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Thread: NYT/CBS Phony Weapons story

  1. #1
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    NYT/CBS Phony Weapons story

    Here they (the liberal media) go again!

    Media (namely CBS and the New York Slimes) caught lying again in another attempt to Bash Bush and elect their red friend, John Fake Kerry (or Kohn his real last name; Kerry a fake irishman as well)

    NBC News reported Monday night that 380 tons of missing explosives were already gone when U.S. troops arrived at the Al-Qaqaa weapons installation in April 2003 - one day after Saddam's government was toppled.

    NBC should know. It had a reporter embedded with the U.S. troops when they arrived at Al-Qaqaa in April 2003.

    While the Kerry campaign blasted the Bush administration for "stunning incompetence" on Monday, many Bush supporters questioned the timing of Monday's New York Times report about the missing explosives -- coming as it did just eight days before the presidential election.

    NBC News Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski suggested a political motive as well: In his report on the missing explosives Monday night, he quoted one official as saying, "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political."

    According to the New York Times, the IAEA said it had warned the Bush administration about the need to secure the Al-Qaqaa facility both before and after the war.

    In a follow-up report on Tuesday, the New York Times did not mention the fact that NBC had an embedded reporter on the scene when the missing explosives were discovered -- the day after Baghdad fell.

    Tuesday's New York Times report -- entitled "Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign" -- covers how the Bush administration "sought to explain the disappearance of 380 tons of high explosives in Iraq that American forces were supposed to secure."

    Bush's aides, the Tuesday article said, "tried to explain why American forces had ignored warnings from the International Atomic Energy Agency about the vulnerability of the huge stockpile of high explosives, whose disappearance was first reported on Monday by CBS and The New York Times."

    The New York Times report portrayed the Bush administration as being on the defensive -- trying to "minimize the importance of the loss" of the military explosives.

    The report noted that President Bush "never mentioned the disappearance of the high explosives during a long campaign speech in Greeley, Colo., about battling terrorism."

    "There are certainly some questions about when the explosives were missing," Kerry campaign adviser Howard Wolfson admitted on Fox & Friends early Tuesday morning. But the Kerry campaign is not expected to let the matter drop.

    In a press release late Monday night, the Kerry campaign accused the Bush campaign of trying to cover up its "failure" to secure the explosives.

    "Instead of distorting John Kerry's words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous," Kerry-Edwards senior advisor Joe Lockhart said.

  2. #2
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    Why don't you post a link to your right-wing propoganda?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Oct 26 2004, 09:25 AM
    [b] Why don't you post a link to your right-wing propoganda? [/b][/quote]
    [quote][b]NBC News reported Monday night that 380 tons of missing explosives were already gone when U.S. troops arrived at the Al-Qaqaa weapons installation in April 2003 - one day after Saddam's government was toppled.

    NBC should know. It had a reporter embedded with the U.S. troops when they arrived at Al-Qaqaa in April 2003.

    NBC News Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski suggested a political motive as well: In his report on the missing explosives Monday night, he quoted one official as saying, "Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political." [/b][/quote]

    NBC is very right wing....I've called the slimes four times about this today...all I've gotten was "uh, well" and plenty of silence...I encourage you to call as well and suggest the Old Gray Lady stop with the yellow journalism: Phone number is (212) 556-1234 then hit the following prompts: 5-then-1-then-4. That will bring you to the foreign desk.

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    Here's more links to right-wing propaganda that disputes the Slimes story: CNN! :lol: :P

    [url=http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/26/iraq.explosives/index.html]http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/26/...ives/index.html[/url]

    [b]Report: Explosives could not be found when U.S. troops arrived
    NBC News says its crew was embedded with soldiers at time
    Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 11:16 AM EDT (1516 GMT)

    Officials fear the missing explosives could be used in bombings like those occurring regularly in Iraq. [/b]

    (CNN) -- The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a television news crew embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material could not be found when American troops arrived.

    NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.

    While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency revealed Monday that it had been told two weeks ago by the Iraqi government that 380 tons of HMX and RDX disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Saddam Hussein's government fell.

    In a letter to the IAEA dated October 10, Iraq's director of planning, Mohammed Abbas, said the material disappeared sometime after Saddam's regime fell in April 2003, which he attributed to "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security."

    Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. According to NBC, troops from the 101st Airborne arrived the next day and could not the material.

    At the Pentagon, officials said that the site had been repeatedly searched but the high explosives the IAEA described were never found.

    The Pentagon said the Al Qaqaa facility was a "level 2" priority on a list of 500 sites to be searched and secured. U.S. officials say it was visited dozens of times by U.S. troops in the months following the invasion, and -- after searching 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings -- they never came upon the stockpile.

    Prior to the Iraq war, the high-grade explosives at Al Qaqaa had been under the control of IAEA inspectors because the material could be used as a component in a nuclear weapon, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. IAEA and other U.N. inspectors left the country in March 2003 before the fighting began on March 19.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that five days after the IAEA received the letter from the Iraqi government, the agency alerted U.S. officials in Vienna, who in turn told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. She then alerted Bush, McClellan said.

    Once U.S. officials were alerted, the multinational force in Iraq and the Iraq Survey Group, charged with hunting for weapons in Iraq, were both ordered to investigate what was missing and the possible circumstances, according to State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.

    "We, from the very beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, did everything we could to secure arms caches throughout the country," Ereli said. "But given the number of arms and the number of caches and the extent of militarization of Iraq, it was impossible to provide 100 percent security for 100 percent of the sites, quite frankly."

    The news of the missing explosives followed an IAEA report earlier this month that said high-end, dual-use machinery that could be used in a nuclear weapons program was missing from Iraq's nuclear facilities. (Full story)

    "Our immediate concern is that if the explosives did fall into the wrong hands, they could be used to commit terrorist acts and some of the bombings that we've seen," the IAEA's Fleming said.

    She described Al Qaqaa as "massive" and said it is one of the most well-known storage sites. Besides the explosives, it also held large caches of artillery.

    Fleming said the IAEA, which is based in Vienna, Austria, did not know whether some of the explosives may have been used in past attacks.

    The IAEA said that before the war it inspected the Al Qaqaa facility multiple times and verified that the material was present in January 2003. The agency said the material was mentioned in reports to the U.N. Security Council that were made public.

    Ereli said coalition forces searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings at the Al Qaqaa facility after the war for weapons of mass destruction. The troops found none, but did see indications of looting, he said. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1, 2003.

    "Some explosive material at the time was discovered, although none of it carried IAEA seals, and this discovery was reported to coalition forces for removal of the material," Ereli said.

    Ereli said coalition forces have cleared 10,033 weapons caches and destroyed 243,000 tons of munitions. Another 162,898 tons of munitions are at secure locations and awaiting destruction, he said.

    A senior administration official played down the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but "stuff you can buy anywhere."

    The official noted 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."

    The official said the Iraq Survey Group concluded that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and documented the scope of the problem.

    Threat from terrorists
    A European diplomat told The New York Times that Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the IAEA, is "extremely concerned" about the potentially "devastating consequences" of the vanished stockpile.

    "The immediate danger" of the lost stockpiles is its potential use by insurgents to make small, but powerful, bombs, 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 the 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."

    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.

    "This is a real massive quantity of explosives that could have reached the hands of insurgents and could be used with deadly force and consequences against people in Iraq," Fleming said.

    "One would have to assume it's been stolen by someone who has some sort of nefarious purpose for it."

    Political fallout
    With the U.S. presidential election eight days away, news of the missing explosives quickly became campaign fodder.

    Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry immediately seized on the information to accuse President Bush of incompetence in failing to secure the material, charging that "this is one of the great blunders of Iraq and one of the great blunders of this administration."

    But in the wake of the NBC report, the Bush campaign fired off a statement saying that Kerry's criticism of the president over the missing material has "been proven false before the day is over."

    "John Kerry's attacks today were baseless," Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. "He said American troops did not secure the explosives, when the explosives were already missing."

    Schmidt also said that Kerry "neglects to mention the 400,000 tons of weapons and explosives that are either destroyed or in the process of being destroyed" in Iraq.

    But Kerry senior adviser Joe Lockhart fired back with a statement of his own, accusing the Bush campaign of "distorting" the NBC News report.

    "In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame," Lockhart said. "It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous."

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    When will the rats just admit the left leaning media is trying to pull out all the stops to get kerri elected????

