"The strongest evidence to date indicates that conventional explosives missing from Iraq's Al-Qaqaa installation disappeared after the United States had taken control of Iraq. Barrels inside the Al-Qaqaa facility appear on videotape shot by ABC television affiliate KSTP of St. Paul, Minn., which had a crew embedded with the 101st Airborne Division when it passed through Al-Qaqaa on April 18, 2003 -- nine days after Baghdad fell."
Full story ...
I won't say that I've ever accepted "news" uncritically just because it was "news," but at one time I at least believed that reporters were really trying to tell me something about what was happening. This election cycle has my color-coded "who's behind what here" system constantly in the red.
So ... did Rove plant the original story, planning to let it backfire on Kerry, and is he now caught with his pants down by this video?
Or did the Kerry campaign plant the original story, get caught with its pants down by the rebuttal, and have the good fortune to cover its ass back up with this video?
Or did the media have the video from the beginning, run the story knowing that the rebuttal would push it into the "big news" category, and save the video until after the run-up for maximum effect?
Or ... who the hell knows? Any more, the real item of interest in the story isn't the story itself, but the attempt to figure out who is doing the spinning and why.
The funny thing is -- and this card is so obvious that I can't believe Kerry hasn't played it yet -- is that it really doesn't matter whether the explosives were removed before or after the US forces reached Al Qaqaa. There's little doubt that they were removed because of the invasion, or because of the threat of the invasion. No matter how you cut it, it was the Bush administration's actions which resulted in the disappearance of the stuff. And if it is now being used to wreak havoc, then they are partially culpable for that, too.
It's really no different than when a bank guard has a heart attack and dies during a robbery. Regardless of whether the robber intended to kill anyone or not, he's now on the hook for homicide.