Clandestine uranium enrichment program

By Gordon Prather

You may well have heard – since Oct. 2 – many a Bush-Cheney warhawk voicing the lament of that great 20th-century metaphysician, Jimmy Durante: “What a revoltin’ development this is!”

Why the lament? Thereon hangs a tale.

You see, ever since they came to power, these Bush-Cheney warhawks have been trying to find a rationale for forcing a regime change on the Islamic world that would resonate with you soccer-moms. After Sept. 11 of last year, they thought they had found it.

Here is the way House Majority Whip Tom Delay phrased it, as Congress debated last week whether or not to give President Bush the authority he sought to invade and occupy Iraq:

The war on terrorism will be fought here at home unless we summon the will to confront evil before it attacks. Only regime change can remove the danger from Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Only by taking them out of his hands and destroying them can we be certain that terror weapons won’t wind up in the hands of terrorists.

Explication?

  • Islamic terrorists have declared war on the United States, and we have declared war on them.

  • If they get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they will nuke you soccer-moms in your jammies.

  • We need to prevent – at the source – their getting nukes.

  • Saddam Hussein spent zillions of dollars to develop his own nukes to counter Israeli nukes.

  • We whipped his donkey in the Gulf War, and then totally destroyed his multi-zillion dollar nuke program.

  • Now, Saddam hates our donkey, as well as the Israelis’.

  • Saddam would still like to have a few nukes, mostly to use on the Israelis.

  • But, if Saddam somehow got more than a few, he might give a couple to Islamic terrorists, to nuke you soccer-moms.

  • Therefore, we must invade Iraq muy pronto, hang Saddam Hussein from a sour apple tree, destroy all those nukes that Saddam might have – but probably doesn’t – and install a U.S. puppet government in Iraq.

The key to getting authorization from Congress – and, if possible, from the United Nations Security Council – to invade and occupy Iraq was in providing convincing evidence that Saddam would soon have nukes.

So, Prime Minister Tony Blair published a “dossier” compiled by his Joint Intelligence Committee.

In particular, Blair claimed that – since 1998 – Saddam has attempted to purchase 1) “molecular” vacuum pumps used in uranium-enrichment gas centrifuges, 2) a turn-