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Discussion Starter #1
The REAL question is WHERE IS THE REST OF IT!

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Monday, May 17, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A roadside bomb containing sarin nerve agent (search) recently exploded near a U.S. military convoy, the U.S. military said Monday.

Bush administration officials told Fox News that mustard gas (search) was also recently discovered.

Two people were treated for "minor exposure" after the sarin incident but no serious injuries were reported. Soldiers transporting the shell for inspection suffered symptoms consistent with low-level chemical exposure, which is what led to the discovery, a U.S. official told Fox News.

"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search), the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy."

The round detonated before it would be rendered inoperable, Kimmitt said, which caused a "very small dispersal of agent."

A senior Bush administration official told Fox News that the sarin gas shell is the second chemical weapon discovered recently.

Two weeks ago, U.S. military units discovered mustard gas that was used as part of an IED. Tests conducted by the Iraqi Survey Group (search) and others concluded the mustard gas was "stored improperly," which made the gas "ineffective."

They believe the mustard gas shell may have been one of 550 for which former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein failed to account when he made his weapons declaration shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom began last year.

Investigators are trying to determine how insurgents obtained these weapons — whether they were looted or supplied.

It also appears some top Pentagon officials were taken by surprise by Kimmitt's announcement of the sarin discovery; they thought the matter was classified, administration officials told Fox News.

Kimmitt said the shell belonged to a class of ordnance that Saddam Hussein's government said was destroyed before the 1991 Gulf war (search). Experts believe both the sarin and mustard gas weapons date back to the Persian Gulf War.

"It was a weapon that we believe was stocked from the ex-regime time and it had been thought to be an ordinary artillery shell set up to explode like an ordinary IED and basically from the detection of that and when it exploded, it indicated that it actually had some sarin in it," Kimmitt said.

The incident occurred "a couple of days ago," he added. The discovery reportedly occurred near Baghdad International Airport.

It was the first announcement of the discovery of such a weapon on which Washington made its case for war. Washington officials say the significance of the find is that some chemical shells do still exist in Iraq, and it's thought that fighters there may be upping their attacks on U.S. forces by using such weapons.

The Iraqi Survey Group is a U.S. organization whose task was to search for weapons of mass destruction after the ouster of Saddam Hussein in last year's invasion.

The round was an old "binary-type" shell in which two chemicals held in separate sections are mixed after firing to produce sarin, Kimmitt said.

He said he believed that insurgents who rigged the artillery shell as a bomb didn't know it contained the nerve agent, and that the dispersal of the nerve agent from such a rigged device was very limited.

"The former regime had declared all such rounds destroyed before the 1991 Gulf War," Kimmitt said. "Two explosive ordinance team members were treated for minor exposure to nerve agent as a result of the partial detonation of the round."

The shell had no markings. It appears the binary sarin agents didn't mix, which is why there weren't serious injuries from the initial explosion, a U.S. official told Fox News.

Not everyone found the deadly artillery surprising.

"Everybody knew Saddam had chemical weapons, the question was, where did they go. Unfortunately, everybody jumped on the offramp and said 'well, because we didn't find them, he didn't have them,'" said Fox News military analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney.

"I doubt if it's the tip of the iceberg but it does confirm what we've known ... that he [Saddam Hussein] had weapons of mad destruction that he used on his own people," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox News. "This does show that the fear we had is very real. Now whether there is much more of this we don't know, Iraq is the size of the state of California."

But there were more than weapons to the need to depose of Saddam, he added. "We considered Saddam Hussein a threat not just because of weapons of mass destruction," Grassley said.

Iraqi Scientist: You Will Find More

Gazi George, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist under Saddam's regime, told Fox News that he believes many similar weapons stockpiled by the former regime were either buried underground or transported to Syria. He noted that the airport where the device was detonated is on the way to Baghdad from the Syrian border.

George said the finding likely will just be the first in a series of discoveries of such weapons.

"Saddam is the type who will not store those materials in a military warehouse. He's gonna store them either underground, or, as I said, lots of them have gone west to Syria and are being brought back with the insurgencies," George told Fox News. "It is difficult to look in areas that are not obvious to the military's eyes.

"I'm sure they're going to find more once time passes," he continued, saying one year is not enough for the survey group or the military to find the weapons.

Saddam, when he was in power, had declared that he did in fact possess mustard-gas filled artilleries but none that included sarin.

"I think what we found today, the sarin in some ways, although it's a nerve gas, it's a lucky situation sarin detonated in the way it did ... it's not as dangerous as the cocktails Saddam used to make, mixing blister" agents with other gases and substances," George said.

