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Author Topic: Forehead Slapper - File No. 102504
hybrid
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thought about putting this in the article of the day thread...but once again, it proved too essential to not have its own post...

Iraq Weapons Missing

comments?

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JDC
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Well.. the troops had to guard the oil.. duh.

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Sketchpad
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And Rumsfeld still keeps his job? [Eek!]
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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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Uh-oh. [Eek!]

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Coffee Cat
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The partisanship is becoming more than laughable.
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painter
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And so is CC's hypocrisy...

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Coffee Cat
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how so painter?
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painter
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Whenever you throw around the "partisan" label, we all snicker...

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Coffee Cat
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no, i'm biased. i'm not a partisan. i've got my own gripe list with bush - its just not on your side of the arguement.
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Altec
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Seriously, is there anyway I can block or not view Coffee Cat's posts. So tiring.
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Coffee Cat
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Yeah? You want to see partisanship?

Read on:

I, myself, posted this SAME ISSUE on The Advantage of John Kerry weeks ago from an MSNBC article, as follows:

Huh.

Interesting.

Not too long ago I said this:
"I'd also not be so sure stockpiles haven't been shipped elsewhere yet. That was an intial concern and crit. of war with Iraq. That him shipping out weapons prior to the war might actually increase weapons proliferation rather than ended it (emphasis added). And thats something I'm still skeptical about."

Now we get a news article about Iran's nukes, that includes this excerpt:
"The IAEA said on Monday that equipment and material that could be used to make atomic weapons had been disappearing from Iran’s western neighbor, Iraq (emphasis mine).

Western diplomats said the agency feared the U.S.-led war aimed at disarming Iraq may have unleashed a proliferation crisis, if looters had sold nuclear equipment (emphasis mine).

“If some of this stuff were to end up in Iran, some people would be very concerned,” a diplomat close to the IAEA told Reuters. “The IAEA’s big concern would be profiteering, people who would sell this stuff with no regard for who is buying it.”

Hmmmmm.... does anyone want to tell John Kerry that there was equipment and material that could be used to make atomic weapons in Iraq?

Rush Limbaugh read an AP News source that said the material was shipped by Iraq, pre-war, and is now missing. Again - shipping NUCLEAR MATERIAL they supposedly didn't have? Also, that it was the.... um... UN that goofed, since it was being shipped out DURING THE INSPECTIONS!



This post, about the same material as the NYT article (its a 19 month old story), was met with this response from you liberals:


--"Rush Limbaugh read an AP News source" which is tantamount to truth and final conviction."

Now you all are citing it from the NYT!

--"It just doen't make one shred of sense."

Now it seems to, oh, once your side is jumping on the info in an attack against Bush.

--"News Flasf.... CoffeCat is the last man in America who believes they will find WMDs in Iraq."

Yet now you guys are wondering why Rumsfeld still has a job? Sure seems like you liberals find it important now. Not so much then, when I was bringing it up.

--"So NOW they were shipped out?"

So NOW you're the ones saying they were shipped out!???!! Lordy.

--"Before, because they couldn't find the weapons, that was the assumption. But now it's fact. It fact because the very absence of weapons PROVES that they were shipped out."

Seems to be how you're attacking Bush today, don't it?

--"And why isn't this leading news? Why isn't Bush and the Bush campaign proclaiming this? This would be a no-brainer to go after the receiving country and slam-dunk his second-term."

I guess Kerry's jumping on the doubtful story. Once he's spinning it... once the NYTs spins it - suddenly you salivate.

And that, my friends, is partisanship. Same info is suddenly correct when YOUR side is using it.

Not to mention this gem:

--"Saddam was personally making far too much cash off the oil for food fiasco to jeapordise it by trying to continue what would basically be a doomed weapons programs."

You mean where he placed bribes to lift sanctions (France and co. voted to lift sanctions) and apparently had these weapons caches around?

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SpudLass
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CC:

"Now we get a news article about Iran's nukes, that includes this excerpt:
"The IAEA said on Monday that equipment and material that could be used to make atomic weapons had been disappearing from Iran’s western neighbor, Iraq (emphasis mine)."

These aren't nukes. They could be used to detonate nukes, but they're mainly super-bad-ass explosives that work really well in car bombs. I find it hard to believe that a President so hot to find WMDs would overlook a cache of boomage this way. If Clinton had made this magnitude of blunder, would you be so quick to cry 'partisanship'?

