Saturday, July 01, 2006


Insight into the real nature of Saddam's threat to the West and specifically, the United States comes in this story about Oil-for-Food:

The Iraqi Survey Group also found that supposed "humanitarian" imports under Oil-for-Food gave Saddam the ability to restart his biological and chemical warfare programs at a moment's notice. Spertzel said what scared him the most in Iraq was the discovery of secret labs to make deadly weapons like the nerve agent, sarin, and the biological poison, ricin, in spray form.

"If that were released in a closed [area], such as Madison Square Garden or, even some, some of your smaller closed malls, shopping malls, it would have a devastating effect … killing hundreds or thousands," Spertzel said.

But Spertzel believes Saddam was cooking up an even more sinister plan — putting the poisons on department store shelves across the United States and Europe. He said that plan was "actively pursued" as late as March 2003. And that plan was at least, in part, funded by Saddam's corrupt Oil-for-Food activities.

"Some of the photographs that were obtained from this same laboratory had multiple different shapes of glass spray bottles, perfume spray bottles — presumably to mimic different brand names," Spertzel said. "Can you imagine somebody going into Macy's department store and spray a little bit of a perfume to see whether they like the scent, only instead of perfume they're getting a face full of sarin?

"That would kill within, within a few minutes. If this were to appear at a couple different locations, imagine the economic impact in the U.S. — people would be afraid to buy anything."

Saddam was never going to rain missiles down on the US mainland, he was never going to invade and he was never going to directly engage the US military. But he was interested in finding ways to kill people.

Now, there is one big hurdle to making this idea of nerve-agents-in-perfume-bottles work. Namely, getting them into the retail distribution system in the US. Saddam may or may not have eventually cleared it, but that really isn't the point.

In a world where people fly planes into buildings, dictators with unaccounted for chemical munitions or production capabilities can't really be tolerated, can they?

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