I’d advise Little Scottie to get his missing Iraqi explosives story straight, but apparently he doesn’t have a story. He was all over the map today and seems to have forgotten his GPS equipment:
Q ABC ran some tape of the seals still being on that bunker when U.S. troops got there, suggesting the explosives were still in there. What do you think?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think, you know, it’s premature to draw conclusions because the facts are not known. We seized or destroyed — our troops seized or destroyed already more than 400,000 tons of munitions. Securing and destroying these kind of munitions was a priority for our troops. The Department of Defense released a satellite image showing trucks at the facility within days after the inspectors left. That shows that there was activity going on there in early March.
It’s not known what kind of explosives these were that you were talking about. It’s a real possibility that these munitions were — or these explosives were part of the munitions that were destroyed. The facts are not known. And as the President said, in Ms. Keen’s interview with him yesterday, he said, Senator Kerry has shown that he will attack for political gain, without knowing the facts. He puts politics above the facts. And it is irresponsible for Senator Kerry to draw conclusions without knowing the facts. These are wild accusations that he has made, and they just demonstrate that he will say anything for his own political advantage.
Q What part of the —
MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, you have —
Q Were these munitions that were destroyed by U.S. troops? Is that what you’re saying? Or U.S. forces, these munitions were destroyed —
MR. McCLELLAN: That’s a real possibility. We don’t know the facts. There is new information that has come to light in recent days and continues to come to light. But the facts are still not know [sic].
Q There are facts known now, which is that these pictures show IAEA-sealed explosives. The IAEA people say that they only sealed HMX, and that these look like their seals. So will the President acknowledge those facts?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think others have suggested that it does not appear to be HMX.
MR. McCLELLAN: So it’s not clear what the facts are. Just some of the media coverage. I can go back and look at some of the media coverage. But you have some experts questioning this whole issue, because as I said, we’ve seized or destroyed more than 400,000 tons of munitions. That shows that securing and destroying these munitions was a priority for our troops. You have experts saying that this issue is “absurd,” or “bogus.” Yet Senator Kerry is the one who is jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts. And I think that’s a real issue in this campaign —
Q Does the President believe this is absurd and bogus?
MR. McCLELLAN: — a real issue in this campaign. And in terms of the video that you’re referencing, again, it’s a very real possibility that those explosives could have been part of what was destroyed by our troops, because we know that our troops made it a priority because of how much they have already destroyed. They’ve destroyed a large volume of munitions since the beginning of the war in Iraq. I think that you are looking at — you’re trying to attempt to draw some conclusions based on this videotape, and I’m not sure that you can draw those conclusions from that videotape.
Q Does the President believe this issue is absurd and bogus?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I was pointing out — I mean, I was pointing out that people were saying that the facts are not known, and that you have to look at the facts — there’s a wild charge been made here that it wasn’t a priority for our military. It was a priority for our military to secure and destroy munitions, and that is documented by the fact that they have already destroyed or secured more than 400,000 tons of munitions.
Q And you’re suggesting that the munitions — that the high explosives tagged by the IAEA that have been photographed as having been there when the 101st arrived could then have been destroyed by American troops?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that’s a real possibility. We don’t know the facts. There is new information still coming to light, but we still don’t know all the facts. And for someone to draw conclusions without knowing the facts, it shows their reckless disregard. It shows their reckless disregard.