Iraq

They Figured They Couldn't Trust Us. They Were Probably Right.

|

The New York Times says drafts of the Iraq strategy commission's report prepared by its staff were not shared with members of the panel prior to the elections:

"I guess the thinking was that anything that gets circulated before the election would get leaked, and one side or the other might use that for electoral purposes," said one member, who was granted anonymity because the commission is supposed to operate in secrecy.

Advertisement

NEXT: Jack Kingston and the Mighty Intellect

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They covered up the finding of 500 WMDs. It took the brave pronouncements of Rick Santorum and Curt Weldon to get them to release the documents. Still, it was only mentioned in passing on CNN and a one day story on Fox News at most.

    Maybe now we can finally get the real truth.

    Bush has been fighting a politically correct mostly wusified War. Hopefully, this release will force him to admit the truth; that Saddam DID have WMDs, and that they fully intended to use them.

  2. He DID keep a lot of nukes around. What sucks is they all got looted by maniacs. Oops.

  3. Well, it took a while to figure out where Saddam had hidden those WMD’s.

    Untangling a complicated plan can be very difficult and Saddam had developed a verry compricated pran indeed.

  4. “used for political purposes” translates as “allowing the public to find out the truth and use it to make informed decisions about their elected officials”

    we can’t have that, can we?

  5. Eric, why would Bush try to hide an informed finding (rather than wishful thinking) clearly demonstrating that Saddam DID have WMDs? why would Fox News downplay it?

    also, please provide a link to a news report of your claim

  6. Dondero: If they find a squirtgun in my house, should they charge me with possession of a firearm? ALLEGEDLY finding a scrap heap of trashed “WMDs” does not constitute a war rationale. I guess Santorum gets away with calling them WMDs because weapons of minimal destruction also fits the acronym. Face it, big guy, the stuff they found was crap. Why did they “cover it up?” Because “useless duds” (UDs) just isn’t enough to justify a war.

  7. 500 decade old chemical shells do not amount to a single Weapon of Mass Destruction. They are less dangerous than 500 explosive shells.

    We most certainly did not invade Iraq to interdict 500 shells worth of degraded chemical weapons.

  8. Joe,
    I’d be wary of chemical shells that were 500 decades old. That would make the Mother of all contamination sites.

  9. Actually Joe, they amount to 500 weapons of mass destruction by any definition of the term that I am aware of. If you are confused about what WMD means try here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weapons_of_Mass_Destruction

    I’m not sure what news report was being originally referred to, but a quick web search got me this PDF of the memo:

    http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/Iraq_WMD_Declassified.pdf

  10. Once upon a time, Travis, you were making argument about threats posed to our security.

    Now you’re arguing semantics to try to convince people you weren’t wrong.

    Sad.

  11. Travis, you might have a point IF, incapable of causing mass destruction still fits the definition of mass destruction.

    Let’s be honest here, the definition of WMD has been so watered down a handgun could be called a WMD.

    I believe chemicals, for the most part, are not WMD because you have to use large amounts to get really good results. This is more true for attacking an open area, like Saddam did against the Kurds, and less true for enclosed areas, like the NYC subway system.

    If you think those 500 crappy, no good shells were the WMDs we were looking for, get over it already, stop grasping for straws.

    I know this may seem odd for some people, but I define a WMD as a weapon that causes mass destruction. Anything less would not be a WMD.

  12. “””I’d be wary of chemical shells that were 500 decades old. That would make the Mother of all contamination sites.”””

    Then stay out of New Jersey. 😉
    All kidding aside, if the chemical is 5000 years old (500 decades) it’s probably only as dangerous as water. Of course water is lethal if inhaled, and can melt the skin off your bones if super hot.

  13. The PDF isn’t very interesting at all. IIRC, the contention was that Iraq was continuing to produce WMD, not that a few shells from the pre-gulf war days could still be around.

    The comment that the chemicals could still be dangerous is true, but not terribly useful. Both Sarin and mustard agents are composed of dangerous chemicals and break down into dangerous chemicals. But those constituent chemicals are not as dangerous as the real thing; not by a long shot.

    The shelf-life of sarin is fairly short. That’s one reason most modern nerve agent weapons are binary. Mustards last longer in storage, but still break down over time.

    As for the potency of any shells left, I’d point to the incident several years ago in which an EOD team picked up a sarin shell. The shell began leaking in the truck. If the stuff was anything close to its original potency, those guys would have had a much worse time than they did, NAK kits or no.

