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Get That Man a Place on Mount Rushmore

Get That Man a Place on Mount Rushmore
By Jonathan Schwartz | Tiny Revolution

Here's an overlooked part from a scary new article by Seymour Hersh about Pakistan's nuclear weapons:

A retired senior Pakistani intelligence officer, who worked with his C.I.A. counterparts to track down Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said..."My belief today is that it’s better to have the Americans as an enemy rather than as a friend, because you cannot be trusted," the former officer concluded. "The only good thing the United States did for us was to look the other way about an atomic bomb when it suited the United States to do so."

The Pakistani intelligence officer is talking about actions by the Reagan administration. Usually we hear about this from U.S. sources, but it's interesting to have confirmation from the other side. There's a good summary in a Consortium News article about the movie Charlie Wilson's War:

[S]urely the most glaring omission in the film is the fateful trade-off accepted by President Ronald Reagan when he agreed not to complain about Pakistan’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons capability in exchange for Pakistani cooperation in helping the Afghan rebels. Read more.

IAEA Found Nothing Serious At Iran Site: ElBaradei

IAEA found nothing serious at Iran site: ElBaradei | Reuters

U.N. inspectors found "nothing to be worried about" in a first look at a previously secret uranium enrichment site in Iran last month, the International Atomic Energy chief said in remarks published Thursday.

Mohamed ElBaradei also told the New York Times that he was examining possible compromises to unblock a draft nuclear cooperation deal between Iran and three major powers that has foundered over Iranian objections.

The nuclear site, which Iran revealed in September three years after diplomats said Western spies first detected it, added to Western fears of covert Iranian efforts to develop atom bombs. Iran says it is enriching uranium only for electricity. Read more.

NIE Reveals Qom Facility Followed 2007 Bush Threats

By Gareth Porter, IPS

WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration claims that construction of a second Iranian uranium enrichment facility at Qom began before Tehran's decision to withdraw from a previous agreement to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in advance of such construction. But the November 2007 U.S. intelligence estimate on Iran's nuclear programme tells a different story.

The Iranian decision to withdraw from the earlier agreement with the IAEA was prompted, moreover, by the campaign of threats to Iran's nuclear facilities mounted by the George W. Bush administration in early 2007, as a reconstruction of the sequence of events shows.

A senior administration official who briefed reporters Sep. 25 said, "We know construction of the facility began even before the Iranians unilaterally said they did not feel bound by that [IAEA] obligation."

Secret Files Reveal Covert Network Run By Nuclear Police

Secret files reveal covert network run by nuclear police
• Industry-funded force uses moles and surveillance
• Strategic aims include tackling 'public disquiet'
By Rob Evans | guardian.co.uk

The nuclear industry funds the special armed police force which guards its installations across the UK, and secret documents, seen by the Guardian, show the 750-strong force is authorised to carry out covert intelligence operations against anti-nuclear protesters, one of its main targets.

The nuclear industry will pay £57m this year to finance the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC). The funding comes from the companies which run 17 nuclear plants, including Dounreay in Caithness, Sellafield in Cumbria and Dungeness in Kent.

Around a third is paid by the private consortium managing Sellafield, which is largely owned by American and French firms. Nearly a fifth of the funding is provided by British Energy, the privatised company owned by French firm EDF.

Private correspondence shows that in June, the EDF's head of security complained that the force had overspent its budget "without timely and satisfactory explanations to us". The industry acknowledges it is in regular contact with the CNC and the security services. Read more.

Top U.S. Scientist Arrested in FBI Sting Attempting to Sell Nuclear Secrets to Israel

Top U.S. Scientist Arrested in FBI Sting Attempting to Sell Nuclear Secrets to Israel
Allegations mirror those long made by FBI translator / whistleblower Sibel Edmonds...
By Brad Friedman | Brad Blog

This is, of course, the precise sort of thing which FBI linguist-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has been alleging concerning both Turkish and Israeli interests for some time. In her case, she has testified under oath to nearly-identical behavior by U.S. scientists, military personnel and academics at top-secret nuclear and military installations who are alleged to have done precisely what Stewart David Nozette has now been busted for, as reported today by AFP...

A top American scientist who once worked for the Pentagon and the US space agency NASA was arrested Monday and charged with attempted spying for Israel, the Department of Justice said.

Stewart David Nozette, 52, developed an experiment that fueled the discovery of water on the south pole of the moon, and previously held special security clearance at the Department of Energy on atomic materials, the DOJ said. Read more.

