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Missing munitions... [threads merged]

Old 10-25-04, 05:42 AM
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You load 350 Tons....whatya get...

...more buildings blowing up and cars exploding, I bet.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=540&ncid=716

VIENNA, Austria - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency confirmed Monday.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei will report the materials' disappearance to the U.N. Security Council later Monday, spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told The Associated Press.

"On Oct. 10, the IAEA received a declaration from the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology informing us that approximately 350 tons of high explosive material had gone missing," Fleming said.

The Iraqis told the agency the materials had been stolen and looted because of a lack of security at governmental installations, Fleming said.

"We do not know what happened to the explosives or when they were looted," she told AP.

Nearly 380 tons of powerful explosives that could be used to build large conventional bombs are missing from the former Al Qaqaa military installation, The New York Times reported Monday.

The explosives included HMX and RDX, which can be used to demolish buildings but also produce warheads for missiles and detonate nuclear weaponry, the newspaper said. It said they disappeared after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year.

President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, was informed of the missing explosives in the past month, the report said. It said Iraq's interim government recently warned the United States and U.N. nuclear inspectors that the explosives had vanished.

"Upon receiving the declaration on Oct. 10, we first took measures to authenticate it," Fleming said. "Then on Oct. 15, we informed the multinational forces through the U.S. government with the request for it to take any appropriate action in cooperation with Iraq's interim government."

"Mr. ElBaradei wanted to give them some time to recover the explosives before reporting this loss to the Security Council, but since it's now out, ElBaradei plans to inform the Security Council today" in a letter to the council president, she said.

Before the war, inspectors with the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency had kept tabs on the so-called "dual use" explosives because they could have been used to detonate a nuclear weapon.

IAEA inspectors pulled out of Iraq just before the 2003 invasion and have not yet been able to return despite ElBaradei's repeated urging that the experts be allowed back in to finish their work.

ElBaradei told the U.N. Security Council before the war that Iraq's nuclear program was in disarray and that there was no evidence to suggest it had revived efforts to build atomic weaponry.

Al Qaqaa, a sprawling former military installation about 30 miles south of Baghdad, was placed under U.S. military control but repeatedly has been looted, raising troubling questions about whether the missing explosives have fallen into the hands of insurgents battling coalition forces.

Saddam was known to have used the site to make conventional warheads, and IAEA inspectors dismantled parts of his nuclear program there before the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites). The experts also oversaw the destruction of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons.

The nuclear agency pulled out of Iraq in 1998, and by the time it returned in 2002, it confirmed that 35 tons of HMX that had been placed under IAEA seal were missing. HMX and RDX are the key components in plastic explosives, which insurgents have widely used in a series of bloody car bombings in Iraq.

ElBaradei told the United Nations (news - web sites) in February 2003 that Iraq had declared that "HMX previously under IAEA seal had been transferred for use in the production of industrial explosives, primarily to cement plants as a booster for explosives used in quarrying."

"However, given the nature of the use of high explosives, it may well be that the IAEA will be unable to reach a final conclusion on the end use of this material," ElBaradei warned at the time.

"A large quantity of these explosives were under IAEA seal becase they do have a nuclear application," Fleming said Monday.

The nuclear agency has no concrete evidence to suggest the seals were broken, Fleming said.

----

Interesting. Looks like the coming Iraqi elections are going to start off with one hell of a bang.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:00 PM
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Nearly 380 tons of 'dual-use' explosives said to have vanished

MSNBC Story
VIENNA, Austria - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency confirmed Monday.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei will report the materials’ disappearance to the U.N. Security Council later Monday, spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told the Associated Press, confirming a report published in The New York Times.

“On Oct. 10, the IAEA received a declaration from the Iraqi Ministry of Science and Technology informing us that approximately 350 (metric) tons of high explosive material had gone missing,” Fleming said. The 350 metric tons is equivalent to 380 U.S. tons.

