10-27-2004, 08:55 PM #1
So will Kerry shut his mouth now??? I doubt it. take a look at this.. missing weapons
Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms
By Bill Gertz
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, The Washington Times has learned.
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.
"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."
Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloguing the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.
Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.
The Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam's weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX is still being investigated, Mr. Shaw said.
The RDX and HMX, which are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons, are probably of Russian origin, he said.
Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita could not be reached for comment.
The disappearance of the material was reported in a letter Oct. 10 from the Iraqi government to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Disclosure of the missing explosives Monday in a New York Times story was used by the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, who accused the Bush administration of failing to secure the material.
Al-Qaqaa, a known Iraqi weapons site, was monitored closely, Mr. Shaw said.
"That was such a pivotal location, Number 1, that the mere fact of [special explosives] disappearing was impossible," Mr. Shaw said. "And Number 2, if the stuff disappeared, it had to have gone before we got there."
The Pentagon disclosed yesterday that the Al-Qaqaa facility was defended by Fedayeen Saddam, Special Republican Guard and other Iraqi military units during the conflict. U.S. forces defeated the defenders around April 3 and found the gates to the facility open, the Pentagon said in a statement yesterday.
A military unit in charge of searching for weapons, the Army's 75th Exploitation Task Force, then inspected Al-Qaqaa on May 8, May 11 and May 27, 2003, and found no high explosives that had been monitored in the past by the IAEA.
The Pentagon said there was no evidence of large-scale movement of explosives from the facility after April 6.
"The movement of 377 tons of heavy ordnance would have required dozens of heavy trucks and equipment moving along the same roadways as U.S. combat divisions occupied continually for weeks prior to and subsequent to the 3rd Infantry Division's arrival at the facility," the statement said.
The statement also said that the material may have been removed from the site by Saddam's regime.
According to the Pentagon, U.N. arms inspectors sealed the explosives at Al-Qaqaa in January 2003 and revisited the site in March and noted that the seals were not broken.
It is not known if the inspectors saw the explosives in March. The U.N. team left the country before the U.S.-led invasion began March 20, 2003.
A second defense official said documents on the Russian support to Iraq reveal that Saddam's government paid the Kremlin for the special forces to provide security for Iraq's Russian arms and to conduct counterintelligence activities designed to prevent U.S. and Western intelligence services from learning about the arms pipeline through Syria.
The Russian arms-removal program was initiated after Yevgeny Primakov, the former Russian intelligence chief, could not convince Saddam to give in to U.S. and Western demands, this official said.
A small portion of Iraq's 650,000 tons to 1 million tons of conventional arms that were found after the war were looted after the U.S.-led invasion, Mr. Shaw said. Russia was Iraq's largest foreign supplier of weaponry, he said.
However, the most important and useful arms and explosives appear to have been separated and moved out as part of carefully designed program. "The organized effort was done in advance of the conflict," Mr. Shaw said.
The Russian forces were tasked with moving special arms out of the country.
Mr. Shaw said foreign intelligence officials believe the Russians worked with Saddam's Mukhabarat intelligence service to separate out special weapons, including high explosives and other arms and related technology, from standard conventional arms spread out in some 200 arms depots.
The Russian weapons were then sent out of the country to Syria, and possibly Lebanon in Russian trucks, Mr. Shaw said.
Mr. Shaw said he believes that the withdrawal of Russian-made weapons and explosives from Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a "redoubt" in Syria that could be used as a base for launching pro-Saddam insurgency operations in Iraq.
The Russian units were dispatched beginning in January 2003 and by March had destroyed hundreds of pages of documents on Russian arms supplies to Iraq while dispersing arms to Syria, the second official said.
Besides their own weapons, the Russians were supplying Saddam with arms made in Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and other Eastern European nations, he said.
"Whatever was not buried was put on lorries and sent to the Syrian border," the defense official said.
Documents reviewed by the official included itineraries of military units involved in the truck shipments to Syria. The materials outlined in the documents included missile components, MiG jet parts, tank parts and chemicals used to make chemical weapons, the official said.
