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"Stuff You Can Buy Anywhere"

At least part of the White House spin on the RDX/HMX thing is that this is "stuff you can buy anywhere". But where, exactly, can you buy it? Not at the 7-11, that's for sure.

UPDATE: It looks like Chemza, A.S. of Slovakia makes the stuff. Can you just call them up and order some? My cell phone doesn't make international calls and I'm away from the office.

October 25, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

Hell, why buy it when you can get it for free?

Posted by: Sark Han | Oct 25, 2004 5:58:18 PM

I agree, we shouldn't go to war over mere commodities and shit you can by anywhere. Therefore, the case for war rested entirely on Nukes. The case for NUKES ALONE WAS WEAK.

Posted by: a | Oct 25, 2004 6:06:02 PM

Question, for anybody that knows and can save me googling. Josh Marshall just said that the invasion forces noticed the material was still IAEA tagged, but that no forces were assigned to secure it.

Does this mean Al QaaQaa was on the way in, invasion forces saw it, but were in such a hurry to capture Baghdad that they could not leave a platoon behind? In other words, where is this facility?

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Oct 25, 2004 6:07:37 PM

Why did McVeigh go to all that fertilizer trouble?

Posted by: MattB | Oct 25, 2004 6:16:08 PM

My 7-eleven has it, in the refrigerator case next to the Fosters. I may live in a slightly tougher neighborhood than you.

Posted by: Bob Munck | Oct 25, 2004 6:16:58 PM

bob, see:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iraq/al_qa_qaa.htm

Apparently this is a major facility 30 km south of Baghdad, included components of Saddam's pre-1991 nuclear, chemical, and missle programs.

Thus, seems like something that would've been taken seriously by the coalition but these days, who the hell knows.

Posted by: Handle | Oct 25, 2004 6:19:14 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/01/24/sprj.irq.inspections/

Posted by: Hmm | Oct 25, 2004 6:19:38 PM

You can probably buy it anywhere in Iraq.

Posted by: damid | Oct 25, 2004 6:23:37 PM

but seriously you can buy it at any old shopko in nascar, oregon as long as you know how to mix industrial cleaning supplies just the right way (and have a discount card with your picture on it)...no joke!

Posted by: plop plop | Oct 25, 2004 6:36:07 PM

Try:

www.halliburon.com/insiders/terrorist_friends_of_dick.html

Posted by: Barry | Oct 25, 2004 6:37:36 PM

Well, here is the basics of explosives law. There are also equivalent regulations in each State.A friend of mine worked on a legal case involving an RDX accident, so that implies it can be purchased by civilians, but I doubt it is available in your local big box hardware store.Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer | Oct 25, 2004 6:46:48 PM

Sure, you can buy it anywhere now.

Posted by: praktike | Oct 25, 2004 6:52:39 PM

You can probably buy it anywhere in Iraq.

You can now! It's probably cheaper than sugar!

Posted by: grytpype | Oct 25, 2004 6:54:08 PM

Proving once again that the IAEA is a joke and invasion was justified.

Posted by: Modern Crusader | Oct 25, 2004 7:08:45 PM

A friend of mine worked on a legal case involving an RDX accident, so that implies it can be purchased by civilians, but I doubt it is available in your local big box hardware store.

There were alleged instructions for making it floating around various BBS's way back before I was hooked up to that newfangled intrawebnet thingie. "Alleged" in that I never attempted to use them and confirm that they would, in fact, allow you to make RDX rather than just making yourself spectacularly dead.

Posted by: cmdicely | Oct 25, 2004 7:28:24 PM

Thus, seems like something that would've been taken seriously by the coalition but these days, who the hell knows.

Well, the coalition probably would have taken it seriously, had intelligence told them it was an oil ministry facility rather than, say, a weapons site.

Posted by: cmdicely | Oct 25, 2004 7:29:19 PM

Pakistan was apparently a major source for RDX and it has been used by insurgents in Kashmir for quite some time. See, e.g.: http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jan262004/n9.asp

http://www.ipcs.org/nmt_militaryIndex2.jsp?action=showView&kValue=875&military=1016&status=article&mod=b

Posted by: Dave M | Oct 25, 2004 7:34:36 PM

Holy crap! Where can I buy mine? American Chemical Supply only sells unscheduled hallucinogens. Anybody know?

Posted by: scarshapedstar | Oct 25, 2004 9:02:38 PM

Wikipedia has abbreviated instructions on making RDX, which could probably be expanded and followed successfully by any decent organic chemist. It's made by nitrating hexamine, which is widely available--it's even found in camping stores as fuel for stoves. But fuming nitric acid is harder to get, and no picnic to work with.

Posted by: Dave Trowbridge | Oct 25, 2004 9:05:56 PM

"Proving once again that the IAEA is a joke and invasion was justified."

Excellent! A perfect example of the right whiner thinking that has led to exposing 130K American troops to hazards in Iraq provided by our own lack of planning.

Thanks Crusader!

You limp dick.

Posted by: T6 | Oct 25, 2004 9:29:42 PM

From the original NY Times story (not as original as the not on the interweb nelson Report.

"HMX and RDX have a lot of shattering power," said Dr. Van Romero, vice president for research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, or New Mexico Tech, which specializes in explosives.

"Getting a large amount is difficult," he added, because most nations carefully regulate who can buy such explosives, though civilian experts can sometimes get licenses to use them for demolition and mining."

But I guess he didn't try the local 7-11.

I wonder if the qa qaa hitting the fan will affect the election. I'm afraid Bush supporters are completely immunised against reality.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann | Oct 25, 2004 9:37:31 PM

Perhaps you all need to look up NBC's Jim Miklaszewski's report: "April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army's 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon."

For those of you who can't understand big words, the stuff was not there at the time of the invasion. Another example of the NYT shilling for Kerry.

One other thing, if the stuff was sealed by the IAEA and could be used to detonate a nuclear weapon, why wasn't it destroyed when the UN Inspectors were in town?

Posted by: Monster Con | Oct 25, 2004 9:58:24 PM

HMX and RDX are dual purpose, they can be used to make weapons or they can be used as explosives like in the construction industry.

Posted by: robertw | Oct 25, 2004 10:16:33 PM

RDX is the stuff the two Chechen women used to take out those russian airplanes this summer. Small, easy to hide, effective. It also goes by the name hexogen. Certain moldable forms of RDX are more commonly referred to as plastic explosives (i.e. C4).

HMX is a close relative of RDX with more explosive power.

PETN (the exlplosive that Mr. Reid had hidden in his shoe) and RDX are together necessary components of the plastic explosive Semtex. Semtex used to be a favorite of terrorists in the 1970's.

Palestinians hadn't been known to use RDX until they used it in several devastating attacks in the last four years. It is believed that it came from Egypt or Iran.

Posted by: fle | Oct 25, 2004 10:21:43 PM

Monstercon:

That'd be great if everyone in the pentagon was telling the same story. If you can't understand big words -- that means someone is lying to the press.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1098677410357

"At the Pentagon, an official who monitors developments in Iraq said US-led coalition troops had searched Al-Qaqaa in the immediate aftermath of the March 2003 invasion and confirmed that the explosives, which had been under IAEA seal since 1991, were intact. Thereafter the site was not secured by U.S. forces, the official said, also speaking on condition of anonymity."

Posted by: fle | Oct 25, 2004 10:28:11 PM

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