Officials: Discovery Is 'Significant'

U.S. officials told Fox News that the shell discovery is a "significant" event.

Artillery shells of the 155-mm size are about as big as it gets when it comes to the ordnance lobbed by infantry-based artillery units. The 155 howitzer can launch high capacity shells over several miles; current models used by the United States can fire shells as far as 14 miles. One official told Fox News that a conventional 155-mm shell could hold as much as "two to five" liters of sarin, which is capable of killing thousands of people under the right conditions in highly populated areas.

The Iraqis were very capable of producing such shells in the 1980s but it's not as clear that they continued after the first Gulf War, so officials are reluctant to guess the age of the shell or the capacity of the Iraqis prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom to produce such shells.

In 1995, Japan's Aum Shinrikyo (search) cult unleashed sarin gas in Tokyo's subways, killing 12 people and sickening thousands. In February of this year, Japanese courts convicted the cult's former leader, Shoko Asahara, and sentence him to be executed.

Developed in the mid-1930s by Nazi scientists, a single drop of sarin can cause quick, agonizing choking death. There are no known instances of the Nazis actually using the gas.

Nerve gases work by inhibiting key enzymes in the nervous system, blocking their transmission. Small exposures can be treated with antidotes, if administered quickly.

Antidotes to nerve gases similar to sarin are so effective that top poison gas researchers predict they eventually will cease to be a war threat.

Fox News' Wendell Goler, Steve Harrigan, Ian McCaleb, Liza Porteus, James Rosen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
neide said:


No one is saying you HAVE to join the truce, but don't insult everyone here by saying this isn't political.
You may be MAKING it political. Sorry if facts don't line up with your world view.

The bottom line is that WMD WAS FOUND AND USED IN IRAQ (against our troops no less).

Is that a political statement?
 

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Here's a quick little IQ test for you hhwc: was this nerve gas used in spite of the presence of the US military in Iraq or because of it?
 

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Here's a quick little IQ test for you hhwc: was this nerve gas used in spite of the presence of the US military in Iraq or because of it?
Why turn this topic into a personal jab at another person's IQ? So the "wrong answer" shows how superior one position is to the other?

If one of the U.S. administration's position is to overthrow Saddam's regime because of failure to comply with the destruction of all WMD's, does it really matter if the gas was used in spite of U.S. presence or because of it? Either way, if the report turns out to be true, some form of WMD exists within Iraq in violation of over 17 U.N. resolutions which mandated the destruction of all WMD's.
 

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fatherlu said:


Why turn this topic into a personal jab at another person's IQ? So the "wrong answer" shows how superior one position is to the other?

If one of the U.S. administration's position is to overthrow Saddam's regime because of failure to comply with the destruction of all WMD's, does it really matter if the gas was used in spite of U.S. presence or because of it? Either way, if the report turns out to be true, some form of WMD exists within Iraq in violation of over 17 U.N. resolutions which mandated the destruction of all WMD's.
Good reply. Did you get that oceanmdx ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
More....

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 11:42 a.m. EDT
WSJ: Precursor WMDs Stockpiled in Iraq

Far from being an isolated incident, yesterday's discovery in Iraq of an artillery shell filled with sarin gas is just the tip of the iceberg of recently uncovered evidence that Saddam Hussein had a weapons of mass destruction program that was fully operational until the U.S. invaded in March 2003.

Tuesday's Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. inspectors have found within the last few months "warehouses full of commercial and agricultural chemicals," which, if mixed and packaged properly, "could quickly become chemical weapons."

U.S. forces in Karbala have also recently uncovered 55-gallon drums loaded with chemicals that were said to be "pesticide," some of which were stored in what military sources described as a "camouflaged bunker complex."

Why camouflage insect spray?

The alleged agricultural site just happened to be located alongside a military ammunition dump, reports Insight magazine.

According to the Journal, Iraq Survey Group head Charles Duelfer recently told Congress that some of Saddam's WMD facilities were newly built and contained "stockpiled" raw materials that would have allowed him to "produce such weapons on a moment's notice."

There's more.

In early April, Jordanian authorities foiled an al-Qaida plot to kill 80,000 people in a chemical weapons attack in Amman.

According to one of the conspirators, whose confession was broadcast on Jordanian TV, al-Qaida WMD specialist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who reportedly was last seen in a chilling video beheading Nick Berg, trained and outfitted the WMD attackers in pre-war Iraq.

