There have been quite a few newly translated Iraqi documents released over the past couple of weeks. I have not posted anything about them because I have not had time to go through them and figure out what, if anything, was significant about them. The document that Ed Morrisey links today, however, is easy enough for even the most rabid Bush hater to understand. Since the contents of the document refer to the 2002-2003 time period, the information contained therein is much more relevant than some other documents that reference material possessed by Saddam many years ago. The document is what Morrisey refers to as Saddam’s shopping list and on it are listed some banned precursors to nerve gas that Iraq should not have been possessing or seeking to possess.
Sodium cyanide is an important precursor to WMD, especially the nerve gas tabun, which many suspect was the weapon used in Halabja. We have worked with France and Germany to stop North Korea from acquiring it in 2003 and 2004. The fact that it shows up on Saddam’s shopping list as late as for 2003 shows that the Iraqis still used it for some purpose — and the regime was not supposed to have any of it.
The list of chemicals may have more connection to weapons programs, but certainly the repeated inclusion of sodium cyanide has to point to nefarious intent.
Update: While there are some dual uses for the chemical, including electroplating, this was a chemical Iraq was not supposed to have. There are several new posts up at Captain’s Quarters about other recently translated documents. I will post links to them above.