T Nation

Further Evidence of Incompetence?

this is too big for the “latest blunder” thread…how come BB, ZEB, rainjack, bilt, mage, JeffR, et al hasn’t posted anything about this yet?

Let me guess: no big deal? things are great in Iraq? Bush can’t be blamed for everything? which “reason” will you drag out today?

I know you’ve all heard about it…here’s a bit of the Times’ coverage:

[quote]
Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq
By JAMES GLANZ, WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER

his article was reported and written by James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger.

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 24 - The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq’s most sensitive former military installations.

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. 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.

The White House said President Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed. American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program “60 Minutes.”

Administration officials said Sunday that the Iraq Survey Group, the C.I.A. task force that searched for unconventional weapons, has been ordered to investigate the disappearance of the explosives.

American weapons experts say their immediate concern is that the explosives could be used in major bombing attacks against American or Iraqi forces: the explosives, mainly HMX and RDX, could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings.

The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people.

The explosives could also be used to trigger a nuclear weapon, which was why international nuclear inspectors had kept a watch on the material, and even sealed and locked some of it. The other components of an atom bomb - the design and the radioactive fuel - are more difficult to obtain.

“This is a high explosives risk, but not necessarily a proliferation risk,” one senior Bush administration official said.[/quote]…

RSU has it occured to you that not all of us voting for Bush think he is great, but I’d feel safer having you or Vroom run the country then Kerry.

Ouch. 380 tons?

That is basically an unlimited supply of car bombs, suicide jackets, road mines or whatever else they want to build. I’m not even going to voice speculations on uses that we haven’t seen yet, though I am afraid I have an idea or two.

All politics aside, that sucks. At least when the enemy fights with bullets it is easy to identify them and kill them off.

Been following this.

Obviously this wouldn’t be what you would want to happen. It highlights the legitimacy of the complaint that there were too few troops on the ground for an effective occupation after the deposition of Saddam.

However, that said, it’s not surprising that things didn’t go perfectly in the immediate aftermath of the toppling of Saddam’s government, especially given the speed with which that was effected. I have not seen anything that reflects the time of the probable theft of these materials – the closer to the present, the more troubling it would be.

But, this should also be taken in perspective – I don’t believe that these particular chemical components of explosives were highly controlled generally – in other words, it’s not like they couldn’t be bought in large quantities by your average mining company.

Also, don’t forget this part of the story, which was buried a little bit deeper in the article you excerpted:

" But apparently, little was done. A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces “went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal.” It is unclear whether troops ever returned.

By late 2003, diplomats said, arms agency experts had obtained commercial satellite photos of Al Qaqaa showing that two of roughly 10 bunkers that contained HMX appeared to have been leveled by titanic blasts, apparently during the war. They presumed some of the HMX had exploded, but that is unclear.

Other HMX bunkers were untouched. Some were damaged but not devastated. I.A.E.A. experts say they assume that just before the invasion the Iraqis followed their standard practice of moving crucial explosives out of buildings, so they would not be tempting targets. If so, the experts say, the Iraqi must have broken seals from the arms agency on bunker doors and moved most of the HMX to nearby fields, where it would have been lightly camouflaged - and ripe for looting."

In other words, they aren’t aware of when the substances were stolen, whether they were stolen by anyone who would recognize/understand what he had stolen, or even how much of what was previously there (some unknown amount had been destroyed by U.S. bombs during the invasion).

But, to think in the alternative for a moment, here are a few thoughts from Andrew McCarthy, former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the 1996 WTC bombings, on the subject:

RE: DISAPPEARANCE & BLAME [Andy McCarthy]
Just thinking out loud, but: If what the Times says is right, isn?t that implicitly an indictment of UNSCOM and further proof that the President was right to remove the monstrous Saddam regime?

The Times reports that the missing materiel includes ?380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons.? It also asserts that ?United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years.? The undertone is obvious: the inspections were working–as the Kerry campaign claims (at least sometimes), and Bush, in addition to losing weapons, was bull-headed to invade in the first place.