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Sketchpad
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Yeah, but here's the Kicker:

"At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, which had been under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. The site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "

Here

So the Pentagon knew it was there. And it was even confirmed theat the explosives were intact--but afterwords The site was not secured by U.S. forces .

Dohhhhhh.... [lamer]

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Dolemite50
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"Seriously, is there anyway I can block or not view Coffee Cat's posts. So tiring."

Ah, good ol' open minded liberal. How about not reading them?

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painter
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Gee, Coffee, perhaps you should read these articles before you post them.

First, they were “several hundred tons of conventional explosives” – “214.67 tons of HMX, 155.68 tons of RDX and 6.39 tons of PETN” to be exact.

They are part of the explosive chain, they help detonate the fissionable material. They in of themselves are not nuclear. You need fissionable material to make nukes.

But that isn't what Bush invaded for is it? No, he was after biological or chemical WMDs

These explosives are not used for biological or chemical WMDs.

Secondly, you used one of my quotes ("So NOW they were shipped out?") and it seems that I was right --

they were NOT shipped out prior to the invasion as you like to claim.

No, they were looted/stolen after the US invasion:

“The presence of these amounts was verified by the IAEA in January 2003”

“At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, which had been under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact.”

Quite a big difference, CC.

And here’s the kicker:

“Western diplomats said the agency feared the U.S.-led war aimed at disarming Iraq may have unleashed a proliferation crisis”

Did you get that? By invading Iraq, Bush STARTED a proliferation crisis!!!

So it seems that the article that you posted to bolster your specious claims has demonstrated that you are wrong, again.

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Coffee Cat
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SpudLass, its the same story. In neither case did in recognize actual nukes, but related material and equipment.

Painter, you assertions about invading Iraq leading the weapons poliferations are MY WORDS!!! Perhaps you didn't carefully read my post, as I refered to this issue precisely as you have parroted:

"Not too long ago I said this:
"I'd also not be so sure stockpiles haven't been shipped elsewhere yet. That was an intial concern and crit. of war with Iraq. That him shipping out weapons prior to the war might actually increase weapons proliferation rather than ended it (emphasis added). And thats something I'm still skeptical about."

I was still blasted and laughed at by liberals then for saying things you guys are trumpetting now.

Its the same story. Its just different spin.

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painter
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Like a bad marksmen, you keep missing the target.

Nobody’s saying that Saddam shipping out weapons prior to the war might actually increase weapons proliferation. I am saying that Bush’s invasion increased the proliferation.

Quotes from: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/10014428.htm

"The letter from Mohammad J. Abbas, a senior official in the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology, said that nearly 215 tons of HMX, 156 tons of RDX, and 6 tons of PETN had gone missing sometime after April 9, 2003, the day Baghdad fell to U.S. forces. The letter blamed a "lack of security" for the loss."

"ElBaradei informed the Security Council yesterday that the last time IAEA inspectors were able to verify the presence of the explosives at Al-Qaqaa was in January 2003, two months before the U.S. invasion began."

From http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/10/26/explosives/index.html

Joseph Cirincione, director of the Non-Proliferation Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says

“The administration knew the material was there. The IAEA warned them before the war. In their public statements to the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 29, 2003, the IAEA noted that there were over 200 tons of HMX stored in Iraq. They continued to warn the administration privately after the war began, about the need to secure it.”

“If in fact we learn that the bomb attacks that are killing U.S. troops almost daily are being carried out with this material, it borders on criminal negligence that the administration did not secure this material when they had the chance. “

“The administration knew about this material and was explicitly warned about its dangers. They did not dispose of or guard it, and I think we are likely to discover that as a result, American troops are now dying.”

“The administration has proved remarkably adept at shirking responsibility for anything that's gone wrong with the war and framing everything as a question of resolve and strength, rather than blame or accountability. The Bush administration hasn't admitted to being mistaken about anything. Why should they start now?”

“They wanted to make a point that they didn't need international inspections or the help of international authorities, that the U.S. could do it alone or in cooperation with its few selected Coalition partners who would play along. They rebuffed repeated IAEA requests to come in and help account for and secure the nuclear materials. Now we're suffering the price.”

