Let's cover the developments:
First, the NY Times breaks the story:
The NYTIMES urgently reported on Monday in an apparent October Surprise: The Iraqi interim government and the U.N. nuclear agency have warned the United States that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives are now missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations. (The source behind the NYT story first went to CBSNEWS' 60 MINUTES last Wednesday, but the beleaguered network wasn't able to get the piece on the air as fast as the newspaper could print. Executive producer Jeff Fager hoped to break the story during a high-impact election eve broadcast of 60 MINS on October 31.)Next, Senator Kerry pounces:
The liberal media went nuts:
Jumping on the TIMES exclusive, Dem presidential candidate John Kerry blasted the Bush administration for its failure to "guard those stockpiles."
"This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration," Kerry said.
*ABCNEWS Mentioned The Explosives At Least 4 Times
*CBSNEWS Mentioned The Explosives At Least 7 Times
*MSNBC Mentioned The Explosives At Least 37 Times
*CNN Mentioned The Explosives At Least 50 Times
But then here's the part that really shocks me. In an apparent show of good faith (and perhaps wary of the recent Rathergate scandal), ultra-liberal NBC News comes clean:
NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 -- when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!And the battle rages on. Democrats accuse the Republicans of lying and covering up, while the Republicans accuse the Democrats of making false charges in an effort to save their dying campaign. My take- this will generate some back and forth on all the pundit shows, but the "October Surprise" attempt fell well short of the mark.
An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.
According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.
"The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone," a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.
Nice try, Senator- but you're going to have to come up with something better than false claims about our military's ability (or lack thereof) to secure sensitive weapons depots. War is hell. We do the best we can- sorry if that hurts your election bid.
If you don't believe that the Kerry campaign is struggling right now, I'd ask you to check out the most recent electoral analysis at Real Clear Politics.
I'm going to make a bold move here. With one week to go until the votes are tallied, I'm calling this race for Bush. I think the margin of victory will be a little larger than most people think. The popular vote will be Bush 53% - Kerry 45% - Nader 1.5%. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Neal Boortz disagrees with me:
We're one week away from the election, so here's my prediction. As much as it pains me to say this, I'm still predicting a Kerry win. The left is simply going to do a better job at voter turnout than the right. A huge part of the Democratic party base doesn't have to worry about such inconveniences as jobs to prevent them from voting. They have all the time in the world, and these early voting locations give the unions and other leftist activists all the time they need to get out there, pick up their myrmidons, and get them to the polls. The productive class, on the other hand, has distractions .. distractions that may prevent them from getting to the polls. Besides, it's difficult to herd individuals. Liberals don't have to try to herd individuals ... their followers gave up their individuality decades ago.I sure hope he's wrong...
Then, of course, there's the problem with stupid voters. It is beyond understand that we actually allow decisions like this to be made by millions of people who have no understanding of government or of the candidates. They decide which candidate is going to give them the most stuff ... and that's how they vote.
Hopefully I'll have a brighter outlook by the end of the week.