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No WMD, but we'll let the conventional go...


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Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq

By JAMES GLANZ, WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER

 

Published: October 25, 2004

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.

 

The White House said President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed. American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program "60 Minutes."

 

Administration officials said Sunday that the Iraq Survey Group, the C.I.A. task force that searched for unconventional weapons, has been ordered to investigate the disappearance of the explosives.

 

American weapons experts say their immediate concern is that the explosives could be used in major bombing attacks against American or Iraqi forces: the explosives, mainly HMX and RDX, could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings.

 

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.

 

"This is a high explosives risk, but not necessarily a proliferation risk," one senior Bush administration official said.

 

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.

 

A Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, said Sunday evening that Saddam Hussein's government "stored weapons in mosques, schools, hospitals and countless other locations," and that the allied forces "have discovered and destroyed perhaps thousands of tons of ordnance of all types." A senior military official noted that HMX and RDX were "available around the world" and not on the nuclear nonproliferation list, even though they are used in the nuclear warheads of many nations.

 

The Qaqaa facility, about 30 miles south of Baghdad, was well known to American intelligence officials: Mr. Hussein made conventional warheads at the site, and the I.A.E.A. dismantled parts of his nuclear program there in the early 1990's after the Persian Gulf war in 1991. In the prelude to the 2003 invasion, Mr. Bush cited a number of other "dual use" items - including tubes that the administration contended could be converted to use for the nuclear program - as a justification for invading Iraq.

 

After the invasion, when widespread looting began in Iraq, the international weapons experts grew concerned that the Qaqaa stockpile could fall into unfriendly hands. In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history."

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So let me get this straight......Bush went into Iraq because of the fear of weapons and once he had control of Iraq and his troops were supposed to guard these particular weapons, they loose them???

 

How much longer do we have to wait until he finally does something right???

 

So now we must assume that the Terrorists who Bush drew into Iraq with his invasion have stolen these weapons and could possibly use them against our soldiers in the Middle East or on civilians here at home?

 

I sure feel safer now.

 

Good job George

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More Evidence of Bush's Massive Incompetence

 

Kerry Says Missing Explosives in Iraq Illustrate Bush's Failures

 

By TERENCE NEILAN

 

Senator John Kerry seized on a report today that 380 tons of explosives had vanished from a site in Iraq that the United States admits it was supposed to have guarded, calling the disappearance "one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration."

 

He added that "the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and put this country at greater risk than we all need."

 

The chief White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, sought to downplay the threat posed by the missing explosives, saying they represented no threat of nuclear proliferation and that the administration preferred to concentrate on weapons destroyed, not those lost.

 

"We have destroyed more than 243,000 [tons of] munitions," he said, adding that Mr. Bush was told the material was missing on Oct. 15. "We've secured another nearly 163,000 that will be destroyed."

 

But with leadership in time of war a major issue as the Nov. 2 election approaches, Mr. Kerry pressed home his point during a campaign stop in Dover, N.H.: "Let me say this as directly as I can: that the unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics, has now allowed this president to once again fail the test of being commander in chief."

 

Mr. Kerry went on: "If President Bush can't recognize his failures in Iraq, which he doesn't admit, won't acknowledge, you can't fix them, and then he's doomed to repeat the same mistakes elsewhere, whether its North Korea, or Iran, or in any other of the risks that we face ahead of us.

 

"My fellow Americans, we can't afford to risk four more years of George Bush's miscalculations."

 

A spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, Steve Schmidt, describing "the entire country of Iraq" as "a weapons stockpile,'' responded that "all the Monday morning-quarterbacking and armchair-generaling in the world by John Kerry won't make up for the fact that he does not have a vision, a strategy or a plan to fight and win the war on terror."

 

Mr. Bush did not directly reply to Mr. Kerry's remarks or address the issue of the missing explosives during a campaign speech today in Colorado, whose nine electoral votes are still considered up for grabs by most opinion polls. Rather, he sought again to link the war in Iraq with the campaign against terrorism.

 

"We are fighting these terrorists with our military in Afghanistan and Iraq and beyond so we do not have to face them in the streets of our own cities," Mr. Bush told supporters in Greeley. "Victory in Iraq is essential to victory in the war on terror."

 

Mr. Bush also used the occasion to again portray Mr. Kerry as having a "flip-flop" record on the war and other issues.

 

"Just last year, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan needed $87 billion for body armor, hazard pay, vehicles, weapons and bullets," Mr. Bush said. "First, Senator Kerry said it would be irresponsible to vote against the troops, then he voted against the troops. "

 

In his own address, in New Hampshire, whose four electoral votes are considered still in play, Mr. Kerry said that although American troops had been doing their job, "the problem is the commander in chief has not been doing his. "

 

The report, which appeared today in The New York Times, said the explosives were used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons. The facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to have been under American military control, but it is still being looted, the report said. White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished after the American-led invasion.

 

American weapons experts say their immediate concern is that the explosives could be used in major bombing attacks against American or Iraqi forces.

 

Mr. Kerry's criticism was echoed by his vice presidential running mate, Senator John Edwards.

 

Mr. Edwards, in a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio, called Mr. Bush "reckless" and "clueless" for not safeguarding the explosives missing in Iraq and criticized the administration for sending Condoleezza Rice out on the campaign trail instead of the situation room.

 

"They failed to do what was necessary and what was needed to keep us safe," Mr. Edwards told a rally. "During the invasion, these explosives were taken by who knows who, who knows where. After they learned about the missing explosives, they still failed to properly guard this site."

 

He suggested that Ms. Rice should be in Washington directing the hunt for the explosives instead of giving a speech in hotly contested Florida.

 

http://nytimes.com/2004/10/25/politics/campaign/25cnd-weapons.html

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>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.

