Santorum: Military has found 500 chemical munitions shells in Iraq (Video added)

posted at 5:45 pm on June 21, 2006 by Allahpundit

**Video from Hannity & Colmes is here.**

He’s reading from a document about it right now with Pete Hoekstra by his side. The shells allegedly contained degraded mustard or sarin gas. He says they believe there are other shells inside the country that haven’t been found yet.

WMD is WMD, but finding a shell here and there when Iran’s about to get the bomb next door leaves me somewhat … underwhelmed.

Update: Actually, is that true? “WMD is WMD”? The knock on Ron Suskind’s “mubtakkar of death” is that, as scary as it sounds, it wouldn’t kill any more people inside a subway car than a conventional bomb would. Or a small-arms attack, possibly. Are chemical shells any scarier than, say, grenades? They have a lot more political value, obviously.

Update: And when I say political value, I don’t mean just for Bush. Santorum’s re-election bid is on life support, and of course there’s a debate raging on the Senate floor about the war right now. I’ve been meaning to write about it but don’t have much to say except that it’s entertaining to watch Democrats trying to figure out how defeatist is too defeatist for purposes of getting re-elected.

Update: A commentator I respect e-mails with a most excellent question indeed:

how can you fail to cheer the revelation about the wmds in iraq? and why haven’t you asked the next question? how long has this information been in the hands of the intel community? why haven’t we heard about this before?

it’s quite an interesting story, i think we will discover.

See-Dubya agrees. Captain Ed is already weighing the political fallout.

Update: I’ve got the video of Santorum via Fox but it’s going to take me awhile to get it uploaded, unfortunately. (Damned Tivo.) It should be up by 8 p.m. EST if you’ll bear with me.

Update: CNS News reports on Santorum’s press conference.

Update: Austin Bay comments:

Artillery rounds are tactical weapons–but nerve gas is still nerve gas and it puzzles me as to why this information took so long to release.

Saddam used WMD and once the Desert Storm santions were lifted I believe he intended to reconstitute his programs. To believe otherwise about Saddam is to put you in league with goofs like Michael Moore and George Galloway.

Update: Raw Story is covering this, too.

Update: Alex C. of Santorum Blog e-mails to say that the Senator has issued a press release on the chemical shells.

Update: As promised, here’s video of the press conference. Santorum’s supposedly going to be on Hannity & Colmes tonight; we’ll have video of that too if anything interesting is said.

Update: The document Santorum read from during the presser is available for download here in PDF form. Hugh Hewitt had Santorum on this afternoon and says the transcript should soon be up at Radioblogger.

Update: Austin Bay says it’s put-up-or-shut-up time for Santorum.


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WMD is WMD, but finding a shell here and there when Iran’s about to get the bomb next door leaves me somewhat … underwhelmed.

Yes, but it puts the BUSH LIED! THERE WERE NO WMD! meme to bed. Or to sleep, I should say. And it confirms that common knowledge in this case was right.

It ain’t the best of things, but it’s a good thing.

Pablo on June 21, 2006 at 5:51 PM

Does it, though? Technically it’s WMD, but that’s not an argument that should be won on a technicality.

Besides, you and I both know they could find a warehouse full of anthrax and the nutroots will simply turn around and accuse Bush of having planted it.

Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 5:54 PM

that’s still WMD
That means Saddam had them and that we were justified going to war
Allahpundit, of course this will be taken by the LLL and used against us, but then again we’d have planted the WMD even if we found a massive factory buried under Fallujah with thousands of vats of mustard and sarin gas. I don’t care what BS the LLL will come up with, its important that this is shown as proof that WMD did exist in Saddam’s Iraq and we were valid.

Defector01 on June 21, 2006 at 6:00 PM

Good. We have just enough to give every Democrats in both House two pieces, make it three pieces after the election.

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 6:02 PM

Actually, is that true?

Yes. And F— You.

Sincerely,
Halabja.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 6:03 PM

See-Dubya — Yeah, in quantity. But if you want to kill thousands of Kurds, you could also carpet-bomb them the old-fashioned way. Are the chem shells that much more lethal?

