L.R., Jack said to google "1.77 tons" and see how woefully lacking follow-up coverage was by the MSM.
So then he admits that he's both a liar and not a very good researcher.
Tell him to google "iraq+uranium+radioactive+materials", assuming that he hasn't -- he might be surprised --however his opinion "woefully inadequate" is quite different from his published 'fact' -- "Not a word was heard of it from the major networks." Of course -- if he's willing to begin his column with an entire paragraph of bald-faced lies then -- why not equivocate over the rest of it?
My guess is, that he's perfectly aware of the coverage and found that it didn't support his unique position as a conspiracy theorist (aka propagandist).
May 19, 2003 issue - From the very start, one of the top U.S. priorities in Iraq has been the search for weapons of mass destruction. Weren¡¯t WMDs supposed to be what the war was about? Even so, no one has yet produced conclusive evidence that Iraq was maintaining a nuclear, biological or chemical (NBC) arsenal.
Two very suspicious trailer rigs turned up last week in Mosul. The Pentagon called them mobile bio-labs. Maybe, but although they ¡°looked like a duck and walked like a duck,¡± as one U.S. officer put it, they didn¡¯t quack. The first of the huge, truck-drawn labs, intercepted at a roadblock, had been swabbed clean. The other, discovered Friday, was stripped by looters before U.S. troops found it. So far there¡¯s a lot more belli than casus.
Looters outran the WMD hunters almost every time. ¡°Once a site has been hit with a 2,000-pound bomb, then looted, there¡¯s not a lot left,¡± says Maj. Paul Haldeman, the 101st Airborne Division¡¯s top NBC officer. In the rush to Baghdad, Coalition forces raced past most suspected WMD sites, and looters took over. After Saddam¡¯s fall, there were too few U.S. troops to secure the facilities. Roughly 900 possible WMD sites appeared on the initial target lists. So far, V Corps officers say, fewer than 150 have been searched. ¡°There aren¡¯t enough troops in the whole Army,¡± says Col. Tim Madere, the overseer of V Corps¡¯s sensitive-site teams. ¡°There just aren¡¯t enough experts to do everything.¡±
¡®THIS SITE IS OUT OF CONTROL¡¯
Some of the lapses are frightening. The well-known Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, about 12 miles south of Baghdad, had nearly two tons of partially enriched uranium, along with significant quantities of highly radioactive medical and industrial isotopes, when International Atomic Energy Agency officials made their last visit in January. By the time U.S. troops arrived in early April, armed guards were holding off looters¡ªbut the Americans only disarmed the guards, Al Tuwaitha department heads told NEWSWEEK. ¡°We told them, ¡®This site is out of control. You have to take care of it¡¯,¡± says Munther Ibrahim, Al Tuwaitha¡¯s head of plasma physics. ¡°The soldiers said, ¡®We are a small group. We cannot take control of this site¡¯.¡± As soon as the Americans left, looters broke in. The staff fled; when they returned, the containment vaults¡¯ seals had been broken, and radioactive material was everywhere.
U.S. officers say the center had already been ransacked before their troops arrived. They didn¡¯t try to stop the looting, says Colonel Madere, because ¡°there was no directive that said do not allow anyone in and out of this place.¡± Last week American troops finally went back to secure the site. Al Tuwaitha¡¯s scientists still can¡¯t fully assess the damage; some areas are too badly contaminated to inspect. ¡°I saw empty uranium-oxide barrels lying around, and children playing with them,¡± says Fadil Mohsen Abed, head of the medical-isotopes department. Stainless-steel uranium canisters had been stolen. Some were later found in local markets and in villagers¡¯ homes. ¡°We saw people using them for milking cows and carrying drinking water,¡± says Ibrahim. The looted materials could not make a nuclear bomb, but IAEA officials worry that terrorists could build plenty of dirty bombs with some of the isotopes that may have gone missing. Last week NEWSWEEK visited a total of eight sites on U.N. weapons-inspection lists. Two were guarded by U.S. troops. Armed looters were swarming through two others. Another was evidently destroyed many years ago. American forces had not yet searched the remaining three.
