August 30, 2007

Chemical Weapons Souvenirs At The UN

I visited New York City when I was eleven years old, and one of the places we visited was the United Nations building. People could buy souvenirs there and all over the Big Apple about the UN. I'm betting that they didn't sell phosgene vials as souvenirs then or now, however:

ABCNews has learned that United Nations weapons inspectors discovered six to eight vials of a dangerous nerve gas, phosgene, as they were cleaning out offices at a U.N. building in New York Thursday morning.

Federal authorities said the office, in a U.N. building near headquarters, was being evacuated and the White House had been notified at 10 a.m.

New York police and fire officials said federal authorities had not notified them of any problem at the U.N. building, as of 11 a.m.

First, phosgene isn't technically a "nerve gas", although it certainly qualifies as a chemical weapon. Phosgene chokes its victims, and it works slowly, which helps prolong exposure. The combatants in the First World War would combine it with chlorine gas to get the most out of an attack.

This really isn't much of a find, except to show how idiotic diplomats can be. The vials apparently came from Gulf War-era Iraq and probably has sat in the offices as a weird kind of souvenir. The vials would have been used for detection equipment, as they are too small for any kind of large-scale attack. It's dangerous enough, though, to justify the full-scale evacuation that apparently began two hours ago.

I guess our next WMD hunt should start at Turtle Bay, eh? (via Hot Air, Instapundit, and The Corner)


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Comments (7)

Posted by edward cropper | August 30, 2007 1:00 PM

this would be the first time the UN has ever been associated with anything that had nerve connected with it.

Posted by The Zippy | August 30, 2007 1:49 PM

But.. but.. there were no chemical weapons! Bush lied! The UN weapon inspectors never found anything!


Posted by The Zippy | August 30, 2007 1:59 PM

But.. but.. there were no chemical weapons! Bush lied! The UN weapon inspectors never found anything!


Posted by GaryK | August 30, 2007 2:11 PM

The UN is at it again. This brings to mind another recent "lapse" at the UN.

Remember all those really pretty UN stamps. When I was a kid I really loved to collect stamps and those UN stamps were always some of my favorites. Thus, I was outraged to learn some months ago that somehow, despite the UN's own prohibition against selling any items from it large, priceless and irreplaceable legacy stamp collection, the entire UN collection of its own stamps and all the material associated with them--preliminary designs, proofs, etc.--was somehow carted out of the UN building--we're talking thousands of items on many heavy pallets--without the UN official's knowledge, and sold at an auction house, I believe in New York state, for a pittance.

Since then, the one person who acquired the whole collection at auction for a mere pittance relative to its uniqueness and value, has been breaking it up into smaller lots and been making quite a killing as this unique collection is further and further dispersed.

The coverage of this story was very minimal and except for stamp collectors, I don't think it registered at all. Interestingly, although none of the UN officers who would have had to sign off on the disposition of any items from this collection don't "recall" anything about any such paperwork or signing any authorization to sell these items, a foreward to the auction catalog was written and signed by a UN official. At last I read, the UN was "investigating"

Posted by NoDonkey | August 30, 2007 2:57 PM

Phosgene is not a nerve gas - it's a choking agent.

Choking agents are much different than nerve gases.

Is it possible for the MSM to report a story ONCE, without completely botching it?

What does it take to get through journalism school - the ability to fog a mirror?

Posted by jaeger51 | August 30, 2007 10:58 PM

I knew it! THAT'S where Saddam was hiding his weapons, with his allies! :)

Posted by ERNurse | August 31, 2007 11:21 AM

So... That's where all the WMDs ended up. I always suspected they would be found in the territory of one of Saddam's closest allies. But the UN? Who knew?

But seriously, folks. I bet Karl Rove planted the stuff. He is behind everything man... I mean, everything.

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