The Iraqis told the nuclear agency the materials had been stolen and looted because of a lack of security at governmental installations, Fleming said.

Whereabouts a mystery
“We do not know what happened to the explosives or when they were looted,” she told AP.

The disappearance of the explosives quickly became an issue in the U.S. presidential race, with Democratic hopeful John Kerry accusing President Bush of committing “one of the greatest blunders” of his administration in failing to secure the materiel.

“George W. Bush who talks tough ... and brags about making America safer, has once again failed to deliver,” Kerry told supporters in Dover, N.H. “After being warned about the danger of major stockpiles of explosives in Iraq, this president failed to guard those stockpiles.”

“This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the greatest blunders of this administration and the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and this country at greater risk.”



The New York Times report said that the nearly 380 tons of missing explosives that could be used to build large conventional bombs disappeared from the former Al Qaqaa military installation.

The explosives included HMX and RDX, which can be used to demolish buildings but also produce warheads for missiles and detonate nuclear weaponry, the newspaper said. It said they disappeared after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last year.

Warning from the Iraqi government
Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed of the missing explosives in the past month, the report said. It said Iraq’s interim government recently warned the United States and U.N. nuclear inspectors that the explosives had vanished.

Fleming, the IAEA spokeswoman, said that the agency learned of the disappearance on Oct. 10.

“We first took measures to authenticate it,” Fleming said. “Then on Oct. 15, we informed the multinational forces through the U.S. government with the request for it to take any appropriate action in cooperation with Iraq’s interim government.”

“Mr. ElBaradei wanted to give them some time to recover the explosives before reporting this loss to the Security Council, but since it’s now out, ElBaradei plans to inform the Security Council today” in a letter to the council president, she said.

Before the war, inspectors with the Vienna-based IAEA had kept tabs on the so-called “dual use” explosives because they could have been used to detonate a nuclear weapon.

IAEA inspectors pulled out of Iraq just before the 2003 invasion and have not yet been able to return despite ElBaradei’s repeated urging that the experts be allowed back in to finish their work.

ElBaradei told the U.N. Security Council before the war that Iraq’s nuclear program was in disarray and that there was no evidence to suggest it had revived efforts to build atomic weaponry.

Plastic explosives' components
Al Qaqaa, a sprawling former military installation about 30 miles south of Baghdad, was placed under U.S. military control but repeatedly has been looted, raising troubling questions about whether the missing explosives have fallen into the hands of insurgents battling coalition forces.

Saddam was known to have used the site to make conventional warheads, and IAEA inspectors dismantled parts of his nuclear program there before the 1991 Gulf War. The experts also oversaw the destruction of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons.

The nuclear agency pulled out of Iraq in 1998, and by the time it returned in 2002, it confirmed that 35 tons of HMX that had been placed under IAEA seal were missing. HMX and RDX are the key components in plastic explosives, which insurgents have widely used in a series of bloody car bombings in Iraq.

ElBaradei told the United Nations in February 2003 that Iraq had declared that “HMX previously under IAEA seal had been transferred for use in the production of industrial explosives, primarily to cement plants as a booster for explosives used in quarrying.”

“However, given the nature of the use of high explosives, it may well be that the IAEA will be unable to reach a final conclusion on the end use of this material,” ElBaradei warned at the time.

“A large quantity of these explosives were under IAEA seal because they do have a nuclear application,” Fleming said Monday.

The nuclear agency has no concrete evidence to suggest the seals were broken, Fleming said, but a diplomat familiar with the agency’s work in Iraq said the seals must have been broken if the explosives were stolen.
Wasn't sure whether to post this in otterland or electionland, but the highlighted section seems to indicate an election possibility for this thread. At least we now know where the terrorists are getting their IED's from. &
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Old 10-25-04, 12:05 PM
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Not good. I'm sure Kerry will announce that if he were president he'd have personally sat on it all.

