The New York Times, inhouse print organ of the Democrat party, on Monday published a story alleging that high-tech explosives had been spirited away from an unsecured storage site in Iraq. The imputation was that the material was removed since the invasion of Iraq, after the responsibility for securing the materials had passed into coalition hands. If you read the story closely you will notice that the last U.N. inspection occurred at least three months before the war began - and I am not aware of any specific inspection dates happening at that site that day, just that that timeframe represents the last of the U.N. inspectors leaving before the war. Anybody who stumbles in here, please advise if you know more information.
NBC news contradicted the report that evening (via the Kerry Spot), referencing their report filed 10 April 2003 by an embed with the 101st Airborne which noted that the troops searched for but did not find the explosives in question - nor did they see any intact IEAE inspection seals anywhere. Notable - I would say ridiculous - quantities of conventional ordnance were onsite, but no IAEA sealed bunkers were found and neither was any RDX or HMX.
Within twentyfour hours the rat line (Kerry Spot, again) the story followed into publication became known. The U.N. told CBS, another former news organization now doing Democrat party propaganda, who scrambled (via Drudge) to use the story on another 60 Minutes hit piece on the eve of the election. They decided, for reasons unknown, to pass the story to the Times.
The Kerry campaign leapt out of the gate this morning with a fullcourt press and stump script damning the administration's incompetence, and word is that they intend to shake and bake a thirty second ad (Drudge) on top of their stump speeches and the news blizzard this story is getting.
Now NBC has nuanced Miklasweski's report from 2003. Read the entire Kerry Spot link, and then click the "home" link at the top and read the statements emailed in to Jim Geraghty by men who were there (and others in the loop) on the military side of this story. The U.N./IAEA maintains, via a statement by a NY Times spokesman, that they found the seals intact back in April.
Who are you going to believe? Mohamed ElBaradei, who knows that the U.S. will prevent his reappointment if Bush is reelected, and the U.N., who Bush will most certainly continue to embarrass and render irrelevant in world affairs, or the statements of men who were there and their superiors in DoD?
I've never used explosives more exotic than C4 or CompB in blocks. What would it take to move 380 tons of pure RDX? Captain Ed wonders about logistics, too.
The U.N. is at best a spectator in the war on terror. It would be a reach to even credit them with being a force for democracy in the world. Kosovo languishes in protectorate status after almost six years and Darfur bleeds as I write this. Their interests in the short term are absolutely served by a Kerry win next week. In the long term...in the long term, a Bush presidency might just reduce the stature of the U.N. to even less than the United Way for NGO's they are already. He will surely be putting fewer zeroes on any checks we write to them after the election.
There was thought to be over 600,000 tons (via Belmont Club) of conventional munitions/explosives in Iraq before we ever invaded. The use of scavenged weapons for constructing IED's is undoubtedly a serious threat in Iraq...but why the frantic effort to exploit this story, in the face of its contested veracity, now? The Kerry ad referenced above is implicit:
"The kind used for attacks in Iraq, and for terrorist bombings."
The U.N. snapped the ball but it sure looks like friendly MSM and the Kerry campaign had the play early. Why?
Kerry can't give reasons to vote for him, so he attacks. That's traditional - almost reflexive in fact, at this stage of Democrat campaigns. They don't have another DUI story, the ANG line has been flogged to death, and this damned economy hasn't crumbled in the face of $55.00 a barrel crude. This does have all the hallmarks of an October surprise. Did Kerry's people bother to ask themselves why they got handed this story now?
Syria's Assad knows that he's on G.W. Bush's to-do list for the next administration. He also has an ambassador in that august body. Not too long ago he had a non-voting position on the security council. He also hosts Hamas and Hizbollah in downtown Damascus. The U.N. knows that coalition access to Syrian dumps, and the Bekka Valley in Lebanon, will answer a whole lot of questions about Iraq's WMD programs.
The elections in Spain were derailed by targeted bombings that occurred three days before the ballots were cast.
My conclusion: The chances of us being bombed on Friday or shortly thereafter have increased dramatically. And if we are bombed, we'll see RDX/HDX or derivative materials used in the weapons.
You can buy RDX off the shelf anywhere in the world. You can identify the compound in hours. I wonder how long to determine the manufacturer, if it is even possible to do?