(H/T – Sister Toldjah)
11 years after the initial discovery of several vials of phosgene gas in Iraq, the re-discovery of said vials at a UN building in New York City touched off a kerfuffle. The statement from the UN is less than reassuring:
On Friday 24th August 2007 in archiving UNSCOM files, UNMOVI staff discovered two small plastic packages with metal and glass containers (ranging in size from small vials to tubes the length of a pen) with unknown liquid substances. The archives are located at the UNMOVIC headquarters, 866 East 48th Street, 3rd and 6th floors.
An initial investigation has revealed that these items were recovered from a former Iraqi chemical weapons facility, al Muthamma, by UNSCOM inspectors in 1996.
It was only on 29 August, however, that the inspection report containing an inventory of the items was recovered. The inventory shows that one of the items may contain phosgene (COCL2) suspended in oil — an old generation chemical warfare agent. The inventory also indicated that the other package contains Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) reference standards in sealed glass tubes. These standards are used to calibrate chemical analytical equipment.
UNMOVIC has confirmed that normally such items would have been transported directly to appropriately equipped laboratories for analysis and not sent to UNSCOM/ UNMOVIC headquarters in New York. In the past, UNSCOM chemical samples were sent via military transport directly to Edgewood labs.
And this is the agency we’re supposed to trust with certification of disarmament of WMDs?