Friday, October 29, 2004

I listened to the Brian Lehrer Show this morning on WNYC. The guests for the first bit were Peter Galbraith, and Richard Wolffe from Newsweek. Lehrer at this point is either terrified of wingnuts or has become an absolute idiot. At the end of the show he tried to argue that it would probably be best for the audience to try to ignore the events of the past few days and concentrate on the bigger issues. I could almost hear Galbraith's jaw hit the floor. When Lehrer turned to him again for comments. Galbraith tried for the third time to explain his point: that the more he had tried to explain the problems, the degree of chaos, the looting of everything, the more angry Wolfowitz became... at him! And this from a man who had worked with Wolfowitz in support of this fucking war.

As to Richard Wolffe, I was amused to hear, for the first time, a British subject defend the superiority of the American press.
I assume he couldn't get a job back home.
On The News Hour tonight, some idiot from Time was arguing that artillery shells were better than HMX or RDX for making roadside bombs and that the stuff from al Qa Qaa had not been used yet.

From Josh Marshall's first post on the subject:
This has been rumored in Washington for several days. And now the Nelson Report has broken the story.
Some 350 tons of high explosives (RDX and HMX),which were under IAEA seal while Saddam was in power, were looted during the early days of the US occupation. Like so much else, it was just left unguarded.

Not only are these super-high-yield explosives probably being used in many, if not most, of the various suicide and car bombings in Iraq, but these particular explosives are ones used in the triggering process for nuclear weapons.

In other words, it's bad stuff.
And from his second:
It is apparently widely believed within the US government that those looted explosives are what in many, perhaps most, cases is being used in car bombs and suicide attacks against US troops. That is, according to TPM sources and sources quoted in this evening's Nelson Report, where the story first broke.

One administration official told Nelson, "This is the stuff the bad guys have been using to kill our troops, so you can’t ignore the political implications of this, and you would be correct to suspect that politics, or the fear of politics, played a major role in delaying the release of this information."
And as I remember reading, extracting the explosive charge from artillery shells is extremely dangerous. And HMX and RDX are stable.

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