But not so fast. Let?s take a look at Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991), which imposed the terms that ended the Gulf War. (All italics are mine.) As I read it, Iraq was required, among other things, to ?unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of . . . [a]ll ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities[.]? One might think that what the Times describes as ?powerful conventional explosives–used to ? make missile warheads? were a fairly ?related major part? of ballistic missiles.

In addition, with respect specifically to nukes, Iraq was required ?not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material or any subsystems or components[,]? and, to the extent it had such items, present them for ?urgent on-site inspection and the destruction, removal or rendering harmless as appropriate of all items specified above.? Again, a detonator would seem to be a fairly important component of a nuclear bomb.

The Times?s suggestion here is obvious: it invokes the image of missing powerful explosive components for missile warheads and detonation of nukes to portray Bush as incompetent, as if he were supposed to have stood guard over them himself. But, if the weaponry is as frightening as the Times suggests and Saddam actually had it–that is, if it had not been destroyed, removed or rendered inert in the decade or so during which the inspectors were ?monitoring? it–how effective were the inspections?

Deep into its story, the Times lamely reports that ?None of the explosives were destroyed, arms experts familiar with the decision recalled, because Iraq argued that it should be allowed to keep them for eventual use in mining and civilian construction.? Great monitoring, huh? Is that what they would take us back to: a process that would have left this kind of weaponry in the control of someone like Saddam (despite the apparently not very effective ?monitoring?of inspectors) had we not acted?

That may be part of the explanation why Joe Lockhart, in the letter K-Lo posted earlier this afternoon, contented himself with mentioning ?deadly explosives? and wisely avoided the Times-like hyperbole of missile warheads and nukes. Naturally, in dwelling on the one-pound of explosive used in the Pan Am 103 bombing during the Reagan administration, Lockhart also deftly resisted reminding voters of, for example, the 1400 pound explosive detonated in New York City at the World Trade Center in 1993, as well as any toting up of poundage in the bombs detonated at Khobar Towers, the U.S. embassy in Kenya, the U.S. embassy in Tanzania, and the harbor of Aden at the hull of the U.S.S. Cole–all during the Clinton years.

It is never a good thing to lose track of munitions–although, as Mark Levin notes, these are the kinds of things that happen in a war. Still, the Times plainly wants to have it both ways, and it shouldn?t be able to. So which is it: was Saddam a threat who needed to be removed, or is the Times?s story this morning an overblown account of the seriousness of the lost weaponry, which editors transparently placed on page one to help the Kerry campaign?

[quote]Berner wrote:
RSU has it occured to you that not all of us voting for Bush think he is great, but I’d feel safer having you or Vroom run the country then Kerry.[/quote]

Jon Stewart made a funny comment about why he wasn’t voting for Bush. He said he likened it to giving someone the keys to your car who just drove it into a ditch.

How can you possibly think that you will be safer under Bush after reading an article like that? Good lord. We apparently knew about this and just left it unguarded. Can you even imagine how many American Soldiers are going to die from those explosives? How much incompetence from this president is it going to take to convince you that he is not even worthy of detailing your car, let alone running a country?

Wait! No, I know… I just figured it out. Somehow it’s Clintons fault! Isn’t that the typical fallback excuse for all of Bush’s failures?

From the msnbc story – for some reason, the NYT didn’t feel like including this detail:

"ElBaradei told the United Nations in February 2003 that Iraq had declared that ?HMX previously under IAEA seal had been transferred for use in the production of industrial explosives, primarily to cement plants as a booster for explosives used in quarrying.?

?However, given the nature of the use of high explosives, it may well be that the IAEA will be unable to reach a final conclusion on the end use of this material,? ElBaradei warned at the time."

Also, NBC reported that its embedded reporter, who went into the Al Qaqaa site with the army, said he didn’t see any evidence that the explosives were there when they got there.

BTW, does anyone else find it interesting that this story was first reported back in June, and yet it made its way to the front page of the NYT with a “scare” headline, and without the details above?

silly liberals…looks like you and the liberal media screwed the pooch on this one. I, and everyone else you called out on this, expect you to admit your mistake and apologize.
thanks,
me

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

“The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone,” a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.

Dem vp hopeful John Edwards blasted Bush for not securing the explosives: “It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president.”

