Joseph Shahda has dedicated himself to the arduous task of reviewing the documents captured in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom and left untranslated by the US military. Joseph has posted these translations at Free Republic and his translations have been confirmed as accurate by independent translators abroad. Today, Joseph posted a translation of military orders commanding the transfer of “special ammunition” from Najaf to Baghdad in the week before the American invasion of Iraq:
Document ISGP-2003-0001498 ISGP-2003-0001498 contains a 9 pages TOP SECRET memo (pages 87-96 in the pdf document) dated March 16 2003 that talks about transferring “SPECIAL AMMUNITION” from one ammunition depot in Najaf to other ammunition depots near Baghdad. As we know by now the term SPECIAL AMMUNITION was used by Saddam Regime to designate CHEMICAL WEAPONS as another translated document has already shown. For example in document CMPC 2004-002219 where Saddam regime decided to use “CHEMICAL WEAPONS against the Kurds” they used the term “SPECIAL AMMUNITION” for chemical weapon http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1601810/posts. What is also interesting is that these “SPECIAL AMMUNITION” were listed as 122 mm, 130 mm, and 155 mm caliber shells which are not by itself SPECIAL unless it contain CHEMICAL WEAPONS. In fact the Iraqi have always used 122 mm, 130 mm, and 155 mm caliber shell as a main delivery tool for Chemical Weapons Agents by filling these type of shells with Nerve Gas, Sarin, Racin, Mustard gas and other Chemical Agents.
Beginning of partial translation of Pages 85-96 in document ISGP-2003-0001498
In the Name of God the Merciful The Compassionate
Ministry Of Defense
Chairmanship of the Army Staff
Al Mira Department
Date 16 March 2003
To: The Command of the Western Region
Subject: Transfer of Ammunitions
The secret and immediate letter of the Chairmanship of the Army Staff 4/17/308 on 10 March 2003
1. The approval of the Army Chief of Staff was obtained to transfer THE SPECIAL AMMUNITIONS in the ammunition depots group of Najaf and according to the following priorities:
A. The first priority
First. Ammunition (122 mm)
Second. Ammunition (130 mm)
Third. Ammunition (155 mm)
To the depots and storage of the Second Corp and the two ammunition depot groups Dijla/2/3
B. Second priority.
First. Ammunition (23 mm)
Second. Ammunition (14.5 mm)
To the ammunition depots of the air defense and distributed to the ammunition depot groups in (Al Mussayeb- Al Sobra- Saad).
2. To execute the order of the Chief Army Staff indicated in section (1) above, we relate the following:
Transfer of the ammunitions shown in sections (A) and (B) from the ammunitions depots of Najaf to the ammunition depots in (Dijla 2/3, and Al Mansor, and Saad, and Al Mussayeb, and Sobra and Blad Roz and Amar Weys from March 16 till April 14 2003.
General Rasheed Abdallah Sultan
Assistant to the Army Chief of Staff- Al Mira
End of Partial translation
The remaining pages of this 9 pages top secret memo talk about getting the special vehicles to transfer the SPECIAL AMMUNITION and the people assigned to supervise and execute the transfer and they were top Iraqi Army and Military Intelligence officers.
As Joseph explained, the designation “special” usually meant prohibited materiel — the chemical and biological weapons that Saddam insisted the Iraqis did not possess. This shows that not only did Saddam believe these weapons to be in his possession, but also that his subordinates also believed it. This conflicts with the oft-argued notion that Saddam’s underlings only told him what he wanted to hear, afraid to tell him that the weapons were nothing more than vaporware. In the midst of preparing the Iraqi Army to fight the Americans they knew would be coming, General Sultan tasked valuable resources to move munitions of some “special” type closer to the capital, where the Iraqis expected to make their stand against the invading forces.
The timing should alert people to the nature of the revelation. This isn’t a document from 2002 or 2001, when George Bush had not yet committed to action in Iraq. The author of this memo didn’t copy Saddam Hussein or his inner circle to extend some elaborate illusion. Instead, this order came from the Army chief of staff to the Western Command — the opposite direction one would assume if it would serve as a deception to Iraqi leadership — and diverted badly-needed resources just days before the invasion that US and UN diplomacy had telegraphed.
What could be more important than manning defenses and establishing attack zones? And why would Iraq need to transfer conventional ammunition to Baghdad, where procurement assumably would be centered? Normally, one would expect a nation about to be invaded to send munitions to the outer defenses, not strip them to recall munitions away from the perimeter. This would be akin to the Germans removing the ammunition from the French coastline the week before D-Day in order to send it to Paris or Berlin.
These strange orders underscore the “special” nature of the ammunition in question. It also shows that the supposed deception of Saddam Hussein doesn’t account for all of the references to WMD in the Iraqi record. These orders specifically names depots where the materiel had been stored and the type of ordnance which it comprised.
We are getting a much better picture of prewar Iraqi involvement in WMD and terrorism from these documents, and all of it contradicts the conventional wisdom that the media has fed us since Baghdad fell. See Power Line for even more thoughts on this memo.