Falcon Base Ammo Dump - 0 dead / 300 dead

Who are they bullshitting?

Report from our news:

The US military has said that a huge fire at an army base’s ammunitions store in the Iraqi capital was caused by a mortar fired by insurgents. The fire, which set off a series of blasts and explosions at the base, caused no casualties or injuries.
The BBC’s Andrew North, in Baghdad, said the explosions started at about 2300 (2100 BST) on Tuesday night.
Blasts from the base, in the city’s south, were heard for miles. The fire continued to burn through the night.
“Intelligence indicates that civilians aligned with a militia organisation were responsible for last night’s mortar attack,” Base spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Withington said.
Earlier, an insurgent group had posted a statement on the internet, claiming responsibility for the attack.
The US military spokesman said that all troops and workers on the base had been safely evacuated to bomb shelters to protect them from the blasts.

The rest of the world says:

Over 300 American troops, including U.S. Army and Marines, CIA agents and U.S. translators were casualties and there also were 165 seriously injured requiring major medical attention and 39 suffering lesser injuries 122 members of the Iraqi armed forces were killed and 90 seriously injured members of same, were also evacuated to the U.S. military hospital at al-Habbaniyah located some 70km west of Baghdad.

Not only has the U.S. military machine lost much of its armor and transport, and its entire reserves of ammunition and special fuel, but the casualty list for only the first day is over 300…

Here is a transcription of that list who were evacuated to other hospital units:…

Well - I saw some video of it, and there’s no way I’m believing ZERO casualties. Not when you have 3000 people sitting inside a compound about 2 city blocks wide and it goes up like that.

I have to wonder… these unusually high reports of troop deaths this month… could they be spreading the OFB Falcon casualties across a few weeks so they don’t say “Yes, they killed 300+ of us in one shot.”?

I’d think so - especially considering the election is oh-so-close.

Link please, preferably from something more reliable than Weekly World News. There’s no way 300 dead in one explosion could be covered up.


The opposing tale:

One site listed like 250+ casualties - but a little research showed they were from all over the conflict zone, so most likely just that, a list of casualties.

The Iraqis claim 300+, we claim zero. I can’t believe zero. They’re also reporting that 11 translators (Iraqi citizens) were killed and we’re refusing to turn the bodies over to the families and raising hell about it. The military has said it suspects 2 of the translators as being informants to the rebels.

Somebody is full of shit. Probably both sides.

is there a video of this on the web?


So the sources you turned up were, um, Jihad Unspun (run by an al’Qaeda sympathizer - I’m not being some neocon wacko here, she really thinks Bin Laden was justified - in fact her writing is so wacky some people suspect it’s really a CIA honeypot to entrap real al’Qaeda message board posters), Kavkaz Center (run by the Chechen rebels) and, uh, Craigslist. Yeah, some fine reporting you got there.

Against that, you have the BBC, which posted footage of the explosion (unsurprisingly dramatic, given that an ammunition dump went boom) and reported the US military claim of no casualties without comment. Included in the comments from the US military is that the base personnel were in bomb shelters at the time. Given that they’re in a war zone with missiles and mortars hitting US bases on a regular basis, and the actual exploding was prolonged enough for news cameras to get on scene and film it… you think maybe that’s possible?

Again… you might want to find something a bit more… uh… reliable. There’s media blanketing Iraq, and al’Arabiya or al’Jazeera (much less the BBC, which is far from an accomplice in the US agenda in Iraq) would have no problem running with insurgent claims of 300 US deaths in a single attack were they even remotely able to back it up. The actual explosions in question were heard from 3 blocks away, according to the BBC, so it’s not like they were able to hide the results very well. Not to mention with a disaster of that magnitude (comparable to the Marine barracks bombing in Beirut in the 80s) you’d be hearing it from other military sources. US soldiers aren’t brainwashed members of The Cthulhu-Cheney Conspiracy.

To claim, as some of these ‘sources’ do, that the US is trying to “spread the total casualties out over the month” ignores the fact that Iraq’s currently in the midst of a civil war and attacks are happening on a daily basis, and a US-led operation to dampen these attacks and prop up the government failed miserably. To suspect that the US would have little or no casualties in this environment stretches credulity.

The news from Iraq is bad enough without making up stuff.

While watching the live footage of that exploding ammo dump on CNN, I heard them interview a former military guy (one of the many “consultants” that every network has in abundance) who made some pretty reasonable comments. He said that ammo facilities like the one that blew up, when properly designed and built, can handle a lot of ammo going up without killing bunches of people because of the shelters, the berms, the layout, etc. In other words, they build those things with an eye towards something bad happening.

