Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Rumsfeld is not taking the 380 tons of missing explosives seriously.

In an interview on an Ohio radio station, he compared the looting of powerful explosives to what he believes were exaggerated reports about the looting of the Iraqi national museum. From today's Australian:

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has suggested the controversy over missing Iraqi explosives will probably amount to no more than a tempest in a teapot and compared it to other oversold stories that circulated during the war.

"Do you remember when the museum - everyone said the museum was
looted?" Mr. Rumsfeld said when asked to comment on the disappearance of 380
tons of conventional high explosives from Al-Qaqaa military base south of Baghdad.

[Snip]

But Mr Rumsfeld, in an interview with a Cincinnati, Ohio, radio station said that the whole story reminded him of reports about heavy looting at the Iraqi national museum after the beginning of the war, which later proved to be exaggerated because many of the national treasures had been hidden before the war by museum curators.

[Snip]

He made clear he believed the explosives could still be located because US troops had been finding them hidden in hospitals, in schools, "all across that country, buried in some instances."

(The Australian, 10/27/04)

Here is the link to the transcript of the interview: http://www.dod.gov/transcripts/2004/tr20041026-secdef1501.html