21 June 2003

6,000+ Items Looted from Iraq National Museum

First report was 170,000 treasures. Then we're told that all the loot was stashed and it was only 33 items pilfered. Now, according to a Washington Post article today, the count is 6,000 and climbing.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have confirmed the theft of at least 6,000 artifacts from Iraq's National Museum of Antiquities during a prolonged looting spree as U.S. forces entered Baghdad two months ago, a leading archaeologist said yesterday.

University of Chicago archaeologist McGuire Gibson said the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told him June 13 that the official count of missing items had reached 6,000 and was climbing as museum and Customs investigators proceeded with an inventory of three looted storerooms.

The June 13 total was double the number of stolen items reported by Customs a week earlier, and Gibson suggested the final tally could be "far, far worse." Customs could not immediately obtain an updated report, a spokesman said.

"Double the number" meant up from 3,033, not the 33 that partisan blowhards like Charles Krauthammer and Howard Kurtz erroneously jabbered about. I doubt we'll see a retraction from Krauthammer on his charge of a hoax that served as a "revelation of the cheapest instincts of the antiwar left"...


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