October 24, 2004

Another Synonym for Incompetence

...is losing 380 tons of explosives.

The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year. ...

According to the article, the International Atomic Energy Agency warned the U.S. about this cache before the invasion. The IAEA monitored the store because it's the same type of explosive that can be used to detonate nuclear weapons, and was stored at a site used for Iraq's abandoned nuclear program. The former Iraqi regime continued to make conventional weapons at the site, and American government agencies were well aware of its existence.

It was not protected when the looting began, and disappeared last April. As bad as this sounds, what disturbs me about it is the likelihood that we're only hearing the tip of the iceberg. What's been taken that we don't know about, while our 'efficient' invasion force (thank you, Donald Rumsfeld) was stretched too thin to keep 380 tons of highly powerful explosive from being carted off by parties unknown.

Posted by natasha at October 24, 2004 11:40 PM | Iraq | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |