Monday, October 25, 2004

Are you feeling safer yet? Yes? Here, let me fix that.

And for those of you who plan on voting for Bush because you feel safer in the war against terrorism (or, as we call such folks up here in Canada, "morons"), a really uplifting article about how 350 tons or so of some really, seriously, kick-ass high explosive disappeared from IAEA custody in Iraq and is most likely being used to make car bombs and such to kill (you guessed it) American troops. (Boy, that's some irony for you, isn't it?)

Apparently, when the Americans invaded, there was some kind of communications foul-up in terms of who was going to keep an eye on the stuff. ("Hey, I thought you were going to watch the 350 tons of lethal HMX and RDX." "Me? I thought you were going to do it." "Oh, man, colour me embarrassed. Is my face red or what?")

Now, in all fairness to the Bush administration, no one really knew about this stuff:

United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.

Um, OK, someone knew about it, but shit happens. At least they got right on the case as soon as the bad news got out:

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday.

Well ... OK, folks were just, you know, busy, but they were going to get around to it, given that the explosives were known to have gone missing well over a year ago:

The White House said President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing.

Fine. If that's the way you want it, at least we can blame those worthless UN and IAEA inspectors. I mean, it just has to be their fault. I mean, shit, why weren't they all over this from the beginning?

After the invasion, when widespread looting began in Iraq, the international weapons experts grew concerned that the Qaqaa stockpile could fall into unfriendly hands. In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history."

Sigh. This is all John Kerry's fault. It just has to be John Kerry's fault.
Right? Right?

NOTE: If you really need the ugly details on all of this, in addition to the NYT piece, I suggest Josh Marshall, starting here.

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