Friday, November 25, 2005

Formerly classified Pentagon Document Described White Phosphorus As Chemical Weapon

Source : Think progress please visit them to commend them on their exclusive research

To downplay the political impact of revelations that U.S. forces used deadly white phosphorus rounds against Iraqi insurgents in Falluja last year, Pentagon officials have insisted that phosphorus munitions are legal since they aren’t technically “chemical weapons.”


The media have helped them. For instance, the New York Times ran a piece today on the phosphorus controversy. On at least three occasions, the Times emphasizes that the phosphorus rounds are “incendiary muntions” that have been “incorrectly called chemical weapons.”

But the distinction is a minor one, and arguably political in nature. A formerly classified 1995 Pentagon intelligence document titled “Possible Use of Phosphorous Chemical” describes the use of white phosphorus by Saddam Hussein on Kurdish fighters:

IRAQ HAS POSSIBLY EMPLOYED PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDISH POPULATION IN AREAS ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN BORDERS. […]

IN LATE FEBRUARY 1991, FOLLOWING THE COALITION FORCES’ OVERWHELMING VICTORY OVER IRAQ, KURDISH REBELS STEPPED UP THEIR STRUGGLE AGAINST IRAQI FORCES IN NORTHERN IRAQ. DURING THE BRUTAL CRACKDOWN THAT FOLLOWED THE KURDISH UPRISING, IRAQI FORCES LOYAL TO PRESIDENT SADDAM ((HUSSEIN)) MAY HAVE POSSIBLY USED WHITE PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDISH REBELS AND THE POPULACE IN ERBIL (GEOCOORD:3412N/04401E) (VICINITY OF IRANIAN BORDER) AND DOHUK (GEOCOORD:3652N/04301E) (VICINITY OF IRAQI BORDER) PROVINCES, IRAQ.

In other words, the Pentagon does refer to white phosphorus rounds as chemical weapons — at least if they’re used by our enemies.

The real point here goes beyond the Pentagon’s legalistic parsings. The use of white phosphorus against enemy fighters is a “terribly ill-conceived method,” demonstrating an Army interested “only in the immediate tactical gain and its felicitous shake and bake fun.” And the dishonest efforts by Bush administration officials to deny and downplay that use only further undermines U.S. credibility abroad.

To paraphrase President Bush, this isn’t a question about what is legal, it’s about what is right.

read the declassified document Here

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice peace of detective work Sherlock.

However, and I quote however as somebody with a Military background (25 years) I can assure you that the shells used by the Yanks, were smoke. The fact it contains WP on 116 felt pads seems to have missed you by.
The shells used by Saddam were pure Phosphorus, these are not designed as smoke shells but as incendiary weapons with an aim to kill. Big difference and if you should get off your Ivory tower and do a little searching you will find I talk facts and not craps.

November 26, 2005 7:04 am  
Blogger _H_ said...

well from my ivory tower it is hard to see those who wish to hide as anonymous , people who talk "facts and not craps" dont tend to hide in such ways

the pentagon has already stated that WP was used as an incendory weapon in falluja agaisnt insurgents

the way they are 'designed' is not the point , it is the way they were 'used' that is the issue

and it seems there is no difference between my assesment and what is being said by the pentagon

the correct way to dispute this claim , (as it seems is your intention) is to inform me that this is just a report of a conversation between two kurds , that the pentagon themselves do not use the word 'chemical' they just report that the word was used in an intercepted conversation

I would dispute this , but there is a point to such an argument

As for your 'claimed' 25 years military background , well again Mr/Ms Anonymous , i dont doubt you , you could be a commander , you could be the cook , how would i know

But you have made no attempt to discover whom i might be .

Do I have any millitary knowledge ?
Have i been to Iraq ?

you have no idea , and to be frank , the way you are so willing to "assume" that your knowledge is better then those you speak to does make me think your saying so more for impact then factual accuracy

they say to ASSUME is to make an ASS out of U and ME

November 26, 2005 4:07 pm  

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