Breaking Political Stories and Commentary. "We're at the height of the Roman Empire for the Republican Party, but the tide slowly but surely goes out." --Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham, South Carolina
This is the big Iraq news of the day, high up at sites that rank stories by reader interest, although not higher than the Ashlee Simpson lip-syncing scandal -- "Lip-sunk" as the AM-NY daily put it.

Anyway, Bush's policies are less of a problem than his incompetence...

This is from the NY Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.

[snip]

The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people.

The explosives could also be used to trigger a nuclear weapon, which was why international nuclear inspectors had kept a watch on the material, and even sealed and locked some of it. The other components of an atom bomb - the design and the radioactive fuel - are more difficult to obtain.

[snip]

The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country.

[snip]

[The] Bush administration would not allow the agency back into the country to verify the status of the stockpile. In May 2004, Iraqi officials say in interviews, they warned L. Paul Bremer III, the American head of the occupation authority, that Al Qaqaa had probably been looted. It is unclear if that warning was passed anywhere. Efforts to reach Mr. Bremer by telephone were unsuccessful.

Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 26, 2004
Coming only two weeks after Iraq admitted it's nuclear sites were nto gaurded by US troops and have been looted is not good. How can you invade a country and then ignore the list of sites you have been told need to be gaurded due to dangerous material? Did anyone who planned this war have a brain?

I just hope it turns out to be an administration mistake and that in fact US troops are the ones responsible for removing this material. The US currently says it just doesn't know where the material is not that it has definitely been looted. Though, I wouldn't be surprised to see the next arguement being 'the material may have been removed before the war'! Seems to be the standard excuse these days.

There's enough explosives missing for years worth of suicide bombs and roadside bombs. How do you explain to the family of a US soldier killed by a bomb that the material for that bomb had been taggd and locked away by UN inspectors, but the US didn't bother guarding it?

Paul.
on Oct 26, 2004
Of course, the Bush supporters are totally ignoring this story, and now grasping at supposed report that the explosives site was cleaned out before American troops first go there during the invasion... the problem?: the journalist involved says that she never reported that.

I think the Bush supporters are simply in complete denial about the mistakes Bush has made. I have a lot of trouble understanding it. When Clinton made mistakes, most of us who voted for him admitted it, and we talked to each other about it. We never pretended to ourselves that Clinton's flaws were just right wing BS. We did think it was stupid to impeach him for lying about having an affair. That doesn't sound like a high crime to me. But we knew Clinton was far from perfect.

The Bush supporters act like they're in some kind of cult. They seem completely unwilling to admit anything bad about Bush. I'm never seen anything like it. Ronald Reagan was never treated like that while he was president.

I heard someone talking about how one's likelihood to admit a painting is a forgery is inversely proportional to how much one paid for the painting. Maybe that's what's happening with the Bush supporters and Bush: they committed to him on 9/11, and even as the economy has struggled and Iraq has fallen apart, they keep repeating to themselves how great he must be.
on Oct 26, 2004
This is more than somewhat disturbing. I now feel less safe than before we invaded. Not for a terrorist attack here, persay, but in regards to world wide attacks.
on Oct 26, 2004
This an unfoundied allegation with no evidence to back it up. Even NBC is calling the NYT bluff. Nobody is able to prove that the explosives were there. The last time they were physically spotted was by the IAEA *early* last year!
on Oct 27, 2004
There's enough explosives missing for years worth of suicide bombs and roadside bombs. How do you explain to the family of a US soldier killed by a bomb that the material for that bomb had been taggd and locked away by UN inspectors, but the US didn't bother guarding it?


The only reporter (Dana Lewis) who was physically present at the ammo dump, a several-square-mile facility, when US troops arrived in April of 2003 was an embedded reporter for NBC (now working for Fox) who reported at the time that when the soldiers he was accompanying inspected a large number, but not all, of the bunkers no IAEA-tagged explosive materials were seen. That does not mean none were there, just that in the bunkers they randomly looked through, none were seen. It is also worth noting that all of that material should have been destroyed by Saddam long ago under the terms of the 1991 armistice. It is also worth noting that a definitive pre-invasion inventory of the al Qaqaa cache is unavailable - the IAEA inspectors did spot checks only in the few months prior to the invasion and there was ample opportunity for Saddam to move large amounts of weaponry & explosives during late 2002 & early 2003. Remember these inspectors did not have free reign to make surprise inspections anywhere and could not physically maintain surveillance of inspected facilities. And our own inspectors could only safely get to the facility about a month after the invasion.

