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October 26, 2004

It could be true, therefore it must be true

I'm noticing a curious parallel between the left's reactions to Rathergate and NYTrogate.

Let's look at the facts. The Iraqi high explosives in question were definitely present at Al-Qaqaa on March 8, 2003, when IAEA inspectors sealed them. They were definitely missing on May 27, 2003, when the Iraq Survey Group did a detailed inspection of the site and did not find them.

They may or may not have been present on April 9th and April 10th, when soldiers of the 101st Airborne visited the site, accompanied by Reuters and NBC embeds on the respective dates. They saw no sign of the explosives, but did not check every one of the bunkers.

Had they gone missing before April 9, their loss could hardly be blamed on the United States, which didn't even reach the site until then. So were they taken after Coalition forces took control of the site?

Well, for that to have happened, an insurgent force of dozens of men with heavy lifting equipment would have had to have reached the site. A convoy of about 40 trucks would have had to be loaded, and would have had to flee along roads clogged with Coalition military and supply convoys, under skies filled with surveillance drones. All of this would have had to have been accomplished without any detection at all.

Occam's Razor certainly makes that seem much less likely than the far simpler explanation: prior to the war, Saddam loyalists moved the explosives to a safer site. But that doesn't matter to the left. Just as it didn't matter to the left that the vast majority of typewriters in the 1970s didn't have proportional spacing, that producing superscripts was a multistep process involving switching typewriter balls, that the few typewriters that did offer proportional spacing were difficult to use, that the secretary who would have typed such a memo denies typing it, that the memo involved terms that were not and are not in common use in the military. It's theoretically possible that an Air National Guard commander who is reputed never to have used a typewriter nevertheless typed a memo on a machine far different from the ones which produced other memos from his office, using unusual terms, therefore, in the eyes of the left, the memos must be genuine.

And, to the left, and to John Kerry who continues to hammer the President with this garbage, it's theoretically possible that the brave men of the 101st Airborne somehow missed an IAEA-sealed bunker, and a stealthy force of dozens of insurgents with 40 trucks made it past the military, spent hours and/or days loading a huge convoy, then escaped without encountering anybody, therefore it must be what happened.

October 26, 2004 in Election '04 | Permalink

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Comments

These guys are so pathetic. And unfortunately - the MSM is working overtime to prop him up and in the end, we lose (the country) because if Kerry wins - we all die and terrorists move in.

I for one wish SOMEONE would just be honest. I can't believe the Republicans are going to let them get away with this b.s. I'm aggravated.

Posted by: Kathleen A | Oct 26, 2004 5:15:54 PM

There's a much better chance that the weapons were taken from Iraq after coalition forces arrived than the legitimacy proven of the National Guard memos.

Posted by: William | Oct 27, 2004 9:01:04 AM

True, William. But it's a difference in degree, not in kind. Especially with new information today that the 101st did, in fact, search Al-Qaqaa when they were there, the likelihood that the materials were moved from the site after coalition forces arrived is very slim.

But I'll admit that the likelihood that the Rathergate memos were legitimate is even slimmer.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Oct 27, 2004 12:03:32 PM

It's my understanding that one semi trailer can carry up to 200,000 (two hundred thousand) pounds of cargo. If my math is correct, that is 100 tons. If 380 tons of material is to be moved it would take only 4 trucks, not the "convoy of about 40 trucks" you cited. Given as how you are so very incorrect on this very easy to determine fact, I find it highly likely that you are also wrong about everything else.
One man with a forklift can load a semi trailer in a few hours. So much for your "insurgent force of dozens of men with heavy lifting equipment" estimate.
More importantly, you fail to question why the U.S. troops did not search all the bunkers, and even more importantly, why weren't they aware that these High Explosices where ther and that they should have been secured or blown up?
WHY didn't they know?
The information of the exact location of these explosives was KNOWN. Who is responsible for not informing the troops of this precise location? The U.S. had posession of this information before the invasion began. Why was no thought given to what should be done about these explosives before the invasion?
It is my opinion that this is a classic example of failed leadership and incompetenance at the highest of levels of the current U.S. administration.

Bubba

Posted by: Bubba | Oct 27, 2004 4:39:09 PM

It's my understanding that one semi trailer can carry up to 200,000 (two hundred thousand) pounds of cargo.

Your understanding, as usual, is faulty. The absolute biggest trailer available at this site holds 30 tons, and its an eight-foot high behemoth that would surely be noticed on the streets of Iraq, even if it weren't in a big convoy.

Given as how you are so very incorrect on this very easy to determine fact, I find it highly likely that you are also wrong about everything else.

Hey, that's my line. Since it's so "very easy to determine" (and it is), why didn't you determine it?

