Yes, kids. In an attempt to make the US look bad, Wikileaks found some things that make anti-war lefties look worse. Iraq war casualties were much lower than anti-war activists said. And they found WMDs in Iraq. Whoops!
By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But for years afterward, WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins, and uncover weapons of mass destruction.
An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.
In August 2004, for instance, American forces surreptitiously purchased what they believed to be containers of liquid sulfur mustard, a toxic “blister agent” used as a chemical weapon since World War I. The troops tested the liquid, and “reported two positive results for blister.” The chemical was then “triple-sealed and transported to a secure site” outside their base.
Three months later, in northern Iraq, U.S. scouts went to look in on a “chemical weapons” complex. “One of the bunkers has been tampered with,” they write. “The integrity of the seal [around the complex] appears intact, but it seems someone is interesting in trying to get into the bunkers.”
The people opposed to the war had good arguments they could have used, but instead chose to lie about things and in fact made a lot of absurd and extreme claims to try to make the US and the Bush administration look bad, just like the protesters during Vietnam lied about atrocities committed by US soldiers when most were committed by the NVA and Viet Kong. Whatever you may think of the Iraq war, it’s important that people deal with the reality of it and not believe the lies.
UPDATE: The press spins the Wikileaks numbers.