The Iran Versus U.S.-Israeli-NATO Threats

The Iran Versus U.S.-Israeli-NATO Threats
by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson | Monthly Review

It is spell-binding to see how the U.S. establishment can inflate the threat of a target, no matter how tiny, remote, and (most often) non-existent that threat may be, and pretend that the real threat posed by its own behavior and policies is somehow defensive and related to that wondrously elastic thing called "national security."

We should recall that this establishment got quite hysterical over the completely non-existent threat from Guatemala in the years 1950-1954, a very small and very poor country, essentially disarmed, helped by a U.S. and "allied" arms boycott, quickly overthrown in June 1954 by a minuscule U.S.-organized proxy force invading from our ally Somoza's Nicaragua.

But a telegram drafted in the name of Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles shortly before the 1954 regime change in Guatemala warned that this country had become a "challenge to Hemisphere security and peace" and was "increasingly [an] instrument of Soviet aggression in this hemisphere" and a "menace to [the] stability of strategic Central America and Caribbean area," so that U.S. policy was "determined [to] prevent further substantial arms shipments from reaching Guatemala."1

And the New York Times featured this terrible threat repeatedly (one favorite, the lying headline of Sidney Gruson's "How Communists Won Control of Guatemala," March 1, 1953), a propaganda campaign dating back to 1950 that extended throughout the media, even reaching The Nation magazine (Ellis Ogle, "Communism in the Caribbean?" March 18, 1950).

Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, even tinier Grenada, the nutmeg capital of the world, and of course Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," all posed dire threats that caused the U.S. Free Press to leap into active propaganda service.

So the present intense focus on Iran's supposed nuclear weapons threat is in a great tradition. But it never ceases to amaze the extent to which the media journalists and editors, reliably following the official party line, are able to apply a truly laughable double standard as well as to make another victim into an aggressor and dire threat. It's déjà vu all over again, for the umpteenth time! Read more.

Outrageous Thought of the Day: Nuclear Hypocrisy

By Dave Lindorff

How absurd is it that we have the government on the one hand pulling back from using a hollowed out mountain in Nevada to store nuclear waste because of a fear (legitimate I grant) that hundreds or thousands of years hence, some earthquake or other catastrophe could cause the stored waste to leak into the water table, while on the other hand we have this same government deliberately taking some of the most dangerous waste--the actual uranium from the used fuel rods--and putting it into bombs, shells and bullets to be splattered and burned all across the landscape?

And I should note that it's not just remote places like Iraq and Kuwait and Afghanistan that are being covered in super toxic and radioactive uranium dust--and I'm not just talking about the stuff that gets picked up in the wind and carried around the globe, or the stuff that gets inhaled by our troops and carried home internally, bad enough as that is.

Report: Iran Incapable Of Producing Nuke Within Six To Eight Years

Report: Iran incapable of producing nuke within six to eight years
By Stephen C. Webster | Raw Story

A Washington Post report published Sunday is drawing a wave of cheers across the Internet for revealing what is being hailed as "the truth" about Iran's nuclear program.

Specifically, the report states that Iran is incapable of producing a nuclear bomb within the next six to eight years, turning on ear repeated claims in media that Iran is only a short time away from possessing such a weapon.

"The regime's most likely path to the bomb begins in Natanz, in central Iran, the site of the nuclear facility where over the past three years about 1,500 kilograms of uranium gas has been enriched to low levels," Joseph Cirincione wrote. "Iran could kick out U.N. inspectors, abandon the Non-Proliferation Treaty and reprocess the gas into highly enriched uranium in about six months; it would take at least six more months to convert that uranium into the metal form required for one bomb. Technical problems with both processes could stretch this period to three years. Finally, Iran would need perhaps five additional years -- and several explosive tests -- to develop a Hiroshima-yield bomb that could be fitted onto a ballistic missile."

William Hartung, writing for Talking Points Memo, called the report "tremendously useful," praising it as "the truth" about Iran's program.

"This means there is plenty of time to engage in smart diplomacy aimed at heading off this possibility," he wrote. "And since there's no evidence that Iran is currently going full speed ahead towards a bomb, this timeline may be extended." Read more.

Depleted Uranium Weapons: The Dead Babies in Iraq and Afghanistan Are No Joke

By Dave Lindorff

The horrors of the US Agent Orange defoliation campaign in Vietnam, about which I wrote on Oct. 15, could ultimately be dwarfed by the horrors caused by the depleted uranium weapons which the US began using in the 1991 Gulf War (300 tons), and which it has used much more extensively--and in more urban, populated areas--in the Iraq War and the now intensifying Afghanistan War.

