Hundreds of WMDs Found in Iraq

#1
[url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0 said:
WASHINGTON — The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

"We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons," Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

• Click here to read the declassified portion of the NGIC report.

He added that the report warns about the hazards that the chemical weapons could still pose to coalition troops in Iraq.

"The purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal," Santorum read from the document.

"This says weapons have been discovered, more weapons exist and they state that Iraq was not a WMD-free zone, that there are continuing threats from the materials that are or may still be in Iraq," said Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The weapons are thought to be manufactured before 1991 so they would not be proof of an ongoing WMD program in the 1990s. But they do show that Saddam Hussein was lying when he said all weapons had been destroyed, and it shows that years of on-again, off-again weapons inspections did not uncover these munitions.

Hoekstra said the report, completed in April but only declassified now, shows that "there is still a lot about Iraq that we don't fully understand."

Asked why the Bush administration, if it had known about the information since April or earlier, didn't advertise it, Hoekstra conjectured that the president has been forward-looking and concentrating on the development of a secure government in Iraq.

Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."

The official said the findings did raise questions about the years of weapons inspections that had not resulted in locating the fairly sizeable stash of chemical weapons. And he noted that it may say something about Hussein's intent and desire. The report does suggest that some of the weapons were likely put on the black market and may have been used outside Iraq.

He also said that the Defense Department statement shortly after the March 2003 invasion saying that "we had all known weapons facilities secured," has proven itself to be untrue.

"It turned out the whole country was an ammo dump," he said, adding that on more than one occasion, a conventional weapons site has been uncovered and chemical weapons have been discovered mixed within them.

Hoekstra and Santorum lamented that Americans were given the impression after a 16-month search conducted by the Iraq Survey Group that the evidence of continuing research and development of weapons of mass destruction was insignificant. But the National Ground Intelligence Center took up where the ISG left off when it completed its report in November 2004, and in the process of collecting intelligence for the purpose of force protection for soldiers and sailors still on the ground in Iraq, has shown that the weapons inspections were incomplete, they and others have said.

"We know it was there, in place, it just wasn't operative when inspectors got there after the war, but we know what the inspectors found from talking with the scientists in Iraq that it could have been cranked up immediately, and that's what Saddam had planned to do if the sanctions against Iraq had halted and they were certainly headed in that direction," said Fred Barnes, editor of The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor.

"It is significant. Perhaps, the administration just, they think they weathered the debate over WMD being found there immediately and don't want to return to it again because things are otherwise going better for them, and then, I think, there's mindless resistance to releasing any classified documents from Iraq," Barnes said.

The release of the declassified materials comes as the Senate debates Democratic proposals to create a timetable for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. The debate has had the effect of creating disunity among Democrats, a majority of whom shrunk Wednesday from an amendment proposed by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts to have troops to be completely withdrawn from Iraq by the middle of next year.

At the same time, congressional Republicans have stayed highly united, rallying around a White House that has seen successes in the last couple weeks, first with the death of terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, then the completion of the formation of Iraq's Cabinet and then the announcement Tuesday that another key Al Qaeda in Iraq leader, "religious emir" Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, was also killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Santorum pointed out that during Wednesday's debate, several Senate Democrats said that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, a claim, he said, that the declassified document proves is untrue.

"This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," he said.

As a result of this new information, under the aegis of his chairmanship, Hoekstra said he is going to ask for more reporting by the various intelligence agencies about weapons of mass destruction.

"We are working on the declassification of the report. We are going to do a thorough search of what additional reports exist in the intelligence community. And we are going to put additional pressure on the Department of Defense and the folks in Iraq to more fully pursue a complete investigation of what existed in Iraq before the war," Hoekstra said.
 
#2
Asked why the Bush administration, if it had known about the information since April or earlier, didn't advertise it, Hoekstra conjectured that the president has been forward-looking and concentrating on the development of a secure government in Iraq.
Because they knew it was a load of crap and if they jumped up and down about it they would look silly.

Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.
That is the point.

There are places in the UK where you cannot dig because of the threat from chemical agents left over from WW1 and 2.

"This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991," the official said, adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."
Santorum pointed out that during Wednesday's debate, several Senate Democrats said that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, a claim, he said, that the declassified document proves is untrue.
No significant WMD.

"This is an incredibly — in my mind — significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false," he said.
Nice headlines for Fox but when you read it all you see that is sh1t and the US knows it, that is why they have kept it low key. Sen. Rick Santorum is grand standing and should fall flat on his face.
 
#3
A feeble attempt from the administration to whip up morale and support from the population in these times of 'War Apathy'?
 
#5
I know of only one IED that alledgedly used a Sarin filled shell, even that is iffy at best(Sigact, but no follow up). I have been present when a WP IED was triggered, luckily it hadnt been stored in an upright position & had degraded considerably. Santorum's a schmuck in jeopardy of losing his re-elction bid, possibly a desperation measure on his part.
 
#6
LineDoggie said:
I know of only one IED that alledgedly used a Sarin filled shell, even that is iffy at best(Sigact, but no follow up). I have been present when a WP IED was triggered, luckily it hadnt been stored in an upright position & had degraded considerably. Santorum's a schmuck in jeopardy of losing his re-elction bid, possibly a desperation measure on his part.
You're right on the money. Santorum's trying a Hail Mary with this one.
 
#7
The coalition of the willing's intensive use of depleted uranium (half-life 4.5 billion years) sort of puts this WMD 'threat' into perspective. In fact 'friendly forces' are doing their bit to contaminate far flung environments with multiple lethal agents.



http://www.cadu.org.uk/intro.htm



Here's a quote from this site:



Depleted uranium is chemically toxic. It is an extremely dense, hard metal, and can cause chemical poisoning to the body in the same way as can lead or any other heavy metal. However, depleted uranium is also radiologically hazardous, as it spontaneously burns on impact, creating tiny aerosolised glass particles which are small enough to be inhaled. These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances. Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and the presence of depleted uranium ceramic aerosols can pose a long term threat to human health and the environment
 
#8
Some how I think some one with greater knowledge on the subject will shoot this down in flames. 4.5 billion years half life?

You should have mentioned all the batteries we drop, plastic water bottles and general crap dumped in the desert.

edited to add, your talking crap again.
 
#9
frenchperson said:
The coalition of the willing's intensive use of depleted uranium (half-life 4.5 billion years) sort of puts this WMD 'threat' into perspective. In fact 'friendly forces' are doing their bit to contaminate far flung environments with multiple lethal agents.



http://www.cadu.org.uk/intro.htm



Here's a quote from this site:



Depleted uranium is chemically toxic. It is an extremely dense, hard metal, and can cause chemical poisoning to the body in the same way as can lead or any other heavy metal. However, depleted uranium is also radiologically hazardous, as it spontaneously burns on impact, creating tiny aerosolised glass particles which are small enough to be inhaled. These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances. Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and the presence of depleted uranium ceramic aerosols can pose a long term threat to human health and the environment
1) U-235 has a half life of 704 billion years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium)
2) DU, by definition has <0.2% U-235.
3) Because of the long half-life it hardly actually emits anything, therefore radiologically the effects are negligable.

Admittedly there are toxilogical problems with it in the same way that there is with lead containing aerosols (the old leaded petrol).
 
