The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake reports that the individual responsible for covering up the discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq in 2004 was Karl Rove.
Lake spoke to former Republican Senator Rick Santorum, who told him that his office started receiving photographs of discarded shells of sarin and mustard gas from United States military personnel in 2003 and 2004. He approached the George W. Bush White House about using them in his reelection campaign, but was rebuffed because of what the New York Times alleges was an attempt to cover-up the chemical wounds being suffered by American troops.
“We don’t want to look back,” Santorum recalls Rove saying, careful to note that he is paraphrasing a conversation he had eight years previous. “I will say that the gist of the comments from the president’s senior people was ‘We don’t want to look back, we want to look forward.'”
Dave Wurmser, at the time a senior advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, corroborated Santorum’s account, saying that “Karl Rove and his team blocked public disclosure of these [findings] and said ‘Let these sleeping dogs lie; we have lost that fight so better not to remind anyone of it.'”
Still, Santorum believes that the administration missed an opportunity. Although “there [were] no active chemical-weapons operation in Iraq — that doesn’t mean there were no chemical weapons. That was the point we were making. It’s clear from The New York Times’ article that the military as well as the administration didn’t want to have that conversation because they missed it.”
Pete Hoekstra, the Republican chairman on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, explained that he attempted to investigate, but was repeatedly told by the administrator that “these were not the weapons we were looking.”