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Coffee Cat
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Spin spin spin.

Getting dizzy yet.

I'd like you, or John Kerry to repeat all of those items out of one side of your mouth, while saying Saddam was not threat out of the other, and repeating that this is not part of the war on terror all along.

If John Kerry is elected, the shelf life will be over of his hiding behind 20/20 hindsight and from being an armchair general who can scrutinize the real decisions made by his opponent while speculating about his own perfection. No. Wait. Despite being told by Democrats to "get over Clinton" despite him behind president a mere 4 years ago... I'm sure John Kerry will distract any mistake he makes by NOT getting over Bush. He'll blame ever "incompentent" goof of expected-war-mistakes/imperfections by pointing the finger at Bush.

Don't lose your focus. Its the terrorist Bush is fighting. Incompetence is in finding Bush to be the villian.

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painter
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Are you sure you're off the methadone?

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Coffee Cat
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So this proves Saddam wasn't a threat?
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painter
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I never said that he wasn't a threat. He wasn't an IMMINENT threat.

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Coffee Cat
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MSNBC: NBC News crew disputes NYTs story on HMX and RDX explosives

excerpt:

"An NBC News crew that accompanied U.S. soldiers who seized the Al-Qaqaa base three weeks into the war in Iraq reported that troops discovered significant stockpiles of bombs, but no sign of the missing HMX and RDX explosives."

Kerry:
“After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this president failed to guard those stockpiles.”

The White House:
“We have destroyed more than 243,000 munitions. We’ve secured another nearly 163,000 that will be destroyed.”

Yahoo News

Excerpt:
"Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime used Al-Qaqaa as a key part of its effort to build a nuclear bomb. Although the missing materials are conventional explosives known as HMX and RDX, the Vienna-based IAEA became involved because HMX is a "dual use" substance powerful enough to ignite the fissile material in an atomic bomb and set off a nuclear chain reaction...

The letter from Abbas informed the IAEA that since April 9, 2003, looting at the Al-Qaqaa installation had resulted in the loss of 215 tons of HMX, 156 tons of RDX and six tons of PETN explosives."


It appears in question whether or not this was a US controlled goof, or a pre-war looting senerio. It appears the letter from an anti-Bushy prompted the news coverage. It appears HMX and RDX nuke-friendly material is, however, missing now, from a nuke building reserve which begs my original post: if these HMX and RDX went missing, which it appears they did DURING THE RUN UP TO THE WAR, how do we know nuclear material or WMDs didn't go missing too?

I'll note again the NBC crew:
"An NBC News crew that accompanied U.S. soldiers who seized the Al-Qaqaa base three weeks... no sign of the missing HMX and RDX explosives."

It went missing under Hans Blix during UN inspections, it appears. But we're positive there were no WMDs, right?

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Coffee Cat
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A great weblog by admitably biased Kevin McCullough (and it stays news article/fact driven, not opt/ed driven):

"EDITOR SHOWS DISGRACEFUL, FAULTY, AND PARTISAN BIAS: When John Kerry took to the campaign stages early on Monday citing the New York Times piece on the issue of the missing weapons in the AlQaQaa facilities something struck me as strangely odd. I couldn't put my finger on it at the time but the Senator seemed overly confident about the facts so I waited.

What is developing now is a complete picture of harsh coordination between the New York Times, its now disgraced editor Jill Abramson, and the false and incomplete story that the Times ran, in their attempt to assist John Kerry.

This is one news organization that learned nothing from CBS, Dan Rather, and Memo-gate.

The claim that Kerry began implenting based on the Times' story is that the administration was in essence negligent in guarding or destroying explosive munitions to the amount of something like 380 tons. Kerry's claim is now that Iraqi looters and insurgents were able to covertly remove the explosives (some of which are powerful enough to trigger nuclear weapons - yet Kerry didn't believe that Iraq had WMD's).

But late yesterday - NBC blew a hole wide open into Kerry's explanation. As the KerrySpot reported:

NBC News: Miklaszewski: "April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qaqaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq." (NBC's "Nightly News," 10/25/04)

The question now becomes why didn't the NewYorkTimes run a clarification explaining their badly incomplete story from yesterday. One other fact left out of the original story was that to date the U.S. and Coalition forces have destroyed or prepared for destruction roughly 400,000 tons of weaponized material.

