The Maui News doesn’t respond to letters to the editor, but sometimes they’re so specious and outrageous someone has to say something. Like the Nov. 7, 2005 letter from an infuriated Howard Konrad of Lahaina, who denounced the “left-wing liberals” who continually say President George W. Bush “lied about Iraq having weapons.”
Konrad listed five “WMDs” coalition forces have supposedly found in Iraq. The problem is that Konrad’s list—taken word for word from conservative, pro-war blogs—is junk.
Konrad wrote that we’ve found “1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium” and “over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form.” While true—the U.S. Department of Energy announced we had removed such things a couple months ago—the Federation of American Scientists also reported that none of the uranium or materials had been enriched to bomb-making potential.
Konrad wrote that we’ve found “1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents.” This comes from an Aug. 14, 2005 Washington Post article, which also pointed out that the cache is too new to have been Saddam Hussein’s. In other words, it was a result, not the cause, of our 2003 invasion.
Konrad wrote that coalition forces found “17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin.” This is sort of true: the BBC reported in 2004 that Polish forces announced that they’d found 17 such rockets that dated to the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, but Konrad didn’t mention that U.S. forces later determined they “were so small and deteriorated as to be virtually harmless.”
And Konrad wrote that we’ve found “Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and ‘conventional’ sarin.” In fact, U.S. forces have found just two such bombs, in 2004. According to the Associated Press and Fox News, tests on both weapons indicated the chemical agents dated to the 1991 Gulf War.
As things stand now, the only “stockpiles”anyone’s found in Iraq are rifles and explosives like those pictured in the above U.S. Army photo.