You know, like some of our (ex-)commenters want to do to the Iraqis.

Allahpundit on June 21, 2006 at 6:07 PM

Not in a no-fly zone, you couldn’t. And 500 rounds could do a lot of damage to a village.

Or if you were to set them off in…

Wait a minute, I have a blog. Be right back.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 6:09 PM

What I read over at polipundit says 500 shells, that isn’t exactly a “shell here and a shell there”.

crosspatch on June 21, 2006 at 6:10 PM

Talking about it now on Fox News. They are saying there are more to be found somewhere.

slapnuts on June 21, 2006 at 6:11 PM

Depending on the type of agent in the shells and weather conditions, they can be a lot more lethal than a conventional bomb becuse they are kind of like bug spray for people. You can contaminate an area and it can keep on killing. An oil-based persistant agents can continue to injure or kill for a long time after they are first dispersed. There is also a certain horror aspect to it as well.

crosspatch on June 21, 2006 at 6:14 PM

Besides, you and I both know they could find a warehouse full of anthrax and the nutroots will simply turn around and accuse Bush of having planted it.

Right, but the nutroots still think Karl Rove was indicted. I’m more concerned with those who simply consume information, sensible people who won’t need WMD explained to them, or vetted for timing. You know, sane people. People who remember that way back when, EVERYONE thought Saddam had WMD. Now it turns out that he did, and the fact that he didn’t isn’t a fact anymore.

Bush’s numbers will continue to climb, well into the 40′s I’m guessing.

Unless the media buries the story.

Pablo on June 21, 2006 at 6:16 PM

I’m waiting to hear the apologies from those who screamed “Bush lied people died.” the crickets are chirping…

pullingmyhairout on June 21, 2006 at 6:19 PM

Yeah, as I was saying, this could happen.

Not in the states, not on that scale, but in Israel (fired from artillery), Jordan, Turkey, the Green Zone…lotsa places something like that could happen.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 6:22 PM

I went for a coffee break, sat back down thinking “this was a slow news day”…and I find Kos getting pummelled in TNR and Santorum reporting WMD’s. Wow!

Ceegar time.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 6:23 PM

A sarin gas shell has the ability to kill a lot more people than HE, but it’s highly dependent on conditions (wind, rain,etc.) And, with it’s modest persistance, it has a factor of keeping an area cleared longer.

In a closed envrionment (subway cars, etc.) and with proper dispersal, it can definitely be more leathal that explosives of the same weight. Probably by a factor of 100 (but, naturally, far more difficult to handle).

Mike O on June 21, 2006 at 6:30 PM

Unless they found a cache of anthrax stamped “Hollywood 90210″ the libs will never admit Bush was right.

right as rain man on June 21, 2006 at 6:42 PM

Chemical Weapons are considered “Persistant” weapons.. meaning that they “Stick” around and are potent for a long period of time. Depending on the Chemicals used and the area they are used, they can last virtually forever. They are only affected by other chemicals, area enclosure, and possibly time.

An Explosion normally lasts milliseconds and causes great destruction, but once expended, they have no further effect, but they do leave residue heat. Chemical weapons, can last for a lonnnnngg time depending on their composition and enviroment.

Mustard Gas was used to great effect in World War one because as a heavier gas, it could be released onto the battlefield and it would flow into the very trenches that protected soldiers in battle. If the weather was still, the gas would stay there and kill anyone who entered that trench till the wind blew the gas away.

