ABC reported last night that the WMD from the Al-Qaqaa (no laughing) site in Iraq may have been removed after Coalition troops arrived. That's implausible due to the sheer manpower that would have to be employed to remove 380 tons of the HMX/RDX, etc. Plus, the labels that ABC saw on the containers at al-Qaqaa are potentially misleading. Explanations for the labels are here, where the Wizbangers explain that the HazMat classification numbers for HMX and RDX do not match the numbers on the containers in the report, and here.
Similarly, a former IAEA weapons inspector, interviewed by Paula Zahn, said the labels are not definitive: "Well, the materials at that site or the materials that I saw in the video are not necessarily the HMX, which is the high explosive used in a nuclear implosion device." (HT: Wizbang). The reporter for the ABC affiliate who did the report that ABC's footage comes from is not even sure he was at al-Qaqaa. More analysis at Powerline.
What seems more reliable are the satellite photos described in the WaTimes article linked in the title of this post. Those show that convoys trucked WMD and HazMat out of Iraq before the Coalition attacked. Why? Because they were analyzed by Defense Department officials and have been part of an ongoing investigation by the DoD's Inspector General, and are not the product of journos who have no expertise or background regarding the information. Meanwhile, the Colonel commanding the second brigade of the Third Infantry Division (which captured al-Qaqaa) rubbished the notion that nearly 760,000 pounds of explosives were transported out of al-Qaqaa after the troops arrived.
Simply said, the major networks and major newspapers are desperately latching on to anything that will discredit the Iraq invasion and the President. The MSM's October Surprise attack against Bush, therefore, continues.