Monday, October 25, 2004

The missing explosives

By now, you've almost certainly heard that the Bush administration failed to secure an Iraqi military installation, resulting in the theft of about 380 tons of high explosives. After the invasion of Baghdad, securing the installation wasn't a priority according to Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary. Most of what was stolen was RDX and similar high explosives. Theoretically, this stuff could be used to trigger a nuclear bomb, but that's not particularly a concern. Rather, it makes for excellent conventional bombs. In fact, this cache is likely the source of the explosive used in the recent car bombing attacks in Iraq.

Less than a pound of RDX was used to bring down PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. To put that in perspective, that's about the volume of my coffee mug at work. There were 760,000 coffee mugs of explosive stolen from this weapons cache.

All because protecting it wasn't a priority.

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