The old news (from April of 2003) is constantly being re-spun — to the point where I’m almost hesitant to comment on the stories, because as soon as I do, there’ll be new “news.” Like the latest video depicting 55 gallon drums in a bunker. Where was the bunker? How many drums? Were they full? Exactly what was in them? (Does “thousands of pounds” of explosives mean 377 tons?) Lots of scary questions are posed but not answered, and I don’t know how much of a hurry there is to answer them.
But the more I read and heard ominous language about “missing” material (the “highest explosives made”) — which could be used to make “nuclear triggers” — the more I thought back to April of 2003. Had the soldiers said that this could be used to trigger a nuclear device, the same people who are now stressing the word “nuclear” would have claimed “Bush/Cheney” were misleading the public by using the “N” word in a deceptive manner!
Are the Bush critics trying to have it both ways? Are they trying to invoke the specter of WMDs while simultaneously denying that there were WMDs?
I wasn’t alone in marveling over this logic.
Here’s James S. Robbins.

Wait a minute — so there were WMDs in Iraq? The Kerry campaign, the media, assorted pundits, and others are making much of the disappearance of the 380 tons of explosives from the al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad. According to the IAEA, the U.N. watchdog agency now apparently in the service of the Democratic National Committee, some of the explosives could be used to detonate nuclear weapons. Wow ? nuclear-weapon components were in Iraq? Shouldn’t the headline be, “Saddam Had ‘Em?”
The opposition really needs to get its story straight. The president cannot be taken to task for inventing the Iraqi WMD threat, and simultaneously disparaged for not securing Saddam’s dangerous WMD-related materials.

This story just smells. If they like old news so much, why the under-reporting of the later confirmation of reports that Saddam Hussein had in fact tried to buy the yellowcake uranium in Niger?
What bothers me the most is that this happened during the hottest part of the Iraq war. Kerry is now second guessing of decisions made in the heat of battle in 2003 — when the primary concern was chemical/biological warfare. Does anyone remember the suits and gasmasks they had to wear in the sweltering heat? Now the military has to spend its time investigating, digging through records which are probably highly classified, interviewing people on the scene, deciding what can be released to the public without compromising intel, and for what? Because an American politician is trying to make political hay out of military decision a year and a half later?
I don’t like it, and I hope the voting public will be able to see past this stuff.
(Not that it’s the first time Kerry has second-guessed military decisions. If I’d been one of the soliders in the field back then, I don’t think I’d be too happy about what Kerry is doing right now.)
Of course, if there’s a big (even midsize) explosion in Iraq in the next day or so, we’ll know exactly where the explosives came from, won’t we?