NYT: Ummm…. by the way…. there are chemical weapons in Iraq

Update: C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons

CIA, working with American troops during the occupation of Iraq, repeatedly purchased nerve-agent rockets from a secretive Iraqi seller, part of a previously undisclosed effort to ensure that old chemical weapons remaining in Iraq did not fall into the hands of terrorists or militant groups, according to current and former American officials.

The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.

…others contained the nerve agent sarin, which analysis showed to be purer than the intelligence community had expected

The Borak warheads, which are roughly 40 inches long and attach to a motor compatible with the common Grad multiple rocket launcher system, were domestically produced.

Who else uses the Grad MRLSHamas and Hezbollah.  No problems there.  They would never fire rockets into civilian areas.

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From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

The secrecy fit a pattern. Since the outset of the war, the scale of the United States’ encounters with chemical weapons in Iraq was neither publicly shared nor widely circulated within the military. These encounters carry worrisome implications now that the Islamic State, a Qaeda splinter group, controls much of the territory where the weapons were found.

Perhaps the military was tired of be cudgeled by the NYT and the Smart Set, telling the public that chem weapons in Iraq were just another ruse for BushHitlerChenney’s war for oil.

And now it is time to worry because the JayV team might get their hands on them and use them?

via The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons – NYTimes.com.

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