Monday, October 25, 2004

380 Tons of Trouble

According to the New York Times, 380 tons of high explosives were looted from a storage facility in Iraq right after the U.S. invasion.

American weapons experts say their immediate concern is that the explosives could be used in major bombing attacks against American or Iraqi forces: the explosives, mainly HMX and RDX, could produce bombs strong enough to shatter airplanes or tear apart buildings.

The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people.

Well, now we know where the insurgents are getting their material for those ubiquitous roadside bombs. And here’s the kicker:

The White House said President Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed. American officials have never publicly announced the disappearance, but beginning last week they answered questions about it posed by The New York Times and the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” [Emphasis added.]

This is the administration’s idea of “strong, secure, and resolute leadership?”

Is this news too late to qualify as an “October surprise?”