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The usual suspects

By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted November 1, 2004

Didn't we just go through this recently? Well, to coin a phrase, it's déjà vu all over again. Now let me see, CBS is again up to its eyeballs in efforts to damage President Bush. Nothing astonishing here. Only weeks ago, CBS was proved to be thoroughly disreputable when it tried to pass off forged documents that falsely accused Bush of failing to fulfill his National Guard service. Now we find that CBS is part of an orchestrated attempt to discredit the Bush administration regarding 380 tons of powerful HMX and RDX explosives that went missing at the Al Qaqaa facility in Iraq. Reportedly, CBS planned to air its "take" on this politically-charged matter on Sunday's "60 Minutes." But apparently, this was not quite soon enough for the Left-leaning crowd.

Lo and behold, the New York Times beat CBS to the punch on this Bush-bashing story, and the "Gray Lady" ran with its slanted reportage on the front page on October 25. Yes, and just in time for the Kerry camp to glom onto it and hype it during the last full week of the campaign. Sorry to be so jaded, but the Left is so extraordinarily heavy-handed that you almost have to laugh. We're experiencing an "October Surprise" flashing with neon lights. The Kerry camp is exhibiting a considerable amount of desperation as it grasps at straws just days before the presidential election. The march-in-lockstep Lefties comprised of Democratic politicos, UN apparatchiks, Euro-weenies, and the mainstream media are out-and-about disseminating the "Big Lie" that Bush is to blame for the missing explosives.

It's a close election, and the mainstream media is only happy to oblige by teasing-up a fraudulent story for the Democrats to exploit. Suffice it to say that Republicans are always cognizant of the particularly close relationship between media elites and their ideological soulmates, the Democrats. And for the Left, spinning propaganda always trumps truth. CNN, MSNBC, ABC and CBS ran big-time with the distorted news piece, which wrongly castigated the Bush administration for failing to safeguard the HMX and RDX explosives upon the ouster of Saddam Hussein. And, in likewise fashion, Senator Kerry and John Edwards were also out on the campaign trail trashing President Bush to the hilt. Kerry also charged that Bush was "hiding" the theft of the explosives from the American people. What poppycock!

As to Senator Kerry unconscionable behavior in recent days, President Bush noted: "Now the senator is making wild charges about missing explosives, when his top foreign policy adviser admits, quote, ‘We do not know the facts'. The senator is denigrating the actions of our troops and commanders in the field without knowing the facts." President Bush is absolutely right. It should be apparent to Americans by now that John Kerry is a morally challenged individual who will say and do anything to win this election. Lynne Cheney is spot-on when she says of Kerry "He's not a good man." Moreover, John Kerry is essentially devoid of a positive vision for this nation. Instead, we're all supposed to be satisfied with a nebulous "plan" for this or that issue, which either lacks substance or is a co-opted version of Bush ideas.

According to a piece at the Fox News website, Pentagon officials advised: "U.S. forces searched several times last year the Iraqi military base from which 380 tons of explosives vanished -- including one check a week before Saddam Hussein was driven out of power. But the military saw no signs of a huge quantity of munitions." But what about the bigger picture? In truth, President Bush has had phenomenal success in grappling with much of the munitions left behind by the Iraqi regime. Approximately 400,000 tons of weapons and explosives have already been secured or destroyed in Iraq. And this only substantiates the point that Saddam Hussein was indeed a "dangerous tyrant" who was armed to the teeth and needed to be taken down.

Mohamed ElBaradei

In any event, there's a pesky problem that CBS, the New York Times and the other assorted Lefties will have to face, whether they like it or not: This story being flogged by the media and the Kerry camp is predicated upon a false assumption. The underpinnings lack merit. It has not been established that the explosives in question vanished after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Without proper investigation, Mohamed ElBaradei, who is the head of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), alleged that 380 tons of HMX and RDX disappeared from Al Qaqaa after Saddam Hussein's government fell. Thus, Mohamed ElBaradei was blaming the Bush administration, which had assumed responsibility for securing Iraqi munitions once Saddam was ousted.

However, the more we learn, the more likely it appears that the explosives were actually moved prior to the Iraq War at a time when Mohamed ElBaradei was still in charge of securing munitions sites, including Al Qaqaa. Elements of the Army's Third Infantry Division were the first troops to arrive at the scene at Al Qaqaa, and they engaged in a two-day battle with the Iraqis at the facility before subduing them. Third Infantry soldiers then conducted a brief inspection – and found no sizable caches - before moving on to Baghdad. The 101st Airborne Division, which arrived a few days later, made a similar observation as to weaponry. Frankly, I take the Pentagon at its word that there were no indications "of a huge quantity of munitions" at Al Qaqaa. It's very difficult to believe that our troops could have overlooked a 380-ton cache of explosives or that terrorist thieves could have moved the booty once coalition troops were on the scene. No, in all probability the explosives were moved before the war started. And Mohamed ElBaradei has his own agenda and is attempting to shift blame to the Bush administration. If ElBaradei acknowledged that the explosives were taken during the run-up to the war, then he would have to admit that he and the IAEA failed to do their duty.

As noted in a stunning piece by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, "Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation…John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad." If Shaw is right about the timetable of events, then Mr. ElBaradei and the IAEA were clearly at fault for not adequately securing these caches of weaponry, including the explosives.

Moreover, the NewsMax website unearthed some pivotal information that bears noting: "On February 15, 2003, the Times reported on an address to the United Nations Security Council by Mohamed ElBaradei, the UN's chief nuclear watchdog…ElBaradei shared his concern about the removal of high explosives from facilities like Al Qaqaa: ‘We have also continued to investigate the relocation and consumption of the high explosive HMX', ElBaradei explained a month before the US invasion." Oh, how rich! ElBaradei was well aware that powerful explosives were being pilfered during his watch, prior to the invasion of Iraq. Then how can he make the claim - with any reasonable degree of certainty - that 380 tons of explosives disappeared after the toppling of Saddam Hussein and, hence, under the auspices of American troops? Often, Leftist elites (and I certainly would include a UN bureaucrat and globalist such as ElBaradei in this category) accuse others of precisely what they themselves are guilty of. That's why it always pays to listen closely to the Left's accusations.

In sum, the political Left thinks that it can slander the Bush administration in any manner it chooses in the hopes that some of their garbage will stick. But even though there's only one day to go before the election, the Republicans and their allies intend to denounce the Left's lies and distortions at every turn.

Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.

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