The Washington Time has a very interesting story today that points the finger at the Russians for removing the infamous "missing" explosives from al Qaqaa. It also accuses the Russians of being involved in the removal of the Iraqi WMD. This was clearly a case of CYA on the part of the Russians as they were the largest arms suppliers to the Iraqi military. So much for Russian friendship. With friends like these…
Add to this what we have already learned about the Oil for Food program, and the French abuse of that program, and it seems as if the UN is nothing but an organized crime syndicate. But just remember, everything is OK as long as the US is not doing it, anything we do is a crime against humanity.
UPDATE: Fox News had this information about the Russian connection:
Rumsfeld, in one radio interview, also cast doubt on the suggestion by one of his subordinates that Russian soldiers assisted Iraqis in removing the munitions.
The Washington Times on Thursday quoted John A. Shaw (search), the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, who said he believed Russian special-forces personnel, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material from the Al-Qaqaa facility.
Shaw said he believed the munitions were moved to Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 invasion.
Senior Defense officials urged caution over the Washington Times article because they could not verify its allegations as true.
"I have no information on that at all, and cannot validate that even slightly," Rumsfeld said.
The article prompted an angry denial from Moscow.
This throws a wrinkle in the story. In addition the Fox story covers the ABC News video that allegedly shows the missing explosives in the al Qaqaa dump on April 18, 2003. This seems to support the New York Times story that the explosives were removed after the US first entered the facility. Seems as if we know less about this story today than we did yesterday. Read the entire story and judge for your self.
ANOTHER UPDATE: This is another quote from an Foxs News article about the missing explosives:
A U.S. Army officer came forward Friday and said a team from the 3rd Infantry Division took about 250 tons of munititions and military material from the Al-Qaqaa (search) munitions base soon after Saddam Hussein's regime fell last year.
Explosives were included in the load taken by the team but Major Austin Pearson said he was unable to say what percentage it accounted for. The Pentagon believes the disclosure helps to explain what happened to 377 tons of explosives that the International Atomic Energy Agency (search) said disappeared after Saddam Hussein's regime fell.
A Pentagon spokesman acknowledged they don't have all the answers and can't yet account for all of the missing material but he said it was a signficant development in unraveling the mystery.
"We've described what we know and as we know more we'll decribe that," said spokesman Larry Dirita.
Pearson, accompanied by Dirita, appeared at a Pentagon news conference to say it was his mission to go the facility and clear material from the base but he could not say what percentage of the material were explosives. He said he was not an explosives expert but instead said his main mission is to clear possibly dangerous material from bases to make them safe for U.S. forces.
This is the same story quoted above. The plot thickens...