Tuesday, October 26, 2004

James Taranto from The Wall Street Jounal

"The Times Spoils CBS's Surprise
To make his case against President Bush, John Kerry has been relying on intelligence from sources that have been proven unreliable--specifically, the New York Times (home of Jayson Blair and Maureen Dowd) and CBS (Dan Rather and Mary Mapes). Yesterday Kerry seized on a story in the Times, 'reported in cooperation with the CBS News program '60 Minutes,' ' that 'nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives . . . are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.'"

So after arguing for months that Saddam Hussein posed no threat and had no ties to terrorists, Kerry shifted to claiming that "terrorists could use this material to kill our troops and our people, blow up airplanes and level buildings." The Times, meanwhile, published an article today titled "Iraq Explosives Become Issue in Campaign." They're an issue in the campaign in part because Bush didn't talk about them:

It wasn't long, though, before NBC News had raised questions about the Times/CBS October surprise. The Drudge Report summarizes the "NBC Nightly News" story:

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!

An NBCNews crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNews, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

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