Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Via Cursor.org (and Zemblan patriots B.K. and J.D.): During the last debate, you'll recall, the President explained that the removal of Saddam Hussein was necessary because he posed a "unique threat":
And the unique threat was that he could give weapons of mass destruction to an organization like Al Qaeda, and the harm they inflicted on us with airplanes would be multiplied greatly by weapons of mass destruction.We are greatly dismayed to report that the unique threat posed by Saddam before the invasion has gotten a lot less unique since. Saddam at least kept track of his nuclear swag on the off chance he might need it later. Our occupation forces, however, have apparently taken the free-salad-bar approach -- which is to leave the stuff lying around unguarded so that any visiting terrorist can fill his wheelbarrow on a first-come, first-served basis:
Equipment and materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons are disappearing from Iraq but neither Baghdad nor Washington appears to have noticed, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency reported on Monday.UPDATE: Ladies and gentlemen, a special bonus comedic aside from Mr. Dick Cheney:
Satellite imagery shows that entire buildings in Iraq have been dismantled. They once housed high-precision equipment that could help a government or terror group make nuclear bombs, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to the U.N. Security Council.
Equipment and materials helpful in making bombs also have been removed from open storage areas in Iraq and disappeared without a trace, according to the satellite pictures, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei said.
While some military goods that disappeared from Iraq after the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, including missile engines, later turned up in scrap yards in the Middle East and Europe, none of the equipment or material known to the IAEA as potentially useful in making nuclear bombs has turned up yet, ElBaradei said.
The United States barred the return of U.N. weapons investigators after launching war on Iraq in March 2003, preventing the IAEA from keeping tabs on high-tech equipment and materials up to the present day . . . .
In his latest report, ElBaradei said the IAEA remained "concerned about the widespread and apparently systematic dismantlement" of former nuclear sites it used to monitor.
"As the disappearance of such equipment and materials may be of proliferation significance, any state that has information about the location of such items should provide IAEA with that information," his report said.
Vice President Dick Cheney, who acknowledged last week that Iraq had produced no weapons of mass destruction after 1991, said Tuesday that under Saddam Hussein the country likely could have served as a source of weapons for terrorists.EDITOR'S NOTES: Delete "under Saddam Hussein." Scratch "could have served"; replace with "serves."