View Full Version : Iraqi Nuclear Facilities 'Carefully Stripped'

Oct 16th, 2004, 12:53 AM
Do you ever give any thought to things REALLY coming apart?

Iraqi N-sites 'stripped carefully'
Thursday, October 14, 2004 Posted: 2:56 PM EDT (1856 GMT)

VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) -- The mysterious removal of Iraq's mothballed nuclear facilities continued long after the U.S.-led invasion and was carried out by people with access to heavy machinery and demolition equipment, diplomats said on Thursday.
Outside the grounds of the Tawaitha nuclear facility, south of Baghdad

The United Nations nuclear watchdog told the Security Council this week that equipment and materials that could be used to make atomic weapons had been vanishing from Iraq without either Baghdad or Washington noticing.
"This process carried on at least through 2003 ... and probably into 2004, at least in early 2004," said a Western diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitored Iraq's nuclear sites before last year's war.
That contrasted with statements by Western and Iraqi officials, who have played down the disappearance of the equipment. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Tuesday he believed most of the removals took place in the chaos shortly after the March 2003 invasion.
The United States and Britain said they invaded to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. Both countries now admit toppled ruler Saddam Hussein had no such weapons.
Several diplomats close to the IAEA said the disappearance of the nuclear items was not the result of haphazard looting.
They said the removal of the dual-use equipment -- which before the war was tagged and closely monitored by the IAEA to ensure it was not being used in a weapons program -- was planned and executed by people who knew what they were doing.
"We're talking about dozens of sites being dismantled," a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "Large numbers of buildings taken down, warehouses were emptied and removed. This would require heavy machinery, demolition equipment. This is not something that you'd do overnight."
Proliferation fears
Diplomats in Vienna say the IAEA is worried that these facilities, which belonged to Saddam's pre-1991 covert nuclear weapons program, could have been packed up and sold to a country or militants interested in nuclear weapons.
The diplomats said that among the sites that had been stripped were a precision manufacturing site at Umm Al Marik, a site connected with Iraq's nuclear weapons activities at Al Qa Qaa and an engineering facility at Badr.
One diplomat said there were "dozens of others" that gradually disappeared from satellite photos analyzed by IAEA experts at its headquarters in Vienna.
Independent expert Alex Standish, editor of Jane's Intelligence Digest, said Iraqi nuclear and weapons-related material that was monitored by the U.N. before the invasion had since been found in Europe. Raw "yellowcake" uranium, apparently from Iraq, was found in Rotterdam last December, he said.
"It seems extremely negligent for the authorities in Iraq to allow this quantity of material to have been exported from the country," Standish said.
In 1991, the IAEA detected Saddam's clandestine nuclear weapons program and spent the next seven years investigating and dismantling it. By the time U.N. inspectors left the country in December 1998, Iraq's covert atom bomb program was gone.
After returning in November 2002 until they were evacuated in March 2003, the IAEA was confident none of the dual-use nuclear equipment in Iraq was being used in a weapons program.Either the United States has these radioactive materials and facilities, some terrorist group has these radioactive materials and facilities, os some corporate interest has these radioactive materials and facilities.

None of those are GOOD choices. It's basically like somebody went from no nuclear weapons to 70% of the way along to nuclear weapons.

In the case of the USA, it means we can develop a new generation of nuclear weapons free from congressional oversight.

If it's a corporate interest, well, then it's the early 20th Century all over again. Corporations employed private armies to overthrow sovereign nations. That's how the British came to control India. Private armies, heavily armed. The Brits called them 'Gentlemen Adventures'. But by their actions, we'd call them 'terrorists' these days. Only now, the 'Gentlemen Terrorists would be armed with nuclear weapons.

If it's an outfit like AL Qaeda, then it's gonna be a 'dirty bomb'. Convention explosive spreading radioactive material.

Kinda scary when terrorists getting nuclear material is the LEAST destructive option

Martian Willow
Oct 16th, 2004, 12:55 AM

Oct 16th, 2004, 01:00 AM
uh....what happened to the other thread? :confused:

Oct 16th, 2004, 01:47 AM
uh....what happened to the other thread? :confused:What other thread?

Oct 16th, 2004, 01:49 AM
What other thread?
damn, i need to lay off the smack.

could've sworn there was a thread...kinda like this one...only it was...more colorful :devil: :angel:

Martian Willow
Oct 16th, 2004, 01:52 AM
It had kites.

Oct 16th, 2004, 02:03 AM
It had kites.Musta been a lot of hot air in it then.

Oct 16th, 2004, 05:18 AM
kites :smoke: