Iraq War documents released by WikiLeaks show that U.S. forces frequently encountered weapons of mass destruction facilities and specialists. A former president is owed an apology.
Parts of Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons arsenal were found in post-liberation Iraq, with Islamist insurgents and Iranian operatives using them. As reported in Wired.com over the weekend, some of the 392,000 Iraq War logs show that deadly liquid-sulfur mustard was bought undercover in Iraq by U.S. personnel in 2004. In Fallujah not long after, a chemical lab and a chemical cache were discovered.
Another time, artillery shells were found "leaking a black tarlike substance," which eventually tested positive for mustard gas.
And only two years ago some 10 rounds of artillery shells were found to contain chemical agents, albeit in a state of disrepair. In early 2006, chemical weapons designed to cause paralysis were found, the origin of which was almost certainly Iran.
Is this the long-awaited vindication of President Bush's "16 words" in his 2003 State of the Union speech — "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa"? No. That came long ago.
As journalist Christopher Hitchens noted in Slate magazine half a decade ago, "The European intelligence services, and the Bush administration, only ever asserted that the Iraqi regime had apparently tried to open (or rather, reopen) a yellowcake trade 'in Africa.' It has never been claimed that an agreement was actually reached."
In his memoir, "Hitch-22," Hitchens recounts that "Underneath a Sunni mosque in central Baghdad, the parts and some of the ingredients of a chemical weapon had been located and identified with the help of local informers." He writes, "I still have the photographs that were taken in that mosque after the liberation, showing the cache of weaponry just where I had been told it would be."
Saddam Hussein had repeatedly committed genocide with such weapons, and systematically sought to build nukes. Even without "serious stockpiles" of WMDs, Hitchens argues that post-9/11 was still "the perfect time to hit" Saddam "ruthlessly and conclusively" — both to punish him and to save the lives of thousands of Iraqis.
So evidence of WMDs in Iraq is old news.
What would be news is if liberal Democrats would apologize for calling the Bush administration liars.