Thursday, July 22, 2004

How many Sarin shells in a "stockpile?"

I used to work with a wonderful reporter named Mark Johnson, a New Yorker who never got over his indignation at having to work in rural Pennsylvania, amid rube politicians who tried to snow him on stories. Once when he was covering the police beat in the city, after a long session of haggling with the mayor on the phone, we heard him blurt out sarcastically, "how many 'isolated incidents' does it take to make a crime wave?"

In the same spirit, Ace of Spades notes that the number of Sarin and/or mustard-gas shells uncovered in Iraq now is up to 35, asks, "What number constitutes a 'stockpile'? One would think that any time you're above 20 or 30, you're in at least small-stockpile territory. I want the liberals to give us a number, now. Because, a month from now, when we've discovered 60-100, I don't want to hear that a "stockpile" has now been redefined to be whatever number we have not yet reached."