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Did Iraq Have Biological Weapons

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There Were No Weapons Of Mass Destruction In Iraq

Gravitas: Do countries have biological weapons?

Saddam Hussein destroyed his last weapons of mass destruction more than a decade ago and his capacity to build new ones had been dwindling for years by the time of the Iraq invasion, according to a comprehensive US report released yesterday.

The report, the culmination of an intensive 15-month search by 1,200 inspectors from the CIA’s Iraq Survey Group , concluded that Saddam had ambitions to restart at least chemical and nuclear programmes once sanctions were lifted.

However, concrete plans do not appear to have been laid down, let alone set in motion. Nor did Saddam issue direct verbal orders to develop weapons of mass destruction . The main evidence of his intentions are his own cryptic remarks, and the meaning his aides inferred from them.

The ISG conclusions, delivered to Congress yesterday, are badly timed for George Bush’s re-election bid, as they starkly contradict his pre-war claims as well as statements he has made on the campaign trail.

Even in recent days the president has insisted that, although Iraq had no WMD at the time of the war, it was a “gathering threat” which had to be confronted. Instead the ISG found Saddam represented a diminishing threat.

However, Charles Duelfer, the head of the ISG and the report’s chief author, said that by late 2001, when the international embargo on Iraq was tightened, it was clear sanctions would not have contained Saddam for much longer.

Could Iraq Enrich Enough Uranium On Its Own To Make A

We dont know. The Bush administration warns that Iraq has been trying to purchase a large quantity of sophisticated aluminum tubes that could be used in centrifuges to produce highly enriched uranium. If Iraq got the tubes, experts say it could still take years to build the centrifuges and then enrich enough uranium for a single bomb. A recent report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies argues that Iraq would need several years and extensive foreign assistance to build the facilities to produce its own highly enriched uranium British intelligence offers similar estimates, arguing that it would take Iraq at least five years to create enough fissile material for a bomb.

Startup And Foreign Suppliers

In the early 1980s, five German firms supplied equipment to manufacture botulin toxin and mycotoxin to Iraq. Iraq’s State Establishment for Pesticide Production also ordered culture media and incubators from Germany’s Water Engineering Trading. Strains of dual-use biological material from France also helped advance Iraq’s biological warfare program. From the United States, the non-profit American Type Culture Collection and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control sold or sent biological samples to Iraq up until 1989, which Iraq claimed to need for medical research. These materials included anthrax, West Nile virus and botulism, as well as Brucella melitensis, and Clostridium perfringens. Some of these materials were used for Iraq’s biological weapons research program, while others were used for vaccine development. In delivering these materials “The CDC was abiding by World Health Organization guidelines that encouraged the free exchange of biological samples among medical researchers…” according to Thomas Monath, CDC lab director. It was a request “which we were obligated to fulfill,” as described in WHO and UN treaties.

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The Iraq Biological Weapons Program Relevant Facts:

  • Iraqs Anthrax Surplus: Iraq developed several biological weapons agents, according to UN documents: anthrax, aflatoxin , clostridium botulinum toxin, clostridium perfringens spores, ricin, and wheat smut . In its final report to the Security Council, UNSCOM determined that Iraq had not accounted for 520 kilograms of yeast extract growth medium specifically for anthrax. This amount of growth medium is sufficient for the production of 26,000 liters of anthrax spores more than three times the amount that Iraq declared before the UN. Iraqs planned storage capacity for all its biological agents reached 80,000 to 100,000 liters.

  • Weaponized Anthrax in Iraq: Anthrax spores were not developed for laboratory use alone, but were actually weaponized on a large scale by Iraq. UNSCOM inspectors found traces of anthrax spores in seven warheads from long-range al-Hussein missiles, with a range of 640 kilometers and thus capable of reaching Israel. Around 200 biological aerial bombs were additionally produced. However, according to the UN, Iraqs most effective biological weapons platform was a helicopter-borne aerosol generator that worked like an insecticide disseminator . The disseminator was successfully field tested. Dispersal research for biological weapons was conducted by the Salman Pak Technical Research Center. Iraq engaged in genetic engineering research in order to produce antibiotic resistant strains of anthrax spores. The success of this research is unknown.

