Army Major Says He Was Told Iraq Chemical Weapons Were 'Nothing of Significance'
Army Maj. Jarrod Lampier (Ret.) went “On The Record” to discuss chemical weapons found in Iraq.
From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.
In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.
The New York Times found 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers who were exposed to nerve or mustard agents after 2003. American officials said that the actual tally of exposed troops was slightly higher, but that the government’s official count was classified.
Lampier was among those who found chemical weapons while in Iraq. Back in August 2006, he said they were told that someone was digging with a front end loader. When he went to check it out, the person who was digging had already left. Lampier said that there were rocket bodies sticking out of the ground.
“As we kept digging, we kept finding these things, it turned out they were chemical rockets left over from, I would suspect, before Desert Storm. These things had no explosives in them but they were designed to be used as chemical weapons.”
Lampier said he was told “it was nothing of significance, nothing we need to worry about.”
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