portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

imperialism & war

NPR Reports Iraq Has Chemical Weapons

U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. forces near Baghdad found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons, the U.S. news station National Public Radio reported on Monday.

NPR, which attributed the report to a top official with the 1st Marine Division, said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were "ready to fire." It quoted the source as saying new U.S. intelligence data showed the chemicals were "not just trace elements."

It said the cache was discovered by Marines with the 101st Airborne Division, which was following up behind the Army after it seized Baghdad's international airport.

U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar had no immediate comment.

The United States and Britain launched the war against Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq denies having such weapons.

homepage: homepage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47645-2003Apr7.html

Thanks for the confirm 07.Apr.2003 23:06


Thanks for the confirmation. What no posts...speechless? Hold on, there will be more, much more. VX, Sarin, and radioactive material, oh, my.

Old news... 07.Apr.2003 23:07


that story appeared in the morning...(WASHINGTON (Reuters)
Monday, April 7, 2003; 10:25 AM)

In the afternoon the following article appeared...

"Mon Apr 7, 1:18 PM ET.....

...."But in Qatar, where the US Central Command (CentCom) is directing the US-led invasion of Iraq, officials had been much more cautious.

"We don't have any extraordinary finds at this point while we're still looking," CentCom spokesman US Brigadier General Vincent Brooks told a news briefing"......

"In a further sign that US commanders are unconcerned about an Iraqi nuclear, biological or chemical attack, they ordered forces near Baghdad on Monday to shed their protective gear.

"It's great to have them off," Lieutenant Colonel Fred Padilla, commander of the 1st Marines Battalion, said after his troops stripped down to lighter camouflage garb.

Padilla said an order to take off the cumbersome and hot protection suits had come down from his superiors.

"They made an assessment and they determined there was not a serious threat right now," he said."


That is a pretty mixed up report 07.Apr.2003 23:08

Lt. Doughnut

One highly questionable blurb, put out by NPR? Reuters?washingtonpost.com?

Update 07.Apr.2003 23:23

Lt. Doughnut

I have now heard 2 reports that the suspected chemical weapons are to be "sent" to the US for "further analysis".

Don't believe it... 07.Apr.2003 23:26


The UN says that Iraq was clean of WMD so thats what I believe...

US Soldiers Exposed to Sarin 07.Apr.2003 23:32


ALBU MUHAWISH, Iraq - U.S. soldiers evacuated an Iraqi military compound early Monday after tests by a mobile laboratory detected the presence of sarin, a powerful nerve agent.

The testing came after more than a dozen soldiers from the Army's 101st Airborne Division who guarded the military compound on Saturday night came down with symptoms consistent with exposure to very low levels of nerve agent, including vomiting, dizziness and skin blotches.

The soldiers, along with a Knight Ridder reporter, a CNN cameraman and two Iraqi prisoners of war, were sent for chemical weapons decontamination and hosed down with water and bleach.

If subsequent tests uphold the findings, it would be the first evidence of weapons of mass destruction, a cornerstone of the Bush administration's rationale for the invasion of Iraq and something that eluded United Nations inspectors for months.

Subtle, yet effective 07.Apr.2003 23:41


Subtle yet effective Woodsman...I wouldn't be suprised if that went right by some of these folks.

From Your Own Citation, Indy 07.Apr.2003 23:49

How Clever

[A hand-held scanning device also indicated the soldiers had been exposed to a nerve agent. Other tests, however, came back negative.]

At least their goat-smellin' asses got a shower.

FLASH! Feeble right-wingers attempt to bore the opposition to death!

Thank GOD! 07.Apr.2003 23:53


Oh THANK GOD! Now we are finally justified in killing Iraqis! I was against this war - but now I have seen the light! Now we can bring those chemical weapons back to where they belong - the US - and begin our rule of Iraq with an Iron Fist!

Mojo is confused 08.Apr.2003 00:00


Mojo, you seem obsessed with the story from Najaf. Yes the material there appears to be Pesticide. The story referred to here is in another location and involves actual medium range artillery shells (20) loaded with chemwar materials and ready to be fired. In an artillery shell it is fairly safe (as safe as nerve agent can be) to be near and handle.

