Friday, October 29, 2004

And it wasn't just Al Qaqaa, but lots of ammo-dumps


The looting of Iraq's arsenal

The same month Al Qaqaa was being stripped of high explosives, I warned my military intelligence unit of another weapons facility that was being cleaned out. But nothing was done.

By David DeBatto
[Salon.com]

David DeBatto was a military intelligence officer who was in charge of Camp Anaconda just after the invasion. He tells the story that initially the locals were happy we were there, and were very helpful in providing intelligence.

Some of that intelligence was that nearby Camp Anaconda was a large (5 square mile) ammunition dump that was totally unguarded, and being systematically looted. He kept writing reports to his superiors of the dump, and at times the superiors would say "We'll take care of this" but nothing ever happened. He also tells of even other ammo-dumps that his colleagues knew about and also reported to their superiors, and that none of these ammo-dumps were guarded and that they were all systematically looted.

And, of course, that ammunition is today being used against U.S. forces. If these ammunition dumps had been secured, and the ammunition destroyed, then the fighting now would be less severe, yes?

We're talking about the whole gamut of weaponry from small arms ammunition, to guns, heavy machine guns, mortars, rockets, rocket propelled grenades, missles (including surface-to-air) and at Al Qaqaa there is the 350,000 tons of ultra-high-explosives. That has dual use in both conventional and nuclear use.

Like I said, criminal negligence. And negligence that has directly contributed to the deaths of over a thousand U.S. soldiers, and tens of thousands of Iraqi's.

See also: NY Times analyzes the Al Qaqaa videotape