A few conservative bloggers are very excited by Rick Santorum’s announcement that some 500 chemical shells have been found in Iraq with degraded sarin and mustard gas. Hot Air has the details.
But I’m staying calm for now. My recollection is that we have found such material before, albeit in significantly smaller quantities, and the conclusion was that the material was probably left over and forgotten from the 1991 war.
Sure, this contradicts anyone who says Saddam *never* had WMD. But those people were always idiots. The question that interests most people is whether he had an active, ongoing program when we invaded. I don’t yet know whether today’s discovery sheds any light on that.
Stay tuned. I’d check Hot Air regularly for the best updates. I’m at the park.
UPDATE: I don’t mean to suggest that only an active program would have justified the invasion. Stockpiles of usable chemical weapons would also.
Old, unusable, forgotten ones probably wouldn’t.
It remains to be seen which this is.
UPDATE x2: Via steve in the comments comes a link to a Fox News article which says:
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.”
I think if they were usable, it would be a different story. Since they apparently aren’t, it doesn’t sound too earth-shaking to me . . .
UPDATE x3: So if this is the huge revelation that some conservative bloggers (like See Dubya) appear to think it is, why did we hear it from Rick Santorum? And why is a senior Defense Department guy downplaying it?