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InvisibleLos_Pepes
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 731
Saddam's 500-ton Uranium Stockpile
    #4909809 - 11/08/05 06:10 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Saddam's 500-ton Uranium Stockpile

Thanks to Leakgate Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's decision to indict "Scooter" Libby last week, Bush administration accuser Joe Wilson is once again the toast of Washington, D.C. - recycling the fifteen minutes of fame he first purchased in July 2003 with the claim that Bush lied about Iraq's plan to acquire uranium from Niger.

Why was Bush's uranium claim so important? Because if true, the mere attempt by the Iraqi dictator to acquire uranium would show that he had clear and incontrovertible plans to restart his nuclear program.

Maybe that's why the press seldom discusses the fact that Saddam already had a staggeringly large stockpile of uranium - 500 tons, to be exact.

And if his mere intention to acquire uranium was enough to justify fears of Saddam's nuclear ambition, what would the average person deduce from that fact that he'd already stockpiled a huge quantity of the bombmaking fuel?

In its May 22, 2004 edition, the New York Times confirmed a myriad of reports on Saddam's nuclear fuel stockpile - and revealed a chilling detail unknown to weapons inspectors before the war: that Saddam had begun to partially enrich his uranium stash.
The Times noted:

"The repository, at Tuwaitha, a centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program, . . . . holds more than 500 tons of uranium . . . . Some 1.8 tons is classified as low-enriched uranium."

Thomas B. Cochran, director of the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Times that "the low-enriched version could be useful to a nation with nuclear ambitions."

"A country like Iran," Mr. Cochran said, "could convert that into weapons-grade material with a lot fewer centrifuges than would be required with natural uranium."

The paper conceded that while Saddam's nearly 2 tons of partially enriched uranium was "a more potent form" of the nuclear fuel, it was "still not sufficient for a weapon.
Consulted about the low-enriched uranium discovery, however, Ivan Oelrich, a physicist at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Associated Press that if it was of the 3 percent to 5 percent level of enrichment common in fuel for commercial power reactors, the 1.8 tons could be used to produce enough highly enriched uranium to make a single nuclear bomb.

Luckily, Iraq didn't have even the small number of centrifuges necessary to get the job done.

Or did it?

The physicist tapped by Saddam to run his centrifuge program says that after the first Gulf War, the program was largely dismantled. But it wasn't destroyed.

In fact, according to what he wrote in his 2004 book, "The Bomb in My Garden," Dr. Mahdi Obeidi told U.S. interrogators: "Saddam kept funding the IAEC [Iraq Atomic Energy Commission] from 1991 ... until the war in 2003."

"I was developing the centrifuge for the weapons" right through 1997, he revealed.

And after that, Dr. Obeidi said, Saddam ordered him under penalty of death to keep the technology available to resume Iraq's nuke program at a moment's notice.

Dr. Obeidi said he buried "the full set of blueprints, designs - everything to restart the centrifuge program - along with some critical components of the centrifuge" under the garden of his Baghdad home.

"I had to maintain the program to the bitter end," he explained. All the while the Iraqi physicist was aware that he held the key to Saddam's continuing nuclear ambitions.

"The centrifuge is the single most dangerous piece of nuclear technology," Dr. Obeidi said in his book. "With advances in centrifuge technology, it is now possible to conceal a uranium enrichment program inside a single warehouse."

Consider: 500 tons of yellowcake stored at Saddam's old nuclear weapons plant, where he'd managed to partially enrich 1.8 tons. And the equipment and blueprints that could enrich enough uranium to make a bomb stored away for safekeeping. And all of it at the Iraqi dictator's disposal.

If the average American were aware of these undisputed facts, the debate over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction would have been decided long ago - in President Bush's favor.

One more detail that Mr. Wilson and his media backers don't like to discuss: the reason Niger was such a likely candidate for Saddam's uranium shopping spree.

Responding to the firestorm that erupted after Wilson's July 2003 column, Prime Minister Tony Blair told reporters:

"In case people should think that the whole idea of a link between Iraq and Niger was some invention, in the 1980s we know for sure that Iraq purchased round about 270 tons of uranium from Niger."


http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/11/2/220331.shtml


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OfflineRonoS
DSYSB since '01
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Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 16,259
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
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Re: Saddam's 500-ton Uranium Stockpile [Re: Los_Pepes]
    #4909852 - 11/08/05 06:19 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Interesting...just out of curiousity, where exactly is this 500 ton uranium stockpile now? Perhaps during the constant surveilance of Iraq during the past 10 years Saddam managed to bury it in his garden as well?


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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InvisibleLos_Pepes
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Registered: 06/26/05
Posts: 731
Re: Saddam's 500-ton Uranium Stockpile [Re: Rono]
    #4909873 - 11/08/05 06:23 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Its probably in Syria along with the rest of his WMD.


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OfflineRonoS
DSYSB since '01
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Registered: 01/26/01
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Re: Saddam's 500-ton Uranium Stockpile [Re: Los_Pepes]
    #4909880 - 11/08/05 06:24 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

ah...of course it is.  :rolleyes:


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"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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