The only rational explanation for that material being gone is that it was removed before or during the invasion. There is no way all this stuff was squirreled away by "insurgents" long after Baghdad fell, as the NYT would have us believe. The NYT is a sad joke, deserving of our scorn for their blatant disregard for truth. They are openly trying to manufacture a coup, but it won't work.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Oct 27, 2004
Daiwa,
you are aware that both the reporter and the commander of that unit have both admitted / clarified that they did not search the site as they were only passing through? As stated in my original response, I expected Bush supporters to try to 'the material may have been removed before the war' excuse. Very very sad really. At least Bush himself is taking things a bit more intelligently, waiting for more information before making a statement. Pity his followers aren't so politically savvy.

Paul.
on Oct 27, 2004
At least Bush himself is taking things a bit more intelligently, waiting for more information before making a statement. Pity his followers aren't so politically savvy.


Could someone tell Kerry this, he already had attack ads made by lunch yesterday.

That's My Two Cents
on Oct 27, 2004
Solitaire's point is good that Daiwa's assertions are out of date. I thank both of them for their posts.

It should be noted that the Iraqi government itself says that the explosives dissapeared after America took control of the country. When this story broke out, even some Pentagon officials acknowledged that the explosives disappeared after the invasion. Now, the Bush administration is in furious damage control mode.
on Oct 27, 2004
Bush's policies are less of a problem than his incompetence...


Not to mention his Messianic complex (and probable Oedipal complex, but I won't go there)...
on Oct 27, 2004
You know I remember seeing this bit on the news in April 2003, can't remember if it was MSNBC or CNN or Fox News (we were flipping the channels for the latest info) and saw a bit about them going in the complex and low and behold nothing was there, and I am talking video footage not so and so reporting only by audio from Iraq.

The places they did search were empty that I saw though it does not mean Saddam did not take it out to the middle of nowhere and slapped some camouflage over it, like he did with those jet fighters that for some reason he was not supposed to have, hmm, that in itself does make me wonder if Saddam did not do the same trick elsewhere.

Though surely this is a C in C's fault because he should have been there expecting the sites first hand with a his cousin John, damn Skulls members!

PLINKO!
on Oct 27, 2004

Reply #6 By: Solitair - 10/27/2004 2:50:50 AM
Daiwa,
you are aware that both the reporter and the commander of that unit have both admitted / clarified that they did not search the site as they were only passing through? As stated in my original response, I expected Bush supporters to try to 'the material may have been removed before the war' excuse. Very very sad really. At least Bush himself is taking things a bit more intelligently, waiting for more information before making a statement. Pity his followers aren't so politically savvy.

Paul.


Well it wasn't moved "after" we got there! Are you aware that it would take almost 40 10 wheeler trucks to move that much material? Are you then saying that so many trucks could go undetected by our troops?
on Oct 27, 2004
Well it wasn't moved "after" we got there! Are you aware that it would take almost 40 10 wheeler trucks to move that much material? Are you then saying that so many trucks could go undetected by our troops?


If they weren't there... yes. Or how about 400 4 wheeled trucks? What if people inside the military are stealing it? I know its not good to accuse the soldiers.. but maybe there are some traitors? You never can be sure unless you investigate.
on Oct 27, 2004

Reply #12 By: sandy2 - 10/27/2004 4:37:16 PM
Well it wasn't moved "after" we got there! Are you aware that it would take almost 40 10 wheeler trucks to move that much material? Are you then saying that so many trucks could go undetected by our troops?


If they weren't there... yes. Or how about 400 4 wheeled trucks? What if people inside the military are stealing it? I know its not good to accuse the soldiers.. but maybe there are some traitors? You never can be sure unless you investigate.


Investigate, yes. Blame this all on Bush? No way. And even 400 4 wheeled trucks, given the logistics it would be close to impossible to go undetected.
on Oct 27, 2004
This whole accusation has been exposed for the unfounded NYT BS hatchet job that it is.

That's even more up to date. There is no evidence, not even circumstantial evidence, that 380 tons of explosives which were present & accounted for after the facility came under American control have been spirited out from under our noses by terrorists & insurgents to be used against us. That notion is complete hogwash.

The NYT & CBS, practically foaming at the mouth for a chance to sabotage Bush, fell for an IAEA disinformation effort from a man with an agenda, el Baradei, becoming willing accomplices in the perpetuation of a lie. These people learned absolutely nothing from the bogus CBS Killian memo fiasco and have absolutely failed in their duty to substantiate such allegations. They have all the credibility of the National Enquirer, though I hesitate to insult the National Enquirer that way.

Cheers,
Daiwa
on Oct 27, 2004
You never can be sure unless you investigate.


So you agree that Kerry running around blathering about this is a shoot from the hip response?
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