Friday, April 16, 2004

Glowing Reports from Iraq Proving both that they grossly underestimated the manpower cost of the War AND that they never really had a concern about WMD, except to the extent it served as a political issue, come reports that the United States has just left old nuclear facilities and waste dumps in Iraq unattended for looting by any Tom, Dick or Usama, that wonders on by. Remember that "Dirty Bomb" talk...well there is one way to enable it. In January, the IAEA confirmed that Iraq was the likely source of radioactive material known as yellowcake that was found in a shipment of scrap metal at Rotterdam harbor. Yellowcake, or uranium oxide, could be used to build a nuclear weapon, although it would take tons of the substance refined with sophisticated technology to harvest enough uranium for a single bomb. The yellowcake in the shipment was natural uranium ore which probably came from a known mine in Iraq that was active before the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites). The yellowcake was uncovered Dec. 16 by Rotterdam-based scrap metal company Jewometaal, which had received it in a shipment of scrap metal from a dealer in Jordan. A small number of Iraqi missile engines have also turned up in European ports, IAEA officials said. "It is not clear whether the removal of these items has been the result of looting activities in the aftermath of the recent war in Iraq or as part of systematic efforts to rehabilitate some of their locations," ElBaradei wrote to the council. The IAEA has been unable to investigate, monitor or protect Iraqi nuclear materials since the U.S. invaded the country in March 2003. The United States has refused to allow the IAEA or other U.N. weapons inspectors into the country, claiming that the coalition has taken over responsibility for illict weapons searches. So far those searches have come up empty-handed and the CIA (news - web sites)'s first chief weapons hunter has said he no longer believes Iraq had weapons just prior to the invasion. There is simply no goddamned excuse for this.
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