Earlier today, Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. George Casey gave a joint press conference on Iraq. I haven’t seen a full transcript yet, but one of the subjects they addressed was yesterday’s report on the hundreds of chemical and biological weapons that have been found in Iraq:
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, there has been a lot made on Capitol Hill about these chemical weapons that were found and may be quite old. But do you have a real concern of these weapons from Saddam’s past perhaps having an impact on U.S. troops who are on the ground in Iraq right now?
RUMSFELD : Certainly. What has been announced is accurate, that there have been hundreds of canisters or weapons of various types found that either currently have sarin in them or had sarin in them, and sarin is dangerous. And it’s dangerous to our forces, and it’s a concern.
So obviously, to the extent we can locate these and destroy them, it is important that we do so. And they are dangerous. Anyone — I’m sure General Casey or anyone else in that country would be concerned if they got in the wrong hands.
They are weapons of mass destruction . They are harmful to human beings. And they have been found. And that had not been by Saddam Hussein, as he inaccurately alleged that he had reported all of his weapons . And they are still being found and discovered.
In From the Cold, written by a former intelligence agent, has more. He suggests that “intel bureaucrats were apparently uncomfortable with the revelation that they had been wrong on Iraqi WMD, not once, not twice, but a total of three times.”
UPDATE: The reporter who asked the question of Rumsfeld emphasized that the canisters “may be quite old,” as I did last night. An extremely plugged-in reader with sources on the Hill writes:
It is only partially true to say that the wmd counted in the report are old–There are NEW “things” which have NOT been uncovered before, and which MAY all be from that period, but some of it is in pristine condition.
The same reader adds, concerning the legacy media stories on the WMD report:
Someone ought to be asking about the Department of Defense official who has been downplaying this, trying to bury the story. Rumsfeld came out with a big statement about this this afternoon and still the DoD “official” keeps namelessly trying to be named president of the Bush Lied League. If you check you will see that in all the articles where they go to someone to downplay it, it is always a DoD intelligence official.
Whoever this person is should be fired not only for deliberately trying to mislead the American people but also endangering our security.
We’ve written about this countless times. Liberals in the press go to liberals in the federal bureaucracy, especially the intelligence agencies, for leaks and anonymous commentary. The reporters then present this “information” as though it were objective and authoritative. In fact, the liberal leakers/commentators are no more objective and no more authoritative than the liberal reporters themselves.