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The Al Qaqaa Video

ABC is saying that it's KSTP affiliates' video from of April 18, 2003 proves that the HMX and RDX were still in the Al Qaqaa facility on that date. Here's the KSTP report transcript and pictures. I've watched it over and over, and I just don't see there proof.

In a new report on the KSTP site the mention that they SAW IAEA seals, but (and it's a very important but) they do not claim that their camera crews went into those IAEA sealed storage areas. The video appears to be from areas secured by padlocks, and that DO NOT have IAEA seals.

The short bit of video that shows 15 to 20 cannister drum containers, which is probably what ABC's people are telling them is proof the the HMX and RDX was filmed. I captured a better picture from the video.


The markings on the container are Hazard Materials Class 1 (Explosives), Division 1 (Mass Explosion Hazard), and Compatibility Group D (Secondary detonating explosive substances). You can see the placards used to transport these items here.

I wondered if the 239 was significant - perhaps an indication of the contents. It doesn't appear to be based on the numbering systems used for the transport of dangerous goods [if you search for 239 it has to have a type in the fourth column of 1.1D to match]. In fact the only reference to the handwritten number on the container (239) is from 1991 Austrailian regulations

239 NITROSTARCH, dry or wetted with less than 20% water, by mass UN0146 1.1D
Of course that's probably not what that number means, but the NITROSTARCH is a class 1.1D explosive, which matches the label.

The UN number for HMX is 0226, for RDX it is 0072, and for PETN it is 0150. None of those numbers match any form of the visible number string.

In all probability the hand written number is an inventory number or something like that. It is not an indication of contents.

So what's in the container? If you did a search of Orange Book data, you'd find 85 separate items that are classified as 1.1D.

So how were ABC's experts able to identify the contents of the containers solely by viewing the tape? It does make you wonder...

ABC's report has the following section:

The barrels were found inside sealed bunkers, which American soldiers are seen on the videotape cutting through. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency sealed the bunkers where the explosives were kept just before the war began.

"The seal's critical," Albright said. "The fact that there's a photo of what looks like an IAEA seal means that what's behind those doors is HMX. They only sealed bunkers that had HMX in them."

That IAEA seal is in this KSTP report. If you read it carefully, and look at the pictures, they don't claim they broke that seal.
A 5 Eyewitness News crew in Iraq may have been just a door away from materials that could be used to detonate nuclear weapons. The evidence is in videotape shot by Reporter Dean Staley and Photographer Joe Caffrey at or near the Al Qaqaa munitions facility.

The video shows a cable locking a door shut. That cable is connected by a copper colored seal.

In fact the don't claim they went in the IAEA sealed facility.

Let me recap:

  1. The containers KSTP filmed could contain any number of items that were not HMX or RDX.
  2. They containers were filmed, as best as I can tell from the available evidence, in an area that was not sealed by the IAEA.
Update: More from Paul, and at Powerline.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Al Qaqaa Video:

» The Spoons Experience linked with THE MSM FIGHTS BACK

» Croooow Blog linked with Trucks at al Qaaqa bunkers prior to war

» RIGHT ON RED >> linked with The KSTP Report

» The Truth Laid Bear linked with Explosivesgate Roundup: Day IV

» Outside The Beltway linked with Video: Explosives Went Missing After War

» The Key Monk linked with ABC's video? No, check the photos

» QandO linked with NYTroGate 3

Comments (26)

Kevin,Isn't the po... (Below threshold)
Bill K:


Isn't the point that the places were still sealed after the invasion and now they are empty? It doesn't matter if ABC went into the sealed locations. It matters that the material was still there post invasion and now it is gone.

The only thing alleged to b... (Below threshold)

The only thing alleged to be missing is the HMX, RDX, and PETN. If what they filmed isn't one of those three things, there's no proof it was there on that day. Certainly there was weapons and explosives there, but no one has allegeded that they were looted. Maybe that stuff in the video was looted, who knows...

The only thing alleged to be missing is the IAEA monitored stuff. The video (to this point) is not proof it was still there, since it doesn't show the inside of an IAEA sealed site. Maybe they've got more tape, but what's been shown isn't proof the stuff was there.

Yeah the media is going to ... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

Yeah the media is going to hang him on this one (because there is not enough time to get to the bottom of it)...and the Haliburton FBI investigation....and the NAACP IRS investigation.....and even if he wins the vote there will be rioting moonbats.

