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The CIA was wrong about Al-shifa [List Edits]

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Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-05 10:23 PM
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The CIA was wrong about Al-shifa
Edited on Tue Nov-22-05 05:58 AM by eridani
Clinton did more than anyone ever appreciated in thwarting terror plots, but the the attack on the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant was not one of them, being based on bogus information. I don't give a flying fuck what the MSM papers and the CIA said--they were wrong.

The only relevant information on the subject must come from chemists, and you're treading on my professional turf here. (I hardly ever get to pull rank on the Internet based on my job qualifications, but I'm doing it now to set the record straight.) I'm posting links to Chemical and Engineering News, which you have to be a member of ACS to access on line, but if you want to follow up, I'm sure any university library would have bound copies.

Here is the initial report of 1998

An intelligence official, who asked not to be named, tells C&EN, "We have acquired physical evidence in the form of a soil sample, and analysis has revealed the presence of EMPTA." EMPTA, she explains, "is a known nerve agent precursor and an indicator of VX production." It "has no commercial application, is not found naturally in the environment, and is not a by-product from another chemical process," she adds.

The official would not offer C&EN information on where the soil sample was collected (in or outside the plant), who collected it, what the sample's chain of custody had been, how much EMPTA was found, or what other chemicals were also detected. She also refused to name the lab that analyzed the sample--supposedly collected two months ago, but analyzed just last month.

Note the bolded sentences describing the information that the intelligence official refused to supply. In 1999, another article was published in which the lead chemist and the engineering firm are identified, and the collection methods, analytical methods, chain of custody and detection limits are all described. These folks didn't find any evidence of VX manufacture, and you'd have to be a complete moron to conclude that their statements are bogus and the people who won't tell you how they got their results the first time are telling the truth.

No Trace of Nerve Gas Precursor Found at Bombed Sudan Plant

Rouhi, Maureen, "Analytical credibility," Chemical and Engineering News, Vol. 77, No. 8, February 22, 1999.

Thomas D. Tullius, chairman of the chemistry department at Boston University, directed the study, which was executed by three European laboratories and the engineering firm Dames & Moore, Manchester, England.

Using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the two labs screened for 25 organophosphorus pesticides, as well as EMPTA and its hydrolysis product, EMPA (O-ethylmethylphosphonic acid). All they detected were very low levels of the common pesticides chlorpyrifos and diazinon in four soil samples from the rose garden. A gardener who tended the roses reported using diazinon, Tullius says. "There is no known chemistry by which these would break down to EMPTA," he adds.

Further studies of EMPTA and EMPA were performed by a third European lab, one certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to do chemical analyses relevant to the Chemical Weapons Convention. This lab showed that within five days EMPTA in soil is converted almost completely to EMPA. On the other hand, EMPA persists for months and likely even for years. Using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry protocols that give high extraction recoveries and detection limits of 10 ppb for EMPTA and 5 ppb for EMPA, the lab found neither in any of the samples.


The fact remains, President Clinton just did not wake up one morning and say, "I think I will bomb an "Aspirin Factory" today. The CIA supplied that site and had to give a very good reason. No matter what the RWers say, if it was a fuck up, it was NOT President Clinton's.

I can't say if Clinton had anything to do with the massaged intelligence, but I know for sure that Chemical and Engineering News is not right-wing.
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