okay.

      • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

        True. What bothers me is that the Left acted as though the idea that Saddam would possess and use CW was unthinkable, when in fact he was known to have done so.

    • gerry

      Iraq oil,another lie,debunked by none other tha Huber Vedrine.

  • Habbgun

    We are spending how much spying on Americans but we don’t know the status of chemical and biological weapons in an area our military actually was? Am I the only who gets sick reading “presumed disabled” in a CIA report?

    As atrocious as Obama is doesn’t Bush administration have responsibility for this as well? The whole thing stinks of pre 9/11 apathy in a post 9/11 world.

    • LooneyBinEscapee

      Pre 911 apathy…you mean Clinton?

      • Habbgun

        I wish but we went to war with Iraq under Bush and what happened there is his responsibility for the time he was Commander in Chief. If chemical weapons were not sufficiently disposed of (especially since it was one of our reasons for fighting the war in the first place) it is on him. This is not an apology for Obama. We only get what we expect from Obama. From Bush we should have expected the destruction of chem and bio weapons.

  • DogmaelJones1

    All we can hope for is that one of the clumsy ISIS men drops a cannister or lights a cigarette in the bunker and they’re all blown up, or die painfully from the poison gas. Just desserts.

  • Eric Blake

    But we were told that Iraq had no WMDs.

  • rebekah26

    Well, I guess we will have to be attacked and have numerous Americans die before we take action. For some reason we aren’t allowed to be pre-emptive. I mean, they have clearly stated their intent to eliminate western civilization.

    • Texas Patriot

      Yes. When someone says they’re going to kill you, that should be more than enough reason to take away their dangerous toys.

      • truebearing

        I agree with you, but isn’t taking pre-emptive action a tenet of neo-conservatism?

  • Frederikahere

    The liberals lied…people died.

  • SereneBowrageyel

    like
    Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
    on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

  • panola60

    How Clintons persuaded the world of Iraq WMD before Bush took Office:

    “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

    “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
    –President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

    How Clintons persuaded the world of Iraq WMD after Bush took Office:

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al
    Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
    –Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

  • ken koeder

    well duhh!! send a cruise missile in there and destroy it..

  • verneoz

    “He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.” Mr Greenfield could devote 5 chapters of his book to how America will undo the 8 years of Obama.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      or 50

  • tagalog

    Some of the bunkers “still contained a stockpile of old weapons”? Really? Wow, that changes certain assertions, doesn’t it? Oh well, that was then, this is now.

  • http://www.jenhath.com/ Jennifer Hathaway

    The cited CIA report is from April 2007: Numerous bunkers, including eleven cruciform shaped bunkers were exploited. Some of the bunkers were empty. Some of the bunkers contained large quantities of unfilled chemical munitions, conventional munitions, one-ton shipping containers, old disabled production equipment (presumed disabled under UNSCOM supervision), and other hazardous industrial chemicals. https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/iraq_wmd_2004/chap5_annxB.html

    And another citation came from March 4, 2010: Although the damaged Bunker 13 at Muthanna contained thousands of sarin-filled rockets, the presence of leaking munitions and unstable propellant and explosive charges made it too hazardous for UNSCOM inspectors to enter. Because the rockets could not be recovered safely, Iraq declared the munitions in Bunker 13 as “destroyed in the Gulf War” and they were not included in the inventory of chemical weapons eliminated under UNSCOM supervision.

    Another nearby storage bunker at Muthanna, called Bunker 41, was in good condition, so UNSCOM used it to entomb contaminated materials left over from the CW destruction effort. These items included about 2,000 mustard-filled artillery shells that had been drained and burned to speed decomposition of the agent, and 605 one-ton mustard containers and other items that could not be thoroughly decontaminated. Because these items still bore traces of mustard, they posed a threat to human health if handled improperly. In 1994, Iraqi personnel working under UNSCOM supervision secured Bunkers 13 and 41 by sealing the entrances with massive barriers of brick, tar, and reinforced concrete more than 1.5 meters thick. They also used reinforced concrete to patch the hole in the roof of Bunker 13.[5]

    After the UNSCOM inspectors left Iraq in December 1998, the United States had no reliable sources of information on the ground. U.S. intelligence agencies assumed that in the absence of UN monitoring, Saddam Hussein would replenish his chemical arsenal. Iraqi opposition groups such as the Iraqi National Congress also provided misleading information that reinforced this belief. By late 2002, the CIA estimated that Iraq had acquired a stockpile of about 500 metric tons of chemical weapons, even though in early 2003 inspectors with the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC, the successor agency to UNSCOM) found only a few chemical artillery shells dating from the pre-1991 era.[6]

    The UNMOVIC inspectors were forced to leave the country in March 2003, shortly before the start of the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom). In the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion and the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, the CIA-led Iraq Survey Group (ISG) scoured Iraq for weapons of mass destruction, but found none. The ISG concluded that contrary to the pre-war intelligence estimates, the Iraq had unilaterally destroyed most of its undeclared CW stockpile after the 1991 Gulf War and had not resumed the production of chemical weapons.[7] http://cns.miis.edu/stories/100304_iraq_cw_legacy.htm

    • hiernonymous

      Nice summary.

  • http://txrxqa.wordpress.com/ _Jim

    Not possible there there were (or are) WMD production facilities in Iraq, as there were NO WMDs found … so says the left on the USA.