The extraordinary arms purchase plan, known as Operation Avarice, began in 2005 and continued into 2006, and the American military deemed it a nonproliferation success. It led to the United States’ acquiring and destroying at least 400 Borak rockets, one of the internationally condemned chemical weapons that Saddam Hussein’s Baathist government manufactured in the 1980s but that were not accounted for by United Nations inspections mandated after the 1991 Persian Gulf war.Now let's be clear, nobody is saying these were the stockpiles of WMDs Bush and most of the western powers were using as a casus belli for war. At the same time, the conventional wisdom hasn't changed since 2008 and it states that Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house and there were no WMDs found in Iraq. None, nada, zilch. Then along comes the Times...
The analysis of sarin samples from 2005 found that the purity level reached 13 percent — higher than expected given the relatively low quality and instability of Iraq’s sarin production in the 1980s, officials said. Samples from Boraks recovered in 2004 had contained concentrations no higher than 4 percent.
The new data became grounds for concern. “Borak rockets will be more hazardous than previously assessed,” one internal report noted. It added a warning: the use of a Borak in an improvised bomb “could effectively disperse the sarin nerve agent.”Of course none of which Saddam declared to Hans Blix before the invasion.
So two questions. One, with ex-Ba'athist regime thugs reportedly working with ISIS on military strategies what are the chances they've stashed some of this material away for later use, perhaps even privately threatening to use it here or there if we do this or that? That could explain the presidential foot-dragging, assuming one were inclined to believe Obama has a desire not to foot drag.
Two, how will this go over politically? The Washington Post is already asking how Jeb Bush will handle his brother's failure to find WMDs in Iraq, but that would also bring in Hillary's yes vote in 2002. Many experts believe Hillary lost to Obama in 2008 because of her Iraq vote. Would she dare come out and blame her vote on Jeb's brother, especially with some WMDs found in Iraq and stuff like this still on the internet?
Maybe a revelation about some WMDs being found in Iraq helps. She's a hawk figure and a lawyer, she could craftily say Duyba and Cheney still misled her but she also knew there was some danger there, therefore she and the First Man are the only candidates able to fix it, etc. Might work. Why else would the Times pursue this?