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   Undertoad  Monday Oct 6 12:00 PM

10/6/2003: Bioweapon vials



A political one today, and this photo has been underwhelmingly covered in the old media, so:

This is one of the set of hidden vials discovered by David Kay's Iraqi WMD discovery operation. The vials contain "reference strains" of biological organisms, some of which are bioweapon strains. In total there were 97 vials hidden in this Iraqi scientists' house, with the explicit instructions to keep them so that the BW program could be renewed when the international heat was off.

The scientist says he was asked to keep more stuff, and deadlier stuff, but he decided that anthrax in the fridge is not a good idea when there are kids in the house.

The complete Kay report includes a good number of these kinds of things, all prohibited and undeclared to the UN, including a set of 500km missiles and plans for 1000km missiles (tw take note).

In the post-war context these things do not really constitute a "smoking gun", but if Kay's discoveries had been discovered pre-war, they would have been highly damning and certainly would have increased support for the war. We forget the pre-war context from 6-8 months ago, but these findings only would have made it more urgent.

So that's my take on it, post your own take below.



Elspode  Monday Oct 6 01:04 PM

I seem to remember the missle issue existing before the invasion, UT, but no one seemed to think it constituted a severe enough threat.

You'd think that the existence of the reference samples, and the fact that they were being hidden would be enough to convince some people that perhaps there was something amiss, but no...



Torrere  Monday Oct 6 02:47 PM

Quote:
In the post-war context these things do not really constitute a "smoking gun", but if Kay's discoveries had been discovered pre-war, they would have been highly damning and certainly would have increased support for the war.
Yes. Perhaps we should have given the inspectors some time to find them instead of charging off to war after all.


Undertoad  Monday Oct 6 03:01 PM

Well, the other half of Kay's report discusses what they found in the area of destroying evidence and "sanitizing" --

Quote:
In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts, we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence - hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use - are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts.



goethean  Monday Oct 6 04:03 PM

Quote:
The vials contain "reference strains" of biological organisms, some of which are bioweapon strains. In total there were 97 vials hidden in this Iraqi scientists' house, with the explicit instructions to keep them so that the BW program could be renewed when the international heat was off.
Clearly, unilateral invasion and occupation is the only appropriate response.










Not.






pegusitas  Monday Oct 6 04:06 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Torrere


Yes. Perhaps we should have given the inspectors some time to find them instead of charging off to war after all.
Yes, but I believe the point that was made before going to war was that if Saddam wanted to hide the weapons from inspectors, he could do it. The idea of letting the weapon inspectors find the weapons works fine in theory, but the theory makes the assumption that the leaders of Iraq would not hinder the inspection. Other countries have been inspected, and they offered support in the inspections to prove their compliance. This was not the case with Iraq.


OnyxCougar  Monday Oct 6 06:12 PM

See my view on the post on this thread.



bjlhct  Monday Oct 6 06:38 PM

It's Crap

One of them exactly is a strain that supposedly could be used to make a bioweapon. Now, weaponizing a strain is usually the hardest part, and judging from this guy's history, the standard for what could be used to make a bioweapon is probably pretty loose.



hot_pastrami  Monday Oct 6 07:05 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Torrere
Yes. Perhaps we should have given the inspectors some time to find them instead of charging off to war after all.
Well, it is doubtful that this evidence, hidden in an Iraqi citien's residence, would have been found by weapons inspectors.
Quote:
Originally posted by Undertoad
In the post-war context these things do not really constitute a "smoking gun", but if Kay's discoveries had been discovered pre-war, they would have been highly damning and certainly would have increased support for the war. We forget the pre-war context from 6-8 months ago, but these findings only would have made it more urgent.
Good point. The problem is that we went to war without already having this evidence, or any semi-solid proof of it's existence. The US dished out punishment, and violently took over a country, based on circumstantial evidence. Finding harder evidence later is called "luck." Whew, we didn't guess wrong this time. But what about next time? What if we take over and occupy a country that we later found out did nothing seriously wrong?

