|Senate Intelligence Committee members: Weapons of mass destruction exist in Iraq
By Jim Kouri
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) announced last Wednesday the discovery of over 500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction. The WMD found were sarin gas and mustard gas contained in projectiles, according to Fox News Channel's Special Report.
Sen. Santorium, reading from a newly declassified intelligence, 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." The statement was aired on The Mark Levin Show, as well as FNC.
"That means in addition to the 500, there are filled and unfilled munitions still believed to exist within the country," said Santorium.
Reading from the document on camera, Santorum added, "Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the Black Market. Use of these weapons by terrorist or insurgent groups would have implications for coalition forces in Iraq. The possibility of use outside of Iraq cannot be ruled out. The most likely munitions remaining are sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles. And I underscore filled."
Santorum also said the "purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions."
While acknowledging that the agents "degrade over time," the document said that the chemicals "remain hazardous and potentially lethal," according to Levin.
The media has reported that "insurgents and Iraqi groups" want to "acquire and use chemical weapons," Santorum noted said during a press conference.
The Pennsylvania senator called the finding "incredibly" significant.
"The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction is in fact false," Santorum said.
"We have found over 500 weapons of mass destruction and in fact have found that there are additional chemical weapons still in the country."
Other portions of the intelligence report provide a glimpse of what some Iraq experts say is Saddam's attempt to continue to wage war against the US after the first Gulf War ended.
Earlier this year, the New York Times reported that in the days before the US-led invasion of Iraq, one of Saddam's generals, Georges Sada, said he witnessed what he believes were large volumes of WMD being transported into Syria. He also states that members of the Russian military assisted the Iraqis in removing the weapons.
In another story, also in the Times, it was reported that Saddam's top commanders were demoralized when he told them he had no WMD for them to use in order to repel the invaders.
Except for Fox News and a couple of newspapers, the news media have not reported on the Santorum press conference and the details contained in the intelligence report.
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