Declassify the WMD Report and Tell Iran 'The Jig is up'

By

Senator Santorum and Congressman Hoekstra last week revealed some recently declassified material establishing that our forces had found significant quantities of WMDs in Iraq after the invasion.  

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."

They went to considerable effort to get what they released but have made clear that there is far more in the still classified sections of the report which they cannot discuss.

As is usual, the news was met with the usual undercutting of its significance and hints that this was but a political gambit to garner attention and aid Santorum's reelection efforts.

I don't think so. I think the finds indicated how significant a threat Saddam remained ; how nonsensical was the notion that the international community could contain Saddam; and how ineffectual the OFF and IAEA inspection programs of the UN had proved to be. In sum, the revelation underscored why we were right to invade.

But that is far from the end of this matter. The question remains why is so much of the report still classified even though these Senators have said it is very significant and that they have strongly urged its release? I believe the Administration is sitting on  this very  important information because they know that release of the full report will embarrass French, German and Russian political figures and may interfere with our relations with those countries in other areas where real cooperation is necessary.

The White House seems entranced by another feckless strategy developed by the luftmenschen at State. What good was served by their insistence that the United States spend so much time and effort trying to bring Saddam's suborned  gang of thieves at the UN to actually make the UN resolution's words mean what they say?

Why make sacrifices to protect friends whonhave not acted as friends? Surely, by now the French are aware of Chirac's perfidy and would kick him out immediately were there a way to do so. Schroeder no longer is in power in Germany. Russian hostages in Iraq were just beheaded.  The fact that these governments cheated on the arms embargo can be news only to illiterates or idiots. Everyone else knows already.

Even more importantly, Iran's mullahs loom on the horizon and until there is a regime change there, an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is a threat to the world, and certainly to all of Europe, including these three nations which dropped the ball in dealing with Iraq.
 
Weighing the likelihood that disclosure of what the government is now hiding against the cost of non—disclosure, it seems to me that disclosure would bring home to the Iranians what non—disclosure will not: that we mean business and so do our putative allies who have joined us in what has so far proven to be a long running, utterly unproductive talk with the Mullahs.
 
Surely diplomacy must consist of more than sweeping the dirt of our 'allies' under the carpet at the cost of hiding the truth that Saddam retained weapons of mass destruction and that the international effort to oversee and control them encouraged by Foggy Bottom  was a farce. Advance notice to Russia, France and Germany that the disclosure is coming and declassification of this important information might at last tip off the Mullahs that this time our allies are willing to act differently and the jig really is up.
 
Clarice Feldman   6 25 06

Senator Santorum and Congressman Hoekstra last week revealed some recently declassified material establishing that our forces had found significant quantities of WMDs in Iraq after the invasion.  

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."

They went to considerable effort to get what they released but have made clear that there is far more in the still classified sections of the report which they cannot discuss.

As is usual, the news was met with the usual undercutting of its significance and hints that this was but a political gambit to garner attention and aid Santorum's reelection efforts.

I don't think so. I think the finds indicated how significant a threat Saddam remained ; how nonsensical was the notion that the international community could contain Saddam; and how ineffectual the OFF and IAEA inspection programs of the UN had proved to be. In sum, the revelation underscored why we were right to invade.

But that is far from the end of this matter. The question remains why is so much of the report still classified even though these Senators have said it is very significant and that they have strongly urged its release? I believe the Administration is sitting on  this very  important information because they know that release of the full report will embarrass French, German and Russian political figures and may interfere with our relations with those countries in other areas where real cooperation is necessary.

The White House seems entranced by another feckless strategy developed by the luftmenschen at State. What good was served by their insistence that the United States spend so much time and effort trying to bring Saddam's suborned  gang of thieves at the UN to actually make the UN resolution's words mean what they say?

Why make sacrifices to protect friends whonhave not acted as friends? Surely, by now the French are aware of Chirac's perfidy and would kick him out immediately were there a way to do so. Schroeder no longer is in power in Germany. Russian hostages in Iraq were just beheaded.  The fact that these governments cheated on the arms embargo can be news only to illiterates or idiots. Everyone else knows already.

Even more importantly, Iran's mullahs loom on the horizon and until there is a regime change there, an Iran armed with nuclear weapons is a threat to the world, and certainly to all of Europe, including these three nations which dropped the ball in dealing with Iraq.
 
Weighing the likelihood that disclosure of what the government is now hiding against the cost of non—disclosure, it seems to me that disclosure would bring home to the Iranians what non—disclosure will not: that we mean business and so do our putative allies who have joined us in what has so far proven to be a long running, utterly unproductive talk with the Mullahs.
 
Surely diplomacy must consist of more than sweeping the dirt of our 'allies' under the carpet at the cost of hiding the truth that Saddam retained weapons of mass destruction and that the international effort to oversee and control them encouraged by Foggy Bottom  was a farce. Advance notice to Russia, France and Germany that the disclosure is coming and declassification of this important information might at last tip off the Mullahs that this time our allies are willing to act differently and the jig really is up.
 
Clarice Feldman   6 25 06