We're used to the fear of October surprises in recent elections.
Last time around a few days before the election team Gore (search) sprung decades-old news about a DUI George Bush got when he was young — it peeled five points off of his lead.
This time we have The New York Times and "60 Minutes" pushing the October surprise story that President Bush neglected to secure 380 tons of super-duper high explosives (search) in Iraq that looters took and now insurgents are using to blow up Americans.
It turns out that CBS was saving this story for the night before election eve. It was going to be the October surprise that would have shaken the electorate and given Bush no time to recover or respond. The New York Times — which wants Bush gone just as bad — decided to beat CBS and broke the story on Monday.
But it turns out Tuesday that NBC News embeds were with the 101st Airborne when it came through the area the day after Baghdad fell. They were highballing to Baghdad, but stopped at the explosives dump for a day. They looked around and found tons and tons of regular old explosives, but none of the HMX and RDX — super-duper high explosives — that the United Nations had found months and months before the invasion.
So where is the stuff? Who knows? It was gone before the U.S. took the country.
Why is this a big deal? Because the Kerry campaign wants to paint Bush as incompetent and derelict. But this super high explosives story isn't what the Kerry campaign says it is. Americans did not find the super-duper high explosives and then walk away. Americans did not find anything under United Nations seal and then walk away.
Is the stuff being used against Americans? Probably. But not by George Bush. Al-Zarqawi may be using it, but evidence says the bad guys got the stuff long before American troops would have had a chance to stop it.
That's the reality. But reality can be twisted — especially by news organizations and a candidate that desperately wants Bush gone.
It's not an October surprise. It's actually a no surprise — same old twisted facts.
That's My Word.
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