To me the real scandal here regarding these missing explosives is why the IAEA allowed Sadamm to have them in the first place. This is from the second paragraph of tomorrows NYT report... high-grade explosives, powerful enough to bring down buildings or detonate nuclear weapons, Here's your freaking WMD's as far as I'm concerned. Of course David Kay on Aarron Browns show made the point of saying in no way were these WMD's. My guess is a lot of people will see it like I do though. Sanctions were not working because the IAEA allowed Sadamm to have these weapons and the only thing standing between him and using them was a bolt cutter.

well is hmx, rdx, or petn c... (Below threshold)

well is hmx, rdx, or petn classified as 1.1d? if not then end of story the vid proves nothing. if yes then its still questionable if that indeed is the missing goods.

I have my own questions abo... (Below threshold)

I have my own questions about this videotape. But I won't even get into it because I've grown so weary of all this bullshit. I guess KSTP really showed Americans that the military guys and imbedded reporters and the satellite images of Iraqi trucks removing items from El-Qaaqa are all wrong. The great intellects of the venerable MSM have spoken. And the UN's IAEA? Well, well how can we doubt the veracity of such a mountain of integrity as the United Nations. Their greatness -- in all its splendor --transcends the achievements of the USA.

And if things aren't going so well with Explosivesgate, we now have a new Halliburton story leading tonight's newscasts. Of course, never is it mentioned that Mrs. Heinz-Kerry -- another pillar of integrity -- owns major stock in Halliburton. Nor that she served on Halliburton's board of directors. Why should Halliburton get no-bid contracts even if it's the only corporation in the US that does nation-building on such a large scale. We should have opened up bids from companies that do the same type of work -- companies in France and Germany. Oh, but that would be outsourcing, wouldn't it? It's a dilemma

But the IAEA and others are... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

But the IAEA and others are stating that if it has a locked seal, then behind the door is the stuff we are talking about.

You are right, it doesn't prove that it was looted, but it proves that it was moved after the invasion. If it was moved by us, you would think we would be able to mention it after three days.

Bill, read my post on the t... (Below threshold)

Bill, read my post on the topic.

Kev, how did you post? I would have beat you by 30 minutes but the blog was down! hrmph!

Guess when you OWN the joint it works better. lol

Paul,Yeah. I read ... (Below threshold)
Bill K:


Yeah. I read both. I still am more convinced they went missing after the invasion. I don't know if they were looted though - - that is way harder to prove.

In all honesty, I wouldn't be surprised if Franks or somebody came out tomorrow and said that the military moved it. And, I would tend to believe him.

Bill K makes an excellent p... (Below threshold)

Bill K makes an excellent point, although it's not the point he means to make. This whole situation with the alleged missing explosives should be investigated before a presidential candidate like Kerry goes around the country shooting off his mouth with impunity. And trust me, the news media are not the ones who should conduct such an investigation. From my own personal experience with members of the elite media, if they had half-a-brain they'd be dangerous. Also, why did the director of the IAEA wait until a week before the election to become so concerned over El-Qaaqa? I think we need an investigation of the UN. Wait, there are calls for just such an investigation, but the media is silent on it. God forbid anyone questions the honesty and integrity of the Holy United Nations.

Bill, the video shows them ... (Below threshold)

Bill, the video shows them cutting a lock, but there's not one of the IAEA seals (which are seperate) shown when they're cutting. They say in their new article it was on the next bunker over. They don't say they went into that bunker or have tape of a IAEA seal being cut. That's as simple as I can make it.

Not saying I couldn't be wrong, just that the video - to date - doesn't prove the stuff in question was there.

Members of the US military ... (Below threshold)

Members of the US military on the scene say, during interviews, that they did not see IAEA tags while going through El-Qaaqa on their way to Baghdad. But since all of these news organizations know better and trust what they're being told by thugs working for the UN's IAEA, how can you argue with them. I mean, does anyone really believe the UN is corrupt?

Kevin,I 100% agree... (Below threshold)
Bill k:


I 100% agree that there is no proof of someone going into an IAEA sealed building in these tapes. What there is, is 100% proof that an IAEA seal was unbroken, in this location, after the invasion. Since the explosives are now all missing, that would mean that the seal was subsequently broken and the material was removed.

The question now is, who moved it? It may be us, but you would think that would have been reported already.

BTW, though this is off top... (Below threshold)

BTW, though this is off topic, the LA Times released a poll showing that in Florida -- after all the Dems blitzing the state with the Clintons and Gore and other icons of Liberalism -- Bush leads Kerry 52% to 43%. Gosh, I hope the Clintons and Algore do more campaigning for Kerry in other battleground states. Perhaps in New Jersey where they're tied 46%-46%. The media believes that because they get all hot-and-bothered over Bill Clinton the majority of Americans do, too.

