October 27, 2007

More Diversion

15 pounds of Uranium is the size of a soda can. That is what it might take to produce a small nuclear bomb. The Iranians have had Russian nuclear scientist assisting them for some time and it seems like their Uranium enrichment has gone on for at least two years. My theory is that the Iranians have the bomb, maybe several, and that the Iranian president is jerking our chain. To say that the International Atomic Energy Agency has monitored Iran and have found Iran has not made enough progress to make a bomb, then how come they could not stop India and Pakistan. The hard work and research was done by the Manhattan Project; no nation has to reinvent that wheel. The Manhattan Project produced three bombs after a two and a half years of concentrated effort.

Another diversion from the administration. It is in our national interest for Iran and some other countries not to have a bomb. That has always been the case. What bothers me is that this administration relates its importance to terrorism. The article I linked to, earlier in this post describes how easily it was to smuggle enriched Uranium.

In 2002 the network [ABC] shipped the depleted uranium cylinder, which is about the size of a soda can, by ocean freight from Istanbul to New York. In 2003, the network shipped it in a teak trunk from Jakarta to Long Beach, a port near Los Angeles.

In 2002 U.S. Customs inspected the shipping container at Staten Island in New York and failed to detect the uranium. In 2003, U.S. Customs inspected the container at Long Beach and again failed to detect it.

"The fact that ABC News was able to smuggle in what could have been weapon-grade uranium a second time speaks volumes about the failure of the Bush administration to secure nuclear weapon materials," said Tom Cochran, the physicist who heads NRDC's Nuclear Program. "We must eliminate the commercial use of weapon-usable uranium and reduce the inventories of highly enriched uranium used for weapons. U.S. Customs simply cannot stop it from being smuggled into the country."

I wonder how easily it would be to bribe someone to provide you with as soda cans worth of enriched Uranium, or for the real thing in places where the Soviets had weapons that are no longer under the control of Russia and are perhaps forgotten. Remember Bin Laden was rich. Did we get all of his assets? If Iran wanted the terrorist to have the bomb, couldn't they just buy a bomb. They could even give the terrorist enriched Uranium for a dirty bomb. Accounting of fissionable material is not precise.
The risk of theft or diversion is particularly strong in Russia. The breakup of the Soviet Union has left weapons containing fissionable materials in the hands of four states: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine. Although commitments to consolidate these weapons into Russia were agreed upon in the Lisbon protocol in 1992, at this writing it is not certain when--or even whether--this move will actually be completed. Ukraine in particular is creating difficulties. Nor do we have reliable information about how security will be imposed after nuclear warheads arrive in Russia or where they will be dismantled and the fissionable material stored.

Read the entire article
Even though this article is thirteen years old, not too much has been done to correct this.

If they think that Iran made be gearing up to bomb Israel, what about Syria? Pictures in the news today about a nuclear facility in Syria, bombed by Israel.

New commercial satellite images show a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site has been wiped clean since it was bombed Sept. 6 by Israeli aircraft.

Analysts say the cleanup will hinder a proposed investigation by international nuclear inspectors and suggests Syria is trying to conceal evidence.

Are there more facilities in Syria? Why is this administration not obsessed about this? I do wish the citizenry would want more scrutiny of our president motives instead of engaging in a demonizing war between the political parties. His diversions could eventually be fatal to us all.

My question? To what purpose? Does he not think we will not notice the progress in Iraq? That we will not count the dead? We will not question, who's in charge in the Iraqi government? Or does he think this will be his legacy; to get one government to cower? January 20, 2009 can not come too soon.

UPDATE: Here is a more recent article on smuggling Uranium.


plez... said...

the decision to occupy Iraq was a BIG mistake or a stroke of GENIUS depending on which government-contract-enriched company you ask! since a WIN in Iraq is YEARS away, the Bush Administration will invade someone (anyone) in the coming months to get a quick win before he must relinquish the reins of power... bombing a fictional plant in Iran falsely accused of enriching weapons grade uranium for a nuclear bomb is just the ticket!

expect something in mid-2008, just in time to give the Republicans a small bump in the polls before the US Presidential Election.

J.B. Kochanie said...

Even though this article is thirteen years old, not too much has been done to correct this.

Back in 1994 I spoke with a woman who was part of an American delegation to visit the Soviet Union after perestroika. An issue of particular concern to the delegation was the availability of fissionable materials in the newly formed Asiatic states, which had long-standing grievances against Russia, Ukraine and the European states. The central control of the old USSR had held these grievances in check. With the removal of that centralized control, it was feared that the Asiatic states would readily trade their stockpiles of weapons and material to any who were willing to pay the price, and if the buyer was an enemy of the European states or their allies, so much the better. It is frightening to read that so little had been done since that time to secure these materials. And you are right -- why haven't we heard more about this?