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Oct 27, 2004 5:26:19 PM

I did determine it. For future reference the "trailers" your link leads to are actually what are called shipping containers. These are weathertight metal containers which are hauled by trucks, but are most commonly used for holding cargo that is being transported by ship. They are usually loaded on the decks of ships called FREIGHTERS. Since the containers are on the outside deck of the ships while they are being transported on the water it is usually best that they be weathertight. They are also becoming popular with some people for burying so they become an underground shelter. (use the steel ones, not the aluminum ones). They are also gaining popularity in being used as a sort of easily modifible type of modular housing in some parts of the world. These shipping containers can be purchased for as little as $1,000.00 when they have outlived their useful life expectance of about 10 years.
Tractor trailer rigs which carry loads of up to 200,000 pounds routinely travel the highways of the U.S. each and every day. Rigs carrying these heavy loads do require special permits from the D.O.T. This is due to the fact that weights this high are more apt to damage roadways, not because the weight cannot be pulled by the tractor or handled by the trailer. Some more information on this can be found here
http://www.asf-usa.com/pdfindex/simplexo/07om.pdf
here
http://www.engin.umich.edu/dept/cee/program/cem/Ioannou/StrobWeb/Stroboscope/StrbPubs/WSC99_DamEmb/PGI_WSC99_DamEmb.pdf
and here
http://www.asf-usa.com/pdfindex/400c/400cop.pdf.

In all fairness it should be noted that 2000,000 pound loads do seem to be the extreme upper limit of what can be carried by tractor trailer rigs. However, when you factor in that this is maximum manufactures recomended load. it would seem reasonable that these units are capable of carrying much more before they would reach their true limit and fail.
It should also be noted that these sort of vehicles are in all probablity not readily avaiable in a country like Iraq. At least I would not think so. I do believe that whoever took these 380 tons of explosives was most likely not worried about load limits. I also believe that the trucks available in iraq would be capable of carrying at least 45,000 tons and could very possibly be loaded to carry as much as 75,000 to 100,000 pounds.
I'm pretty sure that Iraq does not have weight and load limit standards as strict as the U.S. would. Given the circumstances I feel it's safe to say that the trucks used to haul away the explosives were loaded with as much as could have possibly been put on them with no worries about being pulled over and given a ticket for being overweight.
Estimating to err on the low side, I feel that if each truck were loaded with just 50,000 pounds, it would take approximatly 15 or 16 trucks to haul away the 380 or so tons of explosives. As you pointed out, this many trucks traveling in a "convoy" would seem to be pretty easy to spot. They may very well have been spotted and nothing done about it, after all, troops just watched as bagdad was looted, banks were pillaged, and museums were plundered of priceless antiquities. I doubt that the explosives were hauled away all at once. I think it's highly more likely that they were moved one truckload at a time, and probably not taken very far either, not at first anyway. It's more likely one or two loads were taken and secreted away, then, when the thieves realised that what was left was still not being guarded, more were taken until eventually all the explosives were had. It is also a very real possibility that the explosives were hauled away in rather small amounts, perhaps by pickup truck or even in the trunks of cars. There was a period of several months during which time the explosives were not guarded and this could have very easily have occured. I kind of doubt it, but it's not outside the realm of possibilities. I do believe that some of these explosives are being used to make bombs which are killing and maimimg the troops who are so valiantly fighting in Iraq.
None of this still answers the question of WHY plans were NOT made to have the troops look for and secure these explosives.

Posted by: Bubba | Oct 27, 2004 7:52:15 PM

Tractor trailer rigs which carry loads of up to 200,000 pounds routinely travel the highways of the U.S. each and every day.
I doubt it. All 50 states impose a weight limit of 80,000 pounds on trucks. A handful of states allow permitted exceptions up to 90,000 or even 100,000 pounds, while West Virginia allows permitted exceptions up to a whopping 110,000 pounds. Can you provide any evidence at all that hundred-ton loads "routinely" travel the United States "each and every day"? I doubt that, too.

And you're proving my point: Democrats believe that when it comes to news that might damage the President, if it could have happened, it must have happened. Hey, it's theoretically possible that a convoy of massive trucks escaped US notice, and it's possible that dozens or hundreds of cars did the same, and it's theoretically possible that the materials were present but missed when the 101st arrived in April... let's put out an ad!

It's also possible that the materials were carted off by one of the many, many convoys that left Iraq for Syria before the invasion even began. But that's not nearly as sexy.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Oct 27, 2004 8:12:58 PM

Oh, and by the way:

I do believe that some of these explosives are being used to make bombs which are killing and maimimg the troops who are so valiantly fighting in Iraq.

Of course you believe that. There's not a shred of evidence, but you believe it anyway.

