OTR Interviews

Iraq war vet: We were told stockpile of chemical weapons were 'nothing of significance'

Iraq war commander says his soldiers were exposed to chemical weapons and he was ordered not to discuss them

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: And retired Army Major Jarrod Lampier was there when the U.S. military found the largest stockpile of chemical weapons. And he says he was ordered to say nothing of significance was found. Major Lampier joins us. Good evening, sir.

JARROD LAMPIER, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Good evening, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me what you saw and tell me why or what you were told about not saying what you saw.

LAMPIER: I wasn't specifically ordered to say nothing of significance, but that's what we were told. In 2006 -- August of 2006, in Iraq, we were told that someone was digging with a front-end loader on the Iraqi side of Taji and we were going over to find what was there. When we arrived, the gentleman had already left. We found some rocket bodies sticking out of the ground. We started digging through those. We found three, we found 300.

As we kept digging and finding these things, it turned out we found there were chemical rockets left over I would expect from I would suspect before Desert Storm. These things were -- had no explosives in them, but they were designed to be used as chemical weapons. And some of them had chemicals in them. We used a chemical agent monitor to scan them. We found that they did have signs or parts of nerve agent residue in them, and we were never really told what was in there. National ground intelligence command came through. They sent a contingent. I think a total of 38 soldiers came over to help investigate this. When they took these apart, we wanted to know what was in them, what we were being subjected to. We were told there is nothing of significance, nothing you need to worry about, though we did know that it was nerve agent, so in the end what we did was just destroyed the grounds. We crushed them, so they could not be used, threw them in the crater and poured concrete over them. That's where they are still at today I believe.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, there's one controversy one person hurt and got adequate medical care as a consequence of the exposure. That's one particular issue. What I don't understand and what the New York Times article implies is that there was almost a deliberate -- you know, that there was an effort to sort of hide that -- you know, the fact that might have contained that. Did you have any sense that there was any sort of directive low level, high level or anything else to sort of hide the fact that those pre-gulf war that means the 1980s chemicals stockpile that the rockets was a residue of some sort?

LAMPIER: Right. I think everyone was afraid of claiming this was some sort of smoking gun. These items I think had been moved out of the chemical munitions plant and buried for future use. Someone knew they were there. Someone was big digging them up for nefarious purposes. I don't think they were going to be used to our benefit. So, as to what the purpose of them, being there was I don't know. I can only suppose that no one wanted to say that these are the chemical weapons that are being used against our own troops currently. I think this was going to be used in the future against us.

VAN SUSTEREN: Major, thank you very much.

LAMPIER: Thank you.