  5. #5
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Oct 26 2004, 10:25 AM
    [b] Why don't you post a link to your right-wing propoganda? [/b][/quote]
    So what you're saying is that anything that comes from the left, Kerry, and CBS is the truth? You'll believe that unquestioned?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Section109Row15[/i]@Oct 26 2004, 09:25 AM
    [b] Why don't you post a link to your right-wing propoganda? [/b][/quote]
    What the NY Times printed, what CBS planned to run - was inaccurate. How is that right-wing propaganda? Have some ketchup with your crow, jerk.

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    So, Bush is to blame for Saddam and Al Qeada removing these explosives prior to the invasion. Hey, liberals-I thought Saddam and Al Qeada had nothing to do with each other, and Saddam didn't have any weapons like these, to detonate nuclear weapons.
    MAKE UP YOUR LYING MINDS ALREADY! You cant' have it both ways-either Bush was right for going in all along , or these weapons didn't exist and Saddam was just an overactive but benolvent dictator.

    And Kerry's solution is to get whiny and pissy, like someone just spilled a chum bucket on his beloved speedboat Scaramouche. Very presidential. Heck, are we voting for president, or chief spoiled brat *****?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Bugg[/i]@Oct 26 2004, 01:36 PM
    [b] So, Bush is to blame for Saddam and Al Qeada removing these explosives prior to the invasion. Hey, liberals-I thought Saddam and Al Qeada had nothing to do with each other, and Saddam didn't have any weapons like these, to detonate nuclear weapons.
    MAKE UP YOUR LYING MINDS ALREADY! You cant' have it both ways-either Bush was right for going in all along , or these weapons didn't exist and Saddam was just an overactive but benolvent dictator.

    And Kerry's solution is to get whiny and pissy, like someone just spilled a chum bucket on his beloved speedboat Scaramouche. Very presidential. Heck, are we voting for president, or chief spoiled brat *****? [/b][/quote]
    Right... up until now the libs were saying we went in too soon and now they're saying we didn't go in soon enough. They crack me up.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Enrique Pallazzo+Oct 26 2004, 03:15 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (Enrique Pallazzo @ Oct 26 2004, 03:15 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-Bugg[/i]@Oct 26 2004, 01:36 PM
    [b] So, Bush is to blame for Saddam and Al Qeada removing these explosives prior to the invasion. Hey, liberals-I thought Saddam and Al Qeada had nothing to do with each other, and Saddam didn&#39;t have any weapons like these, to detonate nuclear weapons.
    MAKE UP YOUR LYING MINDS ALREADY&#33; You cant&#39; have it both ways-either Bush was right for going in all along , or these weapons didn&#39;t exist and Saddam was just an overactive but benolvent dictator.

    And Kerry&#39;s solution is to get whiny and pissy, like someone just spilled a chum bucket on his beloved speedboat Scaramouche. Very presidential. Heck, are we voting for president, or chief spoiled brat *****? [/b][/quote]
    Right... up until now the libs were saying we went in too soon and now they&#39;re saying we didn&#39;t go in soon enough. They crack me up. [/b][/quote]
    And are now &#39;strangely&#39; silent on this thread.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Piper[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:45 AM
    [b] [/QUOTE]
    Right... up until now the libs were saying we went in too soon and now they&#39;re saying we didn&#39;t go in soon enough. They crack me up. [/QUOTE]
    And are now &#39;strangely&#39; silent on this thread. [/b][/quote]
    Funny how that works...

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    The fact of the matter is that in their head long rush to war the Bush Administration failed to adequately plan for it. Rumsfeld wanted to do it on the cheap.

    Securing the known conventional weapon cache&#39;s of the Iraqi army should have been a top priority, instead they screwed the pooch. Nothing was to stand in the way of their wild goose chase for WMD&#39;s that didn&#39;t exist, and securing the oilfields. Now the likelihood is is that this RMX and HMX material is now being used against our soldiers by the insurgents.

    You guys talk about silence? The deafening silence is coming from the White House, they aren&#39;t saying a word.

