The When of the Weapons

There's an article in the New York Times today (Video Shows G.I.'s at Weapon Cache, free subscription required to view) describing a video shot by a Minneapolis-based TV news crew that purports to show intact IAEA seals at the Al Qaqaa munitions complex, as well as the now-missing crates of HMX explosives. When was the video shot? Nine days after the fall of Baghdad.

I was a bit frustrated by the article; in an apparent attempt to be balanced, they gave full airing to all the doubts the Bush Administration, the Pentagon, and others have been voicing about when (or even if) the explosives were looted. It's easy to finish the article unsure of when exactly the explosives disappeared, so let me clarify for you: They disappeared on or after April 18, 2003, which is when the video was shot.

My favorite "what the hell were they thinking?" moment:

The team opened storage containers, some of which contained white powder that independent experts said was consistent with HMX.

"The soldiers were pretty much in awe of what they were seeing," Mr. Caffrey [the team photographer] recalled. "They were saying their E.O.D. - Explosive Ordinance Division, people who blow this kind of stuff up - would have a field day."

The journalists filmed roughly 25 minutes of video. Mr. Caffrey added that the team left the bunker doors open. "It would have been easy for anybody to get in," he said.

Posted by Lori in news/media and politics at 12:27 PM on October 29, 2004