Poll cherry picking Jim? I... (Below threshold)
Bill k:

Poll cherry picking Jim? I can get Kerry over 320 electoral votes if I did that.

Bill, if you can get Kerry ... (Below threshold)

Bill, if you can get Kerry over 320 EVs, come vote in my contest:


The 300s are wide open. You'll be all alone.

I wouldn't bet on it ever. ... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

I wouldn't bet on it ever. I am just saying I could cherry pick the polls and post them in the comments and get that.

Two things.1.) Kerry... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

Two things.
1.) Kerry was tipped by the media before hand about this tape. It was probably part of a packaged show that CBS was going to air in total on Sunday night but they all decided it would be better to string it out over the last week with the several new scandals coming all at once on Friday. Shock and Awe democrat style. :)

2.) We haven't heard from our inspection team in any detail. The guys who came in May. Wonder if they found bunkers still shut with seals but no weapons?

That is a good question Jim... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

That is a good question Jim.

But, if that happens, before people jump on Kerry for not waiting for all the facts (and relying on heavy circumstantial evidence) remember that you are standing in a glass house with a rock in your hand. Bush went to war on heavy circumstantial evidence and he was wrong.

I'm sure you won't be surpr... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

I'm sure you won't be surprised to find I don't see it that way Bill.

I believe Bush was not only operating off of information he had been directly given but information from the preceding 12 years. To me that is not rushing into anything.

On the other hand to read something in the morning news and base the entire last week of your political career on a story that isn't really that compelling would be rash. Would be the kind of cowboy, shoot from the hip, loose cannon behaviour the Bush is accused of by Kerry on a daily basis. Now that just could be Kerry beaching his swift boat into enemy fire again or he had some heads up information that led him to believe he had a winning hand. Namely what will look like coroborating evidence to folks who aren't famililiar with editing techniques.

Bill K,The seals b... (Below threshold)

Bill K,

The seals being in place does not prove that material wasn't taken before the war. IAEA inspectors have said that the bunkers could be accessed by people without breaking the seals by prying open the ventilation slats.

Has abyne stopped to think ... (Below threshold)

Has abyne stopped to think that we don;t WANT to talk about where this stuff was moved if it was mved by us?

How many of these facilities are not secure yet due to the sheer massive amount of material in country?

I hate this tendency the left has to "need to know" without thinking about security first.

Also, how did "anyone" turn... (Below threshold)

Also, how did "anyone" turn into "abyne?" Sorry about that, and the fifty million other typos I have or will make. :)

missing explosives sho... (Below threshold)

missing explosives should be investigated before a presidential candidate like Kerry goes around the country shooting off his mouth with impunity.

oh, I get it. We discover in May 2003 that HMX is missing from al Qaqaa. That fact is withheld from the public when the Iraq Survey Group publishes its report. The Bush administration tries to supress the fact that the IAEA and the Iraqi government know about the missing materials. Bushco only gets around to launching an "investigation" AFTER the story becomes public....

and Kerry is supposed to keep quiet about it?

In fact, the 380 tons of explosives missing from al Qadaa are just a thimbleful in the ocean of missing munitions in Iraq....anywhere from 250,000 to 600,000 TONS are unaccounted for, and probably in the hands of the people who are killing Americans in Iraq. Bush refused to listen to people like Shinseki, who told him that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed to secure Iraq, and as a result hundreds of thousands of TONS of weapons are now probably in the hands of insurgents.

AS to the question of the seal....Kevin, you seem to be forgetting that there are three different kinds of explosives at issue here. Two of them (RDX and PETN) were monitored by the UN weapons inspectors, but were not specifically placed under seal. Only the HMX, because of its applicability to the creation of explosive lenses used to detonate nuclear bombs, was sealed by IAEA.

So when experts say that the video shows the missing explosives, they are probably talking about the RDX, which was NOT under seal....

We discover in May 2003 ... (Below threshold)

We discover in May 2003 that HMX is missing from al Qaqaa. That fact is withheld from the public

So that it could be dredged up in the last days before the election to be used against the president.

Damn that evil genius Karl Rove, he must be playing both sides!

Bill K, where is that poll ... (Below threshold)

Bill K, where is that poll showing Kerry with 320 electoral votes? I'd love to see it. Can you post a link to it? And I'm impressed with Paul Lukasiak's splendid analysis. What an intellectual giant.

A list of the absolute, kno... (Below threshold)

A list of the absolute, known facts regarding al QaQaa:

A listing of the "possibles, maybes, it appears to be, we think, we're not entirely certain" etc would eat up more bandwith than I think Wizbang has.

There ya go.






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