Iraqi drone 'could drop chemicals on troops'

  1. VERY scary information about Blix and the UN report. "US officials were outraged that Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, did not inform the Security Council about the drone, or remotely piloted vehicle, in his oral presentation to Foreign Ministers and tried to bury it in a 173-page single-spaced report distributed later in the day. The omission raised serious questions about Dr Blix's objectivity." This article also appeared on FoXNews's website and I'll be interested to see if the "mainstream media" reports on this this weekend.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...603370,00.html

    March 08, 2003

    Iraqi drone 'could drop chemicals on troops'
    From James Bone in New York

    A REPORT declassified by the United Nations yesterday contained a hidden bombshell with the revelation that inspectors have recently discovered an undeclared Iraqi drone with a wingspan of 7.45m, suggesting an illegal range that could threaten Iraq's neighbours with chemical and biological weapons.
    US officials were outraged that Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector, did not inform the Security Council about the drone, or remotely piloted vehicle, in his oral presentation to Foreign Ministers and tried to bury it in a 173-page single-spaced report distributed later in the day. The omission raised serious questions about Dr Blix's objectivity.

    "Recent inspections have also revealed the existence of a drone with a wingspan of 7.45m that has not been declared by Iraq," the report said. "Officials at the inspection site stated that the drone had been test-flown. Further investigation is required to establish the actual specifications and capabilities of these RPV drones . . . (they) are restricted by the same UN rules as missiles, which limit their range to 150km (92.6 miles).

    Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, told the Security Council in February that Washington had evidence that Iraq had test-flown a drone in a race-track pattern for 500km non-stop.

    In another section of the declassified report, the inspectors give warning that Iraq still has spraying devices and drop tanks that could be used in dispersing chemical and biological agents from aircraft. "A large number of drop tanks of various types, both imported and locally manufactured, are available and could be modified," it says.

    The paper, obtained by The Times, details the possible chemical and biological arsenal that British and US Forces could face in an invasion of Iraq. The paper suggests that Iraq has huge stockpiles of anthrax, may be developing long-range missiles and could possess chemical and biological R400 aerial bombs and Scud missiles, and even smallpox.

    Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, told his fellow Security Council Foreign Ministers that the document was a"chilling read".

    General Powell resorted to reading passages from the paper out loud in the Council chamber. He pointed out that it chronicled nearly 30 times when Iraq had failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate its claims, and 17 instances when inspectors uncovered evidence that contradicted those claims. But his draft copy, dating from a meeting of the inspectors' advisory board last week, did not contain the crucial passage about the new drone.

    The decision by Dr Blix to declassify the internal report marks the first time the UN has made public its suspicions about Iraq's banned weapons programmes, rather than what it has been able to actually confirm. "Unmovic has credible information that the total quantity of biological warfare agent in bombs, warheads and in bulk at the time of the Gulf War was 7,000 litres more than declared by Iraq. This additional agent was most likely all anthrax," it says.

    The report says there is "credible information" indicating that 21,000 litres of biological warfare agent, including some 10,000 litres of anthrax, was stored in bulk at locations around the country during the war and was never destroyed.

    The paper, a collection of 29 "clusters" of questions for Iraq, offers some reassurance about Iraq's missing botulinum toxin, which Unmovic believed is "unlikely to retain much, if any, of its potency" if it has been stockpiled since 1991.
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  2. 48 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    I heard this too yesterday at the bar from a friend.

    I'm not worried anymore - because the truth WILL come out, and IS coming out, and hopefully then the world will understand why the US and the UK see Hussein as a threat to world peace.
  4. by   pickledpepperRN
    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0307-01.htm

    Bush Presses for War
    by William Hartung

    There was a surreal quality about President Bush's "news conference" setting out his case for why the United
    States must abandon diplomacy and accelerate the march toward war with Iraq. In a mood that many analysts
    described as somber but which I perceived as robotic and distant, Bush called out the names of a pre-selected
    list of reporters and responded to their questions with snippets of his stump speech about why Saddam Hussein
    is an evil man who must be subjected to "regime change."

