Then, seizing upon a rumor released on the Drudge Report of all places, the Bush administration suggested that the explosives weren't even there at the time of the invasion of Iraq, and that Kerry finally realized that Saddam had dangerous weapons... weapons that the Bush administration knew about, but left to be looted, even though they made a promise to the IAEA that they would secure these locked-down sites.
And now, video has been released from an embedded news team which documents the weapons at Al-Qaqaa were, infact, there. Deny as they might, this fact is becoming increasingly obvious even to the Bush administration, as several different sources have come forward confirming the looting took place after the invasion.
So, now there's a talking point out there that the White House floated to prominent Republicans -- and used so far by Rudy Giuliani, William Kristol, and Laura Ingraham -- blaming the soldiers for not securing the base, even though they were under orders to push on to Baghdad.
In other words, the Bush administration are using their cronies to pin the blame on the 101st Airborne Division instead. Anyone but Bush, Rumsfeld, etc. What a class act, eh? And the truth is, there were hundreds of other weapons stockpiles out there in Iraq which were just as insecure... and our government's plans in Iraq made no effort to secure these weapon caches rapidly, greatly contributing to the maiming and death of both our soldiers and the Iraqi civilians who are caught in the middle of it all.
As Donald Rumsfeld recently said:
"The postwar ... was designed to see that they were not able to destroy their oil wells, that they were not able to blow up their bridges, that they did not have massive humanitarian crisis"... no mention of securing huge weapons caches. No mention of securing the sites that we were supposed to secure for the IAEA. No mention of stopping the widespread looting that was obviously going to occur after the fall of Saddam's regime.
So, if they're willing to blame the soldiers for every aspect of Abu Ghraib... willing to blame the soldiers for the looting... willing to blame the soldiers for the growing morale problems, and willing to blame the soldiers for the tons of weapons that found their way into the hands of insurgents/terrorists... who do you think they'll blame when it finally becomes obvious to everyone that Iraq is, at least on some level, an unwinnable war, and we have to leave under a less-than-ideal situation? Who will get the blame then?!
**UPDATE! -- KSTP in St. Paul has now released video showing an AIEA seal on the facility in question, which is pretty much conclusive proof that the facility they filmed was indeed al-Qaqaa. The AIEA confirms that the seal in question appears to be authentic. **