Monday, October 25, 2004
Influence: If you think what appears in The New York Times doesn't have an effect on what you see or hear in your little corner of the country, think again. The Times report on 380 tons of missing high explosive in Iraq appeared in papers across the country.
The story has been used by the media and the Kerry campaign as another lead pipe to beat the Bush administration with over the handling of the Iraq war and the aftermath.
There's only one problem -- NBC News reported tonight that its reporters were embedded with the troops that secured that facility -- and the high explosives weren't there when they got there -- one day after the liberation of Iraq.
An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.
According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.
"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.
The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.
You can blame it on looters if you want, but given one day and all of the looters you want, removing 380 tons of high explosives sounds like a pretty big job. I don't know if Abdul and his bicycle could have pulled it off.
Drudge also reports this little gem:
Why is the U.N. nuclear agency suddenly warning now that insurgents in Iraq may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives -- in early 2003?
NBCNEWS 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."
Can you say "foreign attempts to try to influence U.S. elections"? Good. I knew you could.