John Bolton Suggests Nuclear Attack on Iran

John Bolton Suggests Nuclear Attack on Iran
By Daniel Luban | Faster Times

This Friday, the American Enterprise Institute will hosted an event addressing the question “Should Israel attack Iran?” The event includes, among others, Iran uberhawk Michael Rubin and infamous “torture lawyer” John Yoo, but the real star is likely to be John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador whose right-of-Attila views left him an outcast even within the second Bush administration. (Bolton was eventually forced out when it became clear that he would be unable to win Senate confirmation for the U.N. post.)

If Bolton’s recent rhetoric is any indication, his AEI appearance may accomplish the formidable feat of making Michael Rubin sound like a dove. Discussing Iran during a Tuesday speech at the University of Chicago, Bolton appeared to call for nothing less than an Israeli nuclear first strike against the Islamic Republic. (The speech, sponsored by the University Young Republicans and Chicago Friends of Israel, was titled, apparently without a trace of irony, “Ensuring Peace.”) Read more.

Soldiers At Iraq Site Asked To Get Medical Exam

Soldiers at Iraq site asked to get medical exam
Troops at treatment plant potentially exposed to cancer-causing chemical
By Associated Press | MSNBC

Six years after nearly 1,200 U.S. soldiers in Iraq were potentially exposed to a sometimes deadly chemical linked to cancer, the military and Veterans Affairs Department have been tracking them down and asking them to get a medical exam.

The troops were protecting or in the area of workers hired by a subsidiary of the contractor, KBR Inc., based in Houston, to rebuild the Iraqi water treatment plant Qarmat Ali near Basra, Iraq. The chemical was sodium dichromate, and it had contaminated the area.

In June, The Associated Press chronicled the health problems of the soldiers who had served at the site. Sickness with symptoms ranging from chest pain to lung disease and even death among troops who served there have been blamed on exposure at the site. Read more.

Future Cities 2009

Visions

Visions
By Cindy Sheehan

Today, a President of the largest violently military empire in the world, won the Nobel Peace Prize while his nation is mired in wars in three countries where his actions have oftentimes made things worse.

Let’s also make this clear that the Nobel prizes are supposed to be awarded for work done the previous year (2008), so that means Obama was awarded the prize for campaigning for the presidency of the USA, where his “vision” (platform) was consistently pro-more war. The nominations are also due by February 1st. Ten days after the inauguration and about a week after a drone in Pakistan killed over 3 dozen innocent people.

He was awarded the prize for his “vision” for a “nuclear free world.”

Is The U.S. Preparing To Bomb Iran?

Is the U.S. Preparing to bomb Iran?
Is the U.S. Stepping Up Preparations for a Possible Attack on Iran's Nuclear Facilities?
By Jonathan Karl | ABC News

Is the U.S. stepping up preparations for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear facilities?

The Pentagon is always making plans, but based on a little-noticed funding request recently sent to Congress, the answer to that question appears to be yes.

First, some background: Back in October 2007, ABC News reported that the Pentagon had asked Congress for $88 million in the emergency Iraq/Afghanistan war funding request to develop a gargantuan bunker-busting bomb called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). It's a 30,000-pound bomb designed to hit targets buried 200 feet below ground. Back then, the Pentagon cited an "urgent operational need" for the new weapon.

Now the Pentagon is shifting spending from other programs to fast forward the development and procurement of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. The Pentagon comptroller sent a request to shift the funds to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees over the summer.

The comptroller said the Pentagon planned to spend $19.1 million to procure four of the bombs, $28.3 million to accelerate the bomb's "development and testing", and $21 million to accelerate the integration of the bomb onto B-2 stealth bombers. Read more.

US 'Silent On Israeli Nuclear Arms'

US 'Silent On Israeli Nuclear Arms' | AlJazeera

Barack Obama, the US president, has agreed to abide by a 40-year policy of allowing Israel to keep nuclear weapons without opening them to international inspection, according to a US newspaper.

In a report on Saturday, The Washington Times quoted three unnamed sources as saying Obama had confirmed to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, that he would maintain the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

The incident reportedly occurred when the two met at the White House in Washington DC in May.

Neither Israel's embassy in Washington, nor the White House National Security Council would comment on the claim.

Avner Cohen, an Israeli expert and author, was quoted by the paper as saying that under the deal "the United States passively [accepts] Israel's nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon". Read more.

