CIA bought and destroyed Iraqi chemical weapons during US occupation of Iraq

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“Operation Avarice.”

This is not a code name. It’s a literal description.

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These were 30 year old weapons (as can be seen by the rusty pile of shit weapons) and not the thriving WMD industry we were supposedly there to stop.

And if this would have helped the Bush administration’s narrative, they probably would have had a big celebration. Instead, they hid it.

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A) How many times do you have to outright lie to the American public before we become skeptical of anything you say? B) What the article hints at but never says, Sarin has a shelf life of 5 years. Which leads back to point A as to the potency of weapons from the 80’s.

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Yeah, well, they still did not have WMD and the CIA as a source claiming that effectively they did, even by such an apparent leaked method (or whatever, I did not look) method as this does not prove otherwise.

Crap intelligence put the nations in there, and crap intelligence (and so much else) left the country a giant, gaping broken door for ISIS to pop up and take over.

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Rumsfeld and Bush Sr. say they’d like those chemical warheads back, please.”

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…Avarice led them to try to destroy chemical weapons? I mean, I ain’t trying to defend the CIA here, but this is on par with “oh yeah, well, your FACE is ugly.” We expect a better quality of smacktalk around here.

Yeah, this was not helpful to the administration’s narrative. It was always clear - to me at least - that Iraq must have had some moldering stockpiles of 20+ year-old chemical weapons left over, given that even the US seems to be constantly discovering ancient biological and chemical weapon caches that they weren’t aware they had. It was also clear that the risk was that, in the chaos of the post-invasion period, those weapons were going to be in the hands of whoever got to them first. So that these chemical weapons were being sold on the black market and the only reason the US was able to secure them was by purchasing them doesn’t fill one with confidence. It also raises the question of how many ended up being sold to other parties…

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They are the equivalent of a moldy sandwich found behind the sofa when you are moving (whether in our out). Somebody somewhere put it there and then forgot about it; and it could as well have been you who did the forgetting.

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Like many, I’m conflicted here. I’ve had someone who worked in intelligence related ground operations in Iraq, who I trust, tell me (a long time ago) “There were chemical weapons in Iraq. I saw them.” I’ve also had a CIA analyst explain to me why the bad WMD call happened and why it was wrong (groupthink and other cognitive biases in her opinion, not malice-at least in the case of the analysts). So maybe this is a good example that people are rarely 100% correct. And for the record I think we invaded Iraq under false pretenses, and that we shouldn’t have…

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Alright, I’ll bring the smack-talk.

Operation Avarice clearly shows that the CIA and the pentagon were thoroughly aware that there were aging stocks of still-dangerous chemical weapons in Iraq, which makes this clusterfuck an even more spectacular display of incompetence and callous neglect

More than 600 American service members since 2003 have reported to military medical staff members that they believe they were exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq, but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the reported cases or offer adequate tracking and treatment to those who may have been injured, defense officials say.
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I’m not sure I see the conflict. We know that there were chemical weapons in Iraq; Saddam used them against the Iranians and the Kurds. That is not in dispute. Most of the stockpiles were found and destroyed. Some of the remainder were even used in IEDs during the occupation, seemingly in error, having been mistaken for conventional shells.

We also know that the invasion was bullshit, both in reason and in application. There were no extensive stockpiles remaining, no manufacturing capability, no mobile biowar labs, just a few forgotten caches of decaying and decayed old stock. That’s what your CIA guy saw, I’ll bet, but he didn’t see any more than that, certainly not enough to justify the waste of lives and resources that continue to this day.

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I seem to recall at the time that aside from the intel which EVERYONE thought was good at the time, there were these factors:

  1. There was a list of weapons before the Gulf War. A list of weapons used and destroyed after the Gulf War. And list of what they had left. There was a lot of stuff that was unaccounted for, neither used nor destroyed but claimed to no longer possess.

  2. They jerked the UN inspectors around a lot. Constant delays, moving them around, blocking areas. They were acting extremely shady.

  3. After the invasion I remember an Iraqi Air Force General who claimed they didn’t have the weapons, but that Saddam wanted to make everyone think he did. In other words they acted shady as fuck to convince people they were more dangerous than they were - and it worked.

So back then I was in support of those actions. It also gave actual TEETH to the UN. What is the point of UN inspectors or sanctions if they can just be ignored and not have any consequences for ignoring them?

Of course - hind sight being 20/20, it wasn’t the greatest idea. Don’t get me wrong, Saddam was a sadistic, horrible bastard. But we had poor planning and poor understanding of the culture, thinking they would be just like the West with their new found freedoms…

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Someone in this equation is avaricious.

The seller … the CIA agents whose true motivation and backstory we don’t know … somebody.

Doesn’t a word like “war” mean we shouldn’t have to “buy” these things - just take them? Especially since they (even if barely) fit under the umbrella of “why we’re there”.

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First, that’s simply not true. Many, many people had doubts about the intel used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Remember David Wilson’s op-ed “What I didn’t find in Africa” and how his wife Natalie Plame, a CIA operative, had her undercover status blown in retaliation for his speaking out?

Second, even many of the highest-ranking people who bought the intelligence were being actively mislead by those who were trying to make the case for war. Members of congress were shown reports which cherry-picked the scariest stuff without any of the doubts or qualifiers. Colin Powell was instructed to make the Bush administration’s case to the U.N. using intelligence that he privately described as "bullshit."

I understand how you, like a majority of Americans, were manipulated into believing the lies used to drag us into that war. But many of us never bought the Bush Administration’s claims—or in the very looked at them with a big heaping tub of skepticism—and it would be disingenuous to claim otherwise.

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Propaganda doesn’t stop. And this is an example of that.

What part of ‘Mission Accomplished’ do you not understand!?

It was even delivered with an unequivocal thumbs up to avoid confusion!

Hey - look on the bright side - America didn’t do some sort of Afghanistan/mujahideen type deal again… This time at least, Americans didn’t have to pay for the original weapons and their cleanup.

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Just to be on the safe side we should just post this everywhere.

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