Just like all the museum exhibits we didn’t protect

NBC Embed confirms material already gone in April, 2003

Debbye, who’s been back in action at Being American in T.O. for a little while now, is keeping a running update of the missing explosives story.

I meant to post on this when the story first broke, and I planned on comparing it to our inability to prevent the looting during and after the fall of Baghdad. I know it would have been nice to do a better job of it, but we were, you know, in the middle of a WAR.

Bizarrely, the story turned out to be much more like the looting stories than I ever imagined. Just like the 17,000 “missing” antiquities that disappeared during the looting, the 380 tons of special explosives was gone before US troops reached the scene.

Also, it appears that CBS News was hoping to break the story Sunday night on 60 Minutes (can you say “Crock-tober Surprise“?) but leaked it early out of fears of getting scooped. See Free Frank Warner for more on this shamefulness.

Be sure to tell your neighbors! The missing explosives were already gone! And John Kerry knows it!

Now, for a real kicker, maybe those 380 tons of explosives will turn up locked safely away somewhere like virtually all of the museum pieces did.

UPDATE: Well, maybe this isn’t as cut-and-dried as I thought. Although the 101st Airborne was there with an embedded NBC reporter and apparently didn’t find the explosives in question, the 3rd Infantry was there a week earlier. They found cases filled with vial of “white powder”. At the time, the site was declared unworthy of big attention once it was determined that no WMDs were present. I’ve even heard speculation that the white powder might be the explosives.

We’ll see. I’ll post more later if I can make heads or tails out of it. In the meantime, see Red State. I’m still skeptical of the idea that all these explosives just up and vanished under the eyes of first the 3ID and then the 101st, and I’m also skeptical about the importance of this particular 380 tons of explosives in the greater scheme of things, but I do want to know the facts.

I can’t wait until the election and the post-election chaos is over.


  1. There’s been further clarification on this. The 101st Airborne indeed did not see the explosives there. That’s because they didn’t look. One of the major news outlets (I think Newsweek but I can’t remember) spoke with the colonel who was leading the 3rd (Brigade? Battallion?) of the 101st who said they didn’t see any explosives but specificall did not look for any. Apparently, the complex in question is about 6 square miles. I thought the vials of powder were actually found somewhere else, but I can’t remember where. (I heard all this on the radio this morning.) Anyway, what they’ve determined is that the explosives where there the last time the IAEA inspected the site (mid-March 2003) and were gone by the time U.S. inspectors came through in mid-May. Basically, there were 3 weeks between the IAEA inspection and the 101st arrival on the site, and 5 weeks between that time, and when U.S. inspectors came looking for explosives. Somewhere in that 8 weeks, the explosives dissappeared.