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October 26, 2004



You must admit that this is an excellent effort by the Times to dictate a storyline in the final week. For so long, they had lost control of the Evan Thomas "15 point effect"--the Swiftvets, Terry Kerry's "off the cuff" remarks, cBS's fumbled attempt to run interference for Kerry, banging the fear factor drums over protests at the RNC, Sinclair and Stolen Honor, and so many other "stories."

In writing first draft of history, the Times is reasserting its role as its chief author. At this point, should Kerry pull off an upset, the Times will be right there with their investijourno hat on, reporting what "turned the tide."

I noticed the WSJ reported violent crime dropped 3.9% in 2003. Surely, if Bush is blameworthy for theft in Iraq, he's due credit for crime reduction is the US. What page did the Times report that story on?


Does not compute. If Bush really believed WMD existed I can't see why we don't know everything that happened there from March 8-April 4. My conclusion-this is proof positive Bush et al never actually believed there were WMD-just look at their priorities.


I'm all in favor of a good tin foil hat conspiracy theory, but I find it hard to believe that the IAEA is trying to screw with the US. So I have to imagine that you are joking.


I guess if Josh moves and needs to transport his belongs across town he'll rent 3 or 4 UHauls so he can do it at one time.

Eric Anondson

El Baradei is seeking a second term in the IAEA, the US is opposing his re-appointment.

Motive for El Baradei to embarrass?


Thank you, Eric.

Here we go from late Sept.

And the Sun rises on this story this very day:

...[Oct. 10] The letter was brought to the attention of the council on the last full week before the American presidential elections, quickly becaming a campaign issue. It was also a week after Mr. ElBaradei announced that he would seek another term as the director general of IAEA, despite American opposition.

Bush administration officials say their opposition is not personal but in line with their demand to limit the term of the man at the helm of the agency.

"We told ElBaradei that we are not going to support an extension beyond two terms," a State Department official who asked to remain anonymous told the Sun.

Aware of Washington's opposition, Mr. ElBaradei announced last week that he would seek a third term anyway.

The Egyptian-born nuclear inspection veteran clashed with Washington in the run up to the Iraq war, and more recently when his report on Iran's nuclear program seemed too timid to officials, such as the undersecretary of state John Bolton, the Bush administration point man on non-proliferation issues.

The 35-member IAEA is expected to close applications for candidacies to head the agency by December 31. A new director general will be elected next September. So far Mr. ElBaradei is the only one to announce his candidacy.

Senator Kerry's aides told Reuters recently that they, too, would like to see Mr. ElBaradei replaced, but they would be sensitive to the ruffled feelings in the Arab world and other "political consequences."

Geek, Esq.

The NBC story is not the out that Bush supporters wish it was:

Amy Robach: And it's still unclear exactly when those explosives disappeared. Here to help shed some light on that question is Lai Ling. She was part of an NBC news crew that traveled to that facility with the 101st Airborne Division back in April of 2003. Lai Ling, can you set the stage for us? What was the situation like when you went into the area?

Lai Ling Jew: When we went into the area, we were actually leaving Karbala and we were initially heading to Baghdad with the 101st Airborne, Second Brigade. The situation in Baghdad, the Third Infantry Division had taken over Baghdad and so they were trying to carve up the area that the 101st Airborne Division would be in charge of. Um, as a result, they had trouble figuring out who was going to take up what piece of Baghdad. They sent us over to this area in Iskanderia. We didn't know it as the Qaqaa facility at that point but when they did bring us over there we stayed there for quite a while. Almost, we stayed overnight, almost 24 hours. And we walked around, we saw the bunkers that had been bombed, and that exposed all of the ordinances that just lied dormant on the desert.

AR: Was there a search at all underway or was, did a search ensue for explosives once you got there during that 24-hour period?

LLJ: No. There wasn't a search. The mission that the brigade had was to get to Baghdad. That was more of a pit stop there for us. And, you know, the searching, I mean certainly some of the soldiers head off on their own, looked through the bunkers just to look at the vast amount of ordnance lying around. But as far as we could tell, there was no move to secure the weapons, nothing to keep looters away. But there was – at that point the roads were shut off. So it would have been very difficult, I believe, for the looters to get there.

AR: And there was no talk of securing the area after you left. There was no discussion of that?

LLJ: Not for the 101st Airborne, Second Brigade. They were -- once they were in Baghdad, it was all about Baghdad, you know, and then they ended up moving north to Mosul. Once we left the area, that was the last that the brigade had anything to do with the area.