The materials in question are high explosives. In case you're ignorant of the term, this means they can't be set off by a match or a fuse; they require an explosion to set them off. The improvised roadside bombs that the terrorists are using are made from far more prosaic materials.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Oct 27, 2004 8:14:53 PM

I particulary enjoy the way you ignore large parts of what is written and attempt to argue very trivial points. In case you're not aware, these are typical libertarian behaviours. Why do you insist on restricting your commentary to very specific words or portions of sentences or statements? I suspect it's because you're incapable of comprehending the issue as a whole. Whatever the reason, it's your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it, just as I am to mine.

I suppose that companies like the one found here http://www.tcpermitservice.com/Types.htm
are only in business because there is no demand for special exception permits. I would also suppose that some states have permits to allow loads of up to 200,000 pounds because there is no need to have them and it is very uncommon. If loads of this weight were not ever carried there would not be any need for permits up to 200,000 pounds, would there?
It also seems perfectly logical that trucks and trailers made to carry loads of up to 200,000 pounds are made just because companies like to spend 100's of thousand's of dollars making them and not because there is any actual need or use of them. Talk about someone who may be ignorant, you're definatly in the ballpark. In case you missed it. I did say "It should also be noted that these sort of vehicles are in all probablity not readily avaiable in a country like Iraq.", and "I also believe that the trucks available in iraq would be capable of carrying at least 45,000 pounds and could very possibly be loaded to carry as much as 75,000 to 100,000 pounds". Does that seem unreasonable to you? I'm just curious as to why you chose to ignore that part of what I wrote.
As for the your statement of high explosives, "The materials in question are high explosives. In case you're ignorant of the term, this means they can't be set off by a match or a fuse; they require an explosion to set them off." I am well aware of what high explosives are, and I ask in return, are you? Are you aware that these high explosives can be and are quite commonly mixed with other ingredients to make such things as as c4 (commonly called plastic explosives)?
I suppose it's just coincidence that this is the type of explosive that was found in the shoe of the nut that was caught trying to light his shoe to blow up an airplane. I believe he was commonly referred to as the "shoebomber". I forget his name. Richard Reed perhaps? I'm not real sure. And please do not even attempt to say that I am suggesting that the missing high explosives were used by the shoebomber.I am not suggesting that. It seems like this is just the sort of thing that the terrorists want. While high explosives cannot be lit with a match, it is, eventually, heat that does cause the detonation. I'd be willing to bet that it's not to very hard to get ahold of some detonation cord in Iraq. And, you still refuse to respond to the question as to WHY the troops were not alerted as to the EXACT known whereabouts of these high explosives. It seems to me like they would have made a very good target for the SHOCK AND AWE exhibition show that was put on for the Iraqis. Since the EXACT location of these high explosives were known it should not have been too hard to drop a few of those smart bombs on them. I'm pretty sure the explosion of a 2000, 1500, or even 1000 or 500 pound bomb in the middle of the stockpile would have had great potential to detonate the high explosives, or at the very least would have made some large craters that would have made it more difficult for them to be removed. It seems like these high explosives would have made a better target than some of the other buildings or palaces that were blown up and which are now being rebuilt with U.S. taxpayer money, not the Iraqi oil revenues that dubya insisted would help pay for this Godawful mess that his ARROGANCE, MISCALCULATIONS and INCOMPETENCE have created.
In case YOU did not know, attacks on the troops in Iraq average about 80 a day. Would you have me believe that all of these attacks and roadside bombs have been made from everyday items that have been found just sitting around in the homes of the Iraqis? Do you really expect anyone to believe that it is virtually 100% impossible that even one bomb may have had a small portion of these missing high explosives in it? Do you think they are missing because someone just wanted to hide them somewhere else? They are missing for a reason. That reason is because they are very useful to someone who wants to blow something up. The occupying forces in Iraq have access to all of the explosives they need. To pretend that these High explosives have not or will not ever be used against U.S. troops is simply unimaginable.

Posted by: Bubba | Oct 27, 2004 9:51:31 PM

Why do you insist on restricting your commentary to very specific words or portions of sentences or statements?

Mainly because you're not worth my time. You make stuff up, you assume without evidence, and you're generally not of a caliber I consider worthy. So I cherry-pick your comments and just blast the most laughable portions.

I suppose that companies like the one found here http://www.tcpermitservice.com/Types.htm are only in business because there is no demand for special exception permits.

And here is a case in point. I provided documentary evidence of the weight limits in the United States. You, on the other hand, asserted that hundred-ton loads are "routinely travel the highways of the U.S. each and every day." No evidence whatsoever for this assertion, probably because it's false. Do you see why it's not worth my time to give you my full attention?

