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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 11/25/2003 8:04:34 AM EDT
Do you think they let them take it on purpouse?

AMIRIYA, Iraq — A seeming lapse in surveillance by American forces has led to the looting of dangerously radioactive capsules from Saddam Hussein's main battlefield testing site in the desert outside Baghdad and the identification of at least one 30-year-old Iraqi villager, and possibly a village boy, as suffering from radiation sickness.

The two capsules, taken from a site once used by Mr. Hussein's government to test the effects of radiation on animals and perhaps humans, have since been recovered after an American sweep through the area.

But American officers fear that more cases of the sickness may follow, and that they will be powerless to help unless people in the villages of Amiriya and Shamiya break their silence and identify men who looted the desert site in early September.

Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the American commander in Iraq, has ordered an investigation to discover why an arc of eight 75-foot radioactive testing poles at the site was not more closely guarded after American nuclear experts filed a report to the Pentagon identifying them as dangerous after a visit to the site on May 9, American officers said. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has also taken a personal interest in the case.

Under investigation is how American surveillance of the area, now under the control of the 82nd Airborne Division, failed to spot villagers entering the testing site with heavy vehicles to dismantle three of the poles, or towers, for scrap, leaving heavy tire tracks in the desert.

One of the cobalt capsules was found by American troops on Oct. 6 lying in the yard of a villager's house in Amiriya, less than 15 feet from the outdoor clay oven the family used to bake bread.

The second capsule was found partly buried about 75 feet from a house in Shamiya, just east of Amiriya and about 10 miles north of the nuclear testing site, in a position where it, too, would have been approached by family members and neighbors. Along with the capsules, parts of the giant testing poles were found, dismantled for scrap metal.

"We've made every effort to unscramble this thing," said Lt. Col. George Krivo, a spokesman for the American command in Baghdad.


Link Posted: 11/25/2003 10:49:28 AM EDT
Cobalt-60 is bad news, very radioactive!!!! It is a very energetic gamma ray emitter and would make a perfect dirty bomb material! It will definetly get the attention of a gieger counter!!!
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 11:01:35 AM EDT
Did you notice where they found the stuff?
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 12:40:34 PM EDT
ar10er, This seems to be one of the many screwups our leadership over there continues to commit. Christ, Cobalt-60 + TNT = dirty bomb, a very nasty one at that! This stuff should have been put in safe area, preferably in a frieght container and given to someone like DOE.
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 8:05:17 PM EDT
I think the idiots stealing this stuff have no idea what they have.
Link Posted: 11/26/2003 2:20:41 PM EDT
Wait a minute, according to the Europeans and the Democrats there are no WMDs or evidence of WMD's in Iraq? How can they steal something that doesn't exist[;D]
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