Which brings us to this important observation from FOX NEWS last night. If large trucks were loaded to the gills with the materials described it would take 38 trucks to make off with the full stockpile. Coalition forces have destroyed nearly 40,000 trucks worth of materials. In other words the amount missing is LESS THAN one percent of what has already been or is presently being destroyed.

Jill Abramson could have done comparative research to discover the truth about not only when the weapons had actually gone missing. Her reporters could have chosen to put it in its proper context in terms of the scope of what coalition forces have accomplished.

She instead chose to run a story that was deliberately incomplete, contextually false, and purposefully drove to mislead the readership of her paper - all for the sake of allowing John Kerry a bloviating moment to try to pump up his failing bid for the White House.

Her refusal to run any form of clarification today only signals a stubborn turn in the editor's thinking that she no longer has a public duty to free and fair reporting of the facts. "

(all emphasis is mine)

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EustaceScrubb
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quote:
The question now becomes why didn't the New York Times run a clarification explaining their badly incomplete story from yesterday?
Surely you jest , O Caffeinated Feline ?

What presidential candidate has the New York Times endorsed?

And what presidential candidate has scooped up this story and run with it just a week before election day ?

Surprise ! It's October !

Retractions and clarifications are for after Nov. 2 . [flirt]


The Wall Street Journal today (Oct. 27) :

quote:
The story was first reported on Monday by The New York Times and CBS News; by Tuesday, the Times headline was the featured visual in a new Kerry campaign ad damning President Bush for having "failed to secure" the cache. "This is one of the great blunders, one of the great blunders of this Administration," says the junior Senator from Massachusetts.


Following the first Gulf War, the International Atomic Energy Agency put the Qaqaa cache under seal, where it remained until U.N. inspectors were kicked out in 1998. Upon the inspectors' return in late 2002, some 35 tons of HMX were found to be missing; the Iraqis claimed some of it had been removed for civilian use.

That's the last we know of their whereabouts. According to a Times source, U.S. troops "went through the bunkers, but saw no items bearing the IAEA seal." NBC News, which was embedded with the 101st Airborne when it arrived at Al-Qaqaa on April 10, 2003--the day after the fall of Baghdad--also reports this week that back then it found no sign of the explosives either. Stands to reason: Of course Saddam would remove his precious HMX from its last known location before U.S. cruise missiles could find it.

So much, then, for Mr. Kerry's suggestion that Bush Administration negligence is to blame for the missing stockpile. The larger question is: Just what sort of story do we have here?


But there's one more thing we'd like to know: How did this story come to light, oh, one week before the presidential election? The IAEA informed the U.S. of the missing stockpile on October 15; according to our sources, it also notified the government that the story was "likely to leak."

Leak, of course, is what it did, and to no one other than CBS's "60 Minutes." Funny how that rings a bell.

Th full article is here:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005812

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Coffee Cat
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You seem to be on my side? You're admitting the bogus story was grabbed by John Kerry as a last ditch effort, but you say that that is acceptable and okay? What am I misreading here? We seem to be on the same page on alot of this, yet you seem to be rebutting my posts?
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Coffee Cat
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I think this story will grow, too, throughout the week.

Speaking of which, what do you guys think about newspapers endorsing candidates? I don't mean their rights too or whatever, but as EustaceScrubb pointed out - it makes the intentional bias and timing of this article more about the endorsement than about the reporting or the news. Conceptually, is it a good idea to endorse candidates?

Personally, i like that they do it so we know where they stand, said issue being and example. But still, is it wise?

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painter
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You guys are amazing.

Coffee, do you actually WHY there is Freedom of Speech? So the press could print their opinions without fear of political reprisal.

And i suppose that any newspapers that endorse Bush are fair and balanced but if they endorse Kerry? Obvious liberal bias. Did you ever think that the reason these papers, an overwhelming majority, are endorsing Kerry is because Bush is an absolute failure?

And this travesty of losing these explosives...if it had happened during a Democratic president's term, would you still charging partisanship? HA!

How is it that the Pentagon claims Al QaQaa was indeed a site targeted for a WMD search -- none found, of course -- and yet we missed the removal of so much material?

