William Safire was on Larry King last night (via Instapundit), and he offered this assessment of the Iraqi explosives story:
We now know from CBS’s admission that CBS planned to broadcast this story, which we call in journalism, a keeper, one that’s kept for its greatest impact. They planned to broadcast it next Sunday night, 36 hours before the polls opened. That is known as a ‘roar back’. That’s a last-minute, unanswerable story, and it would have been all over the papers Tuesday morning as people went to the polls. Now, I think that’s scandalous.
Indeed. Can CBS make its bias any more obvious? Why not just change the logo to place the CBS Eye on a donkey’s butt?
Now comes word from ABC News that the amount of missing material is at most 3 tons, not 377:
The information on which the Iraqi Science Ministry based an Oct. 10 memo in which it reported that 377 tons of RDX explosives were missing — presumably stolen due to a lack of security — was based on “declaration” from July 15, 2002. At that time, the Iraqis said there were 141 tons of RDX explosives at the facility.
But the confidential IAEA documents obtained by ABC News show that on Jan. 14, 2003, the agency’s inspectors recorded that just over three tons of RDX were stored at the facility — a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported.
The IAEA documents could mean that 138 tons of explosives were removed from the facility long before the United States launched “Operation Iraqi Freedom” in March 2003.
And again, the soldiers who arrived in April, 2003 at al-Qaqaa found no explosives at all.
Any way you slice it, though, the eagerness of CBS News and the New York Times to deliberately run the story to impact the election is shameful.