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Bombs and the Calendar

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The NYT perpetrated yellow journalism this morning and it made the rounds about as much as one would expect, even appearing in the comments on this blog. It’s nonsense, of course, and obviously timed for partisan advantage.

What is surprising is that the debunking came swiftly, and from NBC:

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)

Not that this stopped Kerry from grasping at yet another straw. I can hardly wait to see what Friday brings, but it is worth noting that NBC may have actually learned from the CBS debacle. Not that a single data point indicates a trend, but let’s hope it is not an outlier.

A glass raised to Res Publica 2004

Update The Belmont Club has some perspective:

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.


Written by martinipundit

October 26, 2004 at 10:39 am

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