Consider the precision with which Colin Powell claimed, in his infamous U.N. speech, to have been able to monitor suspected WMD sites. We were all treated to detailed photographic displays of discrete WMD sites, and the individual trucks and other vehicles around them, allegedly removing contraband materiel prior to U.N. inspections.

So, if al QaQaa was strongly enough suspected of being a WMD site that it warrented a (failed) inspection by coalition forces, as the Pentagon claims, how is it that it wasn't under closer observation even before troops arrived? How did we miss the parade of tractor-trailers necessary to "cleanse" the site, despite having allegedly caught the Iraqis doing precisely that so many times before that it justified an invasion over U.N. objections?

And of course your information on the embedded reporter is wrong as well:

"An NBC News reporter embedded with a U.S. army unit that seized an Iraqi installation three weeks into the war said Tuesday that she saw no signs that the Americans searched for the powerful explosives that are now missing from the site.

Reporter Lai Ling Jew, who was embedded with the Army's 101st Airborne, Second Brigade, said her news team stayed at the Al-Qaqaa base for about 24 hours.

"There wasn't a search," she told MSNBC, an NBC cable news channel. "The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad. That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean certainly some of the soldiers head off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around.
"But as far as we could tell, there was no move to secure the weapons, nothing to keep looters away."

Then there is this development:

"the NBC crew embedded with the 101st Airborne wasn't with the first US troops to get there. That actually happened a week earlier, on April 4th 2003, as we noted in this post last night.
In a series of reports today from a member of the news crew in question and from follow-up reporting from Jim Miklaszewski, it became clear that the troops in question made no attempt to inspect the facility for the explosives in question."

How about this?:

"When CBS interviewed the commander of the unit that visited al Qaqaa with that NBC news crew on April 10th, they heard the following:

The commander of the first unit into the area told CBS he did not search it for explosives or secure it from looters. "We were still in a fight," he said. "our focus was killing bad guys." He added he would have needed four times more troops to search and secure all the ammo dumps he came across."

The NBC story started falling apart when MSNBC interviewed one of the members of the news crew in question, who said that there hadn't been any search at all. A short time later Jim Miklaszewski came on to explain that indeed there had been no search and that what the NBC News crew saw didn't tell us much of anything about whether explosives were still there at the time the news crew arrived with the 101st Airborne on April 10th. By early evening, Tom Brokaw told Nightly News viewers in polite but no uncertain terms that they hadn't said what the White House was claiming they did.

And how does the wWhite House respond to this?

"President Bush's aides told reporters that because the soldiers had found no trace of the missing explosives on April 10, the explosives could have been removed before the American invasion. They based their assertions on a report broadcast by NBC News on Monday night that showed video footage of the 101st arriving at Al Qaqaa."

Hanging their hat on the say-so of the NBC News crew. So much for media bias.

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painter
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Out of curiosity Eustace, what candidate did the WSJ endorse?

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EustaceScrubb
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You can have the last word on this one, Painter . [Razz]
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Sketchpad
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It's all the same old spin, Painter. When the Administration bungles, then spin the facts and point the blame to the opposing voice: the people that oppose the war, or people that questions the whereabouts of WMD's, or John Kerry, or Bill Clinton, or Richard Clarke.

Just make sure you pummel the viewer or reader with your spin more then a thousand times over so that they forget what the original screw-ups were that were committed by the Administration.

It's the vogue these days (and probably for generations to come) thanks to Karl Rove.

Happy truth hunting, everyone.

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Coffee Cat
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Yeah, we're the ones spinning. Kerry's not the one talking about this at all, right?

Believe what you want. 380 tons of explosive don't go missing easily. 380 tons of explosives don't require a full search to find. Its hard to blame the Bush administration for 380 tons of explosives that we can't confirm were ever within our control. I fail to see how we could have prevented this any better than if we had not wasted so much time at the UN allowing him to coordinate such things. If this is such a travesty, and a bungle, how do you still hang your hat on Saddam not being an IMMINENT threat? This was less than one percent of this stuff that Saddam had (that we've destroyed thus far, as well). 380 tons of it are missing (requiring semi trucks to "loot" it) and yet only one pound of it can destroy an airplane? Yeah. Might not be techincally WMDs by "chemical, biological, or nuclear" terms, but I doubt you'd want a full truck of it going off in any US city. No IMMINENT threat. That's why you're so worried now about 1% of it, right?