Write Congress to Keep Space for Peace

Dear friends:

Below please find a letter to Congress that the Global Network and other concerned organizations are requesting that you send to your members of Congress during our current Keep Space for Peace Week.

This letter calls on them to urge the Obama administration to seriously negotiate a treaty at the UN to prevent an arms race in space.

If you are not sure about how to contact your member of Congress just go to this link for details.

Thanks for your help with this important effort.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://www.space4peace.org
globalnet@mindspring.com
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (Blog)

###

Dear Member of Congress,

Report: Iran Has Data to Make Nuke Weapon

Report: Iran Has Data to Make Nuke Weapon
N.Y. Times: IAEA Analysis Says Tehran May Have Info Required for A-Bomb; Tehran Agrees to Inspection of Uranium Site
Associated Press | CBS

The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog on Sunday described a "shifting of gears" in the controversy over Iran's nuclear program, and said inspectors would visit the country's new uranium processing site Oct. 25.

Dr. Mohammed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, spoke in Tehran following talks with Iranian officials over the recently-revealed facility that has caused consternation around to world over the extent and purpose of Iran's nuclear program.

"I see that we are at a critical moment, I see that we are shifting gears from confrontation into transparency and cooperation," said ElBaradei as he announced the new inspection date.

"I hope and trust Iran will be helpful with our inspectors so it is possible for us to be able to assess our verification of the facility as early as possible," he added, while sitting next to Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's nuclear program.

The news came shortly after The New York Times reported on its Web site Saturday night that, according to a confidential analysis by the U.N.'s nuclear regulatory agency, Iran has obtained "sufficient information" required to design and manufacture an atomic bomb.

While IAEA staff members declare their findings are tentative and require further investigation and confirmation, their conclusions, said the Times, go further than the public statements of the United States and other governments.

The leaked IAEA report, on top of ElBaradei's arrival in Tehran to arrange inspections of recently-revealed nuclear facility in Qom, "is sure to put pressure on the Obama administration to require Iran to disclose the bigger picture of all its uranium enrichment facilities and allow for inspection," said CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk, based at the U.N., "and that runs counter to the denials of secrecy coming from Tehran."

NYT: Report Says Iran Has Data to Make a Nuclear Bomb Read more.

Washington Times EXCLUSIVE: Obama Agrees To Keep Israel's Nukes Secret

EXCLUSIVE: Obama agrees to keep Israel's nukes secret
By Eli Lake | Washington Times

President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections, three officials familiar with the understanding said.

The officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Mr. Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May.

Under the understanding, the U.S. has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs. Read more.

New Doubt Cast on U.S. Claim Qom Plant is Illicit

New Doubt Cast on U.S. Claim Qom Plant is Illicit
By Gareth Porter | IPS News

An Iranian assertion that construction on its second enrichment facility began only last year and further analysis of satellite photos of the site have cast fresh doubts on the Barack Obama administration's charge that the construction of the plant near Qom involved a covert decision to violate Iran's obligations to report immediately to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on any decision to build a new facility.

At a Sep. 25 briefing on the site, senior administration officials refused to provide any specific information to back up the claim that construction had begun before the March 2007 Iranian withdrawal from an agreement requiring that it inform the IAEA immediately of any decision to build a nuclear facility.

The U.S. charges on the Qom facility, coming a week before the first opportunity for negotiations with Iran on a full range of issues since 1981, appear to have been a deliberate ploy to make the Obama administration appear tough and on the offensive when the talks started.

Iran's Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi, who is also the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, told a news conference Tuesday that his agency took over a military ammunition dump in 2008 to begin work on the enrichment facility near Qom.

Meanwhile, a new photo analysis by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) of the Qom site in 2004 and 2005 suggests it was not dedicated to building a uranium enrichment facility at that time. Read more.

The Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran Crowd Is Getting All Riled up Again

The Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran Crowd Is Getting All Riled up Again
By Pepe Escobar | Asia Times

Apparently even Saudi Arabia is on board with the idea of an Israeli strike on Iran.

The United States and Western "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" crowd - hysteria running at fever pitch ahead of Thursday's multilateral nuclear talks in Geneva - could do worse than have a word with Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva.

Lula actually talked to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad face-to-face for over an hour on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last week. He invited Ahmadinejad to visit Brazil in November. About the meeting, he went straight to the point, "What I wish for Iran is what I always wanted for Brazil - a peaceful, civilian nuclear program."

