Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Iraq nuclear materials gone missing
Great. Just great. So not only did Iraq not have WMD, but now, after the US invaded and occupied Iraq, it seems that equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons have disappeared from Iraq.
Satellite imagery and investigations of nuclear sites in Iraq have caused alarm at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).So what happened between the point where the IAEA was keeping tabs on all this stuff and had said in February of 2003 that Iraq's nuclear weapons program had been "neutralized" by December 1998 and the point where they are now saying that nuclear materials are missing? You guessed it, the US barred IAEA inspectors from returning to Iraq after the war began in March of 2003 because presumably they would have gotten in the way of the US team searching for those WMD. So now George W. Bush is saying that the biggest threat that the US faces today is the possibility of nuclear weapons getting into the hands of terrorists. And that's why we went into Iraq. But by the US going into Iraq, equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons have disappeared. We used to know where they were and now we don't. The Guardian writes:
The agency found that in some cases entire buildings housing high-precision nuclear equipment had been dismantled; equipment that could be used to make a bomb, such as high-strength aluminium, had vanished from open storage areas, the agency said.
In a report to the UN security council yesterday, the IAEA's director general, Mohamed ElBaradei, said the agency "continues to be concerned about the widespread and apparently systematic dismantlement that has taken place at sites previously relevant to Iraq's nuclear programme and sites previously subject to ongoing monitoring and verification by the agency".
[I]t now appears Iraq may pose a nuclear threat of a different sort: some military goods, including missile engines, that disappeared from Iraq after the US-led invasion later turned up in scrap yards in the Middle East and Europe. However, none of the equipment or material known to the IAEA as potentially useful in making nuclear bombs has been found, according to Mr ElBaradei.Simply fantastic.