Tons Of Iraq Explosives Missing
Material could be used as nuclear trigger
CNN) -- Some 380 tons of explosives powerful enough to detonate nuclear warheads are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that was supposed to be under American control, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says.
The interim Iraqi government reported several days ago that the explosives were missing from the Al Qaqaa complex, south of Baghdad.
The explosives -- considered powerful enough to demolish buildings or detonate nuclear warheads -- were under IAEA control until the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. IAEA workers left the country before the fighting began.
She described Al Qaqaa as "massive" and said it is one of the most well-known storage sites. Besides the 380 tons, there were large caches of artillery there.
The discovery was not made public sooner because standard intelligence practice is not to let enemies know such information, said a senior administration official.
There are hundreds of tons of other weapons and munitions missing around the country, and it is impossible for the United States to track down all of them, the official said.
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 Iraqi letter to 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 .
"The concern is that other sites that have items that are potentially dangerous have gone missing," Fleming added.
The senior administration official downplayed the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but "stuff you can buy anywhere." The official added 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."
April 29, 2003:
Will Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence who has just led a war to remake Iraq, now turn his sights closer to home and remake the US military?
Mr Rumsfeld is now so powerful and his concept of future warfare is so well validated that he will overcome domestic opposition and at last prepare America's armed forces for 21st-century warfare. Proponents of this view pour on the accolades for Mr Rumsfeld: he is the most influential cabinet secretary since Kissinger, the strongest defence secretary since McNamara, the most creative battle strategist since MacArthur, the most refreshingly blunt politician since Churchill. They also suggest that the doctrine of overwhelming force espoused by Colin Powell, secretary of state, will soon be replaced by a new Rumsfeld doctrine emphasising high technology, special operations units and sheer brainpower to defeat future foes.
APRIL 26, 2004:
Too few soldiers and no exit plan have led to upheaval in Iraq
Denial is rampant in Washington. There is denial that intelligence mistakes were made in the months and years before September 11. There is denial that foreign policy mistakes were made in the runup to the war in Iraq. There is denial that the Shiite revolts mark a turning point in the postwar occupation. And most importantly, there is denial that the military strategy going into Iraq, the Rumsfeld Doctrine, is a failure. The best hope left of establishing a stable Iraqi democracy is to replace that doctrine, which emphasizes small, light, and fast military operations, with its rival, the Powell Doctrine, devised by then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell. The Powell Doctrine calls for overwhelming force shaped by very clear political goals and a specific exit strategy, two things lacking today in Iraq. The failure of the Rumsfeld Doctrine in Iraq is all too clear -- too few boots on the ground, too little legitimacy for America and its handpicked Governing Council, too many shifting goals, and no clear exit strategy. The result in recent weeks has been a cycle of kidnappings, ambushes, counterstrikes, death, and destruction that increasingly echoes the disaster in Vietnam.
This old news. One should ask, "why is old news (19 months old) " being recycled now? And it does not state when the explosives went missing. One important fact. One source states that the explosives went missing before the US even showed up, which your story did not report.....did you know that?
Notwithstanding, your "Mission Accomplished" photo is misleading and just plain wrong.
Did you know that the "Mission Accomplished" banner was put up by the members of the USS Abraham Lincoln? After doing a tour of duty in two theaters of war, they were now going home, Mission Accomplished.
Did you know that Bush never stated "Mission Accomplished" in his speech on the Lincoln, which photo you wrongly have used stating he had?
Like Kerry, it seems you have some honesty issues....
Kerry said he met Security Council members. They deny it. He said he saw the Buckner play at Shea Stadium in '86. He wasn't there...
This old news.
Incorrect. It was well-known that the Bush Administration (generally) dropped the ball with respect to the proper handling of explosive dumps all over Iraq. What wasn't known until recently (according to the report) is that the some-380 tons at the Al Qaqaa complex, south of Baghdad was missing. The interim government just announced it.
I know it's embarrassing to you (as it is to the Bush Admin.) but your embarrassment is, as far as I'm concerned, a non-issue when compared to the horrendous potential danger that now looms for, not only the troops on the ground in Iraq, but for whomever possessors of said explosives may choose to target.
Regardless of how you and the rest of the neo-con Bushies might want to spin it, the fact that Rumsfeld's Doctrine of rushing to Baghdad with insufficient troop levels and no subsequent plan to guard hundreds of arms depots or otherwise secure the country is somewhat alarming now, don't you think? His idiotic plan has put Iraq, not to mention the world, in considerable danger.
your "Mission Accomplished" photo is misleading and just plain wrong. Did you know that Bush never stated "Mission Accomplished" in his speech on the Lincoln, which photo you wrongly have used stating he had?
Again... I know it's now more than a bit embarrassing to Bush (and you) that he stood before a "Mission Accomplished" sign, but where did I state that Bush said anything? I simply posted a picture that Rove & Company put up in front of which Bush stood.
Honesty issues? Bush and his people won't admit they screwed up, instead they come up with a completely different scenerio for why we went into Iraq. Just because they say something over and over and over again doesn't make it true.
This is old news, notice how there are no dates listed on the reports? Do you know why no dates are listed? My God, what do you take us for?
Your story really begs the question.....
Why don't you just admit Bush did not state what you claim on the Lincon?
When taken in context and truth, the rubbish really stands out!!
"Why don't you just admit Bush did not state what you claim on the Lincon?" Did you read Teejay's last post or just skim it?
One story gives the issue some context:
""The nuclear agency pulled out of Iraq in 1998, and by the time it returned in 2002, it confirmed that 35 tons of HMX that had been placed under IAEA seal were missing. HMX and RDX are the key components in plastic explosives, which insurgents have widely used in a series of bloody car bombings in Iraq.""
They admit the HMX and RDX could have been moved before the invasion.
Read what? Just another claim?
Fact: The Lincoln Crew put up the banner, not Bush.
Fact: Bush never said "MA" when addressing the Lincoln.
Teejays claim is false.
so the president of the united states and his people have no say so in it? they don't have any veto power when it comes to what happens during the president's appearances?