Monday, July 05, 2004

Wash. Post: No Sarin in Rounds Found by Poles

Just back from my Independence Day weekend in Amarillo, Texas, and I find the Washington Post has stated the artillery rounds claimed by the Poles to have cyclosarin (see my entry on July 2) were not , in fact, chemical rounds.
Sixteen rocket warheads found last week in south-central Iraq by Polish troops did not contain deadly chemicals, a coalition spokesman said yesterday, but U.S. and Polish officials agreed that insurgents loyal to former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and foreign terrorist fighters are trying to buy such old weapons or purchase the services of Iraqi scientists who know how to make them.

The Coalition Press Information Center in Baghdad said in a statement yesterday that the 122-millimeter rocket rounds, which initially showed traces of sarin, "were all empty and tested negative for any type of chemicals." The statement came just hours after two senior Polish defense officials told reporters in Warsaw, based on preliminary reports, that the rocket rounds contained deadly sarin and that actions by the Polish unit in Iraq kept them from being purchased by militants fighting coalition forces.
I find it interesting that FoxNews and BBC, where I originally read the story, have printed no such correction. I also find it interesting that what the Washington Post and the Coalition Press Information Center refer to as "preliminary reports" were described by the Poles as "Laboratory tests .... done by U.S. experts" only hours earlier.

However I may wonder about both sides of the story, I felt I had to post it.


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