Liquid Chemical weapons can be anywhere, if sprayed in an area, it will cover everything in sight, if released as a mist can cover the tops, sides, bottom of just about anything not directly protected, and unless it is washed away or counter-acted with another chemical agent, it could be there for years. If touched, ingested, or inhaled, could cause death or devestating impairment. Nerve Agents are considered Chemical Agents and do not need much mass to be effective. A mild type of Chemical Agent was used in Vietnam called Agent Orange, It’s purpose was as a defoilant so the large jungle canopy in the area would be destroyed and pinpoint bombing attacks along with ground support could be used to our advantage. It’s after effect was long term to both the Enemy Viet Cong and our own forces who entered the areas where AO was used. Another example of how long chemical weapons can be effective can be your typical weed killer.. if you spay too much on your lawn, it could be years before you can grow grass again.. Unless you remove the topsoil and replace it, every time you touch the ground with your hands, you better wash before eating or touching sensitive areas like nose, mouth, ears, or eyes as you will contaminate yourself with that Chemical Agent and if you get enough, you can/will die.

This is why Chemical Weapons are classified as WMD’s.. They may not kill all at once, but they have the potential to kill over a long period of time.

Rudeseal on June 21, 2006 at 6:44 PM

But…but…all the members of the Useful Idiots Brigade swore there were never any WMD’s….Ohh the horor of being lied too. If only I can stay insane for one more day…….

:::::Reality Check On:::::

This news is going to slice through the Left like a hot knife through butter….Ohh the irony of being caught by what else…facts.

Terlizzi999 on June 21, 2006 at 6:45 PM

Aum Shinrikyo used Sarin in the Tokyo subways in 1995, and only killed a dozen people. But they screwed up the dispersal and could have done a lot more damage. Even so they injured 1000.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 6:49 PM

Advice to Senator Santorum…

Turn right. No Amnesty! Break rank with Bush. Come back to the conservative camp, and you will win.

Otherwie, it really make no difference if the democrat wins. It is better for us to have a visible enemy that a hidden one.

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 6:51 PM

Choices for new dhimmi-crat mantras:

1) Bush revealed that stash, in a blatant political gasp…

2) Bush placed the shells, so we can invade somewhere else…

3) Bush lied, the WMD were hidden always by his side…

BirdEye on June 21, 2006 at 6:51 PM

But… but… but…..

Rove is indicted!!!

*that’s next week*

Mortis on June 21, 2006 at 7:08 PM

Allahpundit:
when you say (ex)commenters…does that mean they have been purged for offering their opinions?

Just wondering.

But, on topic, didn’t this info come out a couple of years ago? Or was that ANOTHER cache of chemical weapons shells? It doesn’t matter, even if a giant WMD landed on Michael Moore’s gut the libs would still stick their heads in the sand and claim it wasn’t capable of “mass destruction.”

NTWR on June 21, 2006 at 7:10 PM

how long has this information been in the hands of the intel community? why haven’t we heard about this before?

Because it’s evidence in Saddam’s trial maybe?

Terp Mole on June 21, 2006 at 7:11 PM

Rudeseal,
Informative post, I did not know about the long term effects of chemical WMD’s.

I fear the Liberals will shake this off. I don’t want to sound like an eletist twit, but many of the hardcore liberals I know seem to base their decisions on a fantasy world where facts have no bearing.

Wyrd on June 21, 2006 at 7:25 PM

Stupid people think WMDs are big bad bombs.

The rest of us know that biological and chemical agents are WMDs.

doingwhatican on June 21, 2006 at 7:29 PM

Well, i have to apologize in advance (ya’ll know i’m not liberal) but do you think it’s POSSIBLE that Bush & Co. held on to this information and only released it when they needed a push in the polls? Hate to play devil’s advocate. sorry.

pullingmyhairout on June 21, 2006 at 7:34 PM

Pulling–

Fair question; but I think Bush had just had a bump in the polls after Zarqawi and the Iraq trip. Gas is down a little and the economy’s doing well. It’s not a time I would choose to play my hole card.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 7:45 PM

Hey Pulling,

they next are going to bring bin laden out in october…(lol) I am sure the MSM will do their best to be fair by burying this….

robo on June 21, 2006 at 7:47 PM

I don’t expect the nutroots community to accept this as truth, as they like to ignore anything that is incompatible with their “reality”, but I think it’s good that it’s being reported, even if it’s not a grand slam.

violet on June 21, 2006 at 7:51 PM

Ha! The Liberals have been saying that “Bush will use the ‘Usama’ card” every October since 9/11.

