Bush the Proliferator

From Holden:

George Bush is truly a danger to the world at large. Saddam’s mothballed nuclear weapons program has disappeared. Gone – lock, stock, and yellow cake barrel. The UN does not know who took it or where it went. The US was supposed to be monitoring these sites and prevented the IAEA from doing so themselves. This is either another case of supreme incompetence or we took the stuff.

The mysterious removal of Iraq’s mothballed nuclear facilities continued long after the U.S.-led invasion and was carried out by people with access to heavy machinery and demolition equipment, diplomats said on Thursday.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog told the Security Council this week that equipment and materials that could be used to make atomic weapons had been vanishing from Iraq without either Baghdad or Washington noticing.

“This process carried on at least through 2003 … and probably into 2004, at least in early 2004,” said a Western diplomat close to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which monitored Iraq’s nuclear sites before last year’s war.

That contrasted with statements by Western and Iraqi officials, who have played down the disappearance of the equipment. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Tuesday he believed most of the removals took place in the chaos shortly after the March 2003 invasion.

[snip]

Several diplomats close to the IAEA said the disappearance of the nuclear items was not the result of haphazard looting.

They said the removal of the dual-use equipment — which before the war was tagged and closely monitored by the IAEA to ensure it was not being used in a weapons program — was planned and executed by people who knew what they were doing.

“We’re talking about dozens of sites being dismantled,” a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. “Large numbers of buildings taken down, warehouses were emptied and removed. This would require heavy machinery, demolition equipment. This is not something that you’d do overnight.”

[snip]

The diplomats said that among the sites that had been stripped were a precision manufacturing site at Umm Al Marik, a site connected with Iraq’s nuclear weapons activities at Al Qa Qaa and an engineering facility at Badr.

One diplomat said there were “dozens of others” that gradually disappeared from satellite photos analyzed by IAEA experts at its headquarters in Vienna.

[snip]

“It seems extremely negligent for the authorities in Iraq to allow this quantity of material to have been exported from the country,” [Alex Standish, editor of Jane’s Intelligence Digest] said.