The Command Post
2004 US Presidential Election
October 25, 2004
Kerry | Kerry Accuses Bush of Incompetence

From the AP via Yahoo! News:

President Bush, presenting himself as the best candidate to keep America safe, was accused by John Kerry on Monday of “unbelievable incompetence” in the disappearance of hundreds of tons of powerful explosives in Iraq.

“Every step of the way, this administration has miscalculated,” Kerry said in Dover, N.H. He spoke shortly before traveling to Philadelphia for a rally with former President Clinton, who was making his first political appearance since heart surgery nearly seven weeks ago.

Kerry said the Bush administration had “miscalculated about how to go to war, miscalculated about the numbers of troops that we would need, miscalculated about sending young Americans to war without the armor they needed, without the Humvees they needed that were armored.”

“And the incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and put this country at greater risk than we ought to be,” Kerry said.

Running mate John Edwards, campaigning in Ohio, added, “After today, it’s hard to imagine that even they’ll continue believing things are going well.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency said about 350 tons of highly explosive material had disappeared in Iraq, apparently stolen because of a lack of security at governmental installations.

The central argument of Bush’s re-election campaign is that he can do a better job protecting America than Kerry, and polls show that voters trust Bush more on this issue. The Bush campaign dismissed Kerry’s criticism of the missing explosives without responding to the allegations.

“John Kerry has no vision for fighting and winning the war on terror, so he is basing his attacks on the headlines he wakes up to each day,” Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said. “If John Kerry wants to spend the next eight days trying to explain his positions again, we welcome that debate.”

Read the rest here.

The New York Times is reporting “Kerry Calls Missing Explosives One of Bush’s ‘Great Blunders’”

Posted by Todd Castleton at October 25, 2004 11:42 AM | TrackBack

“John Kerry has no vision for fighting and winning the war on terror, so he is basing his attacks on the headlines he wakes up to each day,”
Yep, a case in point. Like Bush had anything to do with the missing explosives.

Posted by: BH57 [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2004 01:42 PM

“Like Bush had anything to do with the missing explosives.”

So, as long as Bush didn’t directly hand out the explosives to terrorists or our other enemies, he escapes blame?

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. He’s the one who hired Rumsfeld and approved the war plans. If, as has been reported, he refused to listen to and consider contrary voices, then indeed Bush is ultimately responsible.

Someone has to take responsibility for all the failures. If Bush is unwilling to, for instance, fire Rumsfeld then America has no option other than to fire Bush. If that doesn’t happen, then mistakes like this will just keep happening again and again.

Posted by: Lonewacko [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2004 03:05 PM

Seems they were missing to begin with


Now, the story fails to answer one core question: when did these
explosives go missing? It is simply never mentioned anywhere in the body
of the story. American forces, one official is quoted as saying, went
through the facility sometime towards the beginning of the war, saw no
materials carrying the IAEA seal, and moved on. Buried deep within the
story is the most likely explanation for what happened to the stockpile:
it was standard Iraqi practice to, prior to bombing, move explosives out
into the open and camouflage it. In all probability, it was long gone
before any American soldiers ever got near the place…

First: in all probability most of what was at Al Qaqaa and these other
places was looted before the arrival of US troops. Post-war intelligence
confirms what many of us have long believed: that Saddam had, by March
of 2003, abandoned all hope of defeating the United States in a
conventional war and, therefore, had staked his hopes on the victory of
a guerrilla force which, in collaboration with seditionists in America,
would undermine the morale of the American people and force a US

I say:

This is another overhyped story, very similar to the trumped up
museum looting scandal. The only thing making it different is it comes
very close to the election, leaving very little time to get the
debunking out there.

Comment at

Posted by: marlowe [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2004 03:43 PM

This is old tired news

Posted by: skip [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2004 04:42 PM

From the linked article:

“At the Pentagon (news - web sites), an official who monitors developments in Iraq said U.S.-led coalition troops had searched Al Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives were intact. Thereafter the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “

So it seems that Marlowe’s speculation that this stuff went missing before we got there is flat wrong. Skippy, the boy genius, apparently has this story mixed up with another piece of “old tired” bad news from Iraq (or maybe he is “channeling” the bad news from Iraq ahead of the rest of us).

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2004 07:33 PM

It’s easy to get confused because of the names and all.

Al Tuwaitha was one of the nuke facilities that was looted.

There were at least seven nuke facilities looted; see Seven Nuclear Sites Looted in the WaPo 5/10/03.

U.N. inspectors went to al Qaqaa (the big explosives cache) on March 8, 2003.

The first U.S. troops appear to have arrived on April 4, 2003.

Drudge is reporting that NBC says they were missing on April 10, 2003. According to him, “But tonight, NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 — when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!”

Please note the dates.

Posted by: Lonewacko [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2004 02:46 AM

Lonewacko - How about Christmas Dinner in Cambodia?

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2004 08:30 AM

Interesting that Kerry is willing to lay the blame for the missing ammo on Bush. However, he’s unwilling to give Bush credit for the capture of 75% of Al Qaida leadership. He’s unwilling to give Bush credit for the capture of the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks and the USS COLE bombing (which was a little unsettled business from CLINTON’s watch). He’s unwilling to give Bush credit for ZERO terrorist attacks inside the U.S. since 9-11. He’s unwilling to give Bush credit for the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the budding democracy that now resides there, and the expanded civil rights of women in that country. He’s unwilling to give credit to Bush for the capture of Sadaam Hussein (even though that madman would still be in power if Kerry were President). John Kerry cannot have his cake and eat it too. If he wishes to blame Bush for a failure of military leadership during the invasion phase — then he must also give Bush credit for all the positives. Another example of John Kerry failing to meet the character test.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2004 12:36 PM

360 tons of missing explosives. Allawi says that our negligence resulted in the massacre of 50 Iraqi troops last weekend. Sour economic news out today. Is this what you guys meant by an October Surprise ?

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2004 05:31 PM

Oh, well, if Allawi says something — it must be true. It’s strange to me how full of hatred some Americans feel for their own country — to go to the point of actually placing credibility in ANYTHING a terrorist says. HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2004 08:50 AM

rdelephant>/b>. Do you think you could freakin’ KEEP UP???

Alawi says he was ‘misquoted’.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2004 03:16 PM

Anyway, your effort to erect a Strawman to deflect criticism from your guy Kerry who pulled this same kinda shit 30+ years ago just proves how much of a LOSER he really is. And to think you folks are okay with him lyin’ turns my stomach. He dishonors a whole generation of military personnel, and you, being the sheep that you are, fall right in behind him and diss our troops in harms way right now.

What a pathetic bunch of losers you are.

Posted by: Cap'n DOC [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2004 03:21 PM

“rdelephant>/b>. Do you think you could freakin’ KEEP UP???

Alawi says he was ‘misquoted’.”

First, I will wager you a week’s absence from this site that Alawi had not claimed that he was misquoted in print before I posted the above at 5:30 PM Tuesday evening. So, telling me to “keep up” is beneath even you.

Second, I do not think you actually, even now, have a cite to Allawai claiming that he was “misquoted.” The BBC report quoted on this blog has an “official” claiming that his comments were “misinterpreted.” Big difference.

Kerry had nothing to do with Allawi’s comments or the reports therof, so I don’t see why you are going off and calling the man a liar. Knee-jerk reflex for you, I realize.

And calling people “losers” is not exactly civil and respectful, though the tenor is also typical for your rants.

Posted by: rdelephant [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2004 06:21 PM

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