Bomb-disposal teamsdispatched to Gulf

By Paul Sperry

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has already begun dispatching explosive-ordnance disposal teams to the Persian Gulf as the leading edge in a planned invasion of Baghdad, U.S. military officials say.

The bomb techs will be needed to clear what one official called the “booby traps” that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s guards have laid in the tunnels that connect the bunkers and storehouses under his many palaces.

“There are underground facilities and tunnels in Baghdad that are booby-trapped,” the official told WorldNetDaily. “These guys will go in first and find the munitions and explosives.”

He added: “They have to look at them and make sure they’re not set on timers and things like that.”

Another Pentagon source says the bomb-disposal techs, who may also be used to clear mines near beaches, are being supplied by all the major branches of the armed services.

“A lot of them have been dispatched already,” he said, “and there’s a continuing push to get them out there.”

While Congress debates resolutions calling for war, there are other signs Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has already put the war machine in motion. WorldNetDaily also has learned that:

  • An amphibious ready group, or ARG, assigned to NATO peace-keeping exercises in the Balkans is expected to soon transit the Suez Canal and join the 5th Fleet. Iraq’s southeast border touches the Persian Gulf, while its southern neighbor, Kuwait, has a longer coastline there.
  • Dock-landing warships in the Mediterranean Sea, such as the USS Tortuga, which carries thousands of Marines, are prepped for war. On board are full-time chaplains, doctors, dentists and surgeons. Officers are at full strength.
  • Arabic-speaking U.S. interrogators have been told to take a short leave before deployment to the Gulf.

Sources say U.S. forces cannot afford to wait until next year to attack Baghdad.

“It’s got to be over and done with by April or May, before it starts getting too hot over there for the chem-bio suits,” one Pentagon official told WorldNetDaily.