A senior Bush official e-mailed DRUDGE late Monday: “Let me get this straight, are Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards now saying we did not go into Iraq soon enough? We should have invaded and liberated Iraq sooner?”

Top Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart fired back Monday night: “In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame. Instead of distorting John Kerry?s words, the Bush campaign is now falsely and deliberately twisting the reports of journalists. It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous.”

Why is the U.N. nuclear agency suddenly warning now that insurgents in Iraq may have obtained nearly 400 tons of missing explosives – in early 2003?

NBCNEWS Jim Miklaszewski quoted one official: “Recent disagreements between the administration and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency makes this announcement appear highly political.”

In an election week rush:

**ABCNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 4 Times
**CBSNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 7 Times
**MSNBC Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 37 Times
**CNN Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 50 Times

Wait…this can’t possibly be another example of the liberal media (Dan Rathernotreportthetruth)attempting to get Kerry elected would it? And RSU fell for it…oh my.

For what it’s worth, this was posted by lawyer and author Clifford May on the National Review Online website:

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/04_10_24_corner-archive.asp#043548

BOMB-GATE [Cliff May]
Sent to me by a source in the government: ?The Iraqi explosives story is a fraud. These weapons were not there when US troops went to this site in 2003. The IAEA and its head, the anti-American Mohammed El Baradei, leaked a false letter on this issue to the media to embarrass the Bush administration. The US is trying to deny El Baradei a second term and we have been on his case for missing the Libyan nuclear weapons program and for weakness on the Iranian nuclear weapons program.?

(For the record, I don?t reveal my sources so if that means I end up sharing a cell at Sing-sing with Judy Miller, so be it.)
Posted at 10:00 AM

More details on what NBC reported that biltrite and I referenced above:

http://www.nationalreview.com/kerry/kerry200410252109.asp

NBC BLOWS A HOLE IN THE KERRY ATTACK ABOUT THE EXPLOSIVES

Jim Miklaszewski of NBC News pretty much dismantled the New York Times attack on behalf of Kerry today:

NBC News: Miklaszewski: ?April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army’s 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.? (NBC?s ?Nightly News,? 10/25/04)

If Jill Abramson, managing editor of the New York Times, had a shred of concern over her paper’s reputation for getting the facts right never mind objectivity or fairness, she would be running the correction - or at least this blatantly contradictory information - in the giant headline font and above-the-fold location that today’s story got. But I guess the interest in echoing the sentiments of Maureen Dowd is more important than getting it right at the Old Gray Lady.

[Posted 10/25 09:09 PM]

Some more thoughts from the Belmont Club blog on the real failure here:

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/10/that-missing-rdx-nbc-reporters.html

[Begin excerpt]
The withdrawal of enemy resources into safe havens was the subject of Belmont Club’s War Plan Orange.
http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004/10/war-plan-orange-in-retrospect-saddams.html
In this context, the loss of 380 tons of RDX is similar to worrying about a toothache after being diagnosed with AIDS and Ebola. Some 600,000 tons of explosive are said to have been dispersed throughout Iraq prior to the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The loss of the RDX is serious, but in the overall scheme of things, one of the least worries. But it provides indirect confirmation of the preemptive dispersal of war materiel by the Saddam regime while the US was trying to negotiate UN permission to topple him for six months, compounded by Turkey’s refusal to allow the 4ID to attack south into the Sunni Triangle.

The account above shows that the RDX explosive was already gone by the time US forces arrived. Although one may retrospectively find some fault with OIF order of battle, most of the damage had already been inflicted by the dilatory tactics of America’s allies which allowed Saddam the time and space – nearly half a year and undisturbed access to Syria – necessary to prepare his resistance, transfer money abroad and disperse explosives (as confirmed first hand by reporters). Although it is both desirable and necessary to criticize the mistakes attendant to OIF, much of the really “criminal” neglect may be laid on the diplomatic failure which gave the wily enemy this invaluable opportunity. The price of passing the “Global Test” was very high; and having been gypped once, there are some who are still eager to be taken to the cleaners again.[end excerpt]

The more I read, the more it seems a lot of failures in Iraq were the direct result of playing to so-called “world opinion” rather than going in with truly appropriate force and engaging in real war, rather than just going after certain objectives while minimizing casualties. It’s most especially the critiques of military people that lead me to those conclusions.

