Thursday, June 22, 2006

Pass the Mustard Gas

WMD's Found In Iraq!

That was the buzz yesterday on Fox News et al., a mini-storm created by our very own Sen. Rick Santorum, who held a news conference with the chair of the House Intelligence Committee to announce the revelation. Here is Santorum's blog on the issue.

Outside of Fox, though, the issue didn't get much play. I wondered why? Was the leftist-liberal-defeat-dog media once again suppressing info. that would back the President's case for invading Iraq.

Well, no. It turns out it wasn't news because it wasn't new.

These are old shells, with decayed mustard and nerve gas, that date from the Gulf War I in 1991. They were discovered and disclosed by the U.S. military two years ago.

The Washington Post, in reporting the Santorum news conference, included this pithy graph:

The U.S. military announced in 2004 in Iraq that several crates of the old shells had been uncovered and that they contained a blister agent that was no longer active. Neither the military nor the White House nor the CIA considered the shells to be evidence of what was alleged by the Bush administration to be a current Iraqi program to make chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

Last night, intelligence officials reaffirmed that the shells were old and were not the suspected weapons of mass destruction sought in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.

Oh well. Good try.

P.S. I didn't hear it myself, but I understand Delaware County's own U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon was on WCAU "The Big Talker" yesterday, ranting about a piece I did in my column wondering how he could think there is credible evidence of WMD's in Iraq, an assertion he made to the Delco Times a few weeks ago.

It was one of those Quasi-Wacky Weldon Rants the embattled incumbent favors so much these days.

Weldon cited the Santorum news conference as proof that he was right and I was wrong.

Sorry, Curt it just doesn't cut the mustard.

(I couldn't help myself.)


Blogger rasphila said...

Glad to see you're back in business. And a very enlightening post. It's nice to know that we can rely on our Senators and Representatives for such careful research and such accuracy about dates.

In case any elected officials are reading this, they might want to know that Iraq used chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), but did not use them in the first Gulf War (1991)—obviously because they were past their sell by date.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous shopsteward24 said...


I heard Weldon blowing a blood vessel on the radio last night on my way home from work. He expects you and all of the liberal media and left wing demagogues (a phrase he repeated about 8 times in a 15 minute interview) to eat crow - immediately! The President has been vindicated, understand??? Better get started before he comes over there and yells at you personally. Seems that's all he's capable of doing anymore.

I was curious as to why this story didn't show up anywhere else but Fox. Sean Hannity practically had an orgasm on his radio show while discussing this with Santorum.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous johngilb said...

How does Santorum call his site a blog? There's no space for comments. I wanted to let him know what I think of him (not much, I'm afraid) but the site didn't permit it. It's solely a propaganda vehicle for his campaign.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quote from the Pentagon briefing courtesy of the Times Herald:

At a Pentagon briefing Thursday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said though they recovered chemical weapons were described as degraded, they still posed a risk to U.S. troops in Iraq.
"What's been announced is accurate, that there have been hundreds of canisters or weapons of various types found that either currently have sarin in them or had sarin in them. And sarin's dangerous. And it's dangerous to our forces, and it's a concern," Rumsfeld said. "They are weapons of mass destruction. They're harmful to human beings."

7:57 AM  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

Were you in Iraq with the Russians prior to the start of the war? Were you in the convoy headed toward Syria?

And so it wasn't new. But they weren't disclosed by Saddam according to the UN mandates were they?

10:55 AM  
Anonymous CENTRIST said...

Dear Tom,

Comment moderation is supposed to weed out the whackos and the spammers, not those with opposing views.


12:25 PM  

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