BAGHDAD, 21 September 2004 (IRIN) - While the Coalition has not found any weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has lots of radioactive pollution, especially at a known nuclear research site, a new survey conducted by the Ministry of Environment shows.
Tuwaitha, some 18 km south of the capital, Baghdad, is a site of previous nuclear weapons research and experiments. It appears to have the highest ambient radiation in the country, Bushra Ali Ahmed, author of the radiation survey, told IRIN.
Residents of the area looted containers holding radioactive materials in the days immediately following the US-led invasion of Iraq in April 2003. They dumped the radioactive contents on the ground at the site and used the containers to carry water, milk and other household materials and foodstuffs.
US troops and nuclear organisation workers paid about 4,500 dinars (US $3) per container to buy them back in May. Officials at the time said they were not sure they had managed to get all of the containers back.
"This site was polluted by looting and destroying research materials," Ahmed wrote in the survey. "We found a number of containers which had traces of radiation. We also found it in houses and villages nearby."
At least four surrounding villages are contaminated, the report said. Ministry officials took 190 samples at Tuwaitha: 70 for soil, 50 for water, 50 for dairy milk and 20 for other environmental items.
Dr. Al-Bahli: "I have been working at the Nuclear Authority since 1968, when the doors opened to the use of atomic [energy] for peaceful purposes in Iraq. We activated the first atomic reactor in Iraq in 1968, and within four days we transferred radioactive isotopes to hospitals to treat various illnesses. Since then, and up to 1990, we continued this type of work which was absolutely for peaceful and humanitarian purposes..."
"As for nuclear weapons, Al-Tawitha, the main area that we will be talking about, is free of weapons of mass destruction and as far as I know, nothing was done there in this respect..."
"What happened in Iraq did not happen before anywhere else in the whole world, and I hope will never happen again; there was anarchy. After hearing that radioactive components were stolen, the employees of the Nuclear Authority started informing people that the materials that were stolen were indeed radioactive and should be returned. A person who has dirty radioactive components is in danger. How is he going to behave? He may behave in a way that would harm Iraq¡¯s ecology and even [cause harm] outside Iraq..."
"Tons of uranium known as yellow cakes were stored in barrels. This was a phase in the production of uranium from crude components. There were also other by-products from processing these materials. There were tens of tons of radioactive waste. They were stored in barrels and their radioactivity was not high as long as they were under supervision."
"When order was disrupted, simple citizens - sorry to say - did not have containers to store drinking water, so they stole those barrels, each one containing 400 kilos of radioactive uranium. Some of them dumped the powder on the ground in very large quantities, and others took the contaminated barrels to their homes, and the barrels appeared in various areas. They stored water in them, and had every intention of drinking from them or [using] the barrels to sell milk."
"I visited some homes and measured radioactivity; I saw with my own eyes in one of the homes a contaminated barrel used to store tomatoes for eating. In other barrels they stored cooking utensils and other household utensils for everyday use, not knowing that some of them were contaminated. When they realized that these components were radioactive, they dumped some of them in the river or the sewer system. We found radioactive materials in homes, in beds, and in clothing. I saw a ten-year old girl, who had a yellow cake [disc] hanging from the button of her shirt."
U.S. transferred uranium from Iraq without U.N. authorization
UNITED NATIONS (AP) ¡ª The United States didn't have authorization from the U.N. nuclear watchdog when it secretly shipped from Iraq uranium and highly radioactive material that could be used in so-called "dirty bombs," U.N. officials said Wednesday.
The nearly 2 tons of low-enriched uranium and approximately 1,000 highly radioactive items transferred from Iraq to the United States last month had been placed under seal by the International Atomic Energy Agency at the sprawling Tuwaitha nuclear complex, 12 miles south of Baghdad, the officials said.
"The American authorities just informed us of their intention to remove the materials, but they never sought authorization from us," said Gustavo Zlauvinen, head of the IAEA's New York office.
