It now appears that Russian special forces moved tons of arms, explosives, chemicals, and other equipment out of Iraq and into Syria. Not only are Russian special forces troops implicated in the removal of tons of missing armaments, Defense officials think they were either involved or (at the least) have knowledge about other missing items:
“Defense officials said the Russians can provide information on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs.”
This Washington Times article is a must-read.
New federal regulations designed to speed up check processing go into effect today, essentially eliminating the “float” that many people use to control their accounts. Float is the amount of time it takes for a check to be processed once you write it. In the past, you could write a check and count on that money being in your account for a period of time, often up to a week. Not anymore. These new regulations allow banks to electronically process the checks by merely transferring an image of the check, not the physical item. In many cases, this means that checks could be processed from your account the same day they’re written. You can read more about these changes in this Yahoo! story.
The story of the missing 380 tons of high explosives from Iraq is turning interesting. The evidence seems to suggest that the cache went missing sometime between March 15, 2003 (the date the UN Nuclear inspectors left the area) and April 3, 2003 (the date the US Troops arrived at the base.) It also seems likely that both of these dates were common knowledge prior to the initial reports of the story, which would undoubtedly lead to speculation regarding the motives of (once again) CBS. In fact, there is some indication that an embedded reporter for NBC corraborates the military’s version of events, supporting the claim that the explosives were gone when troops arrived.
You can read a detailed accounting of this issue, including an enlightening timeline, at MSNBC.