From the AFP:
“It is impossible that these materials could have been taken from this site before the regime’s fall,” said Mohammed al-Sharaa, who heads the science ministry’s site monitoring department and previously worked with UN weapons inspectors under Saddam.
“The officials that were inside this facility (Al-Qaqaa) beforehand confirm that not even a shred of paper left it before the fall and I spoke to them about it and they even issued certified statements to this effect which the US-led coalition was aware of.”
This same official also notes that the entire area around the Al Qaqaa site, which was the heart of Hussein’s military-industrial complex, is outside of our control and thus prone to looting:
It is now one of the most dangerous parts of the country rife with crime, kidnappings and attacks. Several headless bodies hav been found in the area, according to marines stationed there.
“It may be already too late to salvage many of these sites, which are controlled by bandits and beyond the control of Iraqi forces,” warned Sharaa.
Seems pretty compelling to me, but I’m biased.
Update: More statements from the same Iraqi official in the Turkish Press:
He said officials at Al-Qaqaa, including its general director, whom he refused to name, made contact with US troops before the fall in an effort to get them to provide security for the site.
This seems rather odd. The head of the facility made contact with US troops before the invasion began? When he was still under Hussein’s control? Seems unlikely. On the other hand, we know that there were lots of contacts between the CIA and various Iraqi military commanders and officials before the invasion to bribe them or talk them into leaving their positions when the invasion began, promising them safety, etc. So who knows.