Al Qaqaa Facility: Making the World More Dangerous in Iraq

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PeachMonkey

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http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/25/international/middleeast/25bomb.html

The Al Qaqaa facililty, which was monitored by the UN for years, and which the IAEA specifically warned the United States about securing, has been picked over by looters since the US invasion.

380 tons -- 760,000 pounds -- of high explosive are missing. One pound of explosive of this type was used in the Lockerbie bombing.

We invaded Iraq over WMD, but we incompetely allowed high explosive materials to leak into the hands of, most likely, terrorists and insurgents.

So, the next time you're asking yourself if the invasion of Iraq made the world safer, you might ask:

-- How many bombings have already used materials that we should have safeguarded?
-- How many terrorist killings in the future could have been prevented if the United States had taken the UN's advice and properly safeguarded that facility?
 
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rmcrobertson

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Same old story. We, and the old Soviets, and the old South Africans, and the Cubans, and the Chinese, and the Taiwanese, and the Czechs, and the Argentinians, and Israel, and on and on, have been throwing military hardware and military expertise at the world like drunken Mummers hurling beads at Mardi Gras for forty years now, and then going astonished when the beads come hurtling back at us.

Oh well. I love capitalism.
 

TwistofFat

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PeachMonkey said:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/25/international/middleeast/25bomb.html

The Al Qaqaa facililty, which was monitored by the UN for years, and which the IAEA specifically warned the United States about securing, has been picked over by looters since the US invasion.

380 tons -- 760,000 pounds -- of high explosive are missing. One pound of explosive of this type was used in the Lockerbie bombing.

We invaded Iraq over WMD, but we incompetely allowed high explosive materials to leak into the hands of, most likely, terrorists and insurgents.

So, the next time you're asking yourself if the invasion of Iraq made the world safer, you might ask:

-- How many bombings have already used materials that we should have safeguarded?
-- How many terrorist killings in the future could have been prevented if the United States had taken the UN's advice and properly safeguarded that facility?
PM - I hate papers that make you register - that fits Robert's lamentation of capitalsim as well!! Is there any indication on when this was found. My understanding is these materials were never located from the 1991 conflict? I do agree with your first point about the material, but if these explosives had disappeared prior to the invasion or were not where we thought (or the UN) they "should be". I may be wrong, just looking for clarification.

Thanks - Glenn
 
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PeachMonkey

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TwistofFat said:
My understanding is these materials were never located from the 1991 conflict? I do agree with your first point about the material, but if these explosives had disappeared prior to the invasion or were not where we thought (or the UN) they "should be". I may be wrong, just looking for clarification.

Hi Glenn,

Blindside points out below that the IAEA demonstrated that these explosives were under the control of the Iraqi (Hussein) government in January '03, immediately prior to the US invasion.

The NY Times article points out that the IAEA was concerned immediately after the invasion that terrorists were helping themselves to the "largest explosives bonanza in history".

"Earlier this month, in a letter to the I.A.E.A. in Vienna, a senior official from Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology wrote that the stockpile disappeared after early April 2003 because of "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security.""

Apparently, machine tools that can be used for nuclear and non-nuclear uses both have also disappeared from the facility.

In addition to the extreme hazards presented by "simple" explosive devices using this powerful explosive, it's also ideal for generating the kind of implosive force used by simple Hiroshima-style atomic weapons.
 

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So, prior to the invasion they were under guard, and we knew where they were.
After the invasion, we have no idea where they went.

Ya know...this makes perfect sense. We invaded Iraq to stop them from building WMD that we 'knew' they had, and now, they can't make em and they've lost all the parts.

Mission accomplished.


I can see the press conference now....
GWB - "We have eliminated Iraqs ability to create WMD."

Reporter - "Mr. President, what about the missing equipment?"

GWB - "I said they no longer have the ability to create WMD."

Reporter - "Yes, I heard you, but what about the equipment that you failed to secure and is now missing?"

GWB - "Sadamn was a bad man. Evil. BOO!!!!, and we had to stop him before he armed our enemies. Boys, Mr. Reporter here just won a free tour of our Cuba Resort. Any more questions? I didn't think so. "
 
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Mark Weiser

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"Look Ma! Why is there a funny shaped cloud over there? It looks like one of them mushrooms out in the field?"
 

TwistofFat

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PeachMonkey said:
Hi Glenn,

Blindside points out below that the IAEA demonstrated that these explosives were under the control of the Iraqi (Hussein) government in January '03, immediately prior to the US invasion.

The NY Times article points out that the IAEA was concerned immediately after the invasion that terrorists were helping themselves to the "largest explosives bonanza in history".

"Earlier this month, in a letter to the I.A.E.A. in Vienna, a senior official from Iraq's Ministry of Science and Technology wrote that the stockpile disappeared after early April 2003 because of "the theft and looting of the governmental installations due to lack of security.""

Apparently, machine tools that can be used for nuclear and non-nuclear uses both have also disappeared from the facility.

In addition to the extreme hazards presented by "simple" explosive devices using this powerful explosive, it's also ideal for generating the kind of implosive force used by simple Hiroshima-style atomic weapons.
Unbelievable.
 

Feisty Mouse

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You know, just when I think I'm getting to be jaded about recent political events, something like this comes along, and I realize I'm not paranoid enough by half.

Holy ... something. (self-edited for cleanliness)
 

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It's just more proof that the more the government intervenes, the more if really really ****s it up.
 

