Debunked: Photo claiming to be Iraqi Chemical WMDs in Syria [Photo is actually in Utah]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member


A meme being shared on Facebook claims to show that Iraqi WMDs have been found in Syria. However the photo shows US chemical weapons in a depot in Utah, in the USA.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/science/decades-of-disarmament.html
The use of this image in a misleading way is not new, it was also used to illustrate a story about claims of chemical weapons being found in Libya:

http://www.armyrecognition.com/octo...ining_mustard_gas_found_in_libya_0310113.html
Over the last few years there have been several claims about WMDs (generally chemical weapons) being moved out of Iraq, including to Syria. While it has not been ruled out, there's no solid evidence as to what happened. And no Iraqi chemical weapons are known to have been found in Syria.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WMD_conjecture_in_the_aftermath_of_the_2003_invasion_of_Iraq

And if you doubt even the NYTimes provenance, note that the pallets are marked "105 MM M360", which is a US shell. The Shells themselves are marked "GB GAS - 105MM CARTRIDGE". GB Gas is another term for Sarin (the term GB just means "German nerve agent B").

See also:
http://www.wired.com/2012/07/syria-iraq-wmd-meme/
http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com...ved-mystery-of-syrias-iraqi-chemical-weapons/
http://www.inquisitr.com/2335102/is...am-hussein-wmd-stockpiles-iraq-george-w-bush/
 
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Gridlock

Active Member
To be fair, the fact they're US WMD doesn't really exclude them from being in Iraq's stockpile unless you can date them past the 80s...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
To be fair, the fact they're US WMD doesn't really exclude them from being in Iraq's stockpile unless you can date them past the 80s...
Well, it's an AP photo from 2001. So how would that even work?

The same photo has been used several times over the years, but credited as a "file photo". Perhaps people just skimmed the stories, and assumed it was the the chemical weapons actually being talked about. Here it is again in the Daily Mail in Oct 2013.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...t-destroying-chemical-weapons-says-Kerry.html

You could easily mistake that as being a photo of the Syrian weapons being discussed in the article.

It was also used in a 2013 story about Libya.


To be clear, what is being debunked here is "Well, here they are". The photo is just a stock AP photo of US shells in Utah.
 

BombDr

Senior Member
Well, I looked really really hard in 2003 and found none... Did get some worrying readings off the kit, but no weapons...
 

Ron J

Active Member
"Wonder why the media isn't all over this?"

It seems to me that if the photo was true, the USG would have been all over it, thus it would have been reported in the media, that Iraqi WMD's had been moved to Syria.

Then there is the photo's claim that Syria was using gas shells against their own people. There are counter claims that Saudi Arabia, not Syria was behind that. Putin for one said that shell fragments were not from Syrian army munitions. Other claims stated that the trajectory of the shells indicated they came from rebel controlled or contested territory, not Syrian controlled territory. Obama backed off his red line, which also cast doubt about what the facts truly were.
 
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BombDr

Senior Member
It seems to me that if the photo was true, the USG would have been all over it, thus it would have been reported in the media, that Iraqi WMD's had been moved to Syria.
It seems to me that if the US government were really in the business of 'false-flags' and 'lies for a war for oil', then I imagine the easiest thing in the world would have been to move these shells to a quiet corner of the western desert, so that they could have had their casus belli when they were "discovered".
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It seems to me that if the US government were really in the business of 'false-flags' and 'lies for a war for oil', then I imagine the easiest thing in the world would have been to move these shells to a quiet corner of the western desert, so that they could have had their casus belli when they were "discovered".
Although discovering their own shells might not be exactly the outcome they were hoping for.
 

SR1419

Senior Member
It seems to me that if the US government were really in the business of 'false-flags' and 'lies for a war for oil', then I imagine the easiest thing in the world would have been to move these shells to a quiet corner of the western desert, so that they could have had their casus belli when they were "discovered".
In a World of logic and rational thinking...this has always seemed like such a hole in the Truther narrative. Somehow, the US govt could pull off the most complex conspiracy ever- almost perfectly without a single shred of verifiable evidence or whistleblower....and yet somehow couldn't be bothered to "find" any WMDs which would have "justified" their whole Neo-Con wet dream...instead letting a futile search turn into years of death and misery and subjecting the conspirators to severe ridicule and shame for their failure.

seems likely.
 

Ron J

Active Member
It seems to me that if the US government were really in the business of 'false-flags' and 'lies for a war for oil', then I imagine the easiest thing in the world would have been to move these shells to a quiet corner of the western desert, so that they could have had their casus belli when they were "discovered".

For whatever it is worth, Alan Greenspan supposedly said the Iraq war was about oil. It certainly was not about a WMD threat. Saddam could have given Iraq's WMD's to Al Qaeda a dozen times over by the time the invasion of Iraq occurred, if he had them.

Partisan politics is about cheer leading, which leads to false photo attribution by political sycophants, such as the one sparking this thread. Conservatives love to point out various democrats who made statements warning of Saddam's WMD's, while ignoring the possibility that both parties could have been participating in the same false propaganda campaign. We are supposed to be fighting a war on terror, yet we seem to be supporting terrorists, as long as they are fighting to overthrow Assad. What is bunk and what needs to be debunked? They say the first casualty in war is the truth.
 

MikeG

Senior Member
In a World of logic and rational thinking...this has always seemed like such a hole in the Truther narrative. Somehow, the US govt could pull off the most complex conspiracy ever- almost perfectly without a single shred of verifiable evidence or whistleblower....and yet somehow couldn't be bothered to "find" any WMDs which would have "justified" their whole Neo-Con wet dream...instead letting a futile search turn into years of death and misery and subjecting the conspirators to severe ridicule and shame for their failure.

seems likely.
When I was stationed in Mosul in 2006, we started getting regular reports of IED's made from old nerve gas shells. As it turns out, there were thousands of chemical weapons in Iraq, just not the ongoing programs the Bush administration expected to find.

The New York Times did a good story about this in2014.


http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...iraq-chemical-weapons.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

I thought it was worth mentioning. Sometimes information gets lost in the back and forth.
 

deirdre

Moderator
Staff member
For whatever it is worth, Alan Greenspan supposedly said the Iraq war was about oil. It certainly was not about a WMD threat. Saddam could have given Iraq's WMD's to Al Qaeda a dozen times over by the time the invasion of Iraq occurred, if he had them.

Partisan politics is about cheer leading, which leads to false photo attribution by political sycophants, such as the one sparking this thread. Conservatives love to point out various democrats who made statements warning of Saddam's WMD's, while ignoring the possibility that both parties could have been participating in the same false propaganda campaign. We are supposed to be fighting a war on terror, yet we seem to be supporting terrorists, as long as they are fighting to overthrow Assad. What is bunk and what needs to be debunked? They say the first casualty in war is the truth.
I'm pretty sure you are Off Topic. It's kinda hard to tell in this thread.
 
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