U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham disclosed the secret airlift from Iraq on Tuesday as "a major achievement" in an attempt to "keep potentially dangerous nuclear material out of the hands of terrorists." The material was taken to an undisclosed U.S. Energy Department laboratory for further analysis.
The airlift ended on June 23, five days before the United States transferred sovereignty to Iraq's new interim government.
IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said in a letter to the Security Council circulated Wednesday that Washington informed the agency on June 19 that "due to security concerns" it intended to transfer some nuclear material stored at Tuwaitha to the United States.
The agency took note of the U.S. intention to remove the nuclear material "from agency verification," he said.
According to the letter, the United States informed the IAEA on June 30 that approximately 1.8 tons of uranium, enriched to a level of 2.6%, another 6.6 pounds of low-enriched uranium, and approximately 1,000 highly radioactive sources had been transferred on June 23.
A U.N. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was some concern about the legality of the U.S. transfer because the nuclear material belonged to Iraq and was under the control and supervision of the IAEA.
What happened to looted Iraqi nuclear material?
By Brett Wagner
The release Thursday of chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay's report detailing America's six-month search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has reinflamed the debate over whether anyone will ever uncover that country's alleged stockpiles of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.
A great irony, however, seems to have gotten lost in that debate: As a direct result of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq without sufficient forces to secure and protect its nuclear research and storage facilities from rampant looting, enough radioactive material to build scores of dirty bombs now is missing and may be on its way to the international black market.
It didn't have to turn out this way. In the weeks before the invasion, the U.S. military repeatedly warned the White House that its war plans did not include sufficient ground forces, air and naval operations and logistical support to guarantee a successful mission. Those warnings were discounted ¡ª even mocked ¡ª by administration officials who professed to know more about war fighting than the war fighters themselves
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A small team of U.N. nuclear experts returned to Baghdad to check the safety of Iraq's largest nuclear site, which was looted by villagers after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The team of scientists from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was allowed to travel to the badly damaged Al Tuwaitha nuclear plant by the United States Friday.
But the experts' operation is limited to the nuclear site and does not include work on the search for weapons of mass destruction. The Pentagon has also limited the team to seven members and given it only two weeks to carry out its work.
Thousands of villagers raided the nuclear site, which contains low-grade or natural uranium, immediately after the fall of Saddam's regime.
Local scientists warn the site, outside Baghdad, is badly damaged, with looters having spilled radioactive material and leaving behind piles of uranium, The Associated Press said.
The uranium was concreted over to prevent leakage or further exposure to people living in the area.
Team leader Brian Rens told AP the IAEA's mission is to "determine what has been lost and any other material which is in an unsafe condition, to repack it to the extent possible, secure it, verify it and seal the building."
Villagers were able to raid the plant after it was left unguarded by U.S. troops following its abandonment by Iraqi guards in the early days of the war.
No reports have been recorded of anyone falling ill after being exposed to the material, which is highly toxic if ingested but gives off only low levels of radioactivity.
Washington tried to keep the IAEA out of post-war Iraq despite pressure from the arms-control community. But after three months on the ground, U.S. military commanders acknowledged they were unequipped to handle the nuclear site.
Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, told AP: "I know the Tuwaitha facility is larger than the assets we have in the country now to deal with it."
CNN's Jane Arraf said the materials in the plant, although radioactive, were not enough to make a bomb. But experts say it could make a "dirty bomb." The locals wanted the barrels to store water in, she added.
On the broad question of WMDs in Iraq, one need go no further than the Administration¡¯s own more recent comments. On 10/7/2004, President Bush said ¡°Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there.¡± (http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/10/20041007-6.html) Bush has affirmed the findings of both the Kay and Duelfer reports that Saddam did not have an active WMD program at the time of the invasion.
As to some of the specific questions, basically, it sounds as if this guy basically read the misleading, right-wing book ¡°Disinformation¡± and sent these reports to Ford asking him to dispute them. Well, OK!
