Update. . .

. . .to the post below. I just saw that Drudge is running a banner headline with the flashing siren. You’ll find the complete text in the extended entry.

About the same time, I got an email from someone who would know, speaking off the record. This person has been told that New York Times Managing Editor Jill Abramson is responsible for the anti-Bush flurry. They also admit that it’s her paper, and she can do what she wants with it – except for playing with the facts.

And this story (written by James Glanz, William J. Broad, and David E. Sanger) plays faster and looser than a pair of twin Balinese hookers slathered in Wesson oil.

If anyone has email addresses for Abramson, Glanz, Broad, and/or Sanger, I’d just love to post them here, so that readers might be able to share their thoughts with these four would-be assassins.

UPDATE: Frank asks, “Wasn’t Jill Abramson a major player in the Clarence Thomas smear campaign?”

I don’t know. Was she?

UPDATE: Contact information – and lots of it – here.

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The NYTIMES urgently reported on Monday in an apprent October Surprise: The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives are now missing from one of Iraq’s most sensitive former military installations.

Jumping on the TIMES exclusive, Dem presidential candidate John Kerry blasted the Bush administration for its failure to “guard those stockpiles.”

“This is one of the great blunders of Iraq, one of the great blunders of this administration,” Kerry said.

In an election week rush:

**ABCNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 4 Times
**CBSNEWS Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 7 Times
**MSNBC Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 37 Times
**CNN Mentioned The Iraq Explosives Depot At Least 50 Times

But tonight, NBCNEWS reported: The 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives were already missing back in April 10, 2003 — when U.S. troops arrived at the installation south of Baghdad!

An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq.

According to NBCNEWS, the HMX and RDX explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived.

It is not clear why the NYTIMES failed to inform readers how the cache had been missing for 18 months — and was reportedly missing before troops even arrived.

The TIMES left the impression the weapons site had been looted since Iraq has been under US control.

[In a fresh Page One story set for Tuesday on the matter, the TIMES once again omits any reference to troops not finding any explosives at the site when they arrived in April of 2003. Attempts to reach managing editor Jill Abramson late Monday were unsuccessful.]

“The U.S. Army was at the site one day after the liberation and the weapons were already gone,” a top Republican blasted from Washington late Monday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors last saw the explosives in January 2003 when they took an inventory and placed fresh seals on the bunkers.

Dem vp hopeful John Edwards blasted Bush for not securing the explosives: “It is reckless and irresponsible to fail to protect and safeguard one of the largest weapons sites in the country. And by either ignoring these mistakes or being clueless about them, George Bush has failed. He has failed as our commander in chief; he has failed as president.”

A senior Bush official e-mailed DRUDGE late Monday: “Let me get this straight, are Mr. Kerry and Mr. Edwards now saying we did not go into Iraq soon enough? We should have invaded and liberated Iraq sooner?”

Top Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart fired back Monday night: “In a shameless attempt to cover up its failure to secure 380 tons of highly explosive material in Iraq, the White House is desperately flailing in an effort to escape blame. Instead of distorting John Kerry