How the hell does anyone take 380 tons of something and not be seen? Amazing..
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Old 10-25-04, 12:08 PM
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Probably a fraternity prank...
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Old 10-25-04, 12:11 PM
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Another successful move by this President












[note the sarcasm]
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Old 10-25-04, 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
Not good. I'm sure Kerry will announce that if he were president he'd have personally sat on it all.

How the hell does anyone take 380 tons of something and not be seen? Amazing..
Agreed... you can't just stick that down your pants. That takes serious trucks, probably cranes, a lot of manpower and probably a lot of time as well. I wouldn't think it could just be done during the night or anything.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:13 PM
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How the hell does anyone take 380 tons of something and not be seen?
The Army could... Which brings up an interesting point, are we so sure the insurgents have it
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Old 10-25-04, 12:19 PM
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How long was the place left unguarded? I agree that 360 tons is an awful lot to move, especially in a small amount of time, with little advanced notice of the opening.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:25 PM
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Who cares? Did you hear what Elizabeth Edwards said the other day?

Let's talk about the real issues folks.

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=392524
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Old 10-25-04, 12:28 PM
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That much explosive would make a hell of a bang, or series of bangs. Thank you, Bush Administration, for making us "safer."
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Old 10-25-04, 12:30 PM
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Yes because after all we only see to be able to focus on one issue at a time

chess do you really think your level of rhetoric recently has been helping the overall discussion in the fourm?
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Old 10-25-04, 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
Yes because after all we only see to be able to focus on one issue at a time

chess do you really think your level of rhetoric recently has been helping the overall discussion in the fourm?
My post above was meant to be ironic. I think this is a great thread and just the sort of thing that deserves discussion...and it might get a page worth of posts.

I, for one, would love to know why we guarded the oil fields but not the explosives. Without explaination, I can only draw one conclusion.

Rhetoric? I'm not generally one to post talking points although I hear them from both sides ad nauseum. If pointing out that mind numbingly stupid threads are mind numbingly stupid is rhetoric, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.

Sorry.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:37 PM
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Depends. Are these metric tons?

I'm gonna go with "a hundred pounds of feathers weighs the same as a hundred pounds of bricks." Unless you <i>bought the bricks</i> for 100 pounds. Hmmm... Can we get a simpler question?
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Old 10-25-04, 12:40 PM
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I, for one, would love to know why we guarded the oil fields but not the explosives.
So would I, that's one of the things I do fault the admin for.


I'm not generally one to post talking points although I hear them from both sides ad nauseum.
I guess we just see things differently then since your Bush is evil incarnate theme recently (the facist comments in that other thread for example) are just sounding like vitriolic rhetoric at this point to me.

The bottom line is at min your original post should be considered a since it does nothing to futher the discussion about the topic at hand.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
The Army could... Which brings up an interesting point, are we so sure the insurgents have it
I missed the part about the insurgents having it. I just saw that they didn't know where it went (possibly looted), which is the problem. If the Army has it then they should be able to account for a stash that big. If they can't then it begs the question if we can't account for what we have control of why would we expect a SH to be able to (for all those "he couldn't account for his weapons" folks.) Bottom line, if its missing from being looted, lost, misplaced or whatever, somebody screwed the pooch on this one. Bigtime. But hey, maybe if the pentagon sends someone back to the file room one more time, they'll find the documents detailing what happened to the explosives.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:46 PM
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I missed the part about the insurgents having it.
So the comments in here (and the similar thread in the Other forum) about Bush not making us safer or the election going off w/ a bang are made w/ the assumption we still have control over it


Bottom line, if its missing from being looted, lost, misplaced or whatever, somebody screwed the pooch on this one.
I agree, if that is the case. It's a long a shot I know, and chances are (unless it is used in bulk somewhere) we'll never know what happened to it, but all I was offering was another suggestion as to what may have happened to it, esp. in light of who would have the necessary resources to move it.
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Old 10-25-04, 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
So would I, that's one of the things I do fault the admin for.

