Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Media Not Biased?

I just came across this item that I forgot I had saved on my computer. It tells the story all by itself. Think "yellowcake," Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, and read on. You can see the post here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1185605/posts

Iraqi Survey Chief Duelfer: Saddam Was Developing Nukes

Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons development program at the time of the U.S. invasion in March 2003, chief U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer has told Congress.

In comments that received virtually no press coverage in the United States, Duelfer testified that Iraq was "preserving and expanding its knowledge to design and develop nuclear weapons." One Iraqi laboratory "was intentionally focused on research applicable for nuclear weapons development," the top weapons inspector said.

Duelfer's stunning assessment, delivered in March of this year, was first reported last week by renowned historian William Shawcross, in a column for Britain's Guardian newspaper. The former U.N. weapons inspector, who replaced David Kay as head of the CIA's Iraq Survey Group last year, said that Saddam was financing his nuclear program by misappropriating funds from the U.N.'s Oil-for-Food Program.

According to Duelfer, Saddam was able to use Oil-for-Food to boost his military procurement budget to $500 million annually &$0150; a 100-fold increase from 1996 to 2003. Most of the recent nuclear research took place at Iraq's notorious al Tuwaitha weapons facility, where Saddam had stockpiled over 500 tons of yellow cake uranium ore since before the first Gulf War.

Iraq was also in talks with North Korea on the possibility of importing a 1,300 km missile system, the ISG chief revealed. Foreign missile experts were working in Iraq in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and had helped Iraq redesign the al-Samoud missile.

Saddam's 500-plus-ton uranium stockpile was being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the same agency that had responsibility for monitoring North Korea's nuclear program throughout the 1990s.

In October 2002 Pyongyang stunned IAEA inspectors with the announcement that it was ready to produce nuclear weapons.

In June of this year, the U.S. Energy Department removed 1.8 tons of low-enriched uranium from al Tuwaitha.

Ivan Oelrich, a physicist at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Associated Press at the time that the low-enriched uranium stockpile could have produced enough highly enriched uranium to make a single nuclear bomb.

In March 2003, Vice President Dick Cheney said there was evidence that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, but the claim was widely dismissed by congressional investigators as well as U.S. reporters.