"And this travesty of losing these explosives...if it had happened during a Democratic president's term, would you still charging partisanship? HA!"

Have I not said yet that I supported Clinton on one key issue alone? War. Are you admitting that you're just using this yourself as a partisan attack because the president is currently Republican? If this were Clinton, this would be my criticism: we should have gone in sooner to prevent as much of this movement as possible, fucx the UN, you should have secured this SOONER - and if all this has gone missing, how do we know there weren't nukes? If 380 tons can be shipped out either under inspections, or within the first 3 weeks of war, then we have no idea if there were nukes or not or where they've gone. And the last thing I'd do is vote for someone weaker to take the reigns.

So it is with Bush. Bush has done more than I ever thought he would, and whenver we've goofed its because he compromised, when breifly PC, delayed to give pacifist their due, etc. We should have done what Kerry is claiming we did, and rushed quicker to war. 18 months was no rush... and allowed what you're now whining about. Same crit. to Bush.

Doesn't mean I'd vote for Kerry.

"Coffee, do you actually WHY there is Freedom of Speech? So the press could print their opinions without fear of political reprisal."

I'll merely requote myself, painter:
"I don't mean their rights too or whatever, but... is it wise?"

I was speaking conceptually, painter. Whenever I post something you mock the conservative source. steveG mocks fox news all the time for bias. The hammering of sinclair didn't get any sympathy of "free speech" from you or any other liberal on here. bias. My question was about declared out and out bias, not in ideas, but for a specific candidate - and not legal action against it, but the wisdom in it. Can you honestly not tell the difference?

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painter
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Well we agree on one thing: "380 tons of explosive don't go missing easily."

And I'll restate this:
If al QaQaa was strongly enough suspected of being a WMD site that it warrented a (failed) inspection by coalition forces, as the Pentagon claims, how is it that it wasn't under closer observation even before troops arrived? How did we miss the parade of tractor-trailers necessary to "cleanse" the site, despite having allegedly caught the Iraqis doing precisely that so many times before that it justified an invasion over U.N. objections?

But I will strongly disagree with this: "Its hard to blame the Bush administration for 380 tons of explosives that we can't confirm were ever within our control."

The IAEA knew about this depot years ago, warned Bush about it up to March. In March it was confirmed as still being there.

This depot, Al QaQaa, was a site targeted for a WMD search. If, upon search for the WMDs that you still claim exist, the explosives were found missing, how come this info wasn't released by the Pres back in April? How come an international hunt hasn't been pronounced? Bush certainly had the majority of the country's approval back in April, May and June? How come he has been sitting on this info. all this time?

Because he knows that it is an f-up of the highest magnitude.

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Coffee Cat
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"The IAEA knew about this depot years ago, warned Bush about it up to March. In March it was confirmed as still being there."

It appears it was gone by the time we got there! At least, we can't confirm any better opportunity to protect it. It wasn't a f-up of the highest magnitude. As for the "hiding" of it. Most news pundits have been saying that these aren't the only missing stashes either... that the story itself is nothing new, and nothing unique.

Is it a problem. YES! It also adds to the threat Saddam very much was. Could things have been handled better? 20/20 hindsight on hand picked errors during war will always find things like this. To overlook the destruction of 400,000 tons of weaponized material and focus on 380 as a f-up of the highest magnitude is just plain flawed. Under Kerry's UN plan, Saddam would still have all 400,000 tons! But at least it would be nicely labeled by the UN [Wink]

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painter
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quote:
It appears it was gone by the time we got there
According to...?

And I will ask again: If al QaQaa was strongly enough suspected of being a WMD site that it warrented a (failed) inspection by coalition forces, as the Pentagon claims, how is it that it wasn't under closer observation even before troops arrived? How did we miss the parade of tractor-trailers necessary to "cleanse" the site, despite having allegedly caught the Iraqis doing precisely that so many times before that it justified an invasion over U.N. objections?

And I will ask this again: How come an international hunt for these explosives wasn't declared back in April, May and June, when the majority of the country was supporting him? How come he has been sitting on this info. all this time?

To claim that 380 tons of missing explosives is partisan bias and to redirect one's attention to the "400,000 tons" as an avoidance tactic is truly flawed.

Out of curiousity, where did you get the "400,000 tons" number? I am not questioning it, I am merely curious.

