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Published: Monday, 10/25/2004

John Edwards speaks in Toledo

BY JAMES DREW
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF
John Edwards John Edwards
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Speaking to about 2,500 supporters today at the SeaGate convention center in Toledo, John Edwards said President Bush s administration is reckless and irresponsible for failing to secure a huge weapons site in Iraq.

Mr. Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, referred to a report by The New York Times that the Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives used to demolish buildings, make missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons are missing from one of Iraq s most sensitive former military installations.

This is exactly the kind of explosives that terrorists want, said Mr. Edwards. They re easy to transport, they re easy to conceal, and powerful.

The Times reported that the huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no man s land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday.

United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished sometime after the American-led invasion last year.

Read more in tomorrow s editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com.



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