Friday, June 23, 2006

It's amazing to watch these bastards move the goalposts around. 
A reader writes in to lend perspective to David Kay's assertion that the recently found chemical munitions are no more dangerous than those Americans store under their kitchen sinks.

I work at an army base as a plant engineer at a facility which just completed destroying mustard agent. Our people wore expensive, disposable, uncomfortable, inflated suits to protect themselves from 60+ year’s old mustard agent. We have spent hundreds of million of dollars over the last 3 years to dispose of American pre-WWII mustard agent but based on an MSNBC report and from what she said today it was obviously wasted money since the mustard agent was old and degraded. And there are other projects gearing up to dispose of mustard agent and other old chemical weapons, so more money could be saved by stopping these projects. Also our silly congress has mandated that this material can not be transported outside of the military bases where they are stored. Disposal, especially in a non-centralized faculty, is obviously a total waste of money. Degraded mustard agent dangerous? Another one of those Bush lies? Wrong! I wrote and told her that she has no shame. She of all Democrats should know the truth about chemical weapons being on the intelligence committee. Obviously she doesn’t want to discuss the incident where a military disposal unit crew member was severely burned by a French WWII mortar shell filled with mustard agent found in dredged sea bed material in Dover, DE last year. The soldier would, I’m sure, take comfort from her statement today.

The commenter erroneously attributes the statement to Rep. Jane Harman. In any case, Kay does concede that the chemical agents would cause burns, but Kay argues they would not be lethal. Perhaps. But I don't think Kay would like to take any chances.

It's amazing to watch these bastards move the goalposts around.

The Security Council resolutions did not make any exception whatsoever for chemical compounds which are not lethal. Saddam would have been in violation of his agreements and the resolutions had the ordnance been free of toxic chemical compounds altogether - the munitions themselves were a violation of the cease fire agreement and were to be destroyed.

It is now settled fact that Saddam was in violation of the Security Council agreements from day one - and the same people who were arguing that "there were no chemical weapons in Iraq - none" are now arguing that a 500 round stockpile of chemical munitions somehow doesn't amount to a violation.

(No, the stockpiles were not "forgotten." If they were forgotten, then how did we find them? We're not out in the middle of the desert digging holes in the sand at random. Someone tipped us off to them.) And if they were to be forgotten about, why did Saddam have his people go through the trouble to bury them? Why not just put them in a corner of an arms dump and forget about them?

Oh, and the Washington Post's assertion that "there is no evidence that the insurgents have found the chemical weapons" can be fact-checked here.

Do try to keep up, WaPo.

Splash, out


How did we find the Sarin and other weapons?

Sarin-dippity, of course!
Sarin, in binary artillery shells, has an unlimited shelf life. So long as the two precusor components are not mixed, you do not even sarin yet. That process takes place when the shell is fired, making the sarin "on the fly", if you will.

It would be trivial for a terrorist who knows what they're doing, to extract the precursors from a shell, and create an instant nerve gas IED. Take two glass jars. Put each precursor in one. Tape the bottles together along with a hand grenade. Pull the pin, throw the contraption into a room full of people and you have an instant mass cas event.
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