  • Chemical & Biological Weapons During Gulf War

    Why chemical weapons provoke outrage

    VA and research organizations continue to evaluate possible causes of Gulf War Veterans’ chronic multisymptom illnesses, including chemical and biological weapons.

    If you have health concerns, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to help you get more information from a health care provider.

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    Fact Check: The Iraq War And Weapons Of Mass Destruction

    • GLENN KESSLER | Washington Post

    “The Iraq war began sixteen years ago tomorrow. There is a myth about the war that I have been meaning to set straight for years. After no WMDs were found, the left claimed ‘Bush lied. People died.’ This accusation itself is a lie. It’s time to put it to rest.” — Former Bush administration press secretary Ari Fleischer, in a Twitter thread, March 19, 2019

    Sixteen years after the Iraq War started, the White House press spokesman at the time sought to rebut a claim he called a “liberal myth” — that George W. Bush lied about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction to launch the invasion.

    In more than 20 tweets, Fleischer laid out the case that the intelligence community failed — and Saddam Hussein for unknown reasons lied about having illicit weapons. He quoted at length from findings made in 2005 by the Robb-Silberman Commission that was set up to investigate the intelligence failures.

    “My tweets were about me and Bush,” Fleischer acknowledged to The Fact Checker.

    Moreover, he leaves out the fact that there was a second report — by the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2008 — that examined whether the public statements by U.S. government officials were substantiated by the intelligence.

    The Senate report was adopted on a bipartisan vote of 10-5.

    So in the interest of providing the historical record, what was the U.S. intelligence community’s record on Iraqi WMDs, and did the Bush administration hype the evidence?

    The facts

    Biological Weapons Program: History

    Iraq’s biological weapons program embraced a comprehensive range of agents and munitions. Agents underIraq’s biological weapons program included lethal agents, e.g. anthrax,botulinum toxin and ricin, and incapacitating agents, e.g. aflatoxin,mycotoxins, haemorrhagic conjunctivitis virus and rotavirus. The scope ofbiological warfare agents worked on by Iraq encompassed both anti-personneland anti-plant weapons. The program covered a whole variety ofbiological weapons delivery means, from tactical weapons , to strategic weapons and”economic” weapons, e.g. wheat cover smut. Given the Iraqi claim that onlyfive years had elapsed since its declared inception in 1985, theachievements of Iraq’s biological weapons program were remarkable.

    It appears that, until August 1990, the biological weapons programhad been developing at a steady pace, continuing to expand and diversify.In August 1990, a “crash” program was launched and the imperatives ofproduction and weaponization took over.

    Iraq stated that, in 1974, the Government had adopted a policy toacquire biological weapons. In 1975, a research and development biologicalweapons program was established under the Al Hazen Ibn Al HaythamInstitute at a site located in Al Salman. The work was poorly directed.Coupled with a lack of appropriate facilities and equipment, it was saidthe Institute achieved little and it closed in 1978

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    Iraqs Biological Weapon Program Profile

    This is a brief history of Iraqs attempt to build germ weapons. It begins with a chronology that emphasizes individual facilities and germs, although many important details were never revealed to the UN inspectors who were on the ground in Iraq until the end of 1998. It is their findings on which the history primarily relies. A second set of inspections in Iraq was carried out from September 2002 to March 2003, but answered few of the many remaining questions about Iraqs biological weapon program. After the chronology, a second section discusses Iraqs interest in anthrax in more detail. The third section is a primer on the effects of the germs and viruses Iraq was working on.

    Iraq managed to produce anthrax, aflatoxin, botulinum toxin, gas gangrene, ricin, and wheat smut, and was also known to be working on cholera, mycotoxins, shigellosis, and viruses as well as genetic engineering. There are suspicions that Iraq was also working on smallpox.

