Saddam’s WMD found, well not really

In the south we’ve known for years that if walk around barefoot and get tar stuck to your heels you put a little kerosene on a rag and wipe it off. Just using a towel or soap and water does little good. WMD in Iraq is the tar on the Right’s brain. Every so often they rub it around, but they never clean it off. Maybe they just like having tar brain,  AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from Iraq

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program – a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium – reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of “yellowcake” – the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment – was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

AP doesn’t mention how old this yellowcake is. We’ll get to that, but first the Right is having a regularly scheduled outbreak of nuclear paranoia. Republican blogger American Thinker, July 06, 2008, Disconfirmations Disconfirmed: Saddam Had Nuke Program (Updated), By Randall Hoven

By the way, is it illogical or insane to think that Saddam could not possibly obtain yellowcake, and did not even try to, because one former ambassador went to one country in Africa and said he couldn’t find it there?  What about after they found over a million pounds of it just south of Baghdad?  Is it now considered reality-based to think Saddam “sought” yellowcake, just as President Bush said in his 2003 State of the Union address ?

This yellowcake is supposed to vindicate Bush and his supporters, yet it has been under guard by American forces since soon after the initial 2003 invasion, so why haven’t Bush and company, Fox News and a multitude of media outlets been pointing fingers and shouting at what would be one of the biggest news stories of the decade.

Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

Because this is the same nuclear material that has been in Iraq since the first Gulf War. The nuclear material the George W.H. Bush ( Dubya’s dad) let stay in Iraq with IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) seals still intact. Bush under the terms of the first Gulf War UN resolutions could have had it removed and had Saddam pay for the removal, but let it stay. Yellowcake remains that date from the early eighties is another reason the Right’s defense of Bush’s Niger claims, their trashing of Joseph Wilson and the administration’s outing of CIA NOC Valerie Plame made no sense. The Right claimed Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake in 2000/2001. Why would he be so desperate to buy materials he already had. Bush Sr left it, Bush Jr pretends he doesn’t know its in country. In an IAEA report on nuclear activities in Iraq between 1991 and 1998,

Indigenous production and overt procurement of uranium compounds
Iraq Nuclear Sites

* Imported 4,006 kg of natural uranium and 6,005 kg of depleted uranium (DU) from Italy in 1979
* Imported 1,767 kg low enriched uranium (LEU) from Italy in 1982
* Imported almost 50 kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from Russia and France
* Procured 429 drums containing 138,098 kg yellowcake from Portugal in 1980
* Procured 487 drums containing 148,348 kg yellowcake from Portugal in 1982
* Procured 432 drums containing 137,435 kg of yellowcake from Niger in 1981
* Procured 426 drums containing 139,409 kg of yellowcake from Niger in 1982
* Imported 24,260 kg of uranium dioxide from Brazil between 1981-82
* Produced 109 tonnes of uranium in 168 tonnes of yellowcake at Al Qaim uranium recovery plant, which was constructed between 1982-84
* Produced 420 drums containing 99,457 kg uranium dioxide at Al Jesira uranium conversion facility
* Produced UF6 at Rashdiya Engineering and Design Centre
* Processed uranium dioxide to produce UF4, uranium metal and UF6 at Tuwaitha Chemical Laboratories
* Processed UO2 and yellowcake to produce UO2, U3O8, UO3, UO4, UF4, and uranium metal at Tuwaitha
* Experimental Research Laboratory for Fuel Fabrication
* Processed UO2 to produce UCl4 at Tuwaitha Chemical Engineering Research laboratories

This information was on the internets in 2003. In an IAEA assessment in 1998, almost ten years after the first Gulf War and around the same time as the Clinton administration’s Operation Desert Fox (a combination of airstrikes and cruise missile strikes),

* There were no indications to suggest that Iraq was successful in its attempt to produce nuclear weapons. Iraq’s explanation of its progress towards the finalisation of a workable design for its nuclear weapons was considered to be consistent with the resources and time scale indicated by the available programme documentation.
* Iraq was at, or close to, the threshold of success in such areas as the production of HEU through the EMIS process, the production and pilot cascading of single-cylinder sub-critical gas centrifuge machines, and the fabrication of the explosive package for a nuclear weapon
* There were no indications to suggest that Iraq had produced more than a few grams of weapons-grade nuclear material through its indigenous processes.
* There were no indications that Iraq otherwise clandestinely acquired weapons-usable material
* All the safeguarded research reactor fuel was verified and fully accounted for by the IAEA and removed from Iraq.
* There were no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of amounts of weapons-usable nuclear material of any practical significance.

If the Right is going to have these regular attacks of WMD Derangement Syndrome its fine with me, just another opportunity to show how deceitful and silly they are when it comes to making excuses for lies that have caused the deaths of the troops and Iraqi people they say they case so much about. A fringe right-wing site called protein wisdom, July 6, 2008, Chimpy McHitlerburton’s smirky rodeo ride through history, 25: the last slice of Saddam cake eaten by secret greedy killbots

even 550 metric tons of the stuff — is not, without further enrichment, capable of causing anything more than a panic. And Saddam was far too busy writing romance novels and terrorizing Kurds and Marsh Arabs to even dream about further enriching the stuff.

Can we assume that when Dick Cheney who was Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War decided to leave this 550 metric tons of yellowcake, which according to the WMD experts at pw is practically the same thing as having an ICBM pointed at Cincinnati will be getting an e-mail shortly questioning the wisdom of his decision to leave said tonnage in Iraq. Who knows what the infamous Dick will say, Bush, Cheney admit Iraq had no WMD, take new tack

President Bush and his vice president conceded yesterday in the clearest terms yet that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction…

Bush’s response was his first reaction to a report released Wednesday by Charles Duelfer, the CIA’s top weapons inspector, that contradicted the White House’s main argument for invading Iraq.

Vice President Dick Cheney brushed aside Duelfer’s central findings – that Hussein not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but that he had no capability of making any – while Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq.

The nuclear materials referred to in the AP report that is being touted as vindication by the Conservative blogs proof of finding WMD why didn’t Bush and Cheney have a photo op in 2004 near the berms where the material was buried and claim that they were right all along. No great leaps of logic required, someone would have said you mean the raw materials that Bush Sr and Cheney left there in 1991 is the reason you sent American troops off to die in 2003.

More here, There Is No Cake

and here, Wingnut Hysteria

In fact, the IAEA had inspected the site several times before the Iraq War began in March 2003. The last inspection was on February 11, 2003. United Nations weapons inspectors had visited the facility in December, 2002. The yellowcake was all inventoried and stored in drums with IAEA seals. I wrote a lot about this back in 2003.

right wing nut

WMD – True Believers Club President