The New York Times has revealed that over 5,000 chemical weapons were found in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, but the Pentagon decided to keep them top secret.
The New York Times investigation found that American soldiers routinely came upon caches of weapons such as warheads and aviation bombs between 2004 and 2011.
The government decided to keep this information secret because the weapons had been sitting dormant in Iraq since the 1980s, so they did not support Bush’s goal of going to war to find new weapons of mass destruction.
The government also did not want the public to know that five of the six chemical weapon-types were designed by the U.S.
Jarriod Lampier is a now-retired Army major who was present when our military found 2,400 nerve agent rockets in 2006. Even though this was the largest chemical weapons discovery of the whole war, the government ordered Lampier to stay silent.
”’Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,'” Lampier later said.
Soldiers were also unmotivated to report the chemical weapons due to the extra hours of dangerous work it added to their already tough load. Reporting the weapons meant a specialist needed to be called in, and waiting for their arrival would often force soldiers to stay in dangerous areas for long periods of time.
“I could wait all day for tech escort to show up and make a chem round disappear, or I could just make it disappear myself,” one former soldier said.
However, the secrecy led to many injuries among soldiers who did not know that the shells they were carrying had chemicals in them. Over the years, at least 17 soldiers were seriously injured in recovering and trying to destroy shells filled with mustard gas.
Despite the cover-up, soldiers today are able to laugh at the ignorant Americans who scoffed at the military for never finding chemical weapons in Iraq.
“I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq,'” said former Army sergeant James Taylor.
“There were plenty.”
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H/T: Daily Mail