The U.S. has tacitly admitted that it is using Weapons of Mass Destruction, WMD, in Afghanistan, Yemen, and all other places that it conducts kinetic activity. Iraq? Tons of the stuff was deployed - and by definition, Saddam had far more of it than you could possibly inventory.
How? How could a nation so set on PREVENTING the use of WMD end up using it in such huge quantities itself?
Simple- the U.S. has basically indicted itself.
You see, this past week the FBI released the indictment of one Eric Harroun, 30, known to Syrians as “the American.” According to a story in the WaPo:
The complaint says Harroun conspired to use a weapon of mass destruction, the RPG, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. He made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday.
RPG? WMD? Well, yes, as journalist James Joyner has found out:
...unless RPG technology has improved vastly since I last fired one, there’s no possible way that it should fall into the category. Taking out a tank or a low-flying helicopter is destructive, no doubt, but it ain’t massive.
Nor, according to 18 USC § 2332a, would an RPG seem to qualify as a WMD:
(2) the term “weapon of mass destruction” means—(A) any destructive device as defined in section 921 of this title;(B) any weapon that is designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals, or their precursors;(C) any weapon involving a biological agent, toxin, or vector (as those terms are defined in section 178 of this title); or(D) any weapon that is designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life;
Alas, following the trail to section 921, we see that:
4) The term “destructive device” means—(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas—(i) bomb,(ii) grenade,(iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces,(iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce,(v) mine, or(vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and
(C) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in subparagraph (A) or (B) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled.
So, by the very definition that the U.S. uses to prosecute criminals, we, the good 'ol U.S. of A., is conspiring to inflict WMD across the globe.
But how is it possible that the lowly RPG, and by association, the 40mm grenade, the 155 artillery shell, and the 81mm mortar, could be considered a WMD? Read the definition above- if it contains more than one-quarter ounce of explosive, its a WMD. How much do these explosives hold? You can check that here. For example, the M362 HE round contains 2.10 pounds of the stuff. Pretty massive WMD, if you ask me.
The asshat Harroun definitely needs prosecuted (see Jimbo's post below)- and introduced to a few new virgins afterwards if he is so inclined to assist (possibly) AQ-associated groups. But to do so under the guise that RPG's and similar munitions are WMD is beyond the pale. What next? Do you see 30-rd magazines being slipped into this definition? Because well, a grenade can kill only 1 person; 30-rd mags can kill up to what, 30?
Masses, I tell you. That's mass destruction right there.
U.S law has gone beyond the ridiculous here. And we've only done it to ourselves. But want to know something? It gets worse- just ask our good buddy Bob Owens:
DOJ prosecutes Army veteran that conspired with wrong rebel group to shoot 10 Syrian soldiers; refuses to prosecute Attorney General than ran guns to narco-terrorists used in 302+ murders
So they're willing to prosecute someone who fires ''WMD'' in Syria, but not go after someone who killed U.S. citizens right here in our own back yard?
What goes around comes around, and bites you right in the ass...