#10
frenchperson said:
The coalition of the willing's intensive use of depleted uranium (half-life 4.5 billion years) sort of puts this WMD 'threat' into perspective. In fact 'friendly forces' are doing their bit to contaminate far flung environments with multiple lethal agents.



http://www.cadu.org.uk/intro.htm



Here's a quote from this site:



Depleted uranium is chemically toxic. It is an extremely dense, hard metal, and can cause chemical poisoning to the body in the same way as can lead or any other heavy metal. However, depleted uranium is also radiologically hazardous, as it spontaneously burns on impact, creating tiny aerosolised glass particles which are small enough to be inhaled. These uranium oxide particles emit all types of radiation, alpha, beta and gamma, and can be carried in the air over long distances. Depleted uranium has a half life of 4.5 billion years, and the presence of depleted uranium ceramic aerosols can pose a long term threat to human health and the environment
Oh come on Frenchperson - this isn't even slightly true - not up to your usual thought provoking standards I'm afraid. Have you ever seen a DU strike? Have you ever seen the results - and I don't mean on TV? Ceramic aerosols? If that's all your worried about, I suggest you may not care enough about Mother Earth and globalisation, for starters!
 
#11
Another board i persue instead of having a life, claim the wmds are all in syria and are being used in sudan :?
 
#12
A half life of 4.5 billion years is exactly why depleted uranium is not radiologically hazardous. It's perfectly safe to handle. You wouldn't want to breathe it in, but you wouldn't want to breathe in lead dust either, or asbestos. You will also find the depleted uranium is used as ballast in ships, and very occasionally in dentistry.

Radon is radiologically hazardous, because it has a half life of 3.8 days.

An awful lot of guff is emitted about DU, usually by people who don't even have an A-level physics level of understanding of radioactivity.
 
#13
Was half expecting to open this page to discover

"Just kidding..."

Anyway yep a uranium fuel rod can be held in ones hands with little effect (wether you'd want to lick it or not is the true question) and rubbish about 100% increases in cancer from iraq mostly coming from "bushflash.com" and other such crap are just irritating drivel
 
#14
stoatman said:
A half life of 4.5 billion years is exactly why depleted uranium is not radiologically hazardous. It's perfectly safe to handle. You wouldn't want to breathe it in, but you wouldn't want to breathe in lead dust either, or asbestos. You will also find the depleted uranium is used as ballast in ships, and very occasionally in dentistry.

Radon is radiologically hazardous, because it has a half life of 3.8 days.

An awful lot of guff is emitted about DU, usually by people who don't even have an A-level physics level of understanding of radioactivity.
Er, a Royal Society independent study begs to differ:



"A further important potential hazard arises on the battlefield when fragments of a DU penetrator that has impacted or pierced a tank cause shrapnel wounds. Small pieces of shrapnel embedded deep within tissues can be difficult or hazardous to remove and a cohort of US soldiers are being studied who have embedded DU fragments resulting from 'friendly fire' incidents in the Gulf War. The radiation (my italics) from these embedded fragments and the uranium released by their slow dissolution, results in potential radiological and chemical hazards. Finally, there can be direct irradiation from DU penetrators, either to soldiers who handle them, or the crews of tanks loaded with DU munitions, but also to civilians who return to the area and come into contact with intact penetrators, or fragments of penetrators, left on the battlefield."



Who is emitting 'guff'? The independent experts appointed by the Royal Society, whose collective qualifications probably amount to more than A-level physics....or your good self?



Over to you...
 
#15
frenchperson said:
Er, a Royal Society independent study begs to differ:



"A further important potential hazard arises on the battlefield when fragments of a DU penetrator that has impacted or pierced a tank cause shrapnel wounds. Small pieces of shrapnel embedded deep within tissues can be difficult or hazardous to remove and a cohort of US soldiers are being studied who have embedded DU fragments resulting from 'friendly fire' incidents in the Gulf War. The radiation (my italics) from these embedded fragments and the uranium released by their slow dissolution, results in potential radiological and chemical hazards. Finally, there can be direct irradiation from DU penetrators, either to soldiers who handle them, or the crews of tanks loaded with DU munitions, but also to civilians who return to the area and come into contact with intact penetrators, or fragments of penetrators, left on the battlefield."



Who is emitting 'guff'? The independent experts appointed by the Royal Society, whose collective qualifications probably amount to more than A-level physics....or your good self?



