October 28, 2004
More Blame-Shifting and Excuses Fly as Evidence of Bush Incompetence Mounts
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From the New York Times:
Looters stormed the weapons site at Al Qaqaa in the days after American troops swept through the area in early April 2003 on their way to Baghdad, gutting office buildings, carrying off munitions and even dismantling heavy machinery, three Iraqi witnesses and a regional security chief said Wednesday.
The Iraqis described an orgy of theft so extensive that enterprising residents rented their trucks to looters. But some looting was clearly indiscriminate, with people grabbing anything they could find and later heaving unwanted items off the trucks.
But the accounts make clear that what set off much if not all of the looting was the arrival and swift departure of American troops, who did not secure the site after inducing the Iraqi forces to abandon it.
"The looting started after the collapse of the regime," said Wathiq al-Dulaimi, a regional security chief, who was based nearby in Latifiya. But once it had begun, he said, the booty streamed toward Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Bush & Co. is desperately trying to throw up any and every theory about how the explosives were taken before the invasion--and failing badly. They tried to claim that soldiers who stayed overnight at the facility on April 10 with an NBC News team found the explosives missing, only to have that story contradicted and torn to shreds. The Washington Times is now trying to push the story
that Russian special forces removed the explosives (is this or is this not sounding more and more desperate--Russian special forces? Please), but already that story has been shot down--the source is thoroughly discredited
, and the Russian embassy in Washington is flatly denying
that any Russian forces were in Iraq at all during that time frame.
So what next? Well, there was a group of other soldiers who went through the al Qaqaa complex on April 3, which the administration is now using. They say that those other troops "saw no signs" of the explosives. Case closed, right?
No, of course not. Josh Marshall, as usual, has the goods. It turns out that there was an April 5 news story, "the 3rd Infantry Division entered the vast Qa Qaa chemical and explosives production plant and came across thousands of vials of white powder, packed three to a box." The looted explosives, RDX and HMX, are white powders. An AP story the same day reported that "troops at Iraq's largest military industrial complex found ... a white powder that appeared to be used for explosives. ... A senior U.S. official familiar with initial testing said the powder was believed to be explosives."
In other words, Bush & Co. are claiming that the troops found no evidence of the looted explosives. However, they did find explosives that look exactly like the ones that were looted.
Really, I don't know if Bush & Co. really care at this point--I believe that they are just flinging out story after story, hoping that (a) people will have heard "it's not Bush's fault" so many times that they'll believe it, or at least they won't remember that all claims were thoroughly discredited, and/or (b) that they can keep the ball in the air--that is, produce a line of explanations that will take time to debunk--so that they can continue to say "it's not a fact" until the election goes by.
However, the debunking--especially by bloggers like Marshall--are acting so quickly that each story only survives a very short time, and as the explanations fly, the story gets bigger and bigger.
Bush's Reality Distortion Field is on Maximum Power, folks--set phasers to "disintegrate."
Posted by Luis at October 28, 2004 05:21 PM
Common Dreams is the source for
"thoroughly" discrediting the story? It's not a news organization, it's an organization committed to "using the internet as a political organizing tool - and creating new models for internet activism." (got that from their web site) Why don't you quote Democratic Underground, they're just as reliable and almost as desperate.
How about this morning's story from ABC News that the amount of explosive actually at Al Qaqaa varies wildly. I guess it depends on how politically hot the story gets. The IAEA says there was only three tons there (Jan 2003) before they said there was 380 (Oct 2004). In July 2002 the Iraqis claimed 141 tons.
As the facts around this story continue to change it gets more and more clear that this was nothing more than a hit piece designed to influence the election and is a lie.
I don't know if Kerry & Co. really care at this point--I believe that they are just flinging out story after story, hoping that (a) people will have heard so many bogus stories that they actually begin to believe this tripe and/or (b) that they can keep the ball in the air--that is, produce a line of falsehoods that will take time to debunk--so that they can continue to say "it's a fact" until the election goes by.
Posted by: Anonymous at October 28, 2004 10:05 PM
Common Dreams is the source for "thoroughly" discrediting the story? It's not a news organization, it's an organization committed to "using the internet as a political organizing tool - and creating new models for internet activism." (got that from their web site) Why don't you quote Democratic Underground, they're just as reliable and almost as desperate.Boy, you really don't research at all, do you? Follow the link to Common Dreams. Look at the top of the page. Where it says "Published on Wednesday, July 7, 2004 by the Los Angeles Times." Sheesh. You went to the trouble of researching their "About" page, but you didn't bother to look at the source of the article I directly linked to? How stupid is that? Please, in the future, do the sparsest amount of checking before making yourself look so foolish.How about this morning's story from ABC News that the amount of explosive actually at Al Qaqaa varies wildly. I guess it depends on how politically hot the story gets. The IAEA says there was only three tons there (Jan 2003) before they said there was 380 (Oct 2004). In July 2002 the Iraqis claimed 141 tons.If you are going to quote an article or numbers like that, then cite a specific source with a link, or expect to be completely disbelieved. Just like Ed Gillespie misquoted Kerry all to hell, I have no idea how far out of context you took that information--or even if you made it up out of whole cloth. Don't expect others to do your own homework for you. (Why is it that conservatives never give citations?)
If ABC is reporting such a story, then we'll wait and see how well it holds up. If it holds up, then it does--but so far all the contrarian reports have fallen to pieces.
If you want evidence that a great deal of explosives were there at the time (story also as yet unchecked), then go here.
Posted by: Luis at October 28, 2004 10:56 PM
Whoa you got freeped! A sign of success. Anyway, I was just going to complement you on:
"Bush's Reality Distortion Field is on Maximum Power, folks--set phasers to "disintegrate.""
Nice. I'm going to copy it!
Posted by: Pat at October 28, 2004 11:57 PM
Oh yeah, the commenter above must be wearing his Blindfold for Bush!
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