So THAT’S where they went. In what can only be considered the final nail in the Kerry campaign coffin, the Washington Times is reporting that Russia is tied to the removal of weapons from Iraq shortly before the war.
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.
Second, it casts even more doubt on the attempted coordinated attack on the Bush administration by the New York Times, cBS and the Kerry Campaign. The information contained in this Washington Times article is likely one reason the coordinated attack was supposed to be launched about 24 hours before election day - to prevent time for the truth to reach the voters prior to their casting of ballots. It’s a shame that John Kerry would so quickly, without all of the facts, jump on the bandwagon to accuse U.S. soldiers of incompetence and it’s incomprehensible he’d do so during a time of war. But then again, there’s a reason I agree with Mr. Kerry on the importance of Vietnam in this campaign - he’s shown his utter contempt and lack of confidence in the brave men and women who protect this country - just like he did 35 years ago.
The article continues
“Whatever was not buried was put on lorries and sent to the Syrian border,” the defense official said. … 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.
Middle East Newsline reported the U.S. assessment was based on satellite images of convoys of Iraqi trucks that poured into Syria during February and March. U.S. intelligence officials say the trucks contained missiles and WMD components banned by the U.N.’s Security Council.
Update: This story just keeps getting worse for Kerry. Now ABC is reporting 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 ï¿½ presumably stolen due to a lack of security ï¿½ 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 3 tons of RDX was stored at the facility ï¿½ a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported… 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.
Update: Get ready, the Left in all their furor will likely try and discredit John Shaw with this story. However, the DoD has issued a statement that “Shaw is not now, nor has he ever been, under investigation by the DoD IG.” Just call this update a pre-emptive strike. Now get back to the real story.
BlogsForBush - Cross-posted article
Wizbang - Good summary of Brett Baier’s coverage