Like notorious terrorists Abu Nidal and Abu Abbas, Zarqawi enjoyed sanctuary in Baghdad, courtesy of Saddam.

Jordanian TV coverage of the Zarqawi plot included video footage of hundreds of gallon jugs containing chemical weapons that had been intercepted 75 miles from the Syriian border, where much of Saddam's pre-war WMD stockpile is believed to have been hidden.

The Zarqawi revelation comes on the heels of the April 26 explosion at a suspected chemical weapons factory in Baghdad, just as a U.S. weapons team arrived to inspect its contents.

Disguised as a "perfume factory," the facility was booby-trapped, investigators believe, to destroy evidence of whatever was inside.

We won't be surprised if, in the coming weeks, more sarin-laden shells are uncovered in Iraq. But in the meantime, the media focus on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal has obscured that fact that the WMD case against Saddam is already compelling and continues to grow.
 

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oceanMDX said:
Here's a quick little IQ test for you hhwc: was this nerve gas used in spite of the presence of the US military in Iraq or because of it?
I was trying to stay out of politics for a little while but couldn't resist this golden opportunity to point out that your long standing denials as to your liberalism are so bogus.

So, is it now the conservative way to blame ourselves for the nerve gas? Sounds to me like the STEREOTYPICAL (in capitals to emphasize it for you) liberal view of things. Come on accept the fact that you are a liberal on at least on this issue and I won't bother you again. The "L" word isn't a bad word you know.
 

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keremoner said:


I was trying to stay out of politics for a little while but couldn't resist this golden opportunity to point out that your long standing denials as to your liberalism are so bogus.

So, is it now the conservative way to blame ourselves for the nerve gas? Sounds to me like the STEREOTYPICAL (in capitals to emphasize it for you) liberal view of things. Come on accept the fact that you are a liberal on at least on this issue and I won't bother you again. The "L" word isn't a bad word you know.
Me? I've never denied being a "liberal on this issue". Only in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And More...

Tests Confirm Sarin in Iraqi Artillery Shell

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

By Liza Porteus

NEW YORK — Tests of the artillery shell that detonated in Iraq on Saturday have confirmed that it did in fact contain an estimated three or four liters of the deadly sarin (search) nerve agent, Defense officials told Fox News Tuesday.

The artillery shell was left as a roadside bomb, the U.S. military said Monday. Two U.S. soldiers were treated for minor exposure to the nerve agent when the 155-mm shell exploded before it could be rendered inoperable. Three liters is about three-quarters of a gallon; four liters is roughly a gallon.

The soldiers displayed "classic" symptoms of sarin exposure — most notably dilated pupils and nausea, officials said. The symptoms ran their course fairly quickly, however, and as of Tuesday, the two had returned to duty.

A shell filled with mustard gas (search) that was part of an improvised explosive device (IED) was also discovered on May 2, Defense officials said.

That shell was found by passing soldiers in a median on a thoroughfare west of Baghdad. The most likely way it got there was that it was simply left there by someone, officials said, but it's unclear whether it was meant to be used as an IED.

Click to Read the Weapons of Mass Destruction Handbook

Testing done by the Iraqi Survey Group (search) — a U.S.-organized group of weapons inspectors who have been searching for weapons of mass destruction (search) since the ouster of Saddam Hussein — concluded that the mustard gas was "stored improperly" and so the gas was rendered "ineffective."

"It's not out of the ordinary or unusual that you would find something [like these weapons] in a haphazard fashion" in Iraq, Edward Turzanski, a political and national security analyst, told Fox News on Tuesday. But "you have to be very careful not to be entirely dismissive of it … it remains to be seen whether they have more shells like this."

Iraq: A 'Bazaar of Weapons'

New weapons caches are being found every day, experts said, including "hundreds of thousands" of RPG rounds and man-portable air defense weapons used to shoot down coalition aircraft.

"Clearly if we're gonna find one or two of these every so often — used as an IED or some other way — the threat is not all that high but it does confirm suspicion that he did have this stuff," said Ret. U.S. Army Col. Robert Maginnis.

"It is a bazaar of weapons that are available on every marketplace throughout that country," Maginnis added. "We're doing everything we can to aggressively disarm these people but there were so many things that were stored away by Saddam Hussein in that country … it's a huge job that we're tackling."

Some are concerned that enemy fighters with access to potentially lethal weapons in a country full of stockpiles could mean more risk to coalition forces and Iraqis.