AR: Well, Lai Ling Jew, thank you so much for shedding some light into that situation. We appreciate it.

"There wasn't a search." Time to find a new excuse for the Bush administration. Well, they won't--they'll just lie about this like they always do.

Paul Zrimsek

I'm afraid I don't follow, Martin. If the Administration's concern was with possible stockpiles of ready-to-use WMD's, it would presumably have given priority to the search for those sites, and the attention given to conventional munitions dumps would have suffered by comparison. There could still have been heightened concern before the war about the sort of stuff kept at Al Qaqaa on account of the possibility of the Hussein regime building it into WMDs later on-- but that concern would have have been downgraded once it became clear that there would not long be an intact Hussein regime to do the building.

None of this is to say that our leadership-- however high up the blame may belong-- was sufficiently careful about the conventional threat posed by all this ordnance. If the NBC story is accurate, the 101st does seem to have been remiss in not blowing up the dump (assuming they didn't have the resources to secure it). I just don't see how it bears at all on the sincerity of the WMD argument.


Sorry, the new defense - maybe the Times is not full of BS - does not really cut it for me.

They have not at any point offered evidence that the munitions disappeared after April 4. Does that trouble the "Bush screwed up" crowd in the least, or are you fully behind this Times faith-based initiative?

Geek, Esq.


The Iraqi government says they disappeared after April 9, 2003. An anonymous Pentagon official is quoted as saying that they disappeared after the fall of the Hussein regime.

There is NO evidence that they disappeared before hand. The NBC report, as detailed, means nothing. At the very least, the "NY TIMES LIES" headlines across the rightwing blogosphere are based on faulty information.

Keep in mind: The Bush administration is claiming that they didn't know they were missing until SEPTEMBER 2004. If that's the case, they are grossly incompetent and are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

Sorry, but the folks in the reality-based community don't fall for Bush's "Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes" routine.


Maybe this has been discussed somewhere herein, but Jim Gerhaghty has a report http://www.nationalreview.com/kerry/kerry200410261142.asp that HDX, in its raw form, for use in making various explosive charges, is consistent in appearance with cornstarch, and is non-volatile until fully fabricated into a device. HDX is a raw material input, and the suggestion that vandals have pilfered it is nonsense--it's theft would require hopper-type trucks, etc. Much ado about nothing.


Paul-Al Qa Qaa was listed by the British at least as a high potential WMD facility. I know that's true because I heard it today on the Rush Limbaugh show (seriously) Now this is presumably produced by the same British intelligence outfit whose info was solid enough to be put in a State of the Union address. (That's the one where Bush talks directly to you me-citizens.)

So how did we know Al Qa Qaa had no wmds? What sites did we think had WMDs? Rumsfeld did say he knew specifically whhere they were. Where are the WMD sites we were busy securing? What did we find at these sites?

The conclusion is obvious. Bush and company can't be this stupid. They knew there were no WMDs to worry about it. Remember what didn't get looted-the Oil Ministry.

Eric Anondson

Okay, a slight change of tack here. But humor my speculation...

So we know that the munitions are not in Al QaQaa on April 10th and afterwards until today... right?

Is it possible that the US forces have already intercepted these munitions elsewere in the country already? We know the munitions were there once, and are now gone. How do we know that the US forces haven't already re-captured these munitions somewhere in the country and has already destroyed them? I mean, Saddam didn't exactly use the latest in on-demand inventory management. How do we know what was there once, wasn't found in another facility, after they were moved?

Afterall, the US is still in possession of tens-of-thousands of documents of Saddam's that are still waiting on being translated for the first time!

I'm just curious if this hasn't already been investigated...

Paul Zrimsek

We didn't need the British to tell us that Al Qaqaa had something to do with Iraq's WMD potential; we already knew that the IAEA had dual-use materials under seal there. But, again, there would have been no particular urgency, at that point, attached to securing materials that the Iraqi regime might have used to make WMDs in the future if only it had a future. What we'd be anxious to locate would be stocks of finished WMDs. How likely is it that Saddam would have stored these at a site subject to regular visits from the IAEA?


Not likely Paul-but neither are purple zebras. The game is up. There were no stocks of WMDs and we knew it.
Would your main priority be securing the Oil Ministry if you were concerned a nuclear explosion may occur in downtown bagdhad?

That's why Rumsfeld shrugged off the looting at the time "This what free people do" or whatever he said. He obviously knew there were no WMDs to loot.


Media contridictions or media manipulations - your right - they are thrilled they can still cause the winds to blow! See media contridictions.

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