    I. Chronology of Germ Weapons in Iraq

    According to the UN Special Commission on Iraq , Iraqs biological weapon program ran from 1973 until at least 1991. Iraq claimed that the program began with the establishment of the Al-Hazen Institute as a dedicated BW facility. From 1974 to 1978, the Institute studied several germs botulinum toxin, anthrax spores, Shigella, and cholera as well as viruses. The Institute was closed on 16 January 1979 because of fraud by its Chairman and some senior staff.

    Destruction of an Iraqi fermenter

    Ii: We Attacked Them With Chemical Weapons And They Attacked Us With Chemical Weapons: Iraqi Records And The History Of Irans Chemical Weapons Program

    Ukraine: Will Russia use chemical weapons?

    The second installment of a three-part article addressing the legacy of chemical weapons use in the Iran-Iraq War and Irans chemical weapons program. The article focuses on the history of and lingering debate about Irans chemical weapons program and allegations of limited battlefield use. Part one of the article focused on the discovery of two caches of chemical munitions inadvertently discovered by rebels in Libya in 2011 and 2012.

    After intense fighting, the Iranian border city of Khorramshahr became the first and only major Iranian city to fall to Iraqi forces. However, Iraqs invasion quickly bogged down into stalemate. Instead of only five days of war, Iran and Iraq settled into nearly eight years of conflict, illustrating the Niccolo Machiavelli quote, Wars begin when you will, but do not end when you please.

    By early 1982, Iraqi forces were on the defensive. Although Iraq possessed superior weapons, Iran compensated in numbers and zeal. Iranian human-wave attacks, routinely employing unarmed child-soldiers, swarmed Iraqi positions, and pushed Iraqi troops back toward the border. Then, in June 1982, Saddam seized upon Israels invasion of Lebanon to give up Iraqs last toehold of Iranian territory, announcing that Iraq was unilaterally withdrawing to focus on confronting Israeli aggression, and called for a ceasefire.

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    Iraq’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction Programs

    Iraq has continued its weapons of mass destruction programs in defiance of UN resolutions and restrictions. Baghdad has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of UN restrictions if left unchecked, it probably will have a nuclear weapon during this decade.

    Baghdad hides large portions of Iraq’s WMD efforts. Revelations after the Gulf war starkly demonstrate the extensive efforts undertaken by Iraq to deny information.

    Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program, and invested more heavily in biological weapons most analysts assess Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.

    • Iraq’s growing ability to sell oil illicitly increases Baghdad’s capabilities to finance WMD programs annual earnings in cash and goods have more than quadrupled.
    • Iraq largely has rebuilt missile and biological weapons facilities damaged during Operation Desert Fox and has expanded its chemical and biological infrastructure under the cover of civilian production.
    • Baghdad has exceeded UN range limits of 150 km with its ballistic missiles and is working with unmanned aerial vehicles , which allow for a more lethal means to deliver biological and, less likely, chemical warfare agents.
    • Although Saddam probably does not yet have nuclear weapons or sufficient material to make any, he remains intent on acquiring them.

    Iraq Survey Group Report

    In 2005, the Iraq Survey Group an international group composed of civilian and military experts concluded that the Iraqi military BW program had been abandoned during 1995 and 1996 because of fear that discovery of continued activity would result in severe political repercussions including the extension of UN sanctions. However, they concluded, Hussein had perpetuated ambiguity regarding a possible program as a strategic deterrent against Iran. Other conclusions were that the Mukhabarat continued to investigate toxins as tools of assassination, concealed its program from UNSCOM inspectors after the 1991 war, and reportedly conducted lethal human experimentation until 1994. Small-scale covert laboratories were maintained until 2003.

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    Does Iraq Have Chemical Weapons

    Almost certainly, experts say. Iraq has admitted that it produced 3,859 tons of chemical weapons in the 1980s, including mustard gas and lethal nerve agents such as sarin, tabun, and VX. U.N. weapons inspectors uncovered and destroyed much of Iraqs chemical weapons stockpiles, munitions, and production facilities. But when inspectors were withdrawn in 1998, Iraq allegedly retained 6,000 chemical bombs, as well as 550 artillery shells filled with mustard gas and some amount of VX. Iraq is also thought to have the precursor chemicals necessary to brew hundreds of tons more of mustard gas and nerve agents.

