Now we have conclusive proof that the missing explosives were still around when U.S. troops arrived at Al-Qaqaa.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Videotape shot by a Minnesota television crew traveling with U.S. troops in Iraq when they first opened the bunkers at the Al-Qaqaa munitions base nine days after the fall of Saddam Hussein shows what appeared to be high explosives still in barrels and bearing the markings of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
But what I am still having trouble understanding is why it matters when the stuff disappeared. Maybe someone can help explain it to me. Let us say for arguments sake that Saddam had his troops move the explosives before the war started even though that theory has now been shot down. Why would that make the actions of this administration any better?
We know that the International Atomic Energy Agency says it repeatedly warned US to secure the Iraqi explosives. And we know that the administration now claims not to have known the explosives were missing before the new Iraqi government issued a statement just a month ago. If the Bush administration had been doing its job they would have made sure that a sufficient number of troops were ordered to go in and secure the Al-Qaqaa facility right away - but that didn’t happen.
Let me try an analogy here. Let’s say you are at a restaurant with a friend eating lunch. As you are walking out of the restaurant your friend turns to you and says he left his sunglasses (a nice pair of Ray-Bans) back in the booth. But he is in a big hurry to get back to work so you tell him to go on and you will get his sunglasses and give them to him later. But as you are walking back into the restaurant you meet some other friends and start chatting with them. Afterwards you absentmindedly leave the restaurant without ever checking the booth for the glasses. About a week goes by before you see your friend again and he asks about the glasses. You say “Oops, I never checked on them.” So you go back to the restaurant and sure enough the glasses are gone. Your friend starts to get upset, but you say “Hold on there, buddy! There is a good chance that someone might have taken the glasses before I would have had the chance to go back inside and get them. So it’s not my fault.”
Should your friend be happy with that explanation? Why should we be happy with the Bush administration’s explanation in this case?