Zeb: Give some credit where it’s due – once a story is out there, CNN sometimes does a better job reporting it – and definitely doesn’t ignore it, as does the New York Times:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/26/iraq.explosives/index.html

Report: Explosives could not be found when U.S. troops arrived
NBC News says its crew was embedded with soldiers at time

Tuesday, October 26, 2004 Posted: 11:16 AM EDT (1516 GMT)

(CNN) – The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a television news crew embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material could not be found when American troops arrived.

NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.

While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.

The International Atomic Energy Agency revealed Monday that it had been told two weeks ago by the Iraqi government that 380 tons of HMX and RDX disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Saddam Hussein’s government fell.

In a letter to the IAEA dated October 10, Iraq’s director of planning, Mohammed Abbas, said the material disappeared sometime after Saddam’s regime fell in April 2003, which he attributed to “the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security.”

Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003. According to NBC, troops from the 101st Airborne arrived the next day and could not the material.

At the Pentagon, officials said that the site had been repeatedly searched but the high explosives the IAEA described were never found.

The Pentagon said the Al Qaqaa facility was a “level 2” priority on a list of 500 sites to be searched and secured. U.S. officials say it was visited dozens of times by U.S. troops in the months following the invasion, and – after searching 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings – they never came upon the stockpile.

Prior to the Iraq war, the high-grade explosives at Al Qaqaa had been under the control of IAEA inspectors because the material could be used as a component in a nuclear weapon, IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. IAEA and other U.N. inspectors left the country in March 2003 before the fighting began on March 19.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that five days after the IAEA received the letter from the Iraqi government, the agency alerted U.S. officials in Vienna, who in turn told national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. She then alerted Bush, McClellan said.

Once U.S. officials were alerted, the multinational force in Iraq and the Iraq Survey Group, charged with hunting for weapons in Iraq, were both ordered to investigate what was missing and the possible circumstances, according to State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.

“We, from the very beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, did everything we could to secure arms caches throughout the country,” Ereli said. “But given the number of arms and the number of caches and the extent of militarization of Iraq, it was impossible to provide 100 percent security for 100 percent of the sites, quite frankly.”

The news of the missing explosives followed an IAEA report earlier this month that said high-end, dual-use machinery that could be used in a nuclear weapons program was missing from Iraq’s nuclear facilities. (Full story)

“Our immediate concern is that if the explosives did fall into the wrong hands, they could be used to commit terrorist acts and some of the bombings that we’ve seen,” the IAEA’s Fleming said.

She described Al Qaqaa as “massive” and said it is one of the most well-known storage sites. Besides the explosives, it also held large caches of artillery.

Fleming said the IAEA, which is based in Vienna, Austria, did not know whether some of the explosives may have been used in past attacks.

The IAEA said that before the war it inspected the Al Qaqaa facility multiple times and verified that the material was present in January 2003. The agency said the material was mentioned in reports to the U.N. Security Council that were made public.

Ereli said coalition forces searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings at the Al Qaqaa facility after the war for weapons of mass destruction. The troops found none, but did see indications of looting, he said. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq on May 1, 2003.

“Some explosive material at the time was discovered, although none of it carried IAEA seals, and this discovery was reported to coalition forces for removal of the material,” Ereli said.

Ereli said coalition forces have cleared 10,033 weapons caches and destroyed 243,000 tons of munitions. Another 162,898 tons of munitions are at secure locations and awaiting destruction, he said.

A senior administration official played down the importance of the missing explosives, describing them as dangerous material but “stuff you can buy anywhere.”

The official noted 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.”

The official said the Iraq Survey Group concluded that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and documented the scope of the problem.
Threat from terrorists

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 immediate danger” of the lost stockpiles is its potential use by insurgents to make small, but powerful, bombs, an expert told the Times. The expert said the explosives could be transported easily across the Middle East.

