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October 25, 2004

October Surprise, Bush-style

This administration is so incompetent that it can't even get a traditional GOP "October Surprise" going. Instead, we get this mindbending bulletin about their raging incompetence. Making the world safer-- for terrorists wielding high explosives.

Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq - 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.

I would call this unbelievable-- if it weren't possible to believe any amount of stupidity and incompetence about this administration.

Posted by jay at October 25, 2004 10:53 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

"It is unclear whether President Bush was informed."

I think this particular sentence pretty much says it all about the Bush Administration. What is clear is that we have to get rid of this pretender and his handlers.

I want my country back!

Posted by: terry on October 25, 2004 04:56 PM

Two sides to every story:

http://www.drudgereport.com/nbcw6.htm

Posted by: on October 26, 2004 11:52 AM

Except, of course, the NBC crew Drudge refers to was embedded with a unit not qualified to do weapons inspection, and in fact did not perform any weapons inspection. Consensus seems to be that the explosives disappeared *after* the invasion, not before. TPM is covering the story well.

Posted by: david on October 26, 2004 04:18 PM
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