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Back in February, 2007, a controversy erupted when University of Tennessee Law Professor Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds advocated that, in response to Iran's nuclear activities, the U.S. should be "killing radical mullahs and iranian [sic] atomic scientists" -- in other words, have the U.S. Government select religious leaders and scientists it dislikes in Iran and just murder them, despite long-standing domestic and international legal prohibitions on exactly such programs. Today, an Iranian nuclear scientist and professor at Tehran University, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was killed when "when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle was triggered by remote control outside his home in the northern Tehran neighbourhood of Qeytariyeh." Mohammadi taught neutron physics and "was the author of several articles on quantum and theoretical physics in scientific journals," though the extent of his involvement in Iran's nuclear program is unclear.
Although the Iranian government has issued a statement blaming the U.S. and Israel for this rather sophisticated and well-executed assassination, there is no actual evidence yet of who is responsible. It's possible that the killing is related to Iran's complex internal conflicts rather than its nuclear program. There is, however, ample evidence that the U.S. covertly provides various means of support to extremist groups which have previously carried out violent terrorist attacks inside Iran -- which, in other contexts, is called being a "state sponsor of terror." In the very recent past, other Iranian nuclear scientists and officials have disappeared and ended up in the custody of the U.S. and its allies -- either abducted or defected, depending on who you believe.
Iran Uses Fear of Covert Nuclear Sites to Deter Attack
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS
WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (IPS) - The New York Times reported Tuesday that Iran had "quietly hidden an increasingly large part of its atomic complex" in a vast network of tunnels and bunkers buried in mountainsides.
The story continued a narrative begun last September, when a second Iranian uranium enrichment facility near Qom was reported to have been discovered by U.S. and Western intelligence. The premise of that narrative is that Iran wanted secret nuclear facilities in order to be able to make a nuclear weapon without being detected by the international community.
But all the evidence indicates that the real story is exactly the opposite: far from wanting to hide the existence of nuclear facilities from the outside world, Iran has wanted Western intelligence to conclude that it was putting some of its key nuclear facilities deep underground for more than three years.
The reason for that surprising conclusion is simple: Iran’s primary problem in regard to its nuclear programme has been how to deter a U.S. or Israeli attack on its nuclear sites. To do that, Iranian officials believed they needed to convince U.S. and Israeli military planners that they wouldn't be able to destroy some of Iran's nuclear sites and couldn't identify others. Read more.
New Revelations Tear Holes in Iran Nuclear Trigger Story
Analysis by Gareth Porter | IPS
WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (IPS) - New revelations about two documents leaked to The Times of London to show that Iran is working on a "nuclear trigger" mechanism have further undermined the credibility of the document the newspaper had presented as evidence of a continuing Iranian nuclear weapons programme.
A columnist for the Times has acknowledged that the two-page Persian language document published by The Times last month was not a photocopy of the original document but an expurgated and retyped version of the original.
A translation of a second Persian language document also published by The Times, moreover, contradicts the claim by The Times that it shows the "nuclear trigger" document was written within an organisation run by an Iranian military scientist.
Former Central Intelligence Agency official Philip Giraldi has said U.S. intelligence judges the "nuclear trigger" document to be a forgery, as IPS reported last week. The IPS story also pointed out that the document lacked both security markings and identification of either the issuing organisation or the recipient.
The new revelations point to additional reasons why intelligence analysts would have been suspicious of the "nuclear trigger" document. Read more.
North Korea, in a New Year's message Friday, expressed hope for an end to animosity with the United States and a negotiated nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The statement was published by the country's state-run media and comes after a U.S. envoy visited Pyongyang to urge resumption of the so-called six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
In the editorial, North Korea said it has always worked "to establish a lasting peace system on the Korean Peninsula and make it nuclear-free through dialogue and negotiations." Read more.
In the end, a jury had no choice but to convict.
The Rev. Carl Kabat, 76, was photographed at the N-8 missile silo in northeast Weld County. Two-foot bolt cutters were found on the ground. There was a hole in the fence surrounding the facility, and he was waiting inside for his eventual arrest.
Kabat had breached nuclear missile facilities like these for the past two decades, and had 17 convictions behind him in his quest to do his small part to rid the earth of nuclear weapons, which the Catholic Church has deemed a crime against humanity.
But the members of the jury had to look beyond the message. After one hour of deliberations, they convicted him of the two misdemeanor criminal mischief and trespassing charges.
“We understand what he was standing for,” said jury member Ben Salgado, 56, of Windsor, after the verdict. “We just wish he would have chosen a different forum.”
As the jury was dismissed, Kabat applauded them, some walking out with tears in their eyes. One said as she left the courthouse: “It was very emotional.”
