"The immediate danger" of the lost stockpiles is its potential use by insurgents to make small, but powerful, explosive devices, an expert told the Times. The expert said the explosives could be transported easily across the Middle East.
According to the Times, the stockpiles missing from Al Qaqaa are the strongest and fastest in common use by militaries around the globe.
The Iraqi letter to IAEA identified the vanished explosives as containing 194.7 metric tons of HMX, or "high melting point explosive," 141.2 metric tons of RDX, or "rapid detonation explosive," among other designations, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, or "pentaerythritol tetranitrate."
good job W, i feel much safer now.
The senior administration official downplayed the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but "stuff you can buy anywhere." The official added that the administration did not see this necessarily as a "proliferation risk."
"In the grand scheme -- and on a grand scale -- there are hundreds of tons of weapons, munitions, artillery, explosives that are unaccounted for in Iraq," the official said. "And like the Pentagon has said, there is really no way the U.S. military could safeguard all of these weapons depots or find all of these missing materials."
hmm, maybe we should have thought about that BEFORE we invaded iraq.
Originally posted by SlipperyPeteThe IAEA has no idea where the explosives went or when it happened, meaning they simply could have been moved somewhere else by Saddam before the invasion started. Quick, blame Bush!
While the article does not come out and say it directly, this passage
McClellan, on Air Force One, stressed that the missing explosives were not nuclear materials, and said the storage site was the responsibility of the interim Iraqi government, not the United States, as of June 28, when the United States turned over the nation's administration to the Iraqis.
McClellan said the Iraqi government reported the missing weaponry to the IAEA on October 10, and the IAEA informed the U.S. mission in Vienna on October 15. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice was told a few days later, then informed the president.
Seems to point to the fact we had the stockpiles under our watch until June 28th.And that the material was just discovered missing in the last couple weeks.
To me here are the most troubling parst of this:
According to the Pentagon official, coalition forces, who went to the area around Al Qaqaa in the months after the war ended, searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings. They found no weapons of mass destruction, but indications of looting.
Fleming said the IAEA, whose mission is to keep track of everything with potential nuclear weapons applications, had been monitoring about 100 sites in Iraq, but there were only a few of special concern, including Al Qaqaa.
So we went into this war 1st to make the US safer by removing a dictator who had and planned to use WMD's on the US. Then when we found he didn't have any WMD's it was to make sure that the material didn't fall into the hands of terrorists.
So we role into the country, knowing full well where Al Qaqaa is, and that it is of special concern to the IAEA but we make no special effort to safeguard it from looters. I know there was no way to secure all the materials but the ones that we do know of, that are the base for WMD's.
So we now have a quagmire, no evidence that we we right to go to war, at least not for the reasons our government stated at the time. And we have made it easier for terrorists and insurgents to get their hands on weapons. Including those used to make WMD's, that we knew where they were.
Who do you want to Blame Pete? I bet there is a reservist somewhere we can courtmarshall, there's your scapegoat. Why have the people at the top held responsible.
Originally posted by brickWhile the article does not come out and say it directly
And what does that tell you? The fact is they don't know when the things went missing, but facts won't stop people from running around like Chicken Little and trying to convince people that Bush is giving weapons to terrorists.
I think what Avonhun and Brick are trying to say is that the article just adds to their frustration regarding the mismanagement of the whole Iraq "occupation." If this is true -- let's do some math (with help from AmericaBlog):
1 lb. of explosives took down the TWA plane over Lockerbie. Now, multiply that by 2,000 pounds. Multiply THAT by 380. And it's all missing.
Yup -- let's all blame John Kerry for this. I mean, what about the puppies?
I'd say Condi should be doing something about this, but she's too busy stumping for W.
It's not really Drudge, he's just quoting NBC news who were with troops when they went to the facility for the first time and found nothing there.
Originally posted by DrudgeNBCNEWS Jim Miklaszewski quoted one official: "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political."
Di Rita's claim that the explosives were already gone was picked up this evening by NBC news which reported that one of its news crews embedded with the 101st Airborne visited the facility on April 10th and found no weapons. This was in turn trumpeted by a number of conservative news outlets like Drudge and the Washington Times.
So, let's review some of the problems.