    The Search For Iraq’s Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Inspection Verification And Non

    Biowarfare in Iraq: Lessons Learned

    9 January 2006

    Weapons of mass destruction. This is probably the most vilified and misunderstood term in recent international affairs. The US and UK governments committed their countries to war in Iraq on the basis that WMDs were advanced enough to pose a threat, not just in the region but also beyond only to discover that only WMD-related programme activities had been ascertained. Political controversy persists over the lack of discovery of nuclear, chemical or biological stockpiles in Iraq . The current crises over nuclear weapons programmes in Iran and North Korea make this book a timely reminder of the difficulties faced in assessing the precise extent of such programmes.

    The Search for Iraqs Weapons of Mass Destruction by Graham Pearson, former director-general of the Chemical and Biological Defence Establishment at Porton Down, is the seminal work on Iraq s WMDs. Focusing on Iraqs chemical and biological weapons , it sets out to debunk the assumptions made about what WMDs Saddam did and did not have, from before the Iran-Iraq War up until the post-2003 war period.

    Pearson describes the opposition faced by inspectors from an unco-operative, rather than a permissive, regime. Each example of obstruction, intimidation and access denial is listed. Long tables and lists provide masses of detail on inspections and materials found, and serve as vital reference sources.

    Andy OppenheimerConsultant in nuclear, biological and chemical weapons for Janes Information Group

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    How Might Iraq Deliver Biological Or Chemical Weapons

    Several ways. While Iraq is prohibited by U.N. resolutions from building missiles with a range of more than 150 kilometers , British intelligence indicates that it retains a stockpile of up to 20 al-Hussein missiles with a range of 400 miles–enough to hit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or U.S. bases in Kuwait and Qatar. These modified Scud-B missiles could be fitted with germ or chemical warheads and launched within 45 minutes of a command, according to British estimates. But other experts maintain that Iraq hasnt yet perfected the missile technology to deliver chemical or biological weapons the explosion of a missile warhead could destroy much of its chemical or biological payload.

    More feasibly, experts say, Iraq could spread deadly germs or gases with shorter-range rockets, artillery shells, unmanned low-flying drones, or sprayers mounted on fighter jets, helicopters, or ships. The Bush administration has also warned that Iraq could pass weapons of mass destruction to terrorists, although some experts argue that Saddam is unlikely to share his prized doomsday weapons.

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    List Of Known Iraqi Cw Uses

    The IranIraq War ended in August 1988. By that time, according to the Iraq Survey Group Final Report, seven UN specialist missions had documented repeated use of chemicals in the war. According to Iraq itself, it consumed almost 19,500 chemical bombs, over 54,000 chemical artillery shells and 27,000 short-range chemical rockets between 1983 and 1988. Iraq declared it consumed about 1,800 tons of mustard gas, 140 tons of Tabun, and over 600 tons of Sarin. Almost two-thirds of the CW weapons were used in the last 18 months of the war.

    Examples of CW use by Iraq include the following from the Final Report.

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    No Iraq Didn’t Have ‘weapons Of Mass Destruction’ After All

    The news: Whatever happened to those “weapons of mass destruction” the U.S. was worried Saddam Hussein had? They’re all over Iraq but not in the form the Bush administration imagined.

    So are these the weapons of mass destruction we’ve been hearing about for years? Despite the headlines shouting about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Times reports that the chemical weapons discovered by U.S. soldiers after the 2003 invasion were virtually unusable, and the Iraqi government simply didn’t have the production facilities to make workable chemical weapons the way Bush claimed.

    But that’s not the worst part of the Times investigation. Because the leftover stores didn’t fit the convenient narrative that Hussein had large-and-ready stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, military officials at times suppressed the evidence or ordered troops to keep their mouths shut even when they fell sick.

    These are not the WMDs we’re looking for. In 2003, President George W. Bush claimed before the U.N. that “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons. … The regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons.”

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