From Amazon.com Review of David Miniter¡¯s Book ¡®Disinformation¡¯: OK book, but major correction is necessary, December 14, 2005
This wasn¡¯t a bad book by any means, and parts concerning the history of Bin Laden were quite informative.
However, I was surprised Miniter mentioned that WMD¡¯s had actually been found in Iraq, and had largely gone unreported. In fact, he is quite incorrect, and is (hopefully unintentionally) being quite misleading. Since I know a bit about this, I thought I¡¯d clear this up for Mr. Miniter, and anyone reading this who would be otherwise quite misinformed.
Miniter claims that in Iraq we:
- Found: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium
- Found: 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons
- Found: Roadside bomb loaded with sarin gas
- Found: 1,000 radioactive materials¨Cideal for radioactive dirty bombs
- Found: 17 chemical warheads¨Csome containing cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin
Now for the facts:
The 1.77 Tons of Enriched Uranium
The Energy Department announced in July 2004 that it had removed from Iraq ¡°radiological and nuclear materials that could potentially be used in a radiological dispersal device or diverted to support a nuclear weapons program.¡± This included the ¡°1.77 metric tons of LOW-enriched uranium.¡± The reason the Administration is not now touting this as evidence of WMD is because they would be laughed at by anyone with more expertise than David Miniter. Low-enriched uranium cannot be used in an atomic weapon-only as reactor fuel, a purpose which Iraq was entirely free to pursue under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN-imposed WMD restrictions.
The 1000 Radioactive Materials
Pointing to the applicability of nuclear materials in a ¡°radiological dispersal device¡± is utterly disingenuous-these materials exist, legally, in nearly every country on earth. One might as well point to cutlery in someone¡¯s kitchen to ¡°prove¡± he is plotting murder. In fact, the hideous irony is that in the chaos of the 2003 invasion, nuclear facilities were plundered and much nuclear material was indiscriminately released-resulting in a real radiological hazard for local Iraqis (as we reported at the time). Leave it to Bush to actually create the very danger he uses to justify his military adventure.
The 1500 Gallons of Chemical Weapons
Then, there¡¯s the supposed ¡°chemical weapons.¡± Oops! Turns out when you actually read the original source (Washington Post, Aug. 14, 2005) it wasn¡¯t ¡°1,500 gallons of chemical weapons,¡± but just ¡°1,500 gallons of chemicals.¡± These were potential ¡°precursor agents¡± for chemical weapons, the Pentagon boasted upon the discovery-but the fact that the Administration is no longer touting these claims is evidence the supposed weapons program didn¡¯t get very far, if it existed at all.
The Roadside Sarin Bomb
The two roadside sarin shells were of an ancient vintage, dating from the 1980¡¯s, prior to the first Gulf War. It is of particular note that other than the two isolated shells found, no more have turned up, leading to the obvious conclusion that these two stragglers were simply the last rusting vestiges of a long-abandoned program. We KNOW that Saddam had a chemical program prior to the first Gulf War, but we can also safely conclude that he had nothing after the Gulf War. This was confirmed by the Bush-appointed Duelfer Report.
The 17 Chemical Warheads
Even Fox News had to admit that the cyclosarin warheads found by Polish troops in July 2004 ¡°date back to Saddam Hussein¡¯s war with Iran in the 1980s.¡± The BBC added that ¡°the US military said the agent was so deteriorated it posed no threat.¡±
I hope that Mr. Miniter corrects future editions of this book so as not to mislead his readers. I assume that his misunderstanding of these issues was merely ignorance, and not willful disinformation.
As to the assertion that ¡°vast quantities of WMDs that the coalition was ¡®expecting¡¯ to find had been moved to Syria in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom¡±, that is just an editorialist assertion given by a single Iraqi war general. Even Bush won¡¯t touch that one ¨C there¡¯s no facts to back it up, no sources, nothing.
