WASHINGTON, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Pentagon had neither intend nor need to keep secret the information about the chemical weapons discoveries in Iraq, stated Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.
"There was no effort from the Pentagon or the Defense Department leadership at any time to deliberately suppress or withhold information about chemical munition," Kirby said during the press briefing on Thursday.
"As far back as 2006 we very openly in congressional testimony acknowledged finds of hundreds of rounds of these chemical munitions inside Iraq," Kirby said. He added that in that same testimony they made it clear that there would be more chemical weapons.
"There were thousands more that were found," the spokesperson stressed. "And each time they were found and cataloged and collected, we made those disclosures. Now since 2009 it's up to the government of Iraq to do that, and they have," Kirby said.
According to Kirby, thousands and thousands of these munitions were found and destroyed and removed. "So there was never any non-disclosure of what we've been finding," he concluded.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that from 2004 to 2011, the US military and Iraqi troops found around 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs in Iraq, created during the rule of former president Saddam Hussein in collaboration with the West.
According to Kirby, the author of the article intended to show the issue of care that these soldiers experienced, and the degree to which they might have been told by their unit commanders not to talk about it. "There was no effort by the Pentagon, no intend and no deed to try to suppress the information from the public," Kirby reaffirmed, admitting, however, that there were some initial delays between 2006 and 2007, just in terms of process problems that they had.
Earlier this week, the spokesperson for the US Defense Department told RIA Novosti that the United States kept secret the information about the chemical weapons discoveries in Iraq in order to secure the findings from being obtained by hostile forces before their elimination.