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Steve G
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It only takes 20 pounds to blow up a bus - so I'd say that several hundred tons being lost is something to worry about.

The excuse "it might've been lost before we got there" isn't very strong even for W. Maybe a "it's really hard work" would be a better defense.

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painter
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Well it was probably lost by Clinton [unimpressed]

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Coffee Cat
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From back to back articles I post above are the following excerpts:

"The question now becomes why didn't the NewYorkTimes run a clarification explaining their badly incomplete story from yesterday. One other fact left out of the original story was that to date the U.S. and Coalition forces have destroyed or prepared for destruction roughly 400,000 tons of weaponized material."

"Which brings us to this important observation from FOX NEWS last night. If large trucks were loaded to the gills with the materials described it would take 38 trucks to make off with the full stockpile. Coalition forces have destroyed nearly 40,000 trucks worth of materials. In other words the amount missing is LESS THAN one percent of what has already been or is presently being destroyed."

I never said this wasn't an issue to worry about at all... in fact, it implies terrorism, and even nukes. I think it is a worry. Given that we've destroyed other similar stockpiles shows that it is a concern. I think it very much illustrates why we went to war, to be honest. Saddam had this stuff, and it IS a big concern. But i do think the blame on Bush is premature at best... and politically timed while being premature at its most obvious.

But, the blame Bush firsters intentionally decide to put obsticles in his path, and only look at the failures that every war sees, and then portray those mistakes as gross disasters.

This story makes the case as to why Sadddam was a threat to take out. And we SHOULD certainly find out what happened to these, get them back and destory them.

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painter
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White House spokesman Scott McClellan pointed to the "more than 243,000 [tons of] munitions" already destroyed by U.S. forces. "The sites now are really ... the responsibility of the Iraqi forces," he added.

That's great Scott---"not our problem...the buck stops over there."

But that is quibbling.

The administration knew the material was there. The IAEA warned them before the war. In their public statements to the U.N. Security Council on Jan. 29, 2003, the IAEA noted that there were over 200 tons of HMX stored in Iraq. They continued to warn the administration privately after the war began, about the need to secure it.

Where is Paul Bremer on this? He knew about this problem well before the transition of power. Numerous Iraqi officials warned him about potential looting of the Al Qaqaa site last May.

Why did Bush keep the IAEA out after they knew that this site could be a big problem?

Why did the Bush administration repeatedly rebuff IAEA requests to come in and help account for and secure the nuclear materials?

If Bush was so concerned about the threat to our nation from Saddam, how come he dropped the ball on this?

How come Mohammad J. Abbas, senior official in the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology, said that the explosives had gone missing sometime after April 9, 2003, the day Baghdad fell to U.S. forces.

And I will ask for the fourth time: If al QaQaa was suspected of being a WMD site that it warranted an inspection by coalition forces, as the Pentagon claims, how is it that it wasn't under closer observation even before troops arrived? How did we miss the parade of tractor-trailers necessary to "cleanse" the site, despite having allegedly caught the Iraqis doing precisely that so many times before that it justified an invasion over U.N. objections?

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it's here I sit and rust amid this ruin and rancor like tire irons
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painter
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quote:
One other fact left out of the original story was that to date the U.S. and Coalition forces have destroyed or prepared for destruction roughly 400,000 tons of weaponized material."

In other words the amount missing is LESS THAN one percent of what has already been or is presently being destroyed."

Whew! I'm glad that I only have to worry about 380 tons of explosives!

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Coffee Cat
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"But that is quibbling."

Yes, it is, since liberals wanted things turned over to Iraqis.

Furthar, your worrying over 380 tons seems odd when 400,000 tons in Saddam's hands led you to shrug him off as a threat... okay, an IMMINENT threat.

I agree that the missing 380 tons is a problem. Ridiculous politically to use... given the enourmous success over there that you guys overlook... given that you overlooked Saddam as being a threat when he held 100 times as much!!! It is an issue. But it is premature at this point. And it is hypocritical to know start wringing your hands over the threat that us conservatives were being laughed at for holding. Hypocritical when Kerry would still have 100 times as much in Saddam's hands. Hypocritical in every respect, and out of proportion given the successes over there.

Face it. You're grasping at straws, and are expecting a utopian war or else you'll call Bush incompitent. Its irrational.

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