Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The traitor Josh Marshall has linked to this article which proves the invasion of Iraq was justified, claiming that the 3rd Infantry Division arrived at al Qa Qaa before the 101st Airborne. While this is true, the New York Times article is still fraudulent as pointed out by NR Kerry Spot. (Hat tip: Belmont Club)
I was serving as a [identifying information removed by the Kerry Spot] staff member during the time in question. The Commander on the site had complete real time intelligence on what to expect and possibly find at the Al-QaQaa depot. The ordinance in question was not found when teams were sent in to inspect and secure the area. When this information was relayed, Operational plans were adjusted and the unit moved forward. Had the ordinance in question been discovered, a security team would have been left in place.UPDATE: Department of Defense Inquiry Launched.
The Iraqi government reported an estimated 350 tons of missing explosives Oct. 10 to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a U.N. monitoring group that last inventoried the facility in January 2003.UPDATE: Josh Marshall confirms that the RDX might not have even been there.
During that visit, the U.N. inspectors counted the munitions and equipment and tagged them with IAEA seals that indicate they are "dual use," or have conventional-weapons applications. These munitions were generally permitted to remain in Iraq. In contrast, "single use" munitions with nuclear applications were destroyed or rendered harmless.
The IAEA returned to the site two months later, in March 2003, and confirmed the equipment it had tagged was still there.
However, coalition forces found no evidence of the weapons in question when they first arrived at the sprawling Al-Quaqaa facility, 30 miles south of Baghdad, about April 10, 2003, according to a defense official.
The troops searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings, finding some weapons and explosive material, but nothing close to the quantity reported missing by the Iraqi government, and none with IAEA seals, he said.
Three months earlier, during an inspection of the Al Qaqaa compound, the International Atomic Energy Agency secured and sealed 350 metric tons of HMX and RDX. Then in March, shortly before the war began, the I.A.E.A. conducted another inspection and found that the HMX stockpile was still intact and still under seal. But inspectors were unable to inspect the RDX stockpile and could not verify that the RDX was still at the compound.