Rudeseal on June 21, 2006 at 7:55 PM

Does anyone realize how much damage that can be done with this. I think they knew they would only find so much with the delay in the UN. That being said you can’t say everyday we are finding this or that…It would be and WMD rush…like the gold rush of 1849.

You have to be smart. The future will vindicate the president and he took great courage to realize this.

tomas on June 21, 2006 at 8:12 PM

The future will vindicate the president and he took great courage to realize this.

Absolutely.

violet on June 21, 2006 at 8:27 PM

Tomas–exactly. I can’t believe how blase everybody is being about this. This is really big news.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 8:30 PM

It is kind of like Clinton’s testimony…they built it up and then there was a thud. The importance was lost in rancor and expectation.

tomas on June 21, 2006 at 8:37 PM

and I will ad…Santorum will be the story. Not the WMD’s.

tomas on June 21, 2006 at 8:41 PM

1. This won’t sway the ‘bats in any capacity.
2. The invasion was justified the second Saddam Hussein violated the cease-fire ending Gulf War I in 1991. It should’ve never taken us this long in the first place. 9/11 simply hit between the eyes that we could no longer pussy-foot around with those who wish us harm. This discovery is nice, but our case for war did not hinge upon the discovery of WMDs – and it never should’ve been couched as such.

Did I mention none of this will have any impact on the moonbats?

scoobysnack on June 21, 2006 at 8:48 PM

Tomas–yeah, it will be played up as a ploy by Santorum. I can hear it now–”but some critics saw the disclosure of this information as an attempt by Santorum to boost his sagging political fortunes.”

If so, it’s a damn good one.

No offense to our lugubrious host, but this really ought to be in Hot Picks, and not Ann Coulter being a smartass to sell her books. And it’s not like I’m Mr. Excitable here myself. As I said (I’m just updating the post linked above)I cannot understand the utter anhedonia with which this news is being greeted around the right side of the blogosphere.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 8:53 PM

I’m 80% sure of this.
They’ve known for about 60 days and the secretive part is because of how & where they found the WMD’s. Its an intelligence move to keep it under wraps for a while. I dont know exactly why, but it’s to keep it from insurgents and the enemies more than it is keeping it from us. There are more WMD’s out there, we want to find them first.

shooter on June 21, 2006 at 9:04 PM

Whoa!!! Listening to Hannity & Colmes…Santorum and Hoekstra got a tip and had to search 8 weeks for the report on these WMDs. Sounds to me like the intelligence people didn’t want to let the word out!!!

IrishEi on June 21, 2006 at 9:04 PM

Of course, Colmes says they’re not the right WMDs.

IrishEi on June 21, 2006 at 9:05 PM

shooter, I don’t think they found a cache, judging by the Fox News report. They’ve been finding these a few at a time, here and there, since 2003. I don’t think this is a sources & methods issue.

But why was it secret then? Why would Tenet go down in flames, sitting on this?

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 9:09 PM

Why isn’t this on FoxNews? Google news? Yahoo news?

Fogpig on June 21, 2006 at 9:15 PM

it is on foxnews. I have the window open now. If it’s on Hot Air, it’ll show up on Google News.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 9:17 PM

CW, Thanks!
I guess I meant “on the homepage of Foxnews”, one would think this would get the yellow “breakning news” banner.
There I go again – thinking.
I wonder why dubya didn’t hold a press conference for this?

-FOG (Fat Old Guy)

Fogpig on June 21, 2006 at 9:22 PM

Do you guys remember we have found 300 tons of natural uranium too( or it is 500 tons)? And they said Saddam did not have a nuclear program.

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 9:23 PM

“These were not the WMDs we went to war over!”

Does that mean potential victims would be LESS DEAD from these WMDs???