If, as seems likely, the personnel were in shelters, and the ammo dump was well designed and built, which also seems likely (God knows they’ve had enough time and money to build those things right over there), I can actually see there being no American casualties. It’s also possible some Iraqis were killed, because I’m guessing that our ability (desire?) to accurately track those is less than our ability to track our own, for whatever reason.

Not that Azurom’s quasi-conspiracy theory doesn’t have its appeal, mind you! :)

Thanks for being Bob. I feel the love.

I’m just equal opportunity. I know our news spins shit to cultivate public opinion (ie. Chomsky - Manufacturing Consent), but on the other side the insurgents in any conflict tend to spin up absolutely wild tales of “we killed a meeeelion of the dogs!” Reference also to the green-helmet guy from the Lebanon photo-ops.

I just find that “zero” is a pretty heavy claim. Upon review of photos of the base post-boom, it does seem that the majority of the pyro was confined to a corner, with a few C&C buildings blown down around it.

As for my anti-neoconazi agenda - yeah, I have one. Go on amazon.com and look up reviews by Robert D. Steele.

If you don’t know who he is, read up on this:

Here’s one review in particular that should be noted, once you’re comfortable with Mr Steele’s credentials:

I can’t figure out how to hotlink the review directly - so scroll down, it’s like 4th in the list.

Did you know that American soldiers are getting slightly more than three dollars a day extra for being in places where people try to kill them?

$3? Damn, they got a raise since I was in!

I made $618 a day, once a month. That would be 84c an hour.

Here’s one review in particular that should be noted, once you’re comfortable with Mr Steele’s credentials:

Holy crap - quick, get me my tinfoil hat!

Just for the record: Casualties == wounded. Fatalities == dead.

Did you read Steele’s review? It’s not the book’s description that is important here - it’s the content of his review. I urge you to look again.

well that should make up for the fact that tons of their children and wives have to stand in bread lines to get enough food because their pay is so goddamned low.

No doubt it’s my caffeine-deprived state, but yeah, I’ve now read his review twice, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to get from it other than the fact that he’s fairly credulous?

I mean, there are two points he’s making:

  1. The Bush administration is highly influenced by various corporations. Sure. The 9/11 commission soft-pedalled around any real criticisms. Granted. The Neocons are using the 9/11 tragedy to push their agenda. Of course.

Then there’s the other point that veers off into tinfoil-hat land:

  1. The US government was aware of the 9/11 plot (and not “vaguely aware” in terms of scary but ambiguous CIA memos but actively aware). Beyond that, they actively participated in it, by blowing up the WTC with explosives, hitting the pentagon with missiles, etc.

I mean, that’s just crazy shit.

Aszurom: your assessment of the situation, especially in your initial post, is pretty far off base. This month has been unusually lethal, but those are definitely casualties in multiple places, rather than sko conspiracy to spreadload casualties. A good part of them are in Al Anbar, and the better part of those are here in Ramadi due to good old ied’s.

Ammo dumps, as noted above, have a high probability for survival of the personnel in such an incident. At least, all of the marine ones do, and the army’s quality of facilities is usually higher.

Casualties include WIA and KIA. As in, we took 5 casualties, of which 3 were KIA and 2 WIA.

An explosion that can be heard for three blocks is a pretty well contained explosion. We can hear single 82mm mortar rounds impact from miles away, machine gun fire above 7.62 is also easily audible across the city. 3 blocks is nothing. We have controlled detonations in Ramadi of IED’s and buildings that literally rain bricks for miles around with a mere (ha ha) hundred pounds of C4…I can only imagine how much was in that dump.

Man, I’m shocked that a thread that started with ridiculous claims went straight towards conspiracies theories backed up by an Amazon.com book review. A book review! Aszurom, take your meds.

Shhh… this is how I have fun in P&R. Don’t screw it up for me.


Anyway, yeah my point is point #2 - that the guy who founded the USMC Intel College is going to go on public record with that whole “Actively aware, did it ourselves, smoking gun, etc.” line.

Any moment now, I’m going to froth at the mouth and start snarling about the Federal Reserve, the IRS being nothing but the unlawful knee-capping collection wing of the foreign banking system, and there’s no gold in Fort Knox.

One hundred pounds of C4 is considered a IED? HAHAHA. You have to be kidding me.

Unfortunately, Richard Clarke’s insider view of the events leading up to 9/11 has ruined any chance of me buying into any conspiracy theory.

His depiction of foot-dragging, competing agendas, and incompetence at the various government agencies seems a much more likely explanation for 9/11 than some grand conspiracy theory, and has the advantage of meshing with my world view which apparently I’m unwilling to change in my old age.