Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 10/15/2004 3:33:38 AM EDT

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.

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.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:43:49 AM EDT
I would't say Iraq has no WMD.

We'll find it all when we invade Syria.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 3:49:30 AM EDT
...or Iran.

Let's do both.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:03:59 AM EDT
I agree.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:07:31 AM EDT
It's the old "Riddle of Steel" thing again. It was never really about WMD's, although evidence he was storing his programs, not dismantling them, was rampant and undeniable. It was always about the WILL and the MEANS to use them.

The danger in any weapon is rarely in the weapon itself. The true danger lies in who has their hand on the trigger.

Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:09:15 AM EDT
We are still finding bombs from WWII in Germany.

Canadians just found a large missile stash in Afganistan.

It's possible we could find WMD's still.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:21:24 AM EDT
Iraq is a big fucking place. Total area is 168,753 square miles. California, third largest state, has only 158,869 square miles. Dipshit (Sadamm) buried the shit he wasn't supposed to have. Can anyone honestly say that they would have found jack shit themselves? Hell no you can't.

Link to story
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:51:32 AM EDT
It seems to me that this is a case of those who want to distance themselves from a stance they once took after it became less popular. I have seen quote after quote from Kerry saying he supported armed action against Saddam and that he believed Saddam had WMDs. We went in, couldn't find them in large quantities, and suddenly he started to backtrack. What kind of person would want this guy for president. He has no courage of his convictions and is ridiculously obvious when he tries to accommodate whichever viewpoint he's chosen at the moment.

He would be a tragic clown on the world stage as president. He would be a laughing stock. He is the cheapest kind of political toad.

Saddam did indeed have WMDs. Thousands of dead Kurds were proof of that. A large cache of Ricin filled artillery rounds WAS recovered near Baghdad. There was plenty of evidence that he was plotting to rebuild his nuclear program. We sat on his borders for months building an army. Saddam may have been ruthless and evil, but he was not stupid. He could see the writing on the wall. He gathered up his wealth, hid; dismantled or moved his WMDs out, and made a plan for his escape against an inevitable American invasion. Only an idiot would have done otherwise. He knew that we would never send a single soldier in his direction without full intent of deploying them against him. He knew we could not just leave. Everyone else knew it too. At least anyone with common sense did.
Our people are finding new things all the time. If next week we find a huge underground bunker filled with nerve gas, biological warfare equipment and nuclear material, you can bet that suddenly Kerry will be saying that he was sure we'd find it all along.

Saddam was a threat that destabilized the region. This region, like few others, affects everyone on the planet. The world runs on energy and a lot of that energy is from oil. When someone threatens the constant delivery and production of that resource anywhere in the world, they are a threat to peace. One way or another, he had to go. The world is a much better place with him out of power and his sons dead. Don't forget he was rewarding the families of suicide bombers with $25,000.00 for each attack.

The president may have acted on faulty intelligence, but I firmly believe he did so honestly with the best intentions. I am not going to turn on him and point a finger like so many cowards have done.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 6:55:33 AM EDT

Maybe that SOB just needed a good ass kickin, for the shit he's pulled.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 7:08:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By painrx:
Iraq is a big fucking place. Total area is 168,753 square miles. California, third largest state, has only 158,869 square miles. Dipshit (Sadamm) buried the shit he wasn't supposed to have. Can anyone honestly say that they would have found jack shit themselves? Hell no you can't.


Link to story

Sure. all i need is a GPS, a shovel and a place to look.
so somewhere there is a little book of places to look
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 8:33:46 AM EDT
Yep, they still have no WMDs. And we've made sure that they will continue to have absolutely no WMDs for the foreseeable future. The situation is well in hand.
Top Top