May 2004 ¨C Roadside bomb containing sarin found in Iraq
Even the Fox News story admits that this ¡°bomb¡± (filled with gas that had been noted by a weapons search team to be ¡°ineffective¡±) pre-dated the 1991 Gulf War, therefore not lending any credence to the Administration¡¯s justification for going to war based on Saddam¡¯s supposed stockpile of WMDs. Also, two former weapons inspectors ¡ª Hans Blix and David Kay ¡ª said the shell was likely a stray weapon that had been scavenged by militants and did not signify that Iraq had large stockpiles of such weapons (see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4997808/).
1.77 Tons of uranium removed from Iraq
Richard Miniter claims that the U.S. ¡°discovered¡± 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium in Iraq. Richard Miniter is wrong. Those things were already tagged and under seal by UN inspectors.
¡°A joint Pentagon-Energy Department operation has removed 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium from a former nuclear research site in Iraq. The material had been sealed off after the Gulf War.¡± ¨C CBS NEWS 7/7/04
¡°Several tons of uranium have been under seal at al-Tuwaitha since the previous round of inspections ended in 1998.¡± - U.N. inspects new Iraqi military factory CNN 12/12/02
¡°A second diplomatic official expressed puzzlement as to why the United States was considering moving the material, after the material has been presumably secured and resealed. Except for the incident immediately after the invasion, the official said, ¡°this stuff has been there, secure, quiet, not a problem to anyone, since 1991.¡± - U.S. Announces It Intends to Move Tons of Uranium From Baghdad NYT 5/22/04 (from http://www.americandaughter.com/index.html?http://frontpage.americandaughter.com/?p=42)
The Energy Department announced in July 2004 that it had removed from Iraq ¡°radiological and nuclear materials that could potentially be used in a radiological dispersal device or diverted to support a nuclear weapons program.‿ This included the ¡°1.77 metric tons of LOW-enriched uranium.‿ The reason the Administration never touted this as evidence of WMD is because they would be laughed at by anyone with a passing expertise. Low-enriched uranium cannot be used in an atomic weapon-only as reactor fuel, a purpose which Iraq was entirely free to pursue under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and UN-imposed WMD restrictions.
Further, ¡°The International Atomic Energy Agency kept Iraq¡¯s uranium under seal in storage facilities for more than a decade before the U.S. invasion in March, 2003.‿ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35404-2004Jul7.html)
It¡¯s been locked and monitored since 1991, and it was largely useless anyway.
That 1.77 tons of enriched uranium ¡°had been under IAEA seal since 1991. It was last visited by IAEA inspectors in February 2003¡å.
¡°It was Low-enriched uranium¡± and uranium¡¯s, ¡°extremely low radioactivity is harmless compared with high-radiation materials¡±. Peter Zimmerman, ¡°co-author of an expert analysis of dirty bombs for the U.S. National Defense University¡± said ¡°you cannot make a radiological dispersal device with uranium. There is just no significant radiation hazard.¡± (from http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=2955)
And I believe his point was that by comparing Wilson's first op-ed piece with his latest is where you will find the measure of the man.
I'd like to read Wilson's first column -- he's quite proud of it and says that he sent copies to Bush Sr. and Scowcroft when it came out and they agreed with him.
Mr. Wilson said he so respects the former president's international approach to foreign policy that when he wrote his first article questioning the current administration's developing Iraq strategy, which was published in The San Jose Mercury News in October 2002, he sent a copy to the former president. The senior Mr. Bush wrote him a brief reply, Mr. Wilson said. He refused to share the contents but said Mr. Bush's note had been "very positive."
He certainly doesn't seem to find any shame in that article -- nor see it as anything that impeaches his statements. And, frankly, from what Cashill gives us -- it doesn't -- it's perfectly logical to assume that Wilson was under the same impression as everyone (who didn't have access to all the intelligence) that Saddam did, indeed, have WMD's -- but Wilson's trip only failed to verify that Saddam had sought Uranium recently from Niger -- but somehow that bit of faulty intelligence made it into a State of the Union speech.
This is, however, all a red herring Denise -- because the issue isn't Joseph Wilson -- but Valerie Wilson.
Let's just assume that Joe is a bald-faced liar. That is not liscnce to disclose classified information or expose a CIA operative.