Loot, there it goes!

The New York Times, the newspaper of record unless Judith “Chalabi” Miller is writing, in which case it’s the newspaper of the Iraqi National Congress, reports:

MIRIYA, Iraq ? A seeming lapse in surveillance by American forces has led to the looting of dangerously radioactive capsules from Saddam Hussein’s main battlefield testing site in the desert outside Baghdad and the identification of at least one 30-year-old Iraqi villager, and possibly a village boy, as suffering from radiation sickness.

The liberal media, in its continued quest to suck up to the armed forces in general and Donald Rumsfeld in particular, labels this a “seeming” security lapse. Beholden to no one, we here would label this as a “WTF was that” kind of development. Especially given what follows in the NYT article:

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the American commander in Iraq, has ordered an investigation to discover why an arc of eight 75-foot radioactive testing poles at the site was not more closely guarded after American nuclear experts filed a report to the Pentagon identifying them as dangerous after a visit to the site on May 9, American officers said. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has also taken a personal interest in the case.

Under investigation is how American surveillance of the area, now under the control of the 82nd Airborne Division, failed to spot villagers entering the testing site with heavy vehicles to dismantle three of the poles, or towers, for scrap, leaving heavy tire tracks in the desert. …

American officers who oversaw the complex operation to recover the two unshielded capsules of cobalt-60 have hinted that the failure to identify the looting in September until two weeks later may have resulted from a work overload among experts who gather data from spy satellites.

Oh yeah, that makes us feel a whole lot better — the spies are overloaded with work, and people can get away with the theft of radioactive material from an area under US Army surveillance.

Thanks to Blair for the NYT article.



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