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    Again-

    You&#39;re now conceding that Saddam had WMD;worked with Al Qeada; and all the "global test" UN BS insepctions/kabbuki dance was a complete waste of time. Now, Kerry says we should have gone in sooner to secure these weapons. [i]So it&#39;s no longer the WRONG WAR. [/i]
    PLEASE-MAKE UP YOUR MINDS-YOU CANNOT HAVE IT EVERY WHICH WAY. LET&#39;S SEE IF YOU CAN BLAME BUSH FOR THE OPPOSITE OF THIS POSITION BETWEEN NOW AND TUESDAY.I &#39;m certain you&#39;ll try. All Kerry has is throwing sh&#33;t at the wall in hopes it might stick. And sadly there may be enough American to buy this idiotic tripe.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by valleyjet[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:18 AM
    [b] The fact of the matter is that in their head long rush to war the Bush Administration failed to adequately plan for it. Rumsfeld wanted to do it on the cheap.

    Securing the known conventional weapon cache&#39;s of the Iraqi army should have been a top priority, instead they screwed the pooch. Nothing was to stand in the way of their wild goose chase for WMD&#39;s that didn&#39;t exist, and securing the oilfields. Now the likelihood is is that this RMX and HMX material is now being used against our soldiers by the insurgents.

    You guys talk about silence? The deafening silence is coming from the White House, they aren&#39;t saying a word. [/b][/quote]
    Boy the density around here is astounding...

    The stuff was gone when we got there. What is it about that you don&#39;t understand?

    Af course there is silence from the White House... The statement was made that it was gone before we got there. End of story. It was another lie, another trumped up effort to distort the truth and try and influence voters by misleading the sheeple.

    Give it up man, Once again YOUR side tried to dunk a fast one and got STUFFED.

    It&#39;s ok to say your guy screwed up. We say ours does.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:26 AM
    [b] Boy the density around here is astounding...

    The stuff was gone when we got there. What is it about that you don&#39;t understand?

    [/b][/quote]
    It sure is I can&#39;t believe how dense and ignorant you guys really are.

    First of all bugg the fact of the matter is that the material in question wasn&#39;t WMD&#39;s, RMX and HMX are classified as conventional weapons.

    Second of all the best evidence is that this material was there when we got there and because there wasn&#39;t adequate personnel in place to secure it before the rush into Bagdad it was left and now its in the hands of the insurgents who are using it against our troops.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by valleyjet[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:37 AM
    [b]
    Second of all the best evidence is that this material was there when we got there and because there wasn&#39;t adequate personnel in place to secure it before the rush into Bagdad it was left and now its in the hands of the insurgents who are using it against our troops. [/b][/quote]
    Best Evidence?? Where, link please.

    Everything I have seen, read or heard states conclusively that the material was GONE BEFORE THE WAR.

    Or are you really Dan Rather in disguise?

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    The materials involved are used to detonate nuclear and biological weapons. So, what need would Saddam have for such things but for those purposes? If they merely conventional, what&#39;s the big deal?

    Guess again, Frankenstein Junior .What&#39;s scary is how shamelessly you guys will change any fact-LIE-to try to get the facts in your favor. C&#39;mon-just admit that your only MO is to complain. You have no plan at all. If your boy wins, he doens&#39;t have a clue how to govern, other than to hope it doesn&#39;t interfere with weekends skiing and yachting.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by valleyjet+Oct 27 2004, 09:37 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (valleyjet @ Oct 27 2004, 09:37 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-JetFanTransplant[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:26 AM
    [b] Boy the density around here is astounding...

    The stuff was gone when we got there. What is it about that you don&#39;t understand?

    [/b][/quote]
    It sure is I can&#39;t believe how dense and ignorant you guys really are.

    First of all bugg the fact of the matter is that the material in question wasn&#39;t WMD&#39;s, RMX and HMX are classified as conventional weapons.

    Second of all the best evidence is that this material was there when we got there and because there wasn&#39;t adequate personnel in place to secure it before the rush into Bagdad it was left and now its in the hands of the insurgents who are using it against our troops. [/b][/quote]
    First of all... since when has taking 18 months been considered RUSHING to war.
    Secondly, the weapons were NOT there when we arrived in Baghdad. I&#39;m not sure it was a Kerry ploy to make Bush look bad. I don&#39;t think Kerry&#39;s dumb enough to use a BLATANT lie (not to be confused with all of the little white lies he continually spread), BUT then again... he is STILL using it against Bush so maybe he IS. At best, Kerry made a Ratheresque failure to reasearch the source before using it as an anti-Bush weapon.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by JetFanTransplant[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:39 AM
    [b] Everything I have seen, read or heard states conclusively that the material was GONE BEFORE THE WAR.

