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October 29, 2004

The KSTP Video

Kerry supporters jumped on yesterday's release of video from St. Paul ABC affiliate KSTP-TV like it was the last bag of closet-grown grass at a Kucinich fundraiser.

The video purported, according to the leftybloggers, to show the presence of RDX and HMX.

According to Jim Geraghty, it's not that simple.

Geraghty reports:

According to this chart from GlobalSecurity.org, the 1.1D classification can be used for the storage and transport of quite a few high powered explosives. Among them are:

Cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine, wetted or HMX, wetted or Octogen, wetted with not less than 15 percent water, by mass


Cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine, wetted or Cyclonite, wetted or Hexogen, wetted or RDX, wetted with not less than 15 percent water by mass

Pentaerythrite tetranitrate, wetted or Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, wetted, or PETN, wetted with not less than 25 percent water, by mass, or Pentaerythrite tetranitrate, or Pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, desensitized with not less than 15 percent phlegmatizer by mass.

So - this orange 1.1 D is the label we would look for on HMX, RDX, or PETN. But did those explosives in these containers have 15 or 25 percent water or other dilution liquid in them? Or did they look pretty dry in that desert?

And as we look at the rest of that chart, we see that a lot of other explosives that fall in the 1.1 D category.

Specifically there are 79 other substances and types of explosive material and supporting equipment that would get the 1.1 D label, including gunpowder, flexible detonating cord, photo-flash bombs, mines, nitroglycerin, rocket warheads, grenades, fuzes, torpedoes and charges. And few of them require any liquid dilution.

Expect the Dems, especially the lefty bloggers, to cling to every shred of pseudo-vindication they can find on this. Expect the rest of us to poke holes in each shred as it comes up.

Posted by Mitch at October 29, 2004 06:53 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Question:

Is a wetted agent going to stored in a cardboard barrel? If it has a plastic liner, maybe. I bet there are some explosives experts out there that can tell us whats what.

Posted by: rick at October 29, 2004 08:16 AM

But Mitch, I thought that all the explosives had been removed?

And yet the soldiers were clipping "seal after seal" off of "bunker after bunker."

And now you note that what the KSTP video shows *could be* different explosives, when everyone from the IAEA to David Kay say they aren't, they're the explosives we're talking about.

And *we're* the ones clinging to every shred of vindication?

Posted by: Jeff Fecke at October 29, 2004 11:19 AM

I don't think that anyone has said that all of the explosives had been removed. They have said 1) it's possible, and indeed likely, that many were removed, 2) we are talking about a minute fraction of all of the explosive being dealt (very diligently and skillfully by our soldiers) within in a very short period of time, 3) none have been used for attacks on US soldiers or civilians, and 4) No one at this point knows the complete truth...
... so it is irresponsible on the part of Kerry to jump on it as a last minute campaign issue. It is insulting to the troops on the ground, and it is unworthy of a wanna-be president.

This sums up everything: the liklihood that Saddam would still be in charge of all of those weapons, the blind reliance on a failed UN inspections program, the insulting of our true allies, the hollow threats and resolutions with no intent to follow through, the reliance on faux allies whose interest is in a weak/unsafe U.S., etc:

NBCNEWS Brokaw interviewed John Kerry Thursday evening.

Brokaw: "If you had been President, Saddam Hussein would be in power."

Kerry: "Not necessarily."

Brokaw: "You said you wouldn't go to war against him."

Kerry: "That's not true. Because under the inspection process, Saddam Hussein was required to destroy those kinds of materials and weapons."

Brokaw: "But he wasn't destroying them."

Kerry: "That's what you have inspectors for. That's why I voted for the threat of force, because he only does things when you have a legitimate threat of force. It's irresponsible to suggest that if I were President, he wouldn't be gone. He might be gone, because if he hadn't complied, we might have had to go to war, but if we did, we would have gone with allies, so the American people weren't carrying the entire burden. And the entire world would understand why we did it."