Lula is an island of common sense in an ocean of hysteria. French President Nicolas Sarkozy publicly gave a December deadline for Iran not to make a "tragic mistake", as in provoking Armageddon. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini reiterated the Group of Eight was giving Iran only three more months.

United States President Barack Obama - now running three wars (Iraq and the AfPak combo) - demanded that Iran (which is not at war with anybody) demonstrate "its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law". Read more.

"Beneath the Hype: Is Iran Close to Nukes?"

Foreign Policy Briefing: Congressional Staff and Public

Speakers:

Mr. McGovern was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer in the 1960s and then spent 27 years as an analyst in the Central Intelligence Agency, during which he chaired National Intelligence Estimates and briefed the President's Daily Brief under Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Mr. Thielmann is the former Office Director for Strategic and Proliferation Issues in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, tasked with analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat. He was a senior staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Arms Control Association." His Sept. 10 Iran Threat Assessment Brief, "Is There Time to Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon?" can be accessed at Arms Control Association.

Contact/RSVP: Daniel McAdams, 225-52831.

Japan's Election and Anti-Nuclear Momentum

By Lawrence S. Wittner
Editor: John Feffer, Foreign Policy In Focus

Although the smashing victory of the opposition Democratic Party in Japan's parliamentary elections of August 30 had numerous causes, one of the results will be a strengthening of the campaign for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Iran Agrees To Ship Enriched Uranium To Russia For Refinement

Iran agrees to ship enriched uranium to Russia for refinement
By Warren P. Strobel and Margaret Talev | McClatchy

Iran agreed in principle Thursday to ship most of its enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be refined for exclusively peaceful uses, in what Western diplomats called a significant, but interim, measure to ease concerns over its nuclear program.

The agreement was announced after more than seven hours of high-level talks in Geneva among Iran and representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, which also featured the highest-level official U.S.-Iranian encounter in three decades.

Iran also pledged that within weeks it would allow the inspection of a previously covert uranium enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom, and the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, announced that he'd head to Tehran to work out the details.

In Washington, President Barack Obama said the talks marked "a constructive beginning" and showed the promise of renewed engagement with Iran, but added that "going forward, we expect to see swift action. We're not interested in talking for the sake of talking."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the talks had "opened the door" to potential progress on the nuclear issue. "It was a productive day, but the proof of that has not yet come to fruition, so we'll wait and continue to press our point of view and see what Iran decides to do," she said.

In Geneva, Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said he hoped the talks — which are to reconvene later this month — were the beginning of intensive engagement with Iran after a 15-month pause. Read more.

US Press Corps Fails Again on Iran

US Press Corps Fails Again on Iran
By Robert Parry | Consortium News

The U.S. press corps appears to have learned little or nothing from the Iraq debacle as a new crisis looms with Iran.

Yet, the most dangerous parallel between the misreporting on Iraq and the current hysteria about Iran may be that major U.S. news outlets, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post, continue to paint the disputes in black and white and leave shades of gray out of the frame.

In doing so, these news organizations again are casting aside their own rules about objectivity and balance. Just like in the run-up to the Iraq War, they obsess about a villain (with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad replacing Iraq’s Saddam Hussein) – and have thrown down the memory hole inconvenient facts and important context.

For instance, prior to the June 12 election in Iran, it was well known and widely reported that President George W. Bush had signed a covert action finding targeting Iran’s Islamic government with a major program of propaganda and political destabilization.

In the July 7, 2008, New Yorker magazine, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote that late the previous year, Congress had agreed to Bush’s request for a major escalation in covert operations against Iran to the tune of up to $400 million.

“The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,” one person familiar with its contents told Hersh. The operation involved “working with opposition groups and passing money,” the person said. Read more.

Is The Media Exaggerating The Iranian Nuke Threat?

Is the media exaggerating the Iranian nuke threat?
If Iran is open to U.N. inspections, it's probably not constructing nuclear weapons
Editor's note: For more from Juan Cole, visit his blog Informed Comment.
By Juan Cole | Salon

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, reaffirmed Monday that a date would soon be set for the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the planned nuclear enrichment facility near Qom about which the Iranian government informed the IAEA on Monday a week ago.

If Iran really does permit full, ongoing IAEA inspections of the facility, then it cannot be used for weapons production. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted Sunday that Iran cannot use the Natanz plant for bomb-making because it is being regularly inspected by the UN.

Scott Ritter, an experienced inspector himself, dispels the myths about the new Qom facility and urges against new economic sanctions on Iran as counter-productive. Greater transparency and more inspections should be the demand of the West, he says.