    [/b][/quote]
    Here you are sparky, notice the passages I hi-lighted for you.

    [b]U.S. Thinks Explosives Vanished in Spring &#39;03[/b]

    By Bradley Graham
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, October 27, 2004; Page A21

    Trying to account for the disappearance of nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives from an Iraqi military facility, the Pentagon yesterday identified a 2 1/2-month period in the spring of 2003 in which defense officials now suspect the material was removed.

    But the period covers several weeks before Baghdad fell as well as several weeks afterward, leaving it unclear whether the explosives vanished at a time U.S. forces were in position to secure them, Pentagon officials said.

    What became of the explosives has led to a major international controversy this week after the disclosure Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the stockpiles were missing. One of the explosives, HMX, can be used to trigger nuclear bombs. But it and the two other materials -- RDX and PETN -- also have applications in car bombs and other devices, prompting fears they could fuel the attacks on U.S. and coalition troops.

    Iraqi authorities have asserted the material was stolen after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, amid the widespread lawlessness and chaos that prevailed as U.S. forces struggled to reassert order. That possibility has raised questions about why U.S. commanders did not do more to secure the Qaqaa facility where the explosives were stored or permit international weapons inspectors to quickly reenter Iraq.

    But Pentagon officials continued yesterday to point to the possibility that the explosives were removed in March or early April of last year, while the government of Saddam Hussein was still in power.

    [b]Providing an official timeline of events that he described as still very preliminary, Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, said IAEA personnel had visited Qaqaa on March 9 and found intact seals on the bunkers where the HMX was stored. U.S. forces invaded Iraq on March 19.

    The first U.S. forces to reach Qaqaa arrived around April 3, Whitman said, identifying them as members of the 3rd Infantry Division. They fought with Iraqi forces at the facility, then occupied the site.

    But their focus was on securing Baghdad, not searching Qaqaa for weapons caches or high explosives, so they left after two days and headed toward the Iraqi capital about 30 miles to the north, Whitman said.

    Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division flew by helicopters into the facility about a week later. But they also were intent on getting to Baghdad and left after a day without conducting a search.

    "We still had troops in Baghdad we were trying to combat," recalled Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, a division spokesman. "Our mission was securing Baghdad at that point."

    Not until May 27, Whitman said, did U.S. troops specifically charged with hunting for Iraqi weapons arrive at Qaqaa and begin a survey of the facility.[/b]

    Members of the 75th Exploitation Task Force, the troops were focused initially on searching for Iraqi Scud missiles. They found the massive facility unguarded, a U.S. reporter traveling with them said. The site looked like a scrap yard, filled with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells, old land mines, anti-tank devices and unexploded ordnance.

    "They found propellants and explosives, but no sealed IAEA material," Whitman said.

    A number of weapons experts have noted that the removal of so many tons of high explosives posed difficult logistical challenges. Even if transported by heavy trucks, for instance, several dozen vehicles would have been required.

    Asked about the likelihood that such a major movement of material out of an Iraqi military site would have been detected before the invasion, a senior defense official noted that U.S. authorities were attempting to monitor more than 500 "sensitive" sites in Iraq, as well as Iraqi combat formations, which put a strain on reconnaissance assets.

    Russia&#39;s U.N. ambassador, Andrey Denisov, told reporters at the United Nations yesterday that the Security Council should address the disappearance of the explosives, and he urged the council to authorize the return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq.

    But the United States said U.S. authorities were investigating the loss and disputed the need for U.N. experts to return.

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    So the Washington Post (chuckle chuckle national enquirer chuckle chuckle) conveniently left out whether or not the 3rd Division actually SAW the weapons when they arrived. The 101st Airborne apparently DID conduct a search (that&#39;s according to members of the 101st and embedded reporters there) and the weapons were NOT there. SOOOOOOO... at BEST you should be able to say that the weapons may or may not have been there when the 3rd Division arrived. You should NOT be saying they were absolutely there.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by valleyjet+Oct 27 2004, 08:48 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>[b]QUOTE[/b] (valleyjet @ Oct 27 2004, 08:48 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-JetFanTransplant[/i]@Oct 27 2004, 08:39 AM
    [b] Everything I have seen, read or heard states conclusively that the material was GONE BEFORE THE WAR.

