Tuesday, October 26, 2004
NYT/CBS Explosives "Story"
This is all over the blogosphere, but if you weren't aware of it, here's the skinny.
1) NYT "breaks" story on missing explosives in Iraq. In comparison with the quantity that US forces have destroyed, the quantity is minute, but that's not really the point.
2) MSNBC, who had imbeds with units who first captured the cache in '03 reveal that the stuff had disappeared before US troops arrived.
3) So far, NYT, AP, CBS et. al. still running with the story as if it's a big reveal about Bush administration incompetence.
4) Kerry running with it, and now apparently has an ad focusing on it.
5) Turns out CBS had planned to run this on election eve.
Best I can tell, this is a completely bogus story designed to hurt the president. As I'm understanding the information, the weapons were long gone before US troops got there. I'll note that there is an issue of the IAEA "breaking" this information to the UN/World simultaneous with the article. It seems to me that the Iraqi government, who reported the information on the missing explosives to the IAEA was probably doing something pro forma, and the IAEA/UN/NYT/CBS/AP have been treating it like breaking news in order to take down the president.
It's all developing. Polipundit and Drudge seem to be the most in tune at the moment.
Update - Must See TV: Here is the MSNBC report that completely debunks the story, intertwined with video of an opportunistic Kerry trying to bludgeon the President with a bogus story. Polipundit first directed me to the link.
More: Good summary of the story here.