Ok, so this is my Independence Day gift to you guys. Let's hope Anthony and Skipper are around to read it. :)
Hat tip to Ed Driscoll of Captainsquarters
Mobile Labs Could Not Have Produced Hydrogen As Described, PrologueI have written several times about the issue of the mobile laboratories in Iraq and the subsequent conventional wisdom that they served as hydrogen generators for weather balloons instead of WMD production facilities. In April, I pointed out that the hydrogen theory came as a minority opinion within the CIA/DIA teams that reviewed the two labs captured by the Coalition. One month later, Joseph Shahda translated a key memo showing that the Iraqis spent $33 million on the mobile labs in September 2002, while America decided to take military action against the Iraqis, and that the same agency that controlled Iraq's WMD programs (the Military Industrialization Committee) arranged to purchase these facilities.
One key point (besides the memo) that undermines the argument for a civil hydrogen production facility is the ease in which the Iraqis could already produce and store hydrogen. Oil refining creates hydrogen in fairly large quantities as a normal byproduct. If the Iraqis wanted hydrogen for weather balloons, they could have simply pumped it into tanks and used normal trucks to transport it where needed. Now we have another argument against the hydrogen production explanation.
A CQ reader with a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Minnesota
Enjoy. Maybe it will spur several more 9,000+ comment threads. Try not to harrass any National Weather Service officials, though. ;)
Happy Independence Day, everybody!!!!