The St. Louis priest was immediately sentenced to the time he'd already served behind bars — 137 days — though deputy district attorney David Skarka asked for the maximum of one year for each of the misdemeanors to be served back to back. The county already had shelled out roughly $7,950 to keep him in jail for almost five months, based on a cost of about $58 per day per inmate. Had he been sentenced to Skarka's request, the county would have paid $26,000 more to keep him for a remaining 456 days. Read more.
Richard Nixon was the greatest peacemaker in U.S. history. He orchestrated the historic opening with Beijing. And he presided over the most significant arms control treaties of the détente period: the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the ABM treaty.
Wait, that doesn't sound right. Let's start over.
Richard Nixon was the greatest warmonger in U.S. history. He sharply escalated the war in Vietnam and widened the conflict, tragically, to Cambodia and Laos. He destabilized Chile, looked the other way as his West Pakistani ally laid waste to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and ignored the Nigerian civil war and the resulting famine in Biafra.
This bifocal view of Richard Nixon reveals one of the great paradoxes of the U.S. peace movement. Peace activists divide into two sometimes irreconcilable groups — the antiwar movement and the arms control community. The former considered Richard Nixon and his henchman Henry Kissinger to be war criminals. The arms controllers, meanwhile, worked through Nixon's Arms Control and Disarmament Agency to score significant though partial successes.
The same cognitive dissonance holds true today. Though he would no doubt run from the comparison, President Barack Obama is shaping up to be a true heir of Richard Nixon. He's simultaneously reviled by the antiwar crowd for his policies in Afghanistan and held up as a savior by the arms control community for his commitment to nuclear abolition. Read more.
By Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (IPS) - In 2004, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed that a member state had violated its Safeguards Agreement by carrying out covert uranium conversion and enrichment activities and plutonium experiments for more than two decades. The nature of certain of those enrichment activities, moreover, raised legitimate suspicions of interest in a nuclear weapons programme.
The state was found to have lied to the IAEA even when it began investigating these suspicious activities, claiming that its laser enrichment research did not involve any use of nuclear material.
If that sounds like a description of Iran's troubled relationship with the IAEA up to 2004, that's because it bears striking resemblance to it. In fact, however, it is a description of the deception of the IAEA by the government of South Korea.
DC AREA DISARMAMENT PLANNING
WHEN: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 - 7:00pm
WHERE: St. Stephen's Church - Auditorium, 16th St & Newton St., NW (1525 Newton Street, NW, Washington, DC 20010-3103) - Green line, Columbia Heights Station
In the wake of President Obama's repeated advocacy for "the peace of a world without nuclear weapons," many things are happening on the Nuclear Disarmament front.
The next six months represent historic opportunity for disarmament progress, or a perilous descent into another "generational commitment" to further Weapons Development, at enormous cost. (Currently the US alone spends $52+ Billion a year on nukes.)
Please join us for a review of disarmament progress, proposals on the table, likely prospects for the near and further terms, and what we, the people, can do to help secure the peaceful future that we deserve.
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference - May 2010, United Nations, New York City - This periodic review (every 5 years) of the "mother treaty" for nuclear disarmament is driving the disarmament bus right now. Diplomatic positioning for this May treaty is ongoing. Of course, so much depends on what the US brings to the table beyond our president's rhetoric. Including:
Renewal of the START Treaty with Russia - December 2009?
Ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) - Spring 2010 (Possible) - Signed in 1996 but rejected by the US Senate in 1999, the CTBT still must be approved by 67 US Senators before it goes into effect. . .
Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) - Language pending. (Advocated by Secretary of State Clinton in her signal USIP nuclear policy speech.)
Middle East Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
Mayors For Peace/Cities Are Not Targets (CANT)
Legislative Opportunities (HR 1653, H Res. 333, H Res. 278, HR 515, HR 644, more?)
Planning for Potential Actions:
The talks between the G5 plus 1 and Iran are careening toward a premature breakdown. If they do fall apart, it will be due in large part to a serious diplomatic miscalculation by the Obama administration.
Along with its European allies, the Obama administration seized on a plan that cleverly asked Iran to divest itself of the bulk of its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU). It seemed to represent a golden opportunity to set back Iran's nuclear program, and despite the warning signs that such an objective is not achievable by the West, it lured the West away from a serious effort to find a diplomatic compromise with Iran aimed at defusing the decades-long hostility between Washington and Tehran.
The origins of the immediate diplomatic drama surrounding the proposal lay in Iran's need to supply fuel for its US-built Tehran research reactor producing medical radioisotopes. Iran had obtained 23 kilograms of fuel enriched to 20 percent from Argentina under a cooperation agreement signed in 1988 that ended in 1993. But that supply is expected to run out in late 2010, and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki sent a letter to the IAEA in June requesting its help in purchasing enough 20 percent enriched uranium under the agency's supervision so that the medical reactor would again have a long-term supply.
