April 16, 2004

Some Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are being taken out of the country, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency reported after reviewing satellite images and equipment that has turned up in European scrapyards.

The incredible shrinking _resident led the US into
this foolish military adventure with LIES about Saddam
possessing WMDs and being in cahoots with Osama bin
Laden. Of course, there were no WMDs. (And none have been
planted -- yet.) Nor was Saddam ever in cahoots with
Osama bin Laden -- indeed, they were sworn enemies.
(No "intelligence breakdowns," the Bush cabal was
warned of these facts by the UN, our allies and our
own CIA.) In painful irony, however the Bush cabal's
disasterous occupation and the neo con wet dream that
spawned it has turned Iraq into an Al Qaeda breeding
ground, launching pad and barrel for shooting US
soldiers. It may also lead to WMDs in the hands of Al
Qaeda. But will the "US mainstream news media" (e.g.,
the cable news networks and their propapunditgandists)
or your elected representatives in Congress have the
courage, indendence or clarity of mind to provide the
CONTEXT and the CONTINUITY needed to grasp the
implications of this unnecessary Mega-Mogadishu and
all that will flow from it? Unlikely. Will Sen. John
F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta)? He better.

Associated Press: Some Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are being taken out of the country, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency reported after reviewing satellite images and equipment that has turned up in European scrapyards.
The International Atomic Energy Agency sent a letter
to U.S. officials three weeks ago informing them of
the findings. The information was also sent to the
U.N. Security Council in a letter from its director,
Mohamed ElBaradei, that was circulated Thursday.


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http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-3981804,00.html


Probe Shows Iraq Nuke Facilities Unguarded

Thursday April 15, 2004 8:16 PM


UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Some Iraqi nuclear facilities
appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are
being taken out of the country, the U.N.'s nuclear
watchdog agency reported after reviewing satellite
images and equipment that has turned up in European
scrapyards. The International Atomic Energy Agency
sent a letter to U.S. officials three weeks ago
informing them of the findings. The information was
also sent to the U.N. Security Council in a letter
from its director, Mohamed ElBaradei, that was
circulated Thursday.

The IAEA is waiting for a reply from the United
States, which is leading the coalition administering
Iraq, officials said.

The United Sattes has virtually cut off
information-sharing with the IAEA since invading Iraq
in March 2002 on the premise that the country was
hiding weapons of mass destruction.

No such weapons have been found, and arms control
officials now worry the war and its chaotic aftermath
may have increased chances that terrorists could get
their hands on materials used for unconventional
weapons or that civilians may be unknowingly exposed
to radioactive materials.

According to ElBaradei's letter, satellite imagery
shows ``extensive removal of equipment and in some
instances, removal of entire buildings,'' in Iraq.

In addition, ``large quanitities of scrap, some of it
contaminated, have been transfered out of Iraq from
sites'' previously monitored by the IAEA.

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.

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's first chief weapons hunter has said he no
longer believes Iraq had weapons just prior to the
invasion.





Guardian Unlimited Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004


Posted by richard at April 16, 2004 01:30 PM