Can’t say this surprises me because more than one of the Iraq veterans I have talked to have been telling me for years they found WMD and evidence of a program. But, with the release of more documents by WikiLeaks … the truth can now be told.
How frustrating must it have been for returning soldiers to know the truth and not get anyone to believe them? From Wired:
By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction.
An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.
May have? Turns out it was a little more than may have.
But the more salient issue may be how insurgents and Islamic extremists (possibly with the help of Iran) attempted to use these lethal and exotic arms. As Spencer noted earlier, a January 2006 war log claims that “neuroparalytic” chemical weapons were smuggled in from Iran.
That same month, then “chemical weapons specialists” were apprehended in Balad. These “foreigners” were there specifically “to support the chemical weapons operations.” The following month, an intelligence report refers to a “chemical weapons expert” that “provided assistance with the gas weapons.” What happened to that specialist, the WikiLeaked document doesn’t say.
Apparently the documents do not show the stockpiles that had been expected or a working program during and after the invasion. But they were there, and it seems the enemy was planning on using them, had not US soldiers continued the search. Does it justify the invasion? No, Saddam himself justified the invasion. Imagine him with nuclear weapons today, or even a stockpile, which the CIA Duelfer report showed he had every intention of restarting once the UN sanctions crumbled, and that they figured would have happened by 2006.
Good job guys. Thank you Mr Bush.