Friday, October 29, 2004

The Proof

Video evidence shows that explosives were indeed under IAEA seal at al-Qaa Qaa when the US 101st Airborne Division passed through. Watch the video, prepared by a local TV station from Minneapolis, here. From the text:
"Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS determined our crew embedded with them may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where that ammunition disappeared. Our crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa. On April 18, 2003 they drove two or three miles north into what is believed to be that area.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crew bunker after bunker of material labelled explosives. Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get in and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords.

"We can stick it in those and make some good bombs." a soldier told our crew."
There's more too in the New York Times, here.
"The photographs are consistent with what I know of Al Qaqaa," said David A. Kay, a former American official who led the recent hunt in Iraq for unconventional weapons and visited the vast site. "The damning thing is the seals. The Iraqis didn't use seals on anything. So I'm absolutely sure that's an I.A.E.A. seal."

One weapons expert said the videotape and some of the agency's photographs of the HMX stockpiles "were such good matches it looked like they were taken by the same camera on the same day."

Independent experts said several other factors - the geography; the number of bunkers; the seals on some of the bunker doors; the boxes, crates and barrels similar to those seen by weapon inspectors - confirm that the videotape was taken at Al Qaqaa......Mr. Caffrey provided The New York Times with the latitude and longitude of the camp, which places it between 1.5 and 3 miles southeast of Al Qaqaa bunkers. A commercial satellite photograph of the region shows that the camp was close to the storage site. Mr. Caffrey said the soldiers used bolt cutters to cut through chains with locks on them, as well as seals. He said the seals appeared to be lead disks attached to very thin wires that were wrapped around the doors of the bunker entrances, forming a barrier easily cut in two.

They visited a half dozen bunkers, he said. The gloomy interiors revealed long rows of boxes, crates and barrels, what independent experts said were three kinds of HMX containers shipped to Iraq from France, China and Yugoslavia. The team opened storage containers, some of which contained white powder that independent experts said was consistent with HMX."
There's even a photo of a seal marked IAEA.

Not only that, the photos released by the US Department of Defence showing a truck parked near a bunker have already been discredited. So has the brief story that a "secret IAEA document" showed only 3 tons of RDX at al-Qaa Qaa in January, 2003. Link:
"ABC News, citing IAEA inspection documents, reported Wednesday night that the Iraqis had declared 141 tons of RDX explosives at Al-Qaqaa in July 2002, but that the site held only three tons when it was checked in January 2003.

The network said that could suggest that 138 tons were removed from the facility long before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

But Fleming said most of the RDX - about 125 tons - was kept at Al-Mahaweel, a storage site under Al-Qaqaa's jurisdiction located outside the main Al-Qaqaa site. She also said about 10 tons already had been reported by Iraq as having been used for non-prohibited purposes between July 2002 and January 2003"
It's all gone, then. And this much-cited story must now be rated officially nonsense. I somehow doubt John A. Shaw, the official whose unsupported assertion is the only source for the "Russians took it!" story, will be resigning, although he was patently lying.

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