    The weakest element of Bush's presentation was his failure to explain what the rush is all about.
    Given these realities, where is the case for a war that the Bush administration seems ready to launch within
    weeks, if not days? It's all about ideology. It's clearly not about the facts of the case - otherwise Bush wouldn't
    have trotted out that discredited line about a "poison factory" in Northern Iraq. The so-called factory, which was
    referenced in Colin Powell's Security Council presentation last month, is in an enclave in Northern Iraq controlled
    by the Islamic group Al Ansar, a split-off from the anti-Saddam Kurdish movement in Northern Iraq which gets the
    bulk of its material support from Iran, Saddam Hussein's longstanding regional adversary. Not only does Al Ansar
    have no operational links to Saddam Hussein, but the "poison factory" is not a poison factory. A group of
    international journalists, including one from the United States' only staunch anti-Iraq ally, the United Kingdom,
    visited the alleged poison factory site after Powell's presentation and found a hodge podge of shacks with barely
    enough electricity to run a few light bulbs, much less power a chem/bio weapons laboratory. It's quite likely that
    the Bush administration's new rumors about hidden Iraqi missile production capabilities and other alleged
    transgressions will prove equally dubious upon inspection. But the administration is banking on the fact that once
    the war starts; the time for these kinds of questions will have passed.
    Bush's demeanor represented the somber tone of a
    man who truly believed what he was saying - that Saddam Hussein is the greatest threat to peace in the world,
    that the United States has a God-given responsibility to remove him from power, and so forth. This is far scarier
    than the notion that Bush is the front man for Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and probably closer to the
    truth. The Bush doctrine of "preemption" mixed with Bush's own peculiar brand of religious faith yields a policy in
    which overthrowing governments that the President perceives to be a potential threat to the United States at
    some unspecified future date is not merely seen as a policy option, but as a moral obligation. The fact that the
    leaders of most major religious denominations in the U.S., not to mention many of our major allies and the vast
    majority of the world's people, oppose a war with Iraq, does not seem to weigh particularly heavily in Bush's
    calculations. He has described the millions who marched against the war on the week-end of February 15th and
    16th as the equivalent of a "focus group" and suggested that they won't change his mind, and he has apparently
    lectured an emissary of the pope on why going to war with Iraq is in fact the moral and holy thing to do,
    regardless of what the Vatican or any other religious authority may say on the subject.
  5. by   l.rae
    wish we could all lay down our nickels together...cause l am betting it doesn't come out in the other mainstream news.......just confirms what we've known all along......personally, l don't think Hans has told the US anything it already didn't know.....in fact, l have always secretly thought that the US could have told Hans where to look, but just didn't to see what he would actually report....and HOPE it would be a full disclosure.
  6. by   Mkue
    Spain (FM Ana Palacio) also believes Hussein is a threat to world peace.

    RN-PA... Thanks for bringing this to my attention I had not seen anything about it until now.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    Originally posted by Susy K
    I heard this too yesterday at the bar from a friend.

    I'm not worried anymore - because the truth WILL come out, and IS coming out, and hopefully then the world will understand why the US and the UK see Hussein as a threat to world peace.
    I am glad you are not worried any more.
    I am VERY worried and not sure who to believe. Seems like all have an agenda and we may never know it all.

    To me there are very frightening times. Another pivotal time in the existance of humans on earth.
    Too many "What ifs"

    As in the song, "What if Hitler stood alone?"
  8. by   Vsummer1
    1) March 17th is a historically significant date: that was the date that Iraq bombed the Stark killing 37 of our Navy in 1987 (we were not involved with the Iran/Iraq conflict though Kuwait was Iran's ally and their subsequent invasion a few years later brought us in)

    2) We should not fear their "drones" for the simple fact that the first bombs we drop are going to be "E-bombs" which basically knock out the electronics on everything from a microwave to the drone's guidance systems. Kinda hard to fly a drone with no electronics.
  9. by   RN-PA
    WOW-- Thanks for the info, Vsummer1! Where did you learn about the date and the E-bombs?
  10. by   Q.
    Speaking of what Hans knows and does not know, I found the evidence Powell presented at the UN meeting quite alarming - especially the audio in which senior Iraqi loyalists were discussing how to evade the inspectors...

    Article
  11. by   nursenoelle
    Originally posted by Susy K
    Speaking of what Hans knows and does not know, I found the evidence Powell presented at the UN meeting quite alarming - especially the audio in which senior Iraqi loyalists were discussing how to evade the inspectors...

    Article
    Colin Powell raised many an eyebrow with this last prestentation. If not for him, I would be in the corner chewing my nails. For some reason, when he states the facts,they come across as well, facts.
  12. by   RN-PA
    I'd be interested in knowing how much of this will be discussed on the Sunday morning news talk shows tomorrow. I only get the chance to see FOXnews Sunday if I attend our church's later morning service and don't ever see the others on the alphabet channels. (I shouldn't even watch Fox's news hour as it more often than not gets my BP too high and interferes with my mood in preparation to worship, but I usually can't resist.)
  13. by   Vsummer1
    Originally posted by RN-PA
    WOW-- Thanks for the info, Vsummer1! Where did you learn about the date and the E-bombs?
    My brother was ASW officer of the Stark when Iraq bombed it.

    The current weapons information comes from the military website which I have a subscription to, and which was outlining what artillary we had in store for Iraq. They have a lot of nice, new arms just awaiting him, some described such as the "E-bomb" and some needing testing

    Here is a nice link, though not the one I read which stated that we are going to just e-bomb the country:
    E bomb

    The next Pearl Harbor will not announce itself with a searing flash of nuclear light or with the plaintive wails of those dying of Ebola or its genetically engineered twin. You will hear a sharp crack in the distance. By the time you mistakenly identify this sound as an innocent clap of thunder, the civilized world will have become unhinged. For, the "E-bomb" has come of age.

    America has remained at the forefront of EMP weapons development. Although much of this work is classified, it's believed that current efforts are based on using high-temperature superconductors to create intense magnetic fields. [And it's] an astoundingly simple weapon. It consists of an explosives-packed tube placed inside a slightly larger copper coil. The instant before the chemical explosive is detonated, the coil is energized by a bank of capacitors, creating a magnetic field. The explosive charge detonates from the rear forward. As the tube flares outward it touches the edge of the coil, thereby creating a moving short circuit. "The propagating short has the effect of compressing the magnetic field while reducing the inductance of the stator [coil]," says Carlo Kopp, an Australian-based expert on high-tech warfare. "The result is that FCGs will produce a ramping current pulse, which breaks before the final disintegration of the device. Published results suggest ramp times of tens of hundreds of microseconds and peak currents of tens of millions of amps." The pulse that emerges makes a lightning bolt seem like a flashbulb by comparison.

    Ultimately, the Army hopes to use E-bomb technology to explode artillery shells in midflight. The Navy wants to use the E-bomb's high-power microwave pulses to neutralize antiship missiles. And, the Air Force plans to equip its bombers, strike fighters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles with E-bomb capabilities. When fielded, these will be among the most technologically sophisticated weapons the U.S. military establishment has ever built.
    There is, however, another part to the E-bomb story, one that military planners are reluctant to discuss. While American versions of these weapons are based on advanced technologies, terrorists could use a less expensive, low-tech approach to create the same destructive power. "Any nation with even a 1940s technology base could make them," says Kopp. "The threat of E-bomb proliferation is very real." POPULAR MECHANICS estimates a basic weapon could be built for just $400.
    Last edit by Vsummer1 on Mar 8, '03
  14. by   RN-PA
    Here's another article from a few weeks ago I found on FOXnews.com.
    http://foxnews.com/story/0,2933,79450,00.html

    Ebombs, Drones, Hans Blix... Just makes me more motivated than ever to pray for our country and for those in power...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Monday, February 24, 2003

    WASHINGTON-Iraq could be planning a chemical or biological attack on American cities through the use of remote-controlled "drone" planes equipped with GPS tracking maps, according to U.S. intelligence.