A vote for John Kerry is a vote to place our safety in the hands of the UN. End of story.

President Bush didn't wait for the other shoe to drop after 9/11. He went out and shut down a primary shoe factory (and might possibly have lost 1 shoe out of millions in the process).

Kerry would have let the shoe factory keep functioning, while maintaining 'dialogue' with the UN and our 'allies'... until another load of shoes is dumped on our shores before holding yet another summit to determine the globally acceptable mode of response.

Posted by: chriss at October 29, 2004 11:42 AM

Jeff: "EVeryone from the IAEA to David Kay..." Kay said nothing specific about what was found, and the IAEA is party to an attempt to spin the election; Baradei will say the bunkers are full of innocent victims of US mass murder if he has to.

"Ba'athists confirm! Hussein was innocent!"

Posted by: mitch at October 29, 2004 01:29 PM

David Kay said nothing specific? Hah ha.

To refresh your memory, here's what he said:

Aaron Brown: Was there anything else at the facility that would have been under IAEA seal?

David Kay: Absolutely nothing. It was the HMX, RDX, the two high explosives.

...

David Kay: Well, at least with regard to this one bunker, and the film shows one seal, one bunker, one group of soldiers going through, and there were others there that were sealed. With this one, I think it is game, set, and match. There was HMX, RDX in there. The seal was broken. And quite frankly, to me the most frightening thing is not only was the seal broken, lock broken, but the soldiers left after opening it up. I mean, to rephrase the so-called pottery barn rule. If you open an arms bunker, you own it. You have to provide security.

Posted by: Luke Francl at October 29, 2004 10:21 PM

So many holes here...

"Aaron Brown: Was there anything else at the facility that would have been under IAEA seal?

David Kay: Absolutely nothing. It was the HMX, RDX, the two high explosives."

That's flatly denied by soldiers who said they saw a variety of explosives - det cord, and a variety of lower-velocity demolition explosives as well as the higher-velocity RDX and HMX. Given a choice between a bureaucrat and a combat engineer and an ordinance guy, I'll take the guy that was there.

"Well, at least with regard to this one bunker, and the film shows one seal, one bunker, one group of soldiers going through, and there were others there that were sealed. With this one, I think it is game, set, and match. There was HMX, RDX in there. The seal was broken. And quite frankly, to me the most frightening thing is not only was the seal broken, lock broken, but the soldiers left after opening it up. I mean, to rephrase the so-called pottery barn rule. If you open an arms bunker, you own it. You have to provide security."

Which is, of course, undermined by the fact that the Engineers attached to the Third Infantry removed and destroyed 250 tons of explosives, including explosives matching the characteristics of RDX and HMX - which most certainly secured it. (Shall I go on? Do you know a lot about explosives? I'd hate to bore you excessively).

By the way, did you catch this?

http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/002898.php

The UN "Seals" in the KSTP tape didn't match the ones the UN left on the scene.

Has David Kay accounted for that discrepancy yet?

Posted by: mitch at October 29, 2004 11:08 PM

You mean the IAEA seal in KSTP's stock photo didn't match the one in Iraq?

No one ever said there weren't other explosives and ordinance there. The explosives in question were only stored in a few bunkers that were under seal. http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iraq/al_qa_qaa-imagery4.htm

The Pentagon has changed their story on what happened at Al Qaqaa at least three times. Who do I believe? The video tape.

The Army major who says his unit removed 250 tons of equipment, ammunition and explosives from al Qaqaa was there BEFORE the KSTP news crew got there. Which means the IAEA seal was still on at least ONE bunker with barrels full of explosives. http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_10_24.php#003839

A few pounds of this stuff is enough for an IED or car bomb. Or to destroy an airliner.

Now, a reporter says there was looting at Al Qaqaa until at least Nov. 2003. http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.php?file=/articles/2004/10/29/news/explode.html

Posted by: Luke Francl at October 30, 2004 01:20 PM
hi