The first defense story, which White House aides started frantically emailing reporters, was that NBC News had been with our troops when they first got there and confirmed that they were already gone. That was quickly shown to be false by the NBC reporter who was there, who said that in fact there was no search done. And it turned out that this reporter was with the second group of troops through there, not the first, which was a week before. The first group was the 3rd Infantry, and the Colonel from that group admits that they did not do a thorough search either because they didn’t even know it was a major site for explosives, and that they would have needed a lot more troops to inventory and secure them.
Then Scott McLellan on Sunday told reporters that the Iraq Survey Group had been ordered by the President to get to the bottom of it and find out when and where the explosives went. Yet on Tuesday night, Charles Duelfer, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had gotten no such request for an investigation.
Additionally, we have the fact that we knew there were explosives there before the war, and that on May 27th 2003, the 75th Task Force was at the site with weapons inspectors and found that it had been looted and the explosives were gone. Yet McLellan also insisted that the administration didn’t know the explosives were gone until October 15th, when the IAEA told them. So at the very least, they knew the explosives were gone on May 27th, 2003, not October 15, 2004. Yet they just now ordered an investigation…an investigation the investigator says has not, in fact, been ordered.
I don’t think it takes political bias to think this story is true, or to think that the administration is playing games with it. A simple look at their own statements is all that is needed to reach that conclusion. And that’s without even looking at the multiple sources inside the Pentagon and the White House who have been telling reporters that they didn’t guard the explosives, that they were intact when our troops initially got there, or to the April 5th AP story which says the 3rd Infantry found thousands of boxes of explosives there.