I guess we just see things differently then since your Bush is evil incarnate theme recently (the facist comments in that other thread for example) are just sounding like vitriolic rhetoric at this point to me.

The bottom line is at min your original post should be considered a since it does nothing to futher the discussion about the topic at hand.
Fair enough. It was a protest that off the cuff comments by potential second ladies get hyperanalyzed to the nth degree while substantive threads like this one are either ignored or twisted to somehow blame Kerry.

Of course the thread did get derailed , but ironically, I think I derailed it. Move along folks nothing to see here.

I'm glad that you find some fault in our postwar "planning".
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Old 10-25-04, 12:59 PM
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I'm glad that you find some fault in our postwar "planning".
Actually I think the bulk of the postwar planning was faulty (as in based on false assumptions and not adapting quick enough to changes on the ground) but we're in it now so we have to make the best of it that we can. Unfortunately since I don't believe Kerry has a very realistic approach (overhyping his ability to get the international community involved and making disparaging comments about our allies that are helping us currently and honestly I can't figure out where he stands on any position outside of "I'm not Bush") that leaves me w/ Bush.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by General Zod
Not good. I'm sure Kerry will announce that if he were president he'd have personally sat on it all.

How the hell does anyone take 380 tons of something and not be seen? Amazing..
I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Kerry might have had some priority other than the oilfields.

It is amazing that someone could take that much, but a good first step in allowing it to be taken would be to not secure it...which we did quite successfully.

See, I'm learning to talk like Rumsfeld! Grasping success from the arms of failure!
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Old 10-25-04, 01:09 PM
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I don't think it's unreasonable to think that Kerry might have had some priority other than the oilfields.
Of course he would... his priority would have been to leave Iraq alone and let sanction die at the behest of Framany and Russia so as not to cause disruptions in international relations. But that's just my POV
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Old 10-25-04, 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by nemein
So the comments in here (and the similar thread in the Other forum) about Bush not making us safer or the election going off w/ a bang are made w/ the assumption we still have control over it
The mere fact that you can't account for the explosives is a blatant contradiction to the "we're safer" nonsense that spews from this administration. One of the central points (if not the central point) of going to war was to control garner control over SH weapons, after all these aren't firecrackers and bottlerockets that we can't account for.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:13 PM
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Yes! Because who wouldn't have oilfields as a high priority. Like it or not, they are a high priority asset. I wouldn't say they are more important than guarding explosives - but the point is that any plan, whether it be from Bush or Kerry, would have guarding oil facilities as a high priority. Thats a fact.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:22 PM
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The mere fact that you can't account for the explosives is a blatant contradiction to the "we're safer" nonsense that spews from this administration.
Unless it is the admin who has it is all I was suggesting. Yes I know it's not likely but it's not completely outside of the realm of possibility either. Whether anyone can account for it or not is not as important as who is actually controlling it. If we can account for it in the sense of the insurgents have it then we aren't safer. If the admin/Army has control of it but we aren't officially accounting for it I feel we are safer (although it obviously begs the question of why aren't they accounting for it ).
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Old 10-25-04, 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by chanster
Yes! Because who wouldn't have oilfields as a high priority. Like it or not, they are a high priority asset. I wouldn't say they are more important than guarding explosives - but the point is that any plan, whether it be from Bush or Kerry, would have guarding oil facilities as a high priority. Thats a fact.
No doubt, since oil was supposed to help pay for some of the rebuilding. However, if you go to war to make this a safer world and you let the little things like 350 metric tons of high explosives disappear, then you are sort of shooting yourself in the foot, dont ya think. After all, if this stuff falls in the wrong hands, you've given those that want to be a pill the means to wreck your progress and infrastucture, including the precious oil that you chose to gaurd in the first place.
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Old 10-25-04, 01:35 PM
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The explosives were there when he US invasion began?

I seriously doubt it.

Not a total non-story, but the way in which this is being played out, it is pretty close to one.
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