kvining - 10/27/2004 8:58 PM
Botnst - 10/27/2004 7:39 PM
News report I just heard said that elements of the 3rd Infantry Division went through the area before the 101st--the outfit quoted in the NY Times article. 3rd ID got in a 2-day firfight with Iraqi forces. After the defeat of the Iraqi forces the 3rd searched the compound (woundn't want to leave any bad guys or bad materiale in the rear, would we?). They did not report any tagged IAEA materiale nor any explosive caches.
To go back to an earlier post of mine, I believe the volume of explosives would have been huge, requiring a large convoy of trucks, several dozen large trucks, in order to move the explosives. During the time in which some folks believe they went missing, the US Armed Forces were targeting large movements of vehicles. I wonder if a couple of dozen trucks would have escaped their notice.
So, we are left with several layers of incompetence, all military.
The 3rd ID soldiers were too stupid or unobservant to see 300 tons of explosives while they searched for dangerous things after a protracted battle.
The 101st Airborne was too unobservant to notice IAEA tagged bunkers.
The USAF, Army, and Marine air forces missed the movement of a convoy of heavy trucks.
The Special Forces of the coalition, busy killing the shit out of concentrations of irregular Iraqi forces didn't notice a convoy.
And, all because the present administration may or may not have called attention to that facility, one of thousands of similar facilities across that the country housing about a half-million tons of munitions.
Now lets see, 300/500,000 = 3/5,000 or less that 1% error rate, assuming it was an error.
Here's another possibility.
Maybe Saddam move that $hit between when the inspectors were last there and when the 3rd ID arrived.
Which explanation seems simpler? assuming that our military is thrice incompetent or that Saddam continued with his shifting of assets as he had done for the rpevious 12 years?
But this was not just some ammo dump we are talking about here, which is why this is not just some military screw up. I just heard on CNN that this place was the size of Manhattan. It was the subject of spy satellite observations. It was monitored, reported on and inspected by the UN for a decade, because those type of explosives are key components of nuclear weapons. The UN specifically relayed concerns about the site directly to the adminisration prior to the invasion, and constantly complained about the lack of guarding the facility since the invasion. The UN even went so far as to demand UN inspectors be allowed back in to secure the facility, a demand that came to an end when the Iraqi Defense Ministry, not the US Army, notified them the stuff was gone.
And how did the adminstration treat this? The troops that passed through never had orders to secure the place. The occupation forces ignored looting at this facility just like it did everything else that was being looted in Iraq, while it put its resources behind securing oil facilities. This brings up a very,very, obvious question. If this war was about protecting this country, why was securing oil facilities a higher priority than securing a facility as I just described, a place the UN considered one of the most dangerous weapon sites on the planet?
You overstate everything, Kirk.
Would you suggest that the Whitehouse should pick targets for the military on the ground? Can you remember the name of the president and the name of the war in which that was most recently tried?
The American members of the UN Inspection team requested of Al Baradei that the explosives be destroyed, he refused saying (at the time) that they were not nukular components of sufficient importance to warrant destruction.
There was a gap of several weeks between when the last UN inspectors visited the site and when the war started. During that time there is uncorroborated (I hate this) anonymous reports that imagery indicated significant truck traffic in that site. As the WMD search has made abundantly obvious to everybody, satellite imagery is anything but perfectly reliable, so I don't put much faith in that report, even if honestly portrayed.
When the 3rd ID moved in they saw neither UN locks nor explosives caches, and they looked. Nor did the imbedded reporters.
When the 101st moved in they saw nothing, either, though their mission did not include searching for weaponry--they were headed for battle. Nor did the imbedded reporters see anything.
I'm NOT saying that the explosives were not stolen. I'm just saying there's ample opportunity for reasonable doubt as to what happened.
I think its at least highly imprudent to jump to conclusions when all the facts are still emerging. We do want to be fair and balanced, don't we?