So it turns out that the whole missing explosives story in Iraq may be a bunch of hooey
. (From CNN):
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of 380 tons of powerful explosives from a storage depot in Iraq has taken a new twist, after a network embedded with the U.S. military during the invasion of Iraq reported that the material had already vanished by the time American troops arrived.
NBC News reported that on April 10, 2003, its crew was embedded with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division when troops arrived at the Al Qaqaa storage facility south of Baghdad.
While the troops found large stockpiles of conventional explosives, they did not find HMX or RDX, the types of powerful explosives that reportedly went missing, according to NBC.
Of course, as soon as the initial story broke (by the NY Times, I believe...excellence in journalism, don't you know) Kerry pounced on it
"George W. Bush, who talks tough -- talks tough -- and brags about making America safer, has once again failed to deliver," he said at the beginning of a campaign rally in the swing state. "This is one of the great blunders of Iraq and one of the great blunders of this administration."
He said the "incredible incompetence of this president and this administration has put our troops at risk and put this country at greater risk than we ought to be. ... The unbelievable blindness, stubbornness, arrogance of this administration to do the basics has now allowed this president to once again fail the test of being the commander in chief."
Which leads me to postulate:
The Law of Pre-Election News
High-profile news stories potentially damaging to a candidate should be viewed with an amount of skepticism indirectly proportional to the time left until an election.