But that would require a relaxation of the international sanctions against Iran's nuclear program. And when the Obama administration got wind of the Iranian request, it created a new diplomatic strategy aimed at forcing Iran to accept terms that would force it to give up most of its LEU for about a year. During a visit to Moscow in July, President Barack Obama's White House adviser on the Iranian nuclear issue, Gary Samore, reportedly approached Russian officials about a proposal that would require that Iran send its low-enriched uranium to Russia to be converted into the more highly enriched fuel rods, thus setting the clock of Iran's already-achieved breakout capability back for about a year. Read more.
Gossip from an Iraqi taxi driver was a key source for Tony Blair's 'dodgy dossier'.
A report by a respected MP claims that the unlikely secret agent was one of MI6's top sources when it was building a case to justify the invasion.
He provided the information that Saddam Hussein could fire chemical weapons at British targets within 45 minutes.
The revelation comes as the death toll of British troops in Afghanistan reaches 100 this year alone following the shooting of a member of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in a gun battle with the Taliban.
Senior intelligence officials have told the MP that the cabbie falsely claimed Saddam Hussein had acquired long-range missiles after listening to Iraqi commanders chatting in his taxi two years before the invasion. Read more.
Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike? Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets? And what about Germany — a country where fear of atomkraft is so great that the last government opposed all civilian nuclear power? Germany's air force couldn't possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?
It is Europe's dirty secret that the list of nuclear-capable countries extends beyond those — Britain and France — who have built their own weapons. Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them. The Federation of American Scientists believes that there are some 200 B61 thermonuclear gravity bombs scattered across these four countries. Under a NATO agreement struck during the Cold War, the bombs, which are technically owned by the U.S., can be transferred to the control of a host nation's air force in times of conflict. Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war.
These weapons are more than an anachronism or historical oddity. They are a violation of the spirit of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — the 1968 agreement governing nuclear weapons that acts as one of the linchpins of global security by providing a legal restraint on the nuclear ambitions of rogue states. Because "nuclear burden-sharing," as the dispersion of B61s in Europe is called, was set up before the NPT came into force, it is technically legal. But as signatories to the NPT, the four European countries and the U.S. have pledged "not to receive the transfer ... of nuclear weapons or control over such weapons directly, or indirectly." That, of course, is precisely what the long-standing NATO arrangement entails. Read more.
Report: Russia vows quick completion of Iran atom plant | Ynet.com
Russian energy minister quoted as saying Moscow will complete Islamic republic's first nuclear power station 'at the earliest possible time'
Russia's energy minister pledged on Sunday a quick completion of Iran's first nuclear power station, Iran's state broadcaster IRIB reported, weeks after Moscow announced the latest delay to the Bushehr plant.
The reported statement, which did not give a specific time for the launch of Bushehr, came as Iran's government announced plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants, in a major expansion of its disputed nuclear program. Read more.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Sunday released the following statement after Iran's cabinet passed a legislation to build ten more uranium enrichment plants.
"If true, this would be yet another serious violation of Iran's clear obligations under multiple UN security council resolutions, and another example of Iran choosing to isolate itself. The international community has made clear that Iran has rights, but with those rights come responsibilities. As the overwhelming IAEA board of governors vote made clear, time is running out for Iran to address the international community's growing concerns about its nuclear program."
But having decided on war using WMD as the justification, both the US and Great Britain began the process of fabricating a case after the fact. Lacking new intelligence data on Iraqi WMD, both nations resorted to either recycling old charges that had been disproved by UN inspectors in the past, or fabricating new charges that would not withstand even the most cursory of investigations.
With its troops no longer engaged in military operations inside Iraq, Great Britain has been liberated politically to conduct a postmortem of that conflict, including the sensitive issue of the primary justification used by then Prime Minister Tony Blair for going to war, namely Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or WMD.
The failure to find any WMD in Iraq following the March 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of that country by US and British troops continues to haunt those who were involved in making the decision for war. The issue of Iraqi WMD, and the role it played in influencing the decision for war, is at the centre of the ongoing Iraq war inquiry being conducted by Sir John Chilcot.
Among the more compelling testimonies provided to date has been that of Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British ambassador to the US, who served in that capacity during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. Meyer convincingly portrayed an environment where the decision by the US to invade Iraq, backed by Blair, precluded any process (such as viable UN weapons inspections) that sought to compel Iraq to prove it had no WMD. Rather, Great Britain and the US were left "scrambling" to find evidence of a "smoking gun" to prove Iraq indeed possessed the WMD it was accused of having.