    We are not talking about anything that poses a threat to our existence as a nation, or anyone else’s for that matter.

  14. Seriously, Give up the WMD argument already. It just makes US look silly on two fronts:

    First front: the fact that there are NONE found after our invasion to prevent a “mushroom cloud” over our cities from the so called nukes/biological/chemical armada Saddam was supposedly gonna give to Al Qaida.

    Second Front: In the eyes of the world, it makes US seem most hypocritical that WHEN saddam used his weapons of mass destruction againt Iranian Infantry as well as Kurdish Villagers, the US government of George H. W. Bush nodded and didn’t make a beep about how bad this development was. Yet somehow post 9/11 saddams attrocities are worthy of condemnation.

    So for the sake of winning the war on terror in the most serious front: The Ideological Front; stop brining up the WMD rationale unless you have a real threat that could culminate into a devestating terrorist attack. and 100 pounds of tnt or 9000 gallons of cow urine as unpleasant as they maybe, do not consitute a major threat to United States. Period.

  15. Bazil gives a great example of why the US just can’t win the court of international opinion.

    First, the US is a bunch of amoral bastards for not doing anything when Saddam gassed the Kurds.

    Then, the US is a bunch of warmongering lunatics for invading Iraq to make sure he never does it again.

  16. Yeah, that we only do anything when it’s in OUR interest.

    Or, that it takes us 20 years to do something.

  17. perhaps world opinion of us would be better if we hadn’t sold Saddam weapons to begin with

    how many “police actions” are the result of the western world’s crappy, often self-centered foreign policies especially with respect to third world countries?

  18. “First, the US is a bunch of amoral bastards for not doing anything when Saddam gassed the Kurds.”

    Were the voices in your head shrill and feminine when demanding that the US invade Iraq in 1988?

  19. I find it completely ludicrous to crow about depleted weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, when we know that Iran has 77 F-14 Tomahawks and close to 300 Phoenix missiles. Surely an F-14 can cause more mass destruction than unreliable and unstable chemical weapons? Extraordinary coincidence: The F-14’s don’t work either!! How lucky is that!

  20. “Dondero” is that Latin for “satire” or “dumb” ?
    help me out here, H&R thinkers. The gas projectiles unearthed…..were they 105 or 155? (mm) I ask this because I am wondering (as I always wondered) thier provenance.
    We know, as historical record,, that when Hussien & the Baath used nerve gas against the Kurds, and Iranians, he was a client of the US and Britain.
    We know both countries supplied Iraq with both fatal & non fatal gas munitions, AND the equipment & precurser chemicals to produce same….not to mention nuclear bomb tech.
    Now, Ive seen grainy pics of these unearthed projectiles, but Ive YET to hear where they came from. Its not a case of simply dumping out the high explosive from a artillery projectile & pouring in nerve agent- the projectiles themselves are complex bits of specialized machining. Meaning either Iraq made its own complex nerve gas projectiles & made its own nerve gas, OR used US & Brit projectiles, & filled them with thier own nerve gas, OR used US or Brit supplied already filled projectiles.
    Me, havin seen up close & personal the Empires wars, and doin my own studies over time figure those dug up projectiles came from the US.
    Why? Because no other provenance has been offered. If they had Chinese markings on them: we’d a heard about it. Russian? Ditto.
    But here we have several hundred nerve gas artillery projectiles, with the (seems to me, I never seen a clear pic) 3 yellow bands of NATO (and US War 2) coding identifyng the warhead as fatal nerve agent.
    But thats just me……;any body got clear, authenticated pics of these projectiles, of which even the pimps say were unuseable?

  21. Sorry guys, if you want to argue that the amount of WMD found in Iraq isn’t particularly significant in the grand scheme of things, go for it. I’ll even agree with you on that point.

    But to attempt to redefine what constitutes a WMD after the fact is just silly. Chemical weapons are and have been for many decades considered weapons of mass destruction.

    If you aren’t going to agree to use the established definitions of words and phrases then there is really no point in debating. You might as well be speaking a different language.

  22. The “WMDs they found was useless crap.” Tell that to the two American soldiers who were severely wounded by the mustard gas when they discovered them.

  23. Tell that to the two American soldiers who were severely wounded by the mustard gas when they discovered them.

    Tell you what — why don’t you ask them if they’d like to be on the crew of a gun that was firing those shells.

  24. Tell that to the two American soldiers who were severely wounded by the mustard gas when they discovered them.

    And which two soldiers were these? Care to provide a link?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.