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Naw, it's a consistant. They once asked Bill Gates why he doesn't run for President...he cited the inefficient organization, the lack of accountability and the pure chaos of the office as reasons. Personally, I think it was because the President is required to shower daily, but thats just me. :) Then again, I think he could do it. http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemId=9156

But the last few US administrations have repeatedly dropped the ball when it counted and it's created this spiralling mess we're in today.

GB Sr. allows Iraq to invade Kuwait, then attacks Iraq but stops short of 'finishing the job'. He betrays countless Iraqis in the process. This creates lots of hatred for the US.
BC ignores intelegence data. The WTC is bombed. USS Cole is attacked. Oportunities to catch OBL are missed. This creates more seeds for future events.
GB Jr allows WTC attacks. Ignores intelegence reports. Misinforms US People. Wages illegal war in Iraq with no exit strategy, and little occupation plans. Tons of munitions now MIA. Hatred of America at a world-wide high.

Over a decade of incidences, stupidity, and missed opportunity has created an enviroment world wide where America is feared, hated and not trusted. Amounts of munitions flood into terrorist hands at levels comparable to the fall of the Soviet Empire.

An atomic bomb comparable to the ones dropped on Japan can be assembled within an area the size of a VW Bus. How hard is it to hide 1 VW Bus in NYC? Washington? LA?

If these groups can fund all the stuff they have, certainly they can afford to buy a surplus sub, a couple sets of scuba tanks and sneak within swimming range of US shores. A cargo ship, a mini sub, or a pair of jet skis and a waiting pickup truck on shore? If a geek can think this much up, what can the guys who scheme all day think of?

That's why I'm scared. :(
 

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"An NBC News crew that accompanied U.S. soldiers who seized the Al-Qaqaa base three weeks into the war in Iraq reported that troops discovered significant stockpiles of bombs, but no sign of the missing HMX and RDX explosives."

"......The letter informed the IAEA that since Sept. 4, 2003, looting at Al-Qaqaa had resulted in the loss of 214.67 tons of HMX, 155.68 tons of RDX and 6.39 tons of PETN explosives. It was not clear how Iraqi authorities arrived at that date.

ElBaradei’s cover letter to the council said that the HMX had been under IAEA seal and that the RDX and PETN were “both subject to regular monitoring of stock levels.”

“The presence of these amounts was verified by the IAEA in January 2003,” he said.


But..but...I keep hearing that there weren't ANY WMD in Iraq!......so there was??..*GASP!!!
 

TwistofFat

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I just heard on the radio that NBC news has a story running that the NYT article is false. NBC had a reporter with the 101 AB that was at this locale at the beginning of the war and weapons weren't there (or something like that). If anyone has access to NBC or google please advise.
 
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PeachMonkey

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Ender said:
"But..but...I keep hearing that there weren't ANY WMD in Iraq!......so there was??..*GASP!!!

Are you being disingenuous or simply ignorant? High explosive is not a weapon of mass destruction.
 
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PeachMonkey

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Here's the NBC article about the controversy, TwistOfFat:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6323933/

"An NBC News crew that accompanied U.S. soldiers who seized the Al-Qaqaa base three weeks into the war in Iraq reported that troops discovered significant stockpiles of bombs, but no sign of the missing HMX and RDX explosives.

It remains unclear, however, how extensively the U.S. forces searched the site in the immediate aftermath of the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

The State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said that coalition forces searched 32 bunkers and 87 other buildings at Al Qaqaa facility after the war, looking for weapons of mass destruction. He said the troops found none, but did see signs of looting. "
 

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Ender said:
"An NBC News crew that accompanied U.S. soldiers who seized the Al-Qaqaa base three weeks into the war in Iraq reported that troops discovered significant stockpiles of bombs, but no sign of the missing HMX and RDX explosives."

"......The letter informed the IAEA that since Sept. 4, 2003, looting at Al-Qaqaa had resulted in the loss of 214.67 tons of HMX, 155.68 tons of RDX and 6.39 tons of PETN explosives. It was not clear how Iraqi authorities arrived at that date.

ElBaradei’s cover letter to the council said that the HMX had been under IAEA seal and that the RDX and PETN were “both subject to regular monitoring of stock levels.”

“The presence of these amounts was verified by the IAEA in January 2003,” he said.

But..but...I keep hearing that there weren't ANY WMD in Iraq!......so there was??..*GASP!!!
Oh, Please Ender ... HMX, RDX, and PETN are not Weapons of Mass Destruction. These are 'Conventional Weapons'. And you know that! If you read the entire article, which seems evident as you cut and pasted portions thereof, you also know that some 35 tons of the material went missing between 1998 and 2002 when the IAEA was not in Iraq. The Iraqi's report that the 35 tons were perhaps used for industrial purposes.

This missing material was under IAEA seal in January 2003. Its existance had been verified. And now its gone.

Weapons of Mass Destruction include NUCLEAR weapons. Some argue that it also includes Chemical and Biological weapons, but this is even disputed. But, Plastic Explosives (simtex & C4), which use HMX and RDX as ingredients are not Weapons of Mass Destruction.
 

Ender

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PeachMonkey said:
Are you being disingenuous or simply ignorant? High explosive is not a weapon of mass destruction.


It's tongue in cheek Gomer......Any stockpiles of Bombs, coupled with explosives and Biological agents are WMD.
 

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Ender said:
It's tongue in cheek Gomer......Any stockpiles of Bombs, coupled with explosives and Biological agents are WMD.
To which known and/or discovered biological agents are you referring?

BTW, "Gomer"?
 
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