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Potato Chips and Sarin Shells
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So it was confirmed yesterday that the binary shell suspected of containing the chemical weapon agent Sarin actually did contain Sarin.

Comprehensive testing has confirmed the presence of the chemical weapon sarin in the remains of a roadside bomb discovered this month in Baghdad, a defense official said Tuesday.

According to the story, Iraq first field-tested these types of shells in 1988. But this bit is interesting too:

Saddam's government never declared any sarin or shells filled with sarin remained.

So in addition to all of the stuff that we know they had and used at one point, there were also weapons that we weren't explicitly looking for that they had.

And blogger Sebastian Holsclaw made a good point the other day on this subject.

Shells are manufactured--in factories. You don't make just one.

You have to design and manufacture all of the equipment. You have to design the shell itself. There are thousands of things you have to do before you can get to the cute little technical marvel of a binary shell. I don't know how many of you have ever worked in a factory, but retooling a factory isn't as easy as the word makes it sound. As a result, you don't retool just to make a single shell.

It's not just that you don't make just can't make just one. It's just like eating Lay's potato chips.

The "It's just one shell" dismissiveness is silly. As Sebastion points out:

[P]lease remember that finding just one shell is like finding just one cockroach.

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