In short, Saddam had been found guilty of possessing WMD, and his sentence had been passed down by Washington and London void of any hard evidence that such weapons, or even related programmes, even existed. The sentence meted out – regime termination – mandated such a massive deployment of troops and material that all but the wilfully blind or intentionally ignorant had to know by the early autumn of 2002 that war with Iraq was inevitable. One simply does not initiate the movement of hundreds of thousands of troops, thousands of armoured vehicles and aircraft, and dozens of ships on a whim or to reinforce an idle threat. Read more.
The Iranian government approved a plan Sunday to build 10 new uranium enrichment facilities, a dramatic expansion in defiance of U.N. demands it halt the program.
The decision comes only two days after the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency censured Iran, demanding it immediately stop building a newly revealed enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom and freeze all uranium enrichment activities. The rebuke angered Iran, raising demands from lawmakers Sunday to cut back cooperation with the U.N.
The enrichment announcement is likely to stoke already high tensions between Iran and the West over its controversial nuclear activities. The U.S. and its allies have hinted of new U.N. sanctions if Tehran remains defiant. Read more.
IAEA Chief Says Iran Talks at 'Dead End'
As ElBaradei Ends 12-Year Stint at Helm of the U.N. Nuclear Watchdog, Board Considers Resolution Rebuking Tehran
By David Crawford and Matthew Karnitschnig | WSJ
Iran appeared headed for further confrontation with the U.S. and other world powers over its nuclear program after the chief of the United Nations' atomic watchdog said the agency's cooperation with Tehran had reached a "dead end."
The declaration by Mohamed ElBaradei, departing director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, sets the stage for the U.N.'s Security Council to impose new sanctions against Tehran.
Diplomats said the IAEA's 35-member board of governors would likely approve a resolution on Friday rebuking Iran for failing to comply with its international obligations. A draft of the resolution being discussed by IAEA governors Thursday expressed "serious concern" about Iran's course and called for the matter to be taken up by the Security Council. Read more.
WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (IPS) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published new evidence Monday that Iran had been building "contingency centres" in the event of a U.S. bombing attack as early as 2002, years before it began building the second enrichment facility at Qom.
But the latest report on Iran's nuclear programme by the agency appeared to reject Iran's account of how and when it had decided to build the Qom enrichment plant and implied that it believed Iran was hiding the construction of other facilities.
The report provides new evidence that the Qom enrichment facility was constructed on one of many sites where tunneling had been prepared as early as 2002 to protect various kinds of facilities from a possible U.S. air attack.
The apparent Iranian decision to begin preparations for a U.S. attack on Iran in 2002 came after President George W. Bush had declared in his Sep. 20, 2001 speech to a joint session of Congress that any nation that "continues to harbor or support terrorism" would be regarded as a "hostile regime" and then named Iran as part of the "Axis of Evil" with Iraq and North Korea in January 2002.
The new evidence contradicts the U.S. charge that Iran had been working on constructing a covert enrichment plant for several years – well before March 2007, when Iran announced that it would no longer inform the agency of new facilities as soon as the decision had been made to construct them.
The U.S. and Russia, which together possess 95 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, announced this summer an agreement to someday reduce their nuclear arsenals by up to one-third.
The proposed treaty could cut each state’s long-range thermonuclear weapons – known in military jargon as "strategic" weapons – to between 1,500 and 1,675. Mainstream news reports said this was down from the limit of 2,200 slated to take effect in 2012."
In fact, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists the US had 9,938 warheads in 2007 and is obligated under the 2002 Moscow Agreement to reduce this to 5,470 by the end of 2012.
Maintaining a total of 1,500 warheads, at 335 kilotons each (today’s Minuteman III missile warheads), is equivalent to 502.5 million tons of TNT, or 502 "megatons" of nuclear firepower.
How much overkill power is this? There are currently 188 cities on Earth with over 2 million people. With 1,500 warheads, the Pentagon could still explode seven H-bombs on each one, setting massive fires whose smoke would block sunlight and could plunge the world into nuclear winter – according to new research from the Univ. of Colorado. Read more.
Doctors in Iraq's war-ravaged enclave of Falluja are dealing with up to 15 times as many chronic deformities in infants and a spike in early life cancers that may be linked to toxic materials left over from the fighting.
The extraordinary rise in birth defects has crystallised over recent months as specialists working in Falluja's over-stretched health system have started compiling detailed clinical records of all babies born.
Neurologists and obstetricians in the city interviewed by the Guardian say the rise in birth defects – which include a baby born with two heads, babies with multiple tumours, and others with nervous system problems - are unprecedented and at present unexplainable.
A group of Iraqi and British officials, including the former Iraqi minister for women's affairs, Dr Nawal Majeed a-Sammarai, and the British doctors David Halpin and Chris Burns-Cox, have petitioned the UN general assembly to ask that an independent committee fully investigate the defects and help clean up toxic materials left over decades of war – including the six years since Saddam Hussein was ousted. Read more.
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.
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.
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
• 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.