Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Mystery Wrapped In An Enigma
Disappears Into Thin Air

From Melanie Phillips:

Remember the Iraqi WMD which didn’t exist and so we were taken to war on a lie? Well, here’s a rum thing — some of that non-existent WMD was removed secretly from non-existent sites. According to this story, it was non-existently removed from no fewer than 109 non-existent Iraqi sites. According to acting chief weapons inspector Demetrius Perricos:

‘…analysts found, for example, that 53 of the 98 vessels that could be used for a wide range of chemical reactions had disappeared. "Due to its characteristics, this equipment can be used for the production of both commercial chemicals and chemical warfare agents," he said. The report said 3,380 valves, 107 pumps, and more than 7.8 miles of pipes were known to have been located at the 39 chemical sites.

A third of the chemical items removed came from the Qaa Qaa industrial complex south of Baghdad which the report said "was among the sites possessing the highest number of dual-use production equipment," whose fate is now unknown." Significant quantities of missing material were also located at the Fallujah II and Fallujah III facilities north of the city, which was besieged last year.

‘Before the first Gulf War in 1991, those facilities played a major part in the production of precursors for Iraq's chemical warfare program. The percentages of missing biological equipment from 12 sites were much smaller — no higher than 10 percent.

The report said 37 of 405 fermenters ranging in size from 2 gallons to 1,250 gallons had been removed. Those could be used to produce pharmaceuticals and vaccines as well as biological warfare agents such as anthrax.

The largest percentages of missing items were at the 58 missile facilities, which include some of the key production sites for both solid and liquid propellant missiles, the report said. For example, 289 of the 340 pieces of equipment to produce missiles — about 85 percent — had been removed, it said.

At the Kadhimiyah and Al Samoud factory sites in suburban Baghdad, where the report said airframes and engines for liquid propellant missiles were manufactured and final assembly was carried out, "all equipment and missile components have been removed." '

Now, why should equipment have been systematically removed from so many sites? Could it possibly have been because the Iraqis didn’t want anyone to find it? And why would they not have wanted anyone to find it other than that they weren’t supposed to have it? But hey, the stuff never existed.