According to the Times, the stockpiles missing from Al Qaqaa are the strongest and fastest in common use by militaries around the globe.

The Iraqi letter to the 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.

“This is a real massive quantity of explosives that could have reached the hands of insurgents and could be used with deadly force and consequences against people in Iraq,” Fleming said.

“One would have to assume it’s been stolen by someone who has some sort of nefarious purpose for it.”
Political fallout

With the U.S. presidential election eight days away, news of the missing explosives quickly became campaign fodder.

Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry immediately seized on the information to accuse President Bush of incompetence in failing to secure the material, charging that “this is one of the great blunders of Iraq and one of the great blunders of this administration.”

But in the wake of the NBC report, the Bush campaign fired off a statement saying that Kerry’s criticism of the president over the missing material has “been proven false before the day is over.”

“John Kerry’s attacks today were baseless,” Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. “He said American troops did not secure the explosives, when the explosives were already missing.”

Schmidt also said that Kerry “neglects to mention the 400,000 tons of weapons and explosives that are either destroyed or in the process of being destroyed” in Iraq.

But Kerry senior adviser Joe Lockhart fired back with a statement of his own, accusing the Bush campaign of “distorting” the NBC News report.

“In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame,” Lockhart said. “It is the latest pathetic excuse from an administration that never admits a mistake, no matter how disastrous.”

Lockhart did not elaborate on how the Bush campaign was distorting the NBC report.

CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux and Elise Labott contributed to this report

Bastards!

60 MINS PLANNED BUSH MISSING EXPLOSIVES STORY FOR ELECTION EVE

http://www.drudgereport.com/nbcw6.htm

Those little bastards! Looks like their plot for an October Surprise might kick them in teeth. The funny thing is, Kerry is still out there (TODAY) calling this Bush’s blunder.

Kerry is an idiot!

Bad media! Bad!

I’ll be waiting for further analysis and reporting, but it looks like the media was duped again.

At this point I’m willing to let the media alone take the blame, since I don’t expect you can realistically blame the Kerry camp directly. However, new information could come out.

There is a deeper lesson to be learned from this than bashing Bush or bashing Kerry. It’s how much faith we tend to place in the media – whether the stories are right or left motivated.

The media is powerful and is often used to spread propaganda. The administration spreads its propaganda and the opposition spreads its own. The media doesn’t even have to be a willing participant… don’t lose sight of this!

That’s why it is so important to not just buy either party line as expressed by the spundits.

Vroom, you got nominated! Are you going to take up the fight? : )

[quote]vroom wrote:
Bad media! Bad!

I’ll be waiting for further analysis and reporting, but it looks like the media was duped again.

At this point I’m willing to let the media alone take the blame, since I don’t expect you can realistically blame the Kerry camp directly. However, new information could come out.

There is a deeper lesson to be learned from this than bashing Bush or bashing Kerry. It’s how much faith we tend to place in the media – whether the stories are right or left motivated.

The media is powerful and is often used to spread propaganda. The administration spreads its propaganda and the opposition spreads its own. The media doesn’t even have to be a willing participant… don’t lose sight of this!

That’s why it is so important to not just buy either party line as expressed by the spundits.[/quote]

vroom ~ I think this is the first time, that I can remember, that I completely agree with you.

I also should say that we should stop calling it “Media Bias” and start calling it “Media Bigotry”.

[quote]jackzepplin wrote:
vroom wrote:
Bad media! Bad!

I’ll be waiting for further analysis and reporting, but it looks like the media was duped again.

At this point I’m willing to let the media alone take the blame, since I don’t expect you can realistically blame the Kerry camp directly. However, new information could come out.

There is a deeper lesson to be learned from this than bashing Bush or bashing Kerry. It’s how much faith we tend to place in the media – whether the stories are right or left motivated.

The media is powerful and is often used to spread propaganda. The administration spreads its propaganda and the opposition spreads its own. The media doesn’t even have to be a willing participant… don’t lose sight of this!

That’s why it is so important to not just buy either party line as expressed by the spundits.

vroom ~ I think this is the first time, that I can remember, that I completely agree with you.

