Wednesday, June 21, 2006

About those WMD

I think a blogstorm is rapidly building on this story:
U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, joined Congressman Peter Hoekstra, (R-MI-2), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, today to make a major announcement regarding the release of newly declassified information that proves the existence of chemical munitions in Iraq since 2003. The information was released by the Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte, and contained an unclassified summary of analysis conducted by the National Ground Intelligence Center. In March, Senator Santorum began advocating for the release of these documents to the American public.

“The information released today proves that weapons of mass destruction are, in fact, in Iraq,” said Senator Santorum. “It is essential for the American people to understand that these weapons are in Iraq. I will continue to advocate for the complete declassification of this report so we can more fully understand the complete WMD picture inside Iraq.”

Background details on this are just starting to come out, and I'd be uncomfortable offering any analysis at this early stage. I will offer a couple of preliminary thoughts, though. First, I suspect the 500 weapons that have been found are an accumulation of miscellaneous discoveries that have been noted in non-MSM media sources over the past three years. If it stops at the 500 weapons, this will be dismissed and brushed away by those on the "where are the WMD" storyline as small finds and not a stockpile.

It is going to be tough to decided what is fact and what is speculation in the next day or two. For instance, it is already being stated that the Bush administration was keeping this on the down low to shield three members of the Security Council. Speculation or fact, who the hell knows? I'm kind of hoping that my fellow bloggers approach this cautiously.

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