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October 26, 2004
The Gray Lady, Caught In Amber

Like most paleolithic creatures whose fossilized remains come to the light of day, the New York Times' integrity gets put on display in its own editorial page today as the Gray Lady pontificates about the Theft That Never Was:

James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger reported in The Times yesterday that some 380 tons of the kinds of powerful explosives used to destroy airplanes, demolish buildings, make missile warheads and trigger nuclear weapons have disappeared from one of the many places in Iraq that the United States failed to secure. The United Nations inspectors disdained by the Bush administration had managed to monitor the explosives for years. But they vanished soon after the United States took over the job. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was so bent on proving his theory of lightning warfare that he ignored the generals who said an understaffed and underarmed invasion force could rush to Baghdad, but couldn't hold the rest of the country, much less guard things like the ammunition dump.

Iraqi and American officials cannot explain how some 760,000 pounds of explosives were spirited away from a well-known site just 30 miles from Baghdad. But they were warned. Within weeks of the invasion, international weapons inspectors told Washington that the explosives depot was in danger and that terrorists could help themselves "to the greatest explosives bonanza in history."

And as we know now, and as the Times should have tried to find out before embarassing themselves on their own front pages and editorial section, that story has been proven false. NBC's embedded reporters confirmed that all of the material about which Pinch's partisans wrote had already disappeared before American troops arrived at Al Qaqaa. Unfortunately for the Times, that story broke around 9 pm ET, which was too late for the Times to pull either its editorial or David Sanger's follow-up piece that continued the hysterical and false trope.

But let's step back from the stench of the Times' reporting on this subject for a moment. If this material was so damned dangerous, why doesn't the Times' editors ask why UNSCOM and the IAEA allowed it to remain in Saddam's hands? They lead off with this statement:

President Bush's misbegotten invasion of Iraq appears to have achieved what Saddam Hussein did not: putting dangerous weapons in the hands of terrorists and creating an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

But the UN allowed Saddam to keep these dangerous weapons, which the Times reported breathlessly on Monday could be used as shape charges for nuclear weapons and one pound of which could bring down an airliner. Why leave such material in the hands of a man who had committed genocide, invaded a neighboring state to corner the market on oil, and had established ties to terrorists? The IAEA claimed that Saddam told them he would use it for civilian construction projects, that's why.

If we are to follow the Times' logic, the weapons were not dangerous at all and would have never ended up in the hands of a madman while the IAEA allowed Saddam control of the explosives, but removing Saddam's control suddenly made them doomsday weapons and their availability a dire threat. If that makes sense to you, your name is Joe Lockhart or Pinch Sulzberger.

Al-Qaqaa demonstrates the ineffectiveness and incompetence of UNSCOM's "inspections" regime. They left highly dangerous explosives in the hands of a genocidal dicatator with ties to terrorists, who took his last opportunity to spread the wealth to God know who before we finally ended the 12-year Iraqi quagmire in March 2003. The Times' late and rather self-serving crocodile tears over the failure of UNSCOM to destroy these high-tech explosives in the twelve years they had before the invasion sound as false as their reporting.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 26, 2004 5:37 AM

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» NYT's October Surprise Collapses from The Truth Laid Bear
Yesterday, the New York Times did a fine service for the Kerry campaign by publishing a carefully timed hit piece describing how tons of explosives have gone missing from a site in Iraq. This morning, the story is imploding, with... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2004 6:51 AM

» NYT "Weapons Loose" Scare Story Discredited from DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS:Worldviews Behind The News
Why run the story now?To help Senator Kerry's election chances. The story's been discredited, but that doesn't keep Kerry from continuing to use it. Truth, my friends; this election will be a referendum on the nature of truth. [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2004 7:48 AM

» The Non Story That Still Lives from Secure Liberty
Most of you know about the New York Times story, indicating a disappearance of 380 tons of high explosives in Iraq that our military was supposed to be guarding. CBS ran with a similar story. NBC later ran with a story that completey gutted the NYT a... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2004 8:23 AM

» NY Times Story on Al QaQaa if Full of CaCa from Infidel Cowboy
Via Drudge, we discover that Kerry's stooges in the MSM were breathless with excitement about this New York Times report indicating that 380 tons of weapons disappeared in Iraq: **ABCNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 4 Times **CBSNEWS... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2004 10:27 AM

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