Some interesting stuff popping up in the Aussie papers – and one American paper. Not sure if anyone’s really taken notice since it was buried deep within the article. AP is reporting:
Powell also cited the discovery of the vial of bacteria, along with confirmation that Iraq was trying to develop longer-range missiles than the United Nations had permitted.
"We are more convinced by the Kay report that we did the right thing," Powell told reporters. "Do you think vials of botulism should constitute a weapon of mass destruction? …. They never lost that capability. They never lost that intent."
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher added: "You kill people with botuli. They have no other use."
The vial contained live bacteria that make botulinum toxin – a toxin that can be used as a biological weapon. But experts say there are many, complicated steps between possessing a vial of bacteria and producing enough of the toxin to create a weapon. That would require relatively sophisticated equipment and processing.
The bacteria itself is a common cause of food poisoning.
Kay, in a briefing with reporters after Powell and Bush spoke, said the Iraqi scientist who had the vial had been given it for safekeeping at his home by another, more senior scientist, in 1993. The scientist initially had other samples, most of which he quickly returned because of concerns for his family’s safety.
"He was actually storing them in his refrigerator," Kay said. "He had small children."
Although tests showed that the one vial of bacteria that the scientist kept was still viable, Kay offered no evidence it had been used in a weapons program during the last decade.
Is there a reason this isn’t being discussed in the major news media??