Kerry Press Release, Oct. 25,2004:
Dover, NH - Senator John Kerry released the following statement today on the Bush administration’s failure to secure nearly 380 tons of high-grade explosives in Iraq:
“George W. Bush who talks tough and brags about making America safer has once again failed to deliver. After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this administration failed to guard those stockpiles – where nearly 380 tons of highly explosive weapons were kept. Today we learned that these explosives are missing, unaccounted for and could be in the hands of terrorists.
“Terrorists could use this material to kill our troops and our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings.
“In May of this year, the administration was warned that terrorists may be helping themselves to ‘the greatest explosives bonanza in history.’ And now we know that our country and our troops are less safe because this president failed to do the basics. This is one of the great blunders of the Bush policy in Iraq.
“The unbelievable incompetence of this president and his administration has put our troops at risk. George W. Bush has failed the essential test of any commander in chief to keep America safe.
“Every step of the way this administration has miscalculated – miscalculated about how many troops we need. Secretary Rumsfeld cavalierly dismissed the danger of looting -- and now we know the impact.
“Make no mistake: our troops are the best-trained and best-led forces in the world, and they have been doing their job honorably and bravely. The problem is the Commander-in-Chief has not being doing his.
“If President Bush can’t recognize his failures in Iraq, he can’t fix them. And he’s doomed to repeat the same mistakes there and elsewhere. We can’t afford to risk four more years of George W. Bush.
“With President Bush, we face the prospect of a war that’s spiraling out of control in Iraq. As president, I will succeed in Iraq and bring our troops home.”
Joe Lockhart Statement, Oct. 25, 2004:
Washington, DC - Kerry-Edwards Senior Advisor Joe Lockhart issued the following statement on reports of missing explosives in Iraq:
“Today, the Bush administration must answer for what may be the most grave and catastrophic mistake in a tragic series of blunders in Iraq. How did they fail to secure nearly 380 tons of known, deadly explosives despite clear warnings from the International Atomic Energy Agency to do so? And why was this information unearthed by reporters -- and was it covered up by our national security officials?
“These explosives can be used to blow up airplanes, level buildings, attack our troops and detonate nuclear weapons. The Bush administration knew where this stockpile was, but took no action to secure the site. They were urgently and specifically informed that terrorists could be helping themselves to the most dangerous explosives bonanza in history, but nothing was done to prevent it from happening.
“This material was monitored and controlled by UN inspectors before the invasion of Iraq. Thanks to the stunning incompetence of the Bush administration, we now have no idea where it is.
“We need to know what the administration knew about this and when. We need to know why they failed to safeguard these explosives and keep them out of the hands of our enemies. The National Security Advisor should be at her desk in Washington tomorrow to work this problem and answer these questions, instead of giving speeches in battleground states.”
Kerry Ad Script, Oct. 26, 2004:
John Kerry: “The obligation of a Commander in Chief is to keep our country safe. In Iraq, George Bush has overextended our troops and now failed to secure 380 tons of deadly explosives. The kind used for attacks in Iraq, and for terrorist bombings. His Iraq misjudgments put our soldiers at risk, and make our country less secure. And all he offers is more of the same. As President, I’ll bring a fresh start to protect our troops and our nation. I’m John Kerry and I approved this message.”