blogenlust
10.24.2004

Who will they blame for this?


Just when I thought I could not be more outraged about our handling of post-war Iraq, I read something that brings me to previously unknown levels of o-rage. For instance, the New York Times is leading with a story regarding how a huge cache of explosives vanished from a site in Iraq in the immediate aftermath of the war.
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, produce missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations. [...] 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 be used to 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 material of the type stolen from Al Qaqaa, and somewhat 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. But 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.
I look forward to seeing who is at fault for this and to what position they'll be promoted. Josh Marshall has a lot more in the way of context.