The director of the Iraqi government front company known as the Al Bashair Trading Co. fled to Syria, where he is in charge of monitoring arms holdings and funding Iraqi insurgent activities, the official said.
Also, an Arabic-language report obtained by U.S. intelligence disclosed the extent of Russian armaments. The 26-page report was written by Abdul Tawab Mullah al Huwaysh, Saddam's minister of military industrialization, who was captured by U.S. forces May 2, 2003.
The Russian "spetsnaz" or special-operations forces were under the GRU military intelligence service and organized large commercial truck convoys for the weapons removal, the official said.
Regarding the explosives, the new Iraqi government reported that 194.7 metric tons of HMX, or high-melting-point explosive, and 141.2 metric tons of RDX, or rapid-detonation explosive, and 5.8 metric tons of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, were missing.
The material is used in nuclear weapons and also in making military "plastic" high explosive.
Defense officials said the Russians can provide information on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs.
10-27-2004, 09:16 PM #2
And these large commercial truck movements were not seen by satellites???? Give me a break......this is just stuff leading to an invasion of IRAN....watch and see
10-27-2004, 09:19 PM #3
Soo what are you saying... we just let them go??? They were gone before we got there, and if anything Kerry is complaining about the same military he wants to command... Blaming the guys that are on the ground is not the way to lead the country. Oh yea, good lets go get Iran and Syria. The sooner the better IMO
10-27-2004, 10:26 PM #4Originally Posted by Jdawg50
10-27-2004, 10:51 PM #5
It's going to be interesting to see what -if anything- the Russians say. I seem to remember an interview with I forget who -someone in the Bush admin- denying that any ordinance could have been taken into Syria because they had been constantly monitoring the borders via satellite before they went into Iraq. This was over a year ago however and my memory is a little fuzzy on the subject.
Badgerman, dont call jdawg50 names.
10-28-2004, 12:51 AM #6
term of endearment
10-28-2004, 07:42 AM #7
Discrepancy Found in Explosives Amounts
Documents Show Iraqis May Be Overstating Amount of Missing Material
Oct. 27, 2004 Iraqi officials may be overstating the amount of explosives reported to have disappeared from a weapons depot, documents obtained by ABC News show.
The Iraqi interim government has told the United States and international weapons inspectors that 377 tons of conventional explosives are missing from the Al-Qaqaa installation, which was supposed to be under U.S. military control.
But International Atomic Energy Agency documents obtained by ABC News and first reported on "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings" indicate the amount of missing explosives may be substantially less than the Iraqis reported.
The information on which the Iraqi Science Ministry based an Oct. 10 memo in which it reported that 377 tons of RDX explosives were missing presumably stolen due to a lack of security was based on "declaration" from July 15, 2002. At that time, the Iraqis said there were 141 tons of RDX explosives at the facility.
But the confidential IAEA documents obtained by ABC News show that on Jan. 14, 2003, the agency's inspectors recorded that just over three tons of RDX were stored at the facility a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported.
The IAEA documents could mean that 138 tons of explosives were removed from the facility long before the United States launched "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in March 2003.
The missing explosives have become an issue in the presidential campaign. Sen. John Kerry has pointed to the disappearance as evidence of the Bush administration's poor handling of the war. The Bush camp has responded that more than a thousand times that amount of explosives or munitions have been recovered or destroyed in Iraq.
The IAEA documents from January 2003 found no discrepancy in the amount of the more dangerous HMX explosives thought to be stored at Al-Qaqaa, but they do raise another disturbing possibility.
The documents show IAEA inspectors looked at nine bunkers containing more than 194 tons of HMX at the facility. Although these bunkers were still under IAEA seal, the inspectors said the seals may be potentially ineffective because they had ventilation slats on the sides. These slats could be easily removed to remove the materials inside the bunkers without breaking the seals, the inspectors noted.
10-28-2004, 08:06 AM #8
Badgerman... how old are you.. seriously?