    The information about Iraq's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program has caused a "real concern" among defense personnel, senior U.S. officials tell Fox News. They're worried that these vehicles have already been, or could be, transported inside the United States to be used in an attack, although there is no proof that this has happened.

    Secretary of State Colin Powell showed a picture of a small drone plane during his presentation to the U.N. Security Council earlier this month.

    "UAVs outfitted with spray tanks constitute an ideal method for launching a terrorist attack using biological weapons," Powell said during his speech. "Iraq could use these small UAVs, which have a wingspan of only a few meters, to deliver biological agents to its neighbors or, if transported, to other countries, including the United States."

    Powell said there is "ample evidence" that Iraq has dedicated much time and effort to developing and testing spray devices that could be adapted for UAVs. "And of the little that Saddam Hussein told us about UAVs, he has not told the truth," Powell said.

    In the arms declaration Iraq submitted to the U.N. Security Council in December, the country said its UAVs have a range of only 50 miles. But Powell said U.S. intelligence sources found that one of Iraq's newest UAVs went 310 miles nonstop on autopilot in a test run. That distance is over the 155 miles that the United Nations permits, and the test was left out of Iraq's arms declaration.

    Officials tell Fox that there is solid intelligence that Iraq has tested many different types of sprayers on these drones to disperse chemical and biological weapons.

    President Bush addressed the threat in October in Cincinnati, making his first big case outlining Iraq's defiance.

    "We've also discovered through intelligence that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical and biological weapons across broad areas," Bush said in preparation for a congressional vote authorizing the use of force against Iraq. "We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States."

    The president noted, however, that sophisticated delivery systems aren't required for a chemical or biological attack. "All that might be required are a small container and one terrorist or Iraqi intelligence operative to deliver it," he said.

    Even though it has been mentioned a few times by administration officials, the issue of UAVs and their capabilities has been largely overlooked.

    But some experts say that even if the UAVs do get assembled for use in the United States, the chances that they could cause widespread damage are low.

    "These technologies are not terribly well proven," F. Whitten Peters, a former Air Force Secretary, told Fox News, referring to vehicles that can be used to disperse harmful agents.

    Peters said in order to go undetected in the air, the UAVs would have to be small -- and therefore would not be able to carry too much of a harmful substance, and they would have to fly over densely populated areas if they want to achieve maximum casualties.

    But because many large metropolitan areas such as Washington have air traffic watchers keeping an eye out for any nearby planes that have not filed a flight plan, the UAVs likely would not succeed in a large-city attack.

    It's the smaller cities and towns that would be more vulnerable.

    "It's not clear air traffic would actually see this aircraft," Peters said, adding that if the vehicles flew low enough to evade radar detection, "they would be basically invisible."

    As to what the government could do to protect Americans from any threat UAVs may pose, Peters said: "I don't think there's much to be done besides the steps we're already taking to deal with chemical and biological threats."

    But some experts say the threat is very real and should be taken seriously.

    "This isn't brain surgery," Air National Guard Chief Paul Weaver told Fox News in reference to how easy it would be to assemble a UAV. "The key is getting it into the country."

    Not too long after Sept. 11, there was a report made public about Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network being trained to conduct air raids through air vehicles outfitted with spray tanks. Some terror network members had looked into the possibility of training on the aerial UAVs. This was the catalyst for investigations into U.S. flight schools.

    "If they could organize something like Sept. 11," Weaver said, "this would be very doable."

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