Being Misled About WMDs in Iraq … Again

By | October 18, 2014

[October 18, 2014] I don’t normally comment directly on the credibility, bias, or accuracy of news articles because that is all I would be doing here at if I did. Today I’m making an exception because of the egregious false impressions generated in a New York Times (NYT) article titled, The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons1 (see link). At the time leading up to and during the Iraq war, the world was being misled about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) by the media … and its happening again.

When I saw the NYT title I promptly spit my morning coffee over my computer keyboard and had to apologize to my wife for scaring her. Anyone who remembers discussions of WMDs in Iraq will also remember the U.S. media repeatedly reporting on the failure to either find WMDs or programs to research, obtain, or stockpile them.

The NYT article accuses the “Pentagon,” in other words the U.S. military and the Bush Administration, of a cover-up of the fact that chemical weapons have been there all along and that the chemical weapons caused injuries to U.S. military personnel. The authors of the article note that they don’t recall the military making the announcement of any such find. Of course, they probably just didn’t Google “WMD in Iraq” to find a 2006 U.S. Department of Defense press release announcing discovery of Iraq military chemical weapons (see link).

As a U.S. Army Engineer in 2006, one of my construction projects was the sealing of chemical munitions in a concrete bunker system. The Coalition also had reports of roadside bombs being made from them and we were told to always have our chemical protective gear nearby in case we had to use it. None of this was a secret. Numerous Congressional Delegations that came through were briefed on these circumstances.   None of that was classified by the military except for the specific location, and of course the security and monitoring measures put in place.

The article has also changed the reason for the Iraq war. The article states, “The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy and active weapons of mass destruction program.” This was, of course, not true. Additionally, the new spin is that somehow the Bush Administration was looking for an “active” WMD program as justification. There were actually many reasons for going to war and while the rationale for and against are still being argued, the stated reasons are a matter of record.

The NYT would have us believe there is a government scandal in the cover-up of WMDs. In truth, it was the NYT and the media that went to great lengths to downplay WMDs found in Iraq.

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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

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