# Another Bush disaster

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Explosives stockpile looted in Iraq, U.N. confirms

VIENNA, Austria - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives were looted from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein's efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency told the Security Council on Monday.

A lack of security'' resulted in the loss of 377 tons of high explosives from the sprawling Al-Qaqaa military installation about 30 miles south of Baghdad, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said.

The IAEA fears that these explosives could have fallen into the wrong hands,'' said spokeswoman Melissa Fleming.[continued]
http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5049693.html
or
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/politics/2865274 [Broken]

Great job! How many lives will this Bush screw-up cost?

Bush: Unfit as Commander and Chief

Last edited by a moderator:

Related General Discussion News on Phys.org
Did you happen to notice at what date the explosives disappeared?

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. Thereafter, the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Iraqis told the nuclear agency the materials were stolen and looted because of a lack of security at governmental installations, Fleming said.

We do not know what happened to the explosives or when they were looted,'' she told AP.

A European diplomat familiar with the disappearance of the explosives said their presence was widely known.

The Associated Press drove past the compound Monday and saw no visible security at the gates of the site, a jumble of low-slung, yellow storage buildings that appeared deserted.

Iraq's interim government warned the United States and U.N. nuclear inspectors earlier this month that the explosives had vanished.

Upon receiving the declaration on Oct. 10, we first took measures to authenticate it,'' Fleming said. Then on Oct. 15, we informed the multinational forces through the U.S. government with the request for it to take any appropriate action in cooperation with Iraq's interim government.

Bush's national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, was informed after Oct. 15, and then she notified Bush, the White House said.
http://www.startribune.com/stories/484/5049693.html

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 network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/26/iraq.explosives/

kat
hmmm, did they know it had disapeared before our soldiers got there and willingly gave misinformation to the public or was this just another case of not researching their story thoroughly beforehand? I can't imagine that the IAEA didn't know that they had been missing since before our arrival.....which would appear (note I'm saying appear) that they were willingly giving misinformation that might affect our election.

russ_watters
Mentor
Well, kat, it wouldn't be newsworthy if it didn't paint the US (Bush, specifically) badly, would it?

edit: or, perhaps, the IAEA was covering its own butt?

Last edited:
kat
Russ, I don't know...they covered the loss or lack of documentation on the HMX in their January report of 2003. Apparently the inability of Saddam to declare what Iraq had done with their stockpiles of HMX was one of the reasons Saddam was declared in breach of UN Resolutions including 1441.

Here's the January report Status of the Agency's Verification Activities in Iraq As of 8 January 2003

The relocation and consumption of some dual use materials has been among the questions raised in connection with Iraq's backlog of semi-annual declarations. The high explosive "HMX" is a prime example of such material. The removal of Agency seals on the HMX and the declared relocation and consumption of some of the HMX must be explained and documented by Iraq before the Agency can reach a conclusion with regard to the use of such material. The Iraqi declarations indicate that out, of the 228 tonnes of HMX available in Iraq at the end of 1998, 196 remained at the facility where the HMX was previously under IAEA seal. Iraq also declared that it had blended the remaining 32 tonnes with sulphur and turned them into 45.6 tonnes of "industrial explosive" provided mainly to cement plants for mining. The material balance, current stock, whereabouts and final use of such material are currently being investigated.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Vienna, Austria - The U.N. nuclear agency said Thursday it warned the United States about the vulnerability of explosives stored at Iraq's Al-Qaqaa military installation after another facility - Iraq's main nuclear complex - was looted in April 2003.

Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Associated Press that U.S. officials were cautioned directly about what was stored at Al-Qaqaa, the main high explosives facility in Iraq.

Some 377 tons of high explosives - HMX and RMX and PETN - are now missing from the facility, and questions have arisen about what the United States knew about Al-Qaqaa and what it did to secure the site.

Iraqi officials say the materials were taken amid looting sometime after the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces on April 9, 2003, though the Pentagon is suggesting the ordnance could have been moved before the United States invaded on March 20, 2003. [continued]
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041028/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_weapons_iaea_5 [Broken]

...During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labelled "explosives." Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get into the bunkers and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.[continued]
http://www.kstp.com/article/stories/S3723.html?cat=1 [with video]

Last edited by a moderator:
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
So far, the explanations from the White House include:

The inventory records from the IAEA are wrong.

The explosives were moved before the war began.

Two trucks are shown parked near a bunker before the invasion, at Al-Qaqaa. It allegedly showed that the critical materials were removed earlier. The only problem is that the bunker shown never had the HMX, RMX, or PETN. In other words, either the White House was lying, or they didn't even bother to check out the locations of the materials before submitting their excuse.

When confronted with the video footage of the explosives on site as claimed by the Iraqi government and the IAEA - and locked with UN security tags - the Pentagon produces an explosives expert who says that he detonated explosives at Al-Qaqaa. When asked if he destroyed the HMX, RMX, or PETN, he said that he didn't know.

Reporters on site argue that after filming the explosives, they and the military left without even locking the facilities.

Last night on PBS [I'm trying to get the quote], either a soldier or a reporter stated that when in Iraq after the invasion, while patrolling by helicopter and using night-vision cameras, they could watch looters hitting these and/or other ammo bunkers.

When Kerry calls Bush on this - on the failure of his war plan - Bush tries to deflect the blame to the soldiers. Not only is Bush a complete failure as Commander and Chief, he is sleazy and a coward. This really takes the cake. How can anyone support this clown.

Staff Emeritus