Over to you...
Note my bold. So everything is a "potential" hazard, which is a term used to mean "we have not measured any effect but we think there should be one because we don't like nasty soldiers firing DU around the place"
. There is an "potential" radiological hazard going on a holiday to Cornwall, flying transatlantic, or wearing an old-fashioned glow in the dark watch with paint containing radium (1,620 yr half-life, almost 3 million times as radioactive as DU), and many other activities.

Oh, and here is the decay chain for U238:



I see no gamma. Kind of stuffs your source that says it's gamma active, doesn't it?
 
#16
stoatman said:
frenchperson said:
Er, a Royal Society independent study begs to differ:



"A further important potential hazard arises on the battlefield when fragments of a DU penetrator that has impacted or pierced a tank cause shrapnel wounds. Small pieces of shrapnel embedded deep within tissues can be difficult or hazardous to remove and a cohort of US soldiers are being studied who have embedded DU fragments resulting from 'friendly fire' incidents in the Gulf War. The radiation (my italics) from these embedded fragments and the uranium released by their slow dissolution, results in potential radiological and chemical hazards. Finally, there can be direct irradiation from DU penetrators, either to soldiers who handle them, or the crews of tanks loaded with DU munitions, but also to civilians who return to the area and come into contact with intact penetrators, or fragments of penetrators, left on the battlefield."



Who is emitting 'guff'? The independent experts appointed by the Royal Society, whose collective qualifications probably amount to more than A-level physics....or your good self?



Over to you...
Note my bold. So everything is a "potential" hazard, which is a term used to mean "we have not measured any effect but we think there should be one because we don't like nasty soldiers firing DU around the place"
. There is an "potential" radiological hazard going on a holiday to Cornwall, flying transatlantic, or wearing an old-fashioned glow in the dark watch with paint containing radium (1,620 yr half-life, almost 3 million times as radioactive as DU), and many other activities.

Oh, and here is the decay chain for U238:



I see no gamma. Kind of stuffs your source that says it's gamma active, doesn't it?
You forgot to mention the more dangerous U235. DU is a by-product of both U235 and U238.


Meanwhile, I suggest you update yourself here:



http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=11496



Here's a short quote from this independent report refuting your earlier suggestion that it isn't radiologically hazardous:



"Exposure to both beta-particles and gamma-rays therefore occurs when DU is handled and exposure to gamma-rays will occur at a considerable distance from DU"
 
#18
DU contains between 0.2% and 0.4% U235, half life 700 million years. That's still one hell of a long half life, therefore it has a very low radioactivity.

Nice bit of selective out of context quoting from that source though, Frenchie (http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=11496). Let's look at the summary, shall we (my bold)?

Based on our own estimates of intakes of DU, we have
drawn the following conclusions:
a) Except in extreme circumstances any extra risks of
developing fatal cancers as a result of radiation from
internal exposure to DU arising from battlefield
conditions are likely to be so small that they would
not be detectable above the general risk of dying
from cancer over a normal lifetime
.
b) The greatest exposures will apply only to a very small
fraction of the soldiers in a theatre of war, for
example those who survive in a vehicle struck by a
DU penetrator. In such circumstances, and assuming
the most unfavourable conditions, the lifetime risk
of death from lung cancer is unlikely to exceed twice
that in the general population.

c) Any extra risks of death from leukaemia, or other
cancers, as a result of exposure to DU are estimated
to be substantially lower than the risks of death from
lung cancer. Under all likely exposure scenarios the
extra lifetime risks of fatal leukaemia are predicted
to be too small to be observable.
d) Many soldiers on a battlefield may be exposed to
small amounts of DU and the risks of cancer from
such exposures are predicted to be very low
. Even if
our estimates of risk for these conditions are one
hundred times too low, it is unlikely that any excess
of fatal cancer would be detected within a cohort of
10,000 soldiers followed over 50 years
.
e) Epidemiological studies complement assessments of
actual exposures and radiation risks. Although
epidemiological studies of occupational exposure to
uranium are not sensitive enough to detect small
increases in overall risks of cancer, they nevertheless
tend to confirm our calculations of the risks derived
from estimates of actual exposures to DU.
Dangerous stuff then if they can't measure its effect epidemiologically :roll:

And the conclusion:

In conclusion, this first report indicates that the
radiological risks from the use of DU in munitions are for
the most part low
, but that for small numbers of soldiers
there might be circumstances in which risks are higher,
and it is for this reason that further work should be
undertaken to clarify their extent.
QED.
 
#19
Uranium can be safe or unsafe, depending on its condition.

In a lump - ie a sabot before you fire it - it's safe as houses. Stick it in your pocket, carry it around and you'll have no ill effects whatsoever. Although you'll need a bloody big pocket to fit a sabot into.

However, fire said sabot at a target and it will poke a hole then catch fire. This is very good for destroying tanks and so on. However, you can then be left with a very fine powder of uranium and uranium compounds. This can be ingested and if it is it can really screw you up. First off it's a heavy metal and they're not good for you, then it will dissolve into your body and be retained and irradiate you from the inside out.

The problem is that exposure is very dependent on the exact conditions experienced. For me, I'd keep well clear of anything hit by DU, or wear a mask, gloves and coveralls while in there, to be chucked afterwards while I have a good shower.

And if you think I'm paranoid, consider that commercial aircraft sometimes use DU as balance weights in control surfaces. There are strict protocols laid down to recover these weights after a crash, just ask yourself why soldiers don't have to follow the same rules and whether you believe that messing around in burned out vehicles is safe.
 
#20
stoatman said:
DU contains between 0.2% and 0.4% U235, half life 700 million years. That's still one hell of a long half life, therefore it has a very low radioactivity.

Nice bit of selective out of context quoting from that source though, Frenchie (http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/displaypagedoc.asp?id=11496). Let's look at the summary, shall we (my bold)?

Based on our own estimates of intakes of DU, we have
drawn the following conclusions:
a) Except in extreme circumstances any extra risks of
developing fatal cancers as a result of radiation from
internal exposure to DU arising from battlefield
conditions are likely to be so small that they would
not be detectable above the general risk of dying
from cancer over a normal lifetime
.
b) The greatest exposures will apply only to a very small
fraction of the soldiers in a theatre of war, for
example those who survive in a vehicle struck by a
DU penetrator. In such circumstances, and assuming
the most unfavourable conditions, the lifetime risk
of death from lung cancer is unlikely to exceed twice
that in the general population.

c) Any extra risks of death from leukaemia, or other
cancers, as a result of exposure to DU are estimated
to be substantially lower than the risks of death from
lung cancer. Under all likely exposure scenarios the
extra lifetime risks of fatal leukaemia are predicted
to be too small to be observable.
d) Many soldiers on a battlefield may be exposed to
small amounts of DU and the risks of cancer from
such exposures are predicted to be very low
. Even if
our estimates of risk for these conditions are one
hundred times too low, it is unlikely that any excess
of fatal cancer would be detected within a cohort of
10,000 soldiers followed over 50 years
.
e) Epidemiological studies complement assessments of
actual exposures and radiation risks. Although
epidemiological studies of occupational exposure to
uranium are not sensitive enough to detect small
increases in overall risks of cancer, they nevertheless
tend to confirm our calculations of the risks derived
from estimates of actual exposures to DU.
Dangerous stuff then if they can't measure its effect epidemiologically :roll:

And the conclusion:

In conclusion, this first report indicates that the
radiological risks from the use of DU in munitions are for
the most part low
, but that for small numbers of soldiers
there might be circumstances in which risks are higher,
and it is for this reason that further work should be
undertaken to clarify their extent.
QED.
Still, it's time for you to climb down and admit that it IS radiologically hazardous, I think
 

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