In case you missed it. I did say "It should also be noted that these sort of vehicles are in all probablity not readily avaiable in a country like Iraq.", and "I also believe that the trucks available in iraq would be capable of carrying at least 45,000 pounds and could very possibly be loaded to carry as much as 75,000 to 100,000 pounds". Does that seem unreasonable to you?

It doesn't seem unreasonable, but it also seems wholly unsupported by any evidence. Given your track record, you'll forgive me for not accepting it at face value.

I am well aware of what high explosives are, and I ask in return, are you? Are you aware that these high explosives can be and are quite commonly mixed with other ingredients to make such things as as c4 (commonly called plastic explosives)?

Yep. Are you aware that none of the attacks on US troops were done with C4 or RDX? Obviously not.

I suppose it's just coincidence that this is the type of explosive that was found in the shoe of the nut that was caught trying to light his shoe to blow up an airplane. I believe he was commonly referred to as the "shoebomber". I forget his name. Richard Reed perhaps?

Richard Reid (sic) had PETN in his shoes, not HMX or RDX. PETN is far less stable than either of those two, less stable than even trinitrotoluene. And, in case you weren't aware, he still failed to detonate it.

In case YOU did not know, attacks on the troops in Iraq average about 80 a day. Would you have me believe that all of these attacks and roadside bombs have been made from everyday items that have been found just sitting around in the homes of the Iraqis?

No, I'd have you believe that they're carried out with less exotic materials than either HMX or RDX.

Do you really expect anyone to believe that it is virtually 100% impossible that even one bomb may have had a small portion of these missing high explosives in it?

I'm not sure what "virtually 100% impossible" means, but as a matter of fact, I do expect reasonable people to believe it, because it's true. Note that this does not mean that I expect you to believe it. You, plainly, will believe what you want and won't let little things like evidence and facts stand in your way.

They are missing for a reason.

Yes, they are. Note that this simple fact has nothing to do with whether they went missing before Coalition forces reached the site or before the invasion even began.

Posted by: Voice of Reason | Oct 27, 2004 10:19:07 PM

Perhaps you should review your documentary evidence a little more closely. Take a look at Alaska under the column that is titled limit gross weight with permit.It seems to say variable. there also appears to be 17 more states that say will not permit if divisible. here are what the footnotes that the table refers to under the comments section,
[10] Wisconsin permits on the following scale:
< 90,000 lbs
90,001 - 100,000 lbs
ea 10,000 > 100,001 lbs

[11] This state does not provide overweight/over dimensional permits unless cargo is not able to be broken up (one solid unit), at which point, special arrangements have to be made with a specialized carrier. 80,000 is legal in AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA; however, there may be issues with axle weights if not loaded correctly.
Please explain to me why footnote 10 has the greater than sign > right before 100,000. Is it because they DON'T allow anything over 100,000 pounds?
I have also noted that your documented evidence fails to have any reference as to what dates or year these guidelines are for. I believe they may well be outdated. If you expect me to believe something that you state for a guranteed 100% irrefutable fact then you really should try to do much better than providing a link to some obscure website that does not even have a date on it.

Your documentary evidence does not back up your claims. I, on the other hand, provided irrefutable evidence that not only are vehicles made to carry these weights, but also that there is at least one company that provides the service of securing the type of permits required to do so.
If you insist on berating people who you say "make things up" then you should also berate yourself. You make up, assume, and I would even go so far as to say that you even state outright misstruths as fact. You provide what you refer to as documentary evidence that you say proves your point when it in fact contradicts what you say. If that is not a misreprensentation then I guess I just don't know what a misrepresentation is.
If you are incapable of understanding what the term virtually 100% impossible means that you are obviously neither what I nor most other reasonably intelligent people would consider to be of a worthy calibre.
You Still fail to address the real reason that people are so concerned about this topic, and that is, for like the third time now, WHY . Why didn't the troops know the high explosives were there when the U.S. government had the information long before the invasion took place. Why weren't the explosives secured?
Aren't libertarians supposed to pride themselves on their independence and their right to make their own choices? From reading some of the things that you have written on your little blog here I have come to the conclusion that you are NOT a libertarian. You do not welcome the diversity that freedom brings, which I understand is one of the basic principles of libertarianism. You may call yourslef a libertarian, but it's clear you're not, You're just another moron blindly following and supporting the blunders of george bush. You're just one more idiot who devours whatever the official line of the day is and begs for more.

Posted by: Bubba | Oct 27, 2004 11:53:09 PM

geez Bubba, go back to the D&D liberal circlejerk. VoR won't get banned for being correct here. You can't win.

Posted by: Jasta | Nov 2, 2004 4:07:11 AM

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