Pentagon Admits Using White Phosphorous

The DoD has admitted that they used white phorphorous in Iraq:

Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Steve Boylan denied the allegations, saying “I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus.” The Pentagon now says it used the weapon against insurgents. White phosphorus produces a dense white smoke that can cause serious burns to human flesh.

So the progression is:

  1. No we didn’t.
  2. Oh here, a documentary of us doing it.
  3. We did do it – but only on insurgents.
  4. The final iteration will be ‘We had to melt children in order to save them.’ 

4 thoughts on “Pentagon Admits Using White Phosphorous

  1. RTO Trainer

    The Pentagon never denied using WP.

    The UN Convention bans the use of incendiary weapons against civilans, not against humans. See for yourself:
    http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/515?OpenDocument

    Of course any deliberate engagement or targeting of civilians is
    already a war crime. so that the US has not signed this one is not of especial import except to say that we aren’t bound by it expressly.

    White Phosphorus is not banned.

    It also isn’t a chemical weapon. We are signtory to the Chemical Weapons Convention which defines chemical weapons. See here:
    http://www.opcw.org/html/db/cwc/eng/cwc_frameset.html

    So it isn’t a chemical weapon and it isn’t banned.

    Indiscriminate use is. The stories circulating do not support that
    contention. See here:
    http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2004/04/11/military/iraq/19_30_504_10

    Bogert received the coordinates for the targets and recorded them on a map. This is proper procedure. He’s receiving coordinates from a Forward Observer, indirect fire weapons never see their targets, the FOs do. The coordinates are plotted so that it is known what was ordered where. There is also a verification that takes place in the call for indirect fire to avoid problems with numerical transposition or other mistakes.

  2. Andy

    It is slippery because so much of it falls to the use of white phosphorous. Was it for a smokescreen or was it to dissolve the flesh of insurgents down to the bone? Does that make it a chemical agent instead of a smokescreen?

    True the US is one of the few countries that hasn’t signed bans on materials like these – along with landmines and clusterbombs. So this could be ‘legal use’. I just seriously doubt that civilians haven’t been targeted/affected. We’ll know in 20 years.

    I just have trouble trusting the Pentagon after they lied about dropping napalm in Iraq and then later admitted it.

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