10-28-2004, 08:28 AM #9Originally Posted by Badgerman
Invasion of Iran.... I dont see a problem with this.
10-28-2004, 11:13 AM #10Originally Posted by Will Power
10-28-2004, 11:19 AM #11Originally Posted by RockSolid
First off lets address this "You chickenhawk neocons make me sick to my stomach" I recommend some Alka Seltzer, just to calm your nerves.
If you cannot discuss or debate without wild rants, name calling, and incoherent arguments then perhaps you find another site that appeals to you a bit more. Just my opinion.
Last edited by Will Power; 10-28-2004 at 11:22 AM.
10-28-2004, 11:23 AM #12Originally Posted by Will Power
10-28-2004, 11:30 AM #13Originally Posted by Will Power
10-28-2004, 11:33 AM #14
10-28-2004, 11:34 AM #15Originally Posted by symatech
10-28-2004, 11:36 AM #16Originally Posted by symatech
I however believe that no intervention will be necessary. Freedom will come to Iran on its own. When Democracy and freedom are stabilized in Afghanistan, and Iraq. This will spread like a vaccine across a plague ridden middle east.
10-28-2004, 11:52 AM #17Originally Posted by RockSolid
terms of endearment
10-28-2004, 11:23 PM #18Originally Posted by Jdawg50
10-29-2004, 12:17 AM #19New Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - ABC News on Thursday showed video appearing to confirm that explosives that went missing in Iraq did not disappear until after the United States had taken control of the facility where they were stored.
The disappearance of the hundreds of tons of explosives from the Al Qaqaa storage facility near Baghdad has become a hotly contested issue in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry has charged that President Bush's administration blundered by failing to safeguard the powerful conventional explosives.
Bush countered that Kerry was making wild accusations without knowing the facts. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday advanced the administration's argument that the explosives may have been gone by the time U.S. forces got there.
Without mentioning Kerry by name, Rumsfeld told a radio interviewer, "People who use hair-trigger judgment to come to conclusions about things that are fast-moving frequently make mistakes that are awkward and embarrassing."
Rumsfeld also said it was "very likely that, just as the United States would do, that Saddam Hussein moved munitions when he knew the war was coming" in order to protect the material from attack.
ABC said the video it broadcast was shot by an affiliate TV station embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when the troops passed through the storage facility on April 18, 2003, nine days after the fall of Baghdad.
ABC said experts who have studied the images say the barrels seen in the video contain the high explosive HMX, and U.N. markings on the sealed containers were clear.
"I talked to a former inspector who's a colleague of mine. He confirms that, indeed, these pictures look just like what he remembers seeing inside those bunkers," David Albright, a former UN weapons inspector in Iraq told the network.
ABC said the barrels seen in the video were found inside locked bunkers that had been sealed by inspectors from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency just before the war began.
"The seal's critical. The fact that there's a photo of what looks like an IAEA seal means that what's behind those doors is HMX," Albright said.
The soldiers were not ordered to secure the facility, ABC reported.
The Pentagon on Thursday released an aerial photograph taken two days before the Iraq war of two trucks at the site where 377 tons of high explosives went missing, but was unable to say they had anything to do with the disappearance.
The image of a small portion of the sprawling Al Qaqaa arms storage site, taken on March 17, 2003, showed a large tractor-trailer loaded with white containers with a smaller truck parked behind it, the Pentagon said.
Chief Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita acknowledged that he could not say that the trucks were hauling away the explosives, or had anything to so with the disappearance of the material.
10-29-2004, 01:53 AM #20Originally Posted by BigTen35
So . . . all we have are pix that the Pentagon people don't know anything about?
I'd say that given the timing, these pix are intended to fan speculation that the Russians took it before the war started.
10-29-2004, 12:07 PM #21
Pentagon Seeks to Account for Explosives
By JOHN J. LUMPKIN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - An Army unit removed 250 tons of ammunition from the Al-Qaqaa weapons depot in April 2003 and later destroyed it, the company's former commander said Friday. A Pentagon (news - web sites) spokesman said some was of the same type as the missing explosives that have become a major issue in the presidential campaign.