 

That's actually not what happened. The U.S. has known since May, when Jerry Bremer was informed, and the U.S. has been pressuring the Iraqis not to tell the IAEA. It was only when Iraq finally informed the IAEA that this news has been made public.

 

These explosives are probably what have been used all this time to kill and maim our troops. What a major fuck-up and a major cover-up by the administration.

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If Bush cannot even protect our troops from explosives at a sensitive facility in a country he had conquered, how is he going to protect the American public from terrorists who have not even yet been identified?

I suppose that their spin on it will be,

 

"Those weapons can run, but they can't hide"

 

 

 

THE CANDIDATES

Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign

By DAVID E. SANGER

 

Published: October 26, 2004

 

 

 

DAVENPORT, Iowa, Oct. 25 - The White House sought on Monday to explain the disappearance of 380 tons of high explosives in Iraq that American forces were supposed to secure, as Senator John Kerry seized on the missing cache as "one of the great blunders of Iraq" and said President Bush's "incredible incompetence" had put American troops at risk.

 

Mr. Bush never mentioned the disappearance of the high explosives during a long campaign speech in Greeley, Colo., about battling terrorism. Instead, evoking images of the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks and traveling with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor, at his side, Mr. Bush made an impassioned appeal to voters to let him "finish the work we have started." But he also charged that his opponent had abandoned the defense principles of Democrats like John F. Kennedy.

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Before the invasion, the explosives at Al Qaqaa were monitored and controlled. Afterward, they became free for the taking, and the possibilities for their future use are grim.

 

Young Iraqi men who put their trust in the American-backed interim government and sign up for the new defense forces are left unprotected and are murdered.

 

Large sectors of the country remain outside coalition control. Car bombs and random deaths of American GIs and Iraqi civilians are now so common that they barely draw news coverage. Insurgents are showing that they are fully capable of creating havoc at a level that will make Iraqi elections in January meaningless, if they occur at all.

 

President Bush is campaigning hard on his record as a tough leader who will stand up to terrorists. But under his watch, terror has proliferated. Aid workers are kidnapped; journalists and contractors are beheaded; fanatics are given more legitimacy. Osama bin Laden remains at large.

 

Before the invasion, Saddam was contained. His weapons were either destroyed or under international control. Now that control has been lost and Iraq has become a magnet for terrorists.

 

Diplomacy and consensus-building are not very dramatic or interesting. But in the end they save lives and avert needless suffering and death. By choosing the immature, dramatic response, Bush made the world more dangerous. The events of recent days again prove that sad point.

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Too bad the story is FAKE!!!

 

Hey, we know now:

 

1. The U.N. security counsel was briefed 1 month before the U.S. invasion that the weapons were already moved from this site.

 

2. That a N.B.C. embedded reporter was with the U.S. invasion troops when they reached this site, and the stuff was already gone.

 

3. While ~400 tons of munitions sounds like alot, the reality is that the U.S. has confiscated and destroyed (or has ready to destroy) 400,000 tons on munitions.

 

Yet, a certain candidate continues to LIE LIE LIE to try to make political hay out of this bullshit N.Y. Times story!!!

 

 

Ready

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RE: Too bad the story is FAKE!!!

 

Someone here has obviously been Hannitized. Too bad that's akin to being lobotomized.

 

We now know that:

 

1. Bush is incompetent.

 

2. The war in Iraq was mishandled from start to finish.

 

3. It is becoming an increasingly large quagmire.

 

And yet a certain candidate continues to LIE LIE LIE about what's happening over and tries to put a smiley face and what is rapidly degenerating into another Vietnam.

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RE: Too bad the story is FAKE!!!

 

>Hey, we know now:

 

>2. That a N.B.C. embedded reporter was with the U.S. invasion

>troops when they reached this site, and the stuff was already

>gone.

 

I don't think you are exactly 'ready', Mister 182...

 

Embedded NBC reporter says no indication U.S. soldiers searched an Iraqi site for explosives now missing

 

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 

(10-26) 11:19 PDT NEW YORK (AP) --

 

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."

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RE: Too bad the story is FAKE!!!

 

Wonder how this will be 'Hanatized'. I'm begining to wonder if our government let them have to weapons, so they "Bring it on!"...

 

 

10-27) 10:09 PDT (AP) --

 

A U.S. military unit that reached a munitions storage installation after the invasion of Iraq had no orders to search or secure the site, where officials say nearly 400 tons of explosives have vanished.

 

Looters were already throughout the Al-Qaqaa installation south of Baghdad when troops from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade arrived at the site a day or so after other coalition troops seized the capital on April 9, 2003, Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, deputy public affairs officer for the unit, told The Associated Press.

 

The soldiers "secured the area they were in and looked in a limited amount of bunkers to ensure chemical weapons were not present in their area," Wellman wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Bombs were found but not chemical weapons in that immediate area.

 

"Orders were not given from higher to search or to secure the facility or to search for HE type munitions, as they (high-explosive weapons) were everywhere in Iraq," he wrote.

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RE: Ready's Lies

 

>Give ready a break.

 

I am not inclined to give this perennial liar a break. His habit is to post lies on this board and then, when they are revealed as false, run away without responding. A coward and liar.

 

Those who have read his recent threads will recall his false statement that Kerry repeatedly refers to "plans" but never gives details. When I provided some details Kerry has given about his plan to provide government reinsurance for catastrophic health problems, he then said it would cost trillions and Kerry would have no way to pay for it. Several days ago The Times published an article on Kerry's plan and pointed out that Republican Senate Leader Bill Frist has offered a similar plan. I am so weary of this poster's lying ways! Can't we nail him into a barrel and throw him in Lake Michigan?

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