Game. Set. Match.
They got caught with a screw-up, <$NoAd$>their response was to lie, smear, obfuscate and bamboozle. And now the unimpeachable evidence is out.
It captures the administration's whole record on Iraq, only fast-forwarded and telescoped into four days as opposed to four years.
Here's former weapons inspector David Kay on Aaron Brown this evening delivering the news ...
Aaron Brown: We saw at the top of the program there is new information to factor in. Pretty conclusive to our eye. So we'll sort through this now. Take the politics out of it and try and deal with facts with former head UN weapons inspector, US weapons inspector, David Kay. David, itâs nice to see you.
David Kay: Good to be with you, Aaron.
AB: I don't know how better to do this than to show you some pictures have you explain to me what they are or are not. Okay? First what Iâll just call the seal. And tell me if this is an IAEA seal on that bunker at that munitions dump?
DK: Aaron, about as certain as I can be looking at a picture, not physically holding it which, obviously, I would have preferred to have been there, that is an IAEA seal. I've never seen anything else in Iraq in about 15 years of being in Iraq and around Iraq that was other than an IAEA seal of that shape.
AB: Was there anything else at the facility that would have been under IAEA seal?
DK: Absolutely nothing. It was the HMX, RDX, the two high explosives.
AB: OK now, Iâll take a look at barrels here for a second. You can tell me what they tell you. They, obviously, to us just show us a bunch of barrels. You'll see it somewhat differently.
DK: Well, it's interesting. There were three foreign suppliers to Iraq of this explosive in the 1980s. One of them used barrels like this, and inside the barrels a bag. HMX is in powder form because you actually use it to shape a spherical lens that is used to create the triggering device for nuclear weapons. And particularly on the videotape, which is actually better than the still photos, as the soldier dips into it, that's either HMX or RDX. I don't know of anything else in al Qaqaa that was in that form.
AB: Let me ask you then, David, the question I asked Jamie. In regard to the dispute about whether that stuff was there when the Americans arrived, is it game, set, match? Is that part of the argument now over?
DK: Well, at least with regard to this one bunker, and the film shows one seal, one bunker, one group of soldiers going through, and there were others there that were sealed. With this one, I think it is game, set, and match. There was HMX, RDX in there. The seal was broken. And quite frankly, to me the most frightening thing is not only was the seal broken, lock broken, but the soldiers left after opening it up. I mean, to rephrase the so-called pottery barn rule. If you open an arms bunker, you own it. You have to provide security.
AB: I'm -- that raises a number of questions. Let me throw out one. It suggests that maybe they just didn't know what they had?
DK: I think you're quite likely they didn't know they had HMX, which speaks to lack of intelligence given troops moving through that area, but they certainly knew they had explosives. And to put this in context, I think it's important, this loss of 360 tons, but Iraq is awash with tens of thousands of tons of explosives right now in the hands of insurgents because we did not provide the security when we took over the country.
AB: Could you -- Iâm trying to stay out of the realm of politics. I'm not sure you can.
DK: So am I.
AB: I know. It's a little tricky here. But, is there any -- is there any reason not to have anticipated the fact that there would be bunkers like this, explosives like this, and a need to secure them?
DK: Absolutely not. For example, al Qaqaa was a site of Gerald Bull's super gun project. It was a team of mine that discovered the HMX originally in 1991. That was one of the most well-documented explosive sites in all of Iraq. The other 80 or so major ammunition storage points were also well documented. Iraq had, and it's a frightening number, two-thirds of the total conventional explosives that the US has in its entire inventory. The country was an armed camp.
AB: David, as quickly as you can, because this just came up in the last hour, as dangerous as this stuff is, this would not be described as a WMD, correct?
DK: Oh absolutely not.
AB: Thank you.
DK: And, in fact, the loss of it is not a proliferation issue.
AB: Okay. It's just dangerous and its out there and by your thinking it should have been secured.
DK: Well look, it was used to bring the Pan Am flight down. It's a very dangerous explosive, particularly in the hands of terrorists.
AB: David, thank you for walking me through this. I appreciate it, David Kay the former head US weapons inspector in Iraq.
Game. Set. Match