But those 250 tons were not located under the seal of the International Atomic Energy Agency as the missing high-grade explosives had been and Pentagon spokesman Larry Di Rita could not definitely say whether they were part of the missing 377 tons.
Maj. Austin Pearson, speaking at a press conference at the Pentagon, said his team removed 250 tons of TNT, plastic explosives, detonation cords, and white phosporous rounds on April 13, 2003 10 days after U.S. forces first reached the Al Qaqaa site.
"I did not see any IAEA seals at any of the locations we went into. I was not looking for that," Pearson said.
Di Rita sought to point to Pearson's comments as evidence that some RDX, one of the high-energy explosives, might have been removed from the site. RDX is also known as plastic explosive.
But Di Rita acknowledged: "I can't say RDX that was on the list of IAEA is what the major pulled out. ... We believe that some of the things they were pulling out of there were RDX."
Further study was needed, Di Rita said.
Whether Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s forces removed the explosives before U.S. forces arrived on April 3, 2003, or whether they fell into the hands of looters and insurgents afterward because the site was not guarded by U.S. troops has become a key issue in the campaign.
Pearson's comments raise further questions about the chain of events surrounding these explosives, the disappearance of which has been repeatedly cited by Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) as evidence of the Bush administration's poor handling of the war in Iraq (news - web sites).
Still, 377 tons of explosives amount to a tiny fraction of the weaponry in Iraq. U.S. forces have already destroyed, or have slated to destroyed, more than 400,000 tons of all manner of Iraqi weapons and ammunition. But at least another 250,000 tons from Saddam's regime remain unaccounted for, and some has undoubtedly fallen into the hands of insurgents.
The window in which the explosives were most likely removed from Al-Qaqaa begins on March 15, 2003 five days before the war started and ends in late May, when a U.S. weapons inspection team declared the depot stripped and looted.
Two weeks ago, Iraqi officials told the United Nations (news - web sites)' International Atomic Energy Agency that the explosives vanished as a result of "theft and looting ... due to lack of security."
The explosives were known to be housed in storage bunkers at the sprawling Al-Qaqaa complex and nearby structures. U.N. nuclear inspectors placed fresh seals over the bunker doors in January 2003. The inspectors visited Al-Qaqaa for the last time that March 15 and reported that the seals were not broken; concluding the weapons were still inside at the time.
A U.S. military reconaissance image, taken of Al Qaqaa on March 17, shows two vehicles, presumably Iraqi, outside a bunker at Al-Qaqaa. But Di Rita said that bunker was not known to contain any of the 377 tons, and that the image only shows that there was activity at the depot after U.N. inspectors left.
Elements of the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division arrived in the area on April 3 en route to Baghdad. They fought a battle with Iraqi forces inside Al Qaqaa and moved on, leaving a battalion behind to clear out enemy fighters in the area. Troops found other weapons, including artillery shells, on the base, he said. They didn't specifically search for the 377 tons of high explosives that are missing. On April 6, the battalion left for Baghdad.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others have advanced the theory that the materials were removed before U.S. forces arrived, saying looting that much material would be impossible by small-scale thieves, and that a large-scale theft would have involved lots of trucks and would have been detected.
About four days later, another large unit, the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, moved into the area. That unit did not search Al-Qaqaa. A unit spokesman said there was heavy looting in the area at the time.
On April 13, Pearson's ordnance-disposal team arrived and took the 250 tons out in a day. That materiel was later destroyed by U.S. forces. His comments may suggest that some of it was still there when U.S. forces arrived.
On April 18, a Minnesota television crew traveling with the 101st Airborne shot a videotape of troops as they first opened the bunkers at the Al-Qaqaa that shows what appeared to be high explosives still in barrels and bearing the markings of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
U.S. weapons hunters did not give the area a thorough search until May, when they visited on three occasions, starting May 8. They searched every building on the compound over the course of those three visits, but did not find any material or explosives that had been marked by the IAEA.
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)