I made the same point on MSNBC on Monday with Nora O'Donnell:

 

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Read more.

Seen This News? Wonder If Iran Should Bomb Us Now?

US Nukes Agency Pushes New Bomb Production
By Matthew Cardinale, North American Correspondent, Inter-Press Service; and News Editor, The Atlanta Progressive News (September 30, 2009)
http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/news/0522.html
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=48654

ATLANTA, Georgia, Sep 30 (IPS) - Despite statements by U.S. President Barack Obama that he wants to see the world reduce, and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration continues to push forward on a programme called Complex Modernisation, which would expand two existing nuclear plants to allow them to produce new plutonium pits and new bomb parts out of enriched uranium for use in a possible new generation of nuclear bombs.

U.S. Story on Iran Nuke Facility Doesn't Add Up

U.S. Story on Iran Nuke Facility Doesn't Add Up
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS News

The story line that dominated media coverage of the second Iranian uranium enrichment facility last week was the official assertion that U.S. intelligence had caught Iran trying to conceal a "secret" nuclear facility.

But an analysis of the transcript of that briefing by senior administration officials that was the sole basis for the news stories and other evidence reveals damaging admissions, conflicts with the facts and unanswered questions that undermine its credibility.

Iran's notification to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the second enrichment facility in a letter on Sep. 21 was buried deep in most of the news stories and explained as a response to being detected by U.S. intelligence. In reporting the story in that way, journalists were relying entirely on the testimony of "senior administration officials" who briefed them at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh Friday.

U.S. intelligence had "learned that the Iranians learned that the secrecy of the facility was compromised", one of the officials said, according to the White House transcript. The Iranians had informed the IAEA, he asserted, because "they came to believe that the value of the facility as a secret facility was no longer valid..."

Later in the briefing, however, the official said "we believe", rather than "we learned", in referring to that claim, indicating that it is only an inference rather than being based on hard intelligence. Read more.

The Most Dangerous Nuclear Facility in the Middle East

Submitted by Michael Munk | www.MichaelMunk.com

The Most Dangerous Nuclear Facility in the Middle East
By Juan Cole | Informed Consent

There is no good evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. It has offered to allow regular International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of the newly announced facility near Qom, which would effectively prevent it from being used for weapons production.

There is a secret nuclear facility in the Middle East, however, producing plutonium and not just enriched uranium, which has the capacity to make 10 nuclear warheads a year.

It is Israel's ongoing nuclear weapon production that drives the nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Saddam wanted a bomb because Israel had one. The Iranians were then worried both about an Iraqi and an Israeli bomb. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others are annoyed at their geostrategic helplessness in the face of Israeli nukes.

Israel's nuclear arsenal is the region's Original Sin.

U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader

U.S. Missile Shield System Deployments: Larger, Sooner, Broader
Rick Rozoff | Stop NATO | Blog site

Synchronized announcements on September 17 by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the U.S. was abandoning plans to station interceptor missiles in Poland and a forward-based missile radar site in the Czech Republic are now ten days ago and information surfacing in the interim indicates that its new plans are more far-reaching than their predecessor.

Two days after the statements by the American president and defense chief the latter, Pentagon head Robert Gates, was granted a column in the New York Times.

The most representative segment of Gates' comments is arguably this:

"I have been a strong supporter of missile defense ever since President Ronald Reagan first proposed it in 1983. But I want to have real capacity as soon as possible, and to take maximum advantage of new technologies....American missile defense on the continent will continue, and not just in Central Europe, the most likely location for future SM-3 sites, but, we hope, in other NATO countries as well....We are strengthening - not scrapping - missile defense in Europe." [1]

Remarking that the earlier-envisioned system in Poland and the Czech Republic would not have been operative until 2015 and that opposition among both nations' parliamentarians would have delayed the process at least another two years, Gates evinced both impatience with and far grander designs for the European wing of the U.S.'s global missile shield program by asserting, "President Obama...decided to discard that plan in favor of a vastly more suitable approach. In the first phase, to be completed by 2011, we will deploy proven, sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles - weapons that are growing in capability...."

The new deployments, which will be examined in depth later, are to be more mobile and less capable of being anticipated and defended against; will be implemented, according to Gates' own schedule, at least eight years ahead of the prior plan's timeline; and will extend worldwide missile interceptor networks into far broader swathes of Eurasia, the Middle East and ultimately the planet as a whole.

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