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Thread: Device found in Iraq with sarin gas

  1. #1
    deus ex machina
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    Default Device found in Iraq with sarin gas

    This certainly is an interesting development. A moot point perhaps. I'm expecting the usual conspirary theorists to put in their two cents. I have to admit that the timing is...fortunate...to say the least, considering the recents events.

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A U.S.-led coalition convoy in Iraq found sarin gas in an artillery round rigged as an improvised explosive device, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said Monday.

    Sarin is a nerve agent used for chemical weapons. A doomsday cult in Japan used the gas in terrorist attacks in 1994 and 1995.

    The detonation of the device in Iraq resulted in a small dispersal of the nerve agent, Kimmitt said. Two members of an explosives ordnance team were treated for minor exposure, he added.

    U.S intelligence officials in Washington said the shell was discovered Saturday near the Baghdad International Airport.

    "The area that was affected was very minor," Kimmitt said. "There's no need for any further decontamination. The [ordnance team] people who went up there showed some minor traces of exposure, but it was so minor the doctors already have these people released."

    Kimmitt said the artillery round was of an old style that Saddam Hussein's regime had declared it no longer possessed after the Persian Gulf War.

    Kimmitt said device was designed to mix two relatively passive chemicals after being fired from an artillery piece, creating the potent nerve gas, and that it was ineffective as an improvised explosive device.

    Kimmitt said it appeared that whoever set up the roadside bomb was unaware that it contained the chemicals.

    "It was a weapon we believed was stocked from the ex-regime time," Kimmitt said. "It had been thought to be an ordinary artillery shell, set up like an IED. When it exploded, it indicated that it had some sarin in it."

    The general said the Iraqi Survey Group, headed by Charles Duelfer, would determine if the shell's discovery indicated Saddam possessed chemical weapons before the U.S. invasion last year. Officials in Washington said another shell -- this one containing mustard gas -- was found 10 days ago in Iraq.

  2. #2
    WingChun Lawyer
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    Default Re: Device found in Iraq with sarin gas

    Originally posted by deus ex machina
    I'm expecting the usual conspirary theorists to put in their two cents.
    OK, since you insist, there it goes...

    ONE LOUSY SHELL DOESNīT QUALIFY AS A WMD.

    That said, I think this is much more important:

    "News of the discovery came hours after Iraqi Governing Council President Izzedine Salim was killed by a suicide bomber in central Baghdad, the U.S. Army said.

    Salim, who was head of the Islamic Da'wah Movement in the southern city of Basra, was a key moderate on the U.S.-appointed, 25-member council."

  3. #3
    deus ex machina
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    The assassination may very well be important. But that's not what this thread is about.

    And why does one shell containing sarin NOT qualify as WMD?

  4. #4
    Registered Member CanuckMA's Avatar
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    Because small quantities of Sarin are available to any nut-job who wants it. Remember Tokyo a few years back?

    That some group got some does not imply that Saddam had the huge stockpile of the stuff.

  5. #5
    deus ex machina
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    So Saddam only had 1 or 2 artillery shells loaded with sarin?

  6. #6
    WingChun Lawyer
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    Originally posted by CanuckMA
    Because small quantities of Sarin are available to any nut-job who wants it. Remember Tokyo a few years back?

    That some group got some does not imply that Saddam had the huge stockpile of the stuff.
    Yup. Bring the huge stockpile of sarin to the light, otherwise you wonīt be able to say that Saddam had WMD with a straight face.

  7. #7
    deus ex machina
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    I think you are missing the point.

    The point is, Saddam said he didn't have it.

    If we take this report at face value, that means he lied.

    WMD are WMD, regardless of amount. They aren't called weapons of mass destruction because of the quantity.

  8. #8
    deus ex machina
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    Also, if one artillery shell contains sarin, it's not a stretch to assume that there were hundreds or even more at one point in time. You don't fire off one shell of sarin at a time.

  9. #9
    Wounded Ronin
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    But the point is that the international community wouldn't take that seriously as "proof". I mean, think about it. We go in, kick over the government, give Bearded Saddam a medical examination, 5.56 blast the insurgents, and then with a big grin on our face offer up a single extremely low-key chemical weapon shell as justification for it all.

  10. #10
    WingChun Lawyer
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    Originally posted by deus ex machina
    I think you are missing the point.

    The point is, Saddam said he didn't have it.

    If we take this report at face value, that means he lied.

    WMD are WMD, regardless of amount. They aren't called weapons of mass destruction because of the quantity.
    They are called WMD because of the potential threat they pose. Bush said Saddam presented an immediate threat to the USA because he had WMD in enough quantity and quality to present such a threat, or was on the brink of acquiring such WMD.

    Neither the WMD nor the highly advanced development programs were found. Ergo, Bush was lying, Bush was wrong, or Bush just didnīt know what else to say to justify his war and took his chances.

    One lousy shell means less than nothing. It is a well known fact that Saddam HAD those WMD: they were given him by the USA during the 80īs, and thatīs that. Bush said he had those WMD available now, and this has yet to be proven.

    One shell is just a left over.

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