White House spokesman Scott McClellan, who made the stunning announcement at a hastily called press briefing early this morning, said the President felt it was important to get the news out as quickly as possible in order to stifle ongoing criticism of his decision to invade Iraq. Critics of the administration have called the invasion unjustified, arguing that Iraq posed no threat.
"This discovery should once and for all silence those who have falsely charged that Iraq had no WMDs and no means to produce them," McClellan said. "The existence of these chemical stockpiles in such vast quantities, together with the special purification equipment, makes it abundantly clear that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent danger to the U.S. and the rest of the world."
The Press Secretary declined to provide further details on the nature of the chemical stockpiles, saying he would leave that to the experts, but other officials in Washington as well as in Iraq have provided particulars.
Chemists flown to Iraq from the Army's Chemical Warfare Research Center at Fort Detrick, Maryland have identified the chemical as Dihydrogen Monoxide, a polar solvent which in its purified form is essential to the preparation of biological and chemical warfare agents, and also is commonly used as a reaction control medium for uranium enrichment and plutonium production.
According to experts in NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) weaponry, Dihydrogen Monoxide also is suitable for use as a stand-alone offensive weapon if appropriately weaponized, and may be dispersed as an aerosol over large areas by aerial means or delivered in bulk or stream form against smaller targets.
Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal, the huge New Jersey ordnance production facility operated by the Army, are presently working on estimates of quantities of the many forms of WMD that could potentially be produced from the Dihydrogen Monoxide stockpiles.
Sources tell DP that the huge quantities of precursor chemical discovered thus far render precise estimates extremely difficult, but hasten to add that production could be almost limitless if other essential components are ignored. "The destructive potential is mind-boggling," one source stated. "If all the Dihydrogen Monoxide available were used in proper combination with other essential chemicals, enough WMDs could be produced to destroy the world many times over."
The Bush administration is expected to gain a substantial political boost from the recent discovery, following months of diminishing poll numbers and dwindling public support for the war. Reports indicate that plans already are in the works for a new series of campaign ads which senior White House officials say will completely vindicate the Bush administration's Iraq policy.
While some critics of the administration see these developments as a devastating defeat in their efforts to shift public opinion against Bush, a few have been quick to reject the White House claim that Dihydrogen Monoxide is indeed a dangerous WMD precursor chemical.
During the morning press briefing, a single protestor was escorted from the room when he asked what the chemical symbol was for Dihydrogen Monoxide. He afterwards said he wasn't surprised but did wish the Press Secretary had answered his question rather than having him ejected. Asked why he felt the answer was so important, the protestor claimed "Dihydrogen Monoxide is H2O! It's only water, for God's sake!"
As of press time, calls to the White House seeking clarification on this point had not been returned.