The Missing Explosives

Josh Marshall has the most thorough coverage of the story about the explosives that were looted in Iraq. Highlights:

Okay, now we seem to have the White House’s third rendition of what happened at al Qaqaa. And we can find it in a nicely digestible form in this new piece from Fox News.

…Down into the piece we find this: “U.S. forces searched several times last year the Iraqi military base from which 380 tons of explosives vanished — including one check a week before Saddam Hussein was driven out of power. But the military saw no signs of a huge quantity of munitions.”

Now that the White House’s defenders have given up on the April 10th NBC visit, they’ve fixed on April 3rd (stretching into the 4th) arrival of units from the 3rd ID, which we first noted late Monday evening.

Now, once again, let’s review a few points.

Remember, this is a huge facility. The fact that this particular stuff wasn’t found during a brief inspection is hardly conclusive about the whereabouts of these explosives, especially since that’s not what they were looking for.

More to the point though, look what they did find… [A]fter a quick search what they found mainly were thousands of vials of white powder that turned out to be an explosive, and quite probably RDX and/or HMX.

And so yet another story conjured up to deflect blame from the Bush administration for the missing explosives bites the dust.

Expect the administration to keep trying to sell a new story for the explosives’ disappearance as each old story gets shot down. And even if it becomes increasingly clear (as seems to be happening) that the disappearance of these IAEA-monitored explosives from one of the most sensitive weapons research sites in Iraq could have and should have been prevented, expect the White House to never, ever admit that.