"What we don't know is if there are other shells, which there certainly could be," said Dennis Ross, a former ambassador and special Middle East coordinator and a Fox News foreign affairs analyst. "We also don't know whether or not these kind of shells could be used as explosives, which could have a more devastating effect on our troops."

But some experts say that the individual shells themselves don't pose a threat to the masses.

"I'm not as concerned they're going to use a lot of chemical munitions … they're not gonna use these as improvised explosive devices because they don't have a big blast associated with them, but they do combine those two compounds into the noxious sarin gas. But they can't do it all that well with a small explosive charge," Maginnis said.

"The reality is, they'd have to have a whole bunch of these things, have to find some way of blowing them with a large charge to even create a cloud."

But that doesn't mean insurgents won't find a better way to make the devices to create a more "terrorist-type of attack" against U.S. forces, Maginnis continued.

The task of military analysts in Baghdad is to determine how old the sarin shell is. A final determination will have a significant effect on how weapons researchers and inspectors proceed.

Some are suggesting that the unmarked shells found date back to the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. The mustard gas shell may have been one of 550 projectiles for which Saddam failed to account for in his weapons declaration shortly before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. Iraq also failed to then account for 450 aerial bombs with mustard gas.

It's not clear if enemy fighters simply found an old stockpile of weapons of if they knew what was inside.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld reacted cautiously to the news of the discoveries.

"So what we have to then do is to try to track down and figure out how it might be there, what caused that to be there in this improvised explosive device, and what might it mean in terms of the risks to our forces," Rumsfeld said Monday.

Kurds: We Have Evidence of WMD

Many have no doubt similar substances will be found as the weapons hunt continues.

"We don't know where they are but we suspect they are hidden in many locations in Iraq ... it's quite possible that even the neighboring states who are against the reform of Iraq ... are helping the Saddamites in hiding," Howar Ziad, the Kurdish representative to the United Nations, told Fox News on Tuesday.

"As we know, the Baathist regime had a track record of using" these chemicals against people in Iraq, such as the Kurds, Ziad continued. "He's [Saddam] never kept any commitment he's ever made to the international committee nor to the people" to not use such deadly materials.

Saddam's regime used sarin in mass amounts during the Iraqi military's attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja (search) in 1988. More than 5,000 people are believed to have died in those attacks; more than 65,000 were injured. Sarin was also just one nerve agents used by the Iraqi Army against Iran during the Iraq-Iran War in the 1980s.

Ziad said the United Nations, World Health Organization and others haven't "bothered" to travel to the Kurdish region in northern Iraq to see the effects sarin and other deadly agents have had on people firsthand and to get proof that Saddam did in fact possess such weapons.

"We have evidence — we have victims of the use of those agents and we're still waiting for WHO and the U.N. to come investigate," Ziad said.

Fox News' Bret Baier, Mike Emmanuel and Ian McCaleb contributed to this report.
 

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neide said:


Me? I've never denied being a "liberal on this issue". Only in general.
Not you. That was a reply to oceanMDX who has gone to great lengths to convince us that he is a conservative (politically).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How significant is 3-4 liters of Sarin?

Some people in the mass media have tried to downplay this find saying it is ONLY one shell.

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Lethal dose of Sarin: 0.5 milligrams.
Density: 1.089 g/cm3
Grams per liter: 1,089g
Lethal doses per liter: 2,178,000
Lethal doses of sarin contained in this shell: 6,534,000 to 8,712,000

Assuming 100% efficiency...

But even at .1% lethality, the quantity would kill 6534 people. Scary thought.
 

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fatherlu said:


Why turn this topic into a personal jab at another person's IQ? So the "wrong answer" shows how superior one position is to the other?

If one of the U.S. administration's position is to overthrow Saddam's regime because of failure to comply with the destruction of all WMD's, does it really matter if the gas was used in spite of U.S. presence or because of it? Either way, if the report turns out to be true, some form of WMD exists within Iraq in violation of over 17 U.N. resolutions which mandated the destruction of all WMD's.

Gee whiz now that the US may have found a trace of sarin, it can claim that it was justified to attack Iraq all along, and that it is at the vanguard of enforcing UN resolutions in spite of fully supporting Israel during decades of it violating UN resolutions. It's looking like the US has scored a double whammy here - what a coup! The credibility of the US in the world has just been restored. Hhwc and keremoner were right all along! Oh boy this sure is exciting.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but it's too late for all that. Thanks to President Bush and his junta, the credibility of the US in the world today is zero, and his apologists have me shaking my head because they just don't get it - and they never will.
 
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