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Wednesday, November 17, 2004


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the Chairman

To the best of my knowledge, Sarin doesn't spoil. BUT a test kit would have been useless. I have to assume that by calling it a "test kit" they mean that it is used to test FOR Sarin. In the US civilian and military inventories, there are a dozen items used to detect nerve agents like Sarin, VX, or other cholenesterase inhibitors. None of them could be used to kill a single person unless beat them to death with it. I think that this story has been taken the wrong way. If they have a test kit, what were they going to test? That is my question. Were they looking for chemical rounds? Do they have chemical rounds and were worried about them leaking? Why did they have test kits?


I think the reason this story hasn't gotten much attention is that it's not much of a story.

This is a case of somebody getting hold of a Soviet sarin test kit, with apparent intent to turn it into a weapon, but never accomplishing that goal. It has nothing to do with any supposed WMD program by Saddam Hussein.

Note also that a Soviet kit must be at least 13 years old. Sarin loses its potency long before that, so it's probably long past the point at which it would have been possible to turn it into a weapon. So, several years ago, somebody acquired the kit with the intent to weaponize it, but never did so, and this is their leftover crap.


It's a good question - why would they? Of course, considering the dates on the things it could well be left over from the Iran/Iraq war, where they used chem warfare. And, if they're like most militaries they rarely throw something away unless it's ABSOLUTELY expired or unusable.

Could be the insurgents saw the 'SARIN' on the testers and thought they could kill people with this.

No such luck. At worst, they'd cut someone with the broken glass.


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