It’s really nice to see Republicans resorting to such underhanded measures
The assertion by two Republican lawmakers that a new intelligence study proves that chemical weapons were found in Iraq has triggered sharp criticism from Democrats that the GOP is distorting intelligence for political purposes.
At issue is a classified overview of chemical munitions found in Iraq since 2003 that was completed in April by the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center. One of the report's key findings was that since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, coalition forces have recovered about 500 shells, canisters or other munitions that contain degraded mustard gas or sarin nerve agent.
That finding was seized on by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), a strong supporter of the war who is trailing his Democratic opponent in his reelection bid. The two said that the study indicated that Saddam Hussein, as president of Iraq, possessed weapons of mass destruction.
"Iraq was not a WMD-free zone," Santorum told reporters earlier this week. "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." He added that he had been chasing the intelligence report "for 2 1/2 months."
Yesterday, however, Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the intelligence panel, said the study contained "nothing new" and questioned the timing of its release, coming as it did in the midst of congressional debates on the war in Iraq.
That assertion was backed up by representatives of three intelligence agencies who told reporters that the study differed little from a 2004 report of a team of American weapons inspectors led by Charles A. Duelfer that concluded that Hussein was not in possession of significant stocks of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons at the time of the U.S.-led invasion.
The intelligence officials also said that the munitions referred to in the report were produced before the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and that they had degraded and could not be used as designed. "There is no evidence today of any post-1991 WMD munitions," said the official, who agreed to speak with reporters only if his identity and his agency were not disclosed.
It takes a lot to get a Republican to lower its mask and show its true, lying, corrupt self. The fact that Hoekstra and Ricky have lowered that mask shows that they think they are in danger and are grasping onto anything that may sway even just one person’s opinion about Iraq.UPDATE1
: The New York Times has a funny article
detailing the crazy loons on the Right who refuse to face reality. Good stuff - check it out.
Tags:Iraq War WMD Hoekstra Santorum More Crazyass Republicans