Call AAA and get a map of Baghdad, it's a pretty big place (about the size of LA). I know you desperately want to cling to your belief in Saddam and his purity, but you gotta let go man, he's no good for you. You will find another brutal dictator to love someday, you just gotta give it some time.

How Stupid Can You Be? 08.Apr.2003 00:05

Lt. Doughnut

These guys have been wearing chemical gear until what, yesterday? They take it off and expose themselves to drums of chemicals? How stupid can one be?

These drums most likely contain the pesticides that are claimed to be in them. BTW- pesticides are chemicals designed to kill living things; sometimes by way of nervous system disruption. In contrast, chemical weapons are chemicals designed to kill living things; sometimes by way of nervous system disruption.

Gee. I sure hope they can "find" these weapons.

this news story has been yanked 08.Apr.2003 00:22


I went to Reuter's site, and this story does not appear in their archives. It does appear at washingtonpost.com, if you follow the link posted above, but when I went to washingtonpost.com's archives, it wasn't there either. I believe the story has been discredited. After all, if it supposedly happened this morning, it would be all over CNN and the networks, and it ain't.

Try again, losers. My bet is they won't find anything. I mean, if the shit was there, don't you think they'd have used it by now? I mean, if they haven't used wmd even when their country is being brutally invaded, how likely was it that they could ever have used them?

Accuracy first casualty of war 08.Apr.2003 00:31


Woodman, the UN was still in the process of looking for WMD when George pulled the plug. They never made any pronouncement that "Iraq was clean of WMD".

Indy (and Oz), the Billings Gazette story is from the 6th. If WMD had already been proven by then, why would all the other media spend all day on the 7th talking about fertilizer?

If Saddam is someday shown to have WMD, many of us protestors won't be too surprised, just as we wouldn't have been too surprised if the UN inspectors had found them without all the hubbub (where hubbub equals 10s or 100s of billions of dollars and 10s of thousands of human lives).

You don't need to get too touchy-feely to argue against this (or most any) war. Common sense is sufficient. (Well, maybe not-so-common.)

I told you 08.Apr.2003 00:45



I told you that would fly right by some of these folks, didn't I...Mensa meets elsewhere if you know what I mean...

Dave the story referred to was from Reuters and published in the Washington Post and reported on NPR. It was from today and involved actually weapons full of Sarin and Mustard Gas ready to be fired.

Wow, what a find! 08.Apr.2003 08:14


So Iraq has some bad ass chemicals. So does half the planet. It still does not justify our presence there and, by the way, I got Woodsman's subtle remark. Yes, it is possible that the inspectors missed some chemicals, but as one poster pointed out, they were cut off. It's a big country. The only people that care about the scanty amount of chemicals agents they probably have are those that are pushing this war. It's their smoking gun, a reason to bomb the crap out of a two bit country that is not a threat to the U.S. Let's bomb Israel; their a threat to the security of the whole middle east. Next, we can kill the idiot hiding in some US lab, that perpetrated the Anthrax attacks. Oh, and then we have the biggest threat to US security, those assholes in the White House.

Nop.. Just pesticide 08.Apr.2003 09:38

another dud

Big suprise... turns out to be pesticides. oh boy.. They are going to spray our military with pesticide. right...
So where are those tons of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Weapons? Is it possible that... tum tum dum.. they don't have them??? Well, I'm sure if they did, they would have used them by now, and not have left them on some farm south of Baghad.

MSNBC wrote:

April 8 Conclusive testing is still under way, but the latest tests indicate that barrels found in central Iraq do not contain chemical weapons agents as first suspected, U.S. military sources said on Tuesday. Other suspicious finds especially rockets potentially packed with sarin and mustard gas were also still being investigated.



This news story obviously has been proven false. If they had found such damning evidence as missles equipped with chemical weapons, it would be ALL OVER the media, EVERY NEWSTATION, by now. Instead we have one article from yesterday morning and nothing more. What are they focused on instead? Barrels of chemicals that are more likely than not pesticides.
I repeat- it is clear that this one Reuters article (which is not in the Reuters archive) has been discredited and no one is following up on it.

Just seen on MSNBC 08.Apr.2003 17:41


"I'VE SEEN NOTHING in official reports that would corroborate that," Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told reporters at the Pentagon. He was referring to news reports Monday that Marines had found rockets, possibly packed with sarin and a mustard agent, at a warehouse outside Baghdad.