    [/b][/quote]
    Here you are sparky, notice the passages I hi-lighted for you.

    [b]U.S. Thinks Explosives Vanished in Spring &#39;03[/b]

    By Bradley Graham
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, October 27, 2004; Page A21

    Trying to account for the disappearance of nearly 400 tons of powerful explosives from an Iraqi military facility, the Pentagon yesterday identified a 2 1/2-month period in the spring of 2003 in which defense officials now suspect the material was removed.

    But the period covers several weeks before Baghdad fell as well as several weeks afterward, leaving it unclear whether the explosives vanished at a time U.S. forces were in position to secure them, Pentagon officials said.

    What became of the explosives has led to a major international controversy this week after the disclosure Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency that the stockpiles were missing. One of the explosives, HMX, can be used to trigger nuclear bombs. But it and the two other materials -- RDX and PETN -- also have applications in car bombs and other devices, prompting fears they could fuel the attacks on U.S. and coalition troops.

    Iraqi authorities have asserted the material was stolen after the fall of Baghdad on April 9, amid the widespread lawlessness and chaos that prevailed as U.S. forces struggled to reassert order. That possibility has raised questions about why U.S. commanders did not do more to secure the Qaqaa facility where the explosives were stored or permit international weapons inspectors to quickly reenter Iraq.

    But Pentagon officials continued yesterday to point to the possibility that the explosives were removed in March or early April of last year, while the government of Saddam Hussein was still in power.

    [b]Providing an official timeline of events that he described as still very preliminary, Bryan Whitman, a senior Pentagon spokesman, said IAEA personnel had visited Qaqaa on March 9 and found intact seals on the bunkers where the HMX was stored. U.S. forces invaded Iraq on March 19.

    The first U.S. forces to reach Qaqaa arrived around April 3, Whitman said, identifying them as members of the 3rd Infantry Division. They fought with Iraqi forces at the facility, then occupied the site.

    But their focus was on securing Baghdad, not searching Qaqaa for weapons caches or high explosives, so they left after two days and headed toward the Iraqi capital about 30 miles to the north, Whitman said.

    Soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division flew by helicopters into the facility about a week later. But they also were intent on getting to Baghdad and left after a day without conducting a search.

    "We still had troops in Baghdad we were trying to combat," recalled Lt. Col. Fred Wellman, a division spokesman. "Our mission was securing Baghdad at that point."

    Not until May 27, Whitman said, did U.S. troops specifically charged with hunting for Iraqi weapons arrive at Qaqaa and begin a survey of the facility.[/b]

    Members of the 75th Exploitation Task Force, the troops were focused initially on searching for Iraqi Scud missiles. They found the massive facility unguarded, a U.S. reporter traveling with them said. The site looked like a scrap yard, filled with hundreds of thousands of artillery shells, old land mines, anti-tank devices and unexploded ordnance.

    "They found propellants and explosives, but no sealed IAEA material," Whitman said.

    A number of weapons experts have noted that the removal of so many tons of high explosives posed difficult logistical challenges. Even if transported by heavy trucks, for instance, several dozen vehicles would have been required.

    Asked about the likelihood that such a major movement of material out of an Iraqi military site would have been detected before the invasion, a senior defense official noted that U.S. authorities were attempting to monitor more than 500 "sensitive" sites in Iraq, as well as Iraqi combat formations, which put a strain on reconnaissance assets.

    Russia&#39;s U.N. ambassador, Andrey Denisov, told reporters at the United Nations yesterday that the Security Council should address the disappearance of the explosives, and he urged the council to authorize the return of U.N. inspectors to Iraq.

    But the United States said U.S. authorities were investigating the loss and disputed the need for U.N. experts to return. [/b][/quote]
    OK fine... Here is the rub for you then...

    The material was GONE&#33; Not out from under our noses, not while we were there. Whats more is now you are stating conclusively that this occurred in May 2003. How does that reconcile with the 20-20 and NYTimes reports that this is new?


    Once again, even [u]IF[/u] it happened after the war started, fine... this is still 1.5 year OLD NEWS.

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