In the words of John Stossel: Give Me A Break!

speed647 on June 21, 2006 at 9:28 PM

C-dub
I think they found just a few in the past, but big numbers more recenlty, this year IMO. I still believe there is to much info in the “where” definition, or a ‘pattern’, to release the document and intel. Maybe a manufacturing countries fingerprint? Or a trail to Syria?
Even if they’re mostly old, they still kill in the wrong hands and Saddam lied, again.
We just might find out ….in a year or two…hehe
-It does have my attention, and it IS A GOOD THING!!

shooter on June 21, 2006 at 9:31 PM

Watching Hannity and Colm.

This Colm head is doped. He said…”this is nothing new.”

And he accused Bush lied to lead us into war.

Hannity is asking him to apologize. Colm refused to apologize.

I think Hannity asking too much. Colm is beyond himself.
Many liberals have a defective gene in their body, it is called the mongoloidschizophenicparanoipyschotictruthout gene.

Liberals that have this gene will only accept the image in their mind as real. Anything they see with their eyes and hear with their ears will be filtered by the gene.

Jason, Mapes, Murtha, Rather, Colm, and many liberals obviously have this defective gene.

They already forgot what WMD is.

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 9:35 PM

Right…so it’s taken 3 years for this information to come out, and instead of the President or Rumsfeld or some other important military/intel talking head to come out with this information, we are to believe that Santorum – a republican who is getting blown away in the PA polls – is the chosen one to disclose this information to the American people?!?!?

I’m glad the Bush administration has given the important role of disclosing VITALLY IMPORTANT WMD related discoveries to the most struggling people in his party.

You have to be kidding me.

This will fall into the LOOOOOOOOONG list of other WMD hoaxes.

better off blue on June 21, 2006 at 9:44 PM

Geez Washington closes down everytime they find a little laundry detergent in an envelope. I wonder what would happen in New York if they found a few of these “old capsules” in the subway. They wouldn’t even have to detonate them to cause a significant shutdown in New York.

frreal on June 21, 2006 at 9:51 PM

Alan Colm just said…”the number is irrelevant.”

Better of Blue, are you alan Colm’s clone?

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 10:02 PM

I’m glad the Bush administration has given the important role of disclosing VITALLY IMPORTANT WMD related discoveries to the most struggling people in his party.

It isn’t vitally important to fighting the war. The adults are focused on that, blue.

Pablo on June 21, 2006 at 10:17 PM

For the knee-jerkers:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html

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.”

better off blue on June 21, 2006 at 10:23 PM

Better off, you are getting silly again.

I thought we are arguing on whether IRAQ has WMD. Not how much.

Liberals accused Bush lied. They claimed that there weren’t any WMD!

You little devil…tricky tricky….

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 10:27 PM

Better off blue,

And you only accept warheads in good working condition.

Aren’t you a little bit too tough on Bush?

easy87us on June 21, 2006 at 10:32 PM

Blue:

..and yet the same guy says some of those unusable artillery shells may have been used outside of Iraq.

see-dubya on June 21, 2006 at 10:43 PM

C’mon on, even if they dug up part of a nuclear weapon in Iraq at this point, the liberal democrats would still be all over the MSM saying that now WMD’s were ever found, and the nuke was either not in working condition or he never actually planned to use it so it doesn’t count.

The liberals are liars, pure and simple. They will NEVER allow the truth to get in the way of what they want to believe and try to convince other of. They are exactly the people scripture is talking about when it says, “…seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived”.

NRA4Freedom on June 21, 2006 at 10:44 PM

“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.”

Since dismissing this report is the liberal or is it progressive (diffrent names, same meaning) way, and that most of the critics of the war did not speak, they shouted that the former regime had accounted for all their stockpiles from the 1st Gulf war as being destroyed (they had the regimes word mind you) out of the blue what appears, but documentation that this is not the case pushed by the critics.

Since whether or not these munitions are dated from the 1st gulf war era or not is not the point (although that seems to be the Lefts only statements while eating a healthy does of crow) what is the point is that a sizeable number have been found thus making swiss cheese out of the main leftist chant.

Blue…do enjoy the limited time that your side of the position has with its myth….as it but one of many that have reached their cracking point.

Terlizzi999 on June 21, 2006 at 11:39 PM

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