I am not directly against the war, I am against the reasons given for having gone to war. They were about as solid as Jell-o. If we hadn't attacked yet, and a bunch of biological and/or warfare stuff started being uncovered, I'd say "bomb the fucker." But to go in with guns blazing because we suspect or fear that a country may be developing deadly weapons... not cool.


xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 6 07:19 PM

Did anybody ever figure what all that toxic shit was, Iraq dumped in the river just before we took the capitol?



Torrere  Monday Oct 6 07:44 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by hot_pastrami
What if we take over and occupy a country that we later found out did nothing seriously wrong?
I expect that the bureaucrats in charge would attempt to save face. They naturally wouldn't want to be humiliated and they could be protecting the reputation of the most powerful country on the planet.


Elspode  Monday Oct 6 08:54 PM

So, if the stuff was innocent, why hide it? Can't they just get more from a sympathetic world biology market after the nasty old American imperialist pigs are done?



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Oct 6 09:07 PM

I think it was stashed from the inspectors and the war came along before they could get back to it.



bjlhct  Monday Oct 6 10:50 PM

Thanks for the obligatory conspiracy theorizing Bruce.

I'm just sick of all the misinformation, spin, and fake science being thrown around in the news. You have to hand it to some of the talking heads, they would be really good poker players.



Undertoad  Monday Oct 6 11:17 PM

Well I was going by the official caption but as usual Instapundit has the real deal, a discussion over whether the key vial was the toxin or just the germ that can cause the toxin. The NY Times and the Post disagree and the early line is on the Post.

There's much confusion here, but maybe the worst point is that based on this scientist's explanation there's a cache of much worse germ starter kits out there somewhere.



quzah  Tuesday Oct 7 05:01 AM

If you blow that picture up, you can barely make out "CIA ISSUE" on them. Seriously folks, we're the stupid fuckers who gave them a ton of help killing people in the past, but now they're bad, right?

Quzah.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Oct 7 05:27 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by bjlhct
Thanks for the obligatory conspiracy theorizing Bruce.

I'm just sick of all the misinformation, spin, and fake science being thrown around in the news. You have to hand it to some of the talking heads, they would be really good poker players.
Whoa dude, no theorizing. I'm refering to the post.
Quote
In total there were 97 vials hidden in this Iraqi scientists' house, with the explicit instructions to keep them so that the BW program could be renewed when the international heat was off.
Quote


goethean  Tuesday Oct 7 11:11 AM

Quote:
as usual Instapundit has the real deal
Limbaugh for the AOL crowd.


bjlhct  Tuesday Oct 7 11:59 PM

Oh, OK, I thought you meant that the inspectors stashed them before the war to "find" them.



gossard187  Wednesday Oct 8 12:49 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by goethean


Limbaugh for the AOL crowd.
Limbaugh is a talking head, Instapundit is a law professor. I give him much more credence than Limbaugh.
Glenn Reynolds Bio


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Oct 8 04:39 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by bjlhct
Oh, OK, I thought you meant that the inspectors stashed them before the war to "find" them.
Hmmm...that's interesting. Makes me wonder how many times people misunderstood and said nothing. My quest for brevity could be bad.


bjlhct  Thursday Oct 9 11:06 PM

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/200...9435/87745/5#5



Undertoad  Thursday Oct 9 11:31 PM

If you're going to quote K5 comments you need to wait until they are out of the submission queue.

If you're going to quote K5 comments that are simply uninformed conjecture and a Guardian link, just post the Guardian link.

But that removes any need for K5?

Exactly



goethean  Friday Oct 10 11:39 AM

I don't know...uninformed conjecture may trump uninformed conjecture.



Happy Monkey  Friday Oct 10 05:45 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Elspode
So, if the stuff was innocent, why hide it? Can't they just get more from a sympathetic world biology market after the nasty old American imperialist pigs are done?
Obviously he was hiding it from the fundamentalist clerics, who wouldn't approve of Botox injections.


bjlhct  Friday Oct 10 06:30 PM

It's in the spirit of the original post.



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