I also should say that we should stop calling it “Media Bias” and start calling it “Media Bigotry”.[/quote]

I might add, the thing that is just twistin’ my boxers in a bunch, Kerry is still pushing this and planning to launch an add blaming the Bush Administration. Is he just that stupid?

http://www.drudgereport.com/dnce.htm

Wow, I agree with vroom too.

Anyway, here’s another interesting development – apparently it’s not just the political parties who try to manipulate the media – people heading U.N. agencies do so too (but we knew that already, right?):

http://www.nationalreview.com/kerry/kerry200410261504.asp

WHAT ODD TIMING BY MR. ELBARADEI!

Well, isn?t this interesting?

Agence France Presse, Sep 27, 2004:

http://www.spacewar.com/2004/040927105109.rrmuiluz.html
[Note: This link is to a reprint of the story]

[Begin excerpt] A new board of governors of the UN nuclear watchdog met in Vienna Monday to draw up procedures for electing a new director general, with current chief Mohamed ElBaradei seeking a third term despite US opposition.


ElBaradei put his hat into the ring for a third term as director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier this month despite opposition from the United States and possibly other top UN funding states.

His current four-year term expires on November 30 next year, and US officials have said the United States, the largest contributor to the United Nations, supports the position of the Geneva group of top 10 contributors that heads of international organizations should not serve more than two terms.

"This policy has nothing to do with the director general's qualifications. The United States thinks that he's done a very good job leading the agency at a very difficult time, but it's simply a matter of principle and good governance," a Western official familiar with the US position said...

Applications for candidacies will close by December 31 and the board will seek to have the new director general named by a meeting in June 2005, in order to be formally elected at the next IAEA general conference in September

The director's general's new term would begin on December 1, 2005.  [End excerpt] 

(ElBaradei has had this job since 1997 ? hey, wasn?t that a year before India and Pakistan announced they had the bomb? And since then we?ve seen North Korea dishonor its treaties and get nukes, the A.Q. Khan network try to sell nuclear material to any and all buyers, and Iran is on the nuclear doorstep. This is a ?very good job?? How bad do you have to be to get fired around here? What is this, ?Mary Mapes rules??)

Anyway, so in late September, the United States makes clear it doesn?t want a third term for ElBaradei. We read in the New York Times story that started all this:

[Begin NYT excerpt] ?In May, an internal I.A.E.A. memorandum warned that terrorists might be helping "themselves to the greatest explosives bonanza in history?

Early this month, Dr. ElBaradei put public pressure on the interim Iraqi government to start the process of accounting for nuclear-related materials still ostensibly under I.A.E.A. supervision, including the Qaqaa stockpile.

"Iraq is obliged," he wrote to the president of the Security Council on Oct. 1, "to declare semiannually changes that have occurred or are foreseen."

The agency, Dr. ElBaradei added pointedly, "has received no such notifications or declarations from any state since the agency's inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq in March 2003." [End NYT excerpt]

Gee! In late September the U.S. says no third term for ElBaradei, and Oct. 1 he writes to Iraq demanding answers about this old weapons depot!

Then, in a memo that appears to be dated Oct. 10, the Iraqis respond that the explosives are missing? and it just happens to show up on the front page of the New York Times eight days before Election Day. An article that quotes a European diplomat as saying ?Dr. ElBaradei is “extremely concerned” about the potentially “devastating consequences” of the vanished stockpile.?

I?ll bet he is! He?s so concerned, he felt a need to make this issue that he?s been quiet about since spring 2003 and press the Iraqi government for an immediate answer that he knows will make the Bush administration look bad!

One has to wonder - has John Kerry or a member of his staff indicated they would keep ElBaradei around for another term? We know ElBaradei wants a change in U.S. policy on his third term.

ElBaradei is doing everything he can to help Kerry. What?s in it for ElBaradei?

[Posted 10/26 03:04 PM]

RSU- What should the appropriate forum for this topic really be? Rathergate Redux?

Talk about incompetence- is Lockhart going to keep selling this BS to anyone that will listen?

The harder they try to sling it, the more they lose their balance and fall in it. When are they going to learn? And to be called out by another pillar of the MSM…

What say you now, RSU?