Reports are flying fast and furious, and details remain sketchy since Sen. Rick Santorum announced late today that Coalition Forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. (Transcript in MS Word Doc format, courtesy of Captain’s Quarters)
According to The Corner…
* 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.
* Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market. Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.
* The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.
* The purity of the agent 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.
* It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons.
Now, the real question…why now? Why is this story just coming out?
It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next few days.
Dan Riehl notes that WMD discovery in Iraq hasn’t been a secret, it’s just been under-reported.