Castle Anthrax

Charles J. Hanley of the Associated Press reports in The Washington Times that Dr. Rihab Rashid Taha dumped deactivated anthrax near oneo f Saddam's palaces in 1991. The information was buried in the Iraq Survey Group report, “a 350,000-word document issued Oct. 6.”

An Iraqi scientist has told U.S. interrogators that her team destroyed Iraq's stock of anthrax in 1991 by dumping it practically at the gates of one of Saddam's main palaces, but never told U.N. inspectors for fear of angering the dictator.

That's not the only major revelation in the report either. Saddam did seem to be making more anthrax at one point. Gasp!

The anthrax mystery had bedeviled U.N. inspectors since the 1990s, when Iraqis said that they had made 2,191 gallons of the bacterial substance before the 1991 Gulf War.
The U.N. specialists, who scoured Iraq for banned arms from 1991 to 1998 and again in 2002 and 2003, confirmed anthrax had been dumped at Hakam. But they also found indications that Iraq had produced an additional, undeclared 1,800 gallons of anthrax.

So, did Saddam's culture of fear ultimately lead to the second war in Iraq?

Australian microbiologist Rod Barton, who took part in Iraq Survey Group interrogations, said in a recent Australian Broadcasting Corp. interview that the disposal was carried out in July 1991, when Iraqi orders were issued to destroy all bioweapons agents immediately.
Then, through the years, Mrs. Taha and other Iraqi officials denied the “missing” anthrax ever existed.
“The members of the program were too fearful to tell the regime that they had dumped deactivated anthrax within sight of one of the principal presidential palaces,” the Iraq Survey Group says.

So, if “hubris” is overweaning pride, what is it called when overweaning tyranny leads to your downfall? I call it “justice.”

Update: I'm adding this post to the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Josh Poulson

Posted Tuesday, Mar 29 2005 09:15 AM

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