First, military and non-proliferation analysts say that a detachment of soldiers not specifically trained in weapons inspections work and certainly an NBC news crew simply wouldn't be in a position to make such a determination. We're not talking about a storage unit with a few boxes in it, but a massive weapons complex made up of almost a hundred buildings and bunkers.
Former weapons inspector David Albright was asked about this on CNN Monday evening and he said, "I would want to check it out. I mean it's a big site. These bunkers are big and it could get lost in that complex and it may be that they just didn't go to the right places and didn't see it."
In any case, that visit wasn't the first time US troops went to the facility. That happened a week earlier, on April 4th, as was reported at the time. According to an AP account from the following day, the troops made spot visits to some of the buildings and found chemical warfare antidotes but no WMD.
The same report says they also found "thousands of five-centimetre by 12-centimetre boxes, each containing three vials of white powder" which were initially believed to be chemical agents but were later determined to be "explosives."
Like the visit on the 10th, this visit seems to have been far from exhaustive and thus far from conclusive about what was there. Neither visit seems to provide clear evidence that the explosives were gone -- and the first may point in the opposite direction. (Further details about this first visit to al Qaqaa are contained in this April 5th article by the Post's Barton Gellman.)
Drudge is reporting that this was going to be CBS News' contribution toward creating an October Surprise by running this story this coming Sunday...
EDIT: I also find it humorous that the National Review is referring to the New York Times as Kerry's Pamphleteer:
Originally posted by Andrew C. McCarthy for the National ReviewAt this point it is scandalous that the "newspaper of record" pretends to be anything other than the daily Kerry campaign talking-points memo. But don't expect too much oxygen to be wasted on today's "talking point."
In Monday's score, the New York Times somehow managed — with national juggernaut success — to spin as a debacle for President Bush a story about how Saddam Hussein actually possessed nuclear-weapon detonators and other essential WMD components (i.e., hundreds of tons of high explosives) despite years of just the type of U.N. inspections and international "monitoring" that a President Kerry promises to revive.
Buried deep within the story, the Times burbled that, notwithstanding U.N. resolutions seemingly to the contrary, Saddam had been permitted by the vaunted international community to horde the explosives because Iraq "argued that it should be allowed to keep them for use in mining and civilian construction." Naturally, for the Camp Kerry Pamphleteer, the story in all this was that the explosives are missing, not that the tyrant the Times claims was not a threat had them in the first place, nor that this is what Kerry's "global test" management promises for Iran, Syria, North Korea, and hot-spots yet to emerge.
Originally posted by Rick Jervis...Away from the spotlight of insurgent uprisings in Fallujah, Ramadi and Baghdad, Latifiyah has quietly become a lawless, lethal thorn in the side of U.S. troops here. Local police have fled or been killed, leaving the town in the hands of Islamic insurgents, kidnappers and common thugs, military officials said. To stress that point, insurgents blew up the police station two weeks ago.
The streets around Latifiyah have become so laced with roadside bombs - known in military parlance as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs - that military officials here call it the "IED capital of Iraq...."
...The insurgents probably are using weapons and ammunition looted from the nearby Qa-Qaa complex, a 3-mile by 3-mile weapons-storage facility about 25 miles southwest of Baghdad, said Maj. Brian Neil, operations officer for the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, which initially patrolled the area.
The facility was bombed during last year's invasion and then left unguarded, Neil said. "There's definitely no shortage of weapons around here," he said.
According to Iraqi's science ministry's site monitoring department, nothing moved.
Originally posted by the Turkish Press"The officials that were inside this facility (Al-Qaqaa) beforehand confirm that not even a shred of paper left it before the fall and I spoke to them about it and they even issued certified statements to this effect which the US-led coalition was aware of."
He said officials at Al-Qaqaa, including its general director, whom he refused to name, made contact with US troops before the fall in an effort to get them to provide security for the site.
If the material in question is found on this video it would prove some amount was still there, but unfortunately it can't prove that it all was or wasn't. At least we can trust the government to tell us the truth.
Thread ahead: O'Reilly & Mackris settle lawsuits out of court Next thread: School kids in Wisconsin exploited for Kerry Get out the Vote effort Previous thread: Bush planned to invade Iraq before has elected?
Economic Left/Right: 6.25 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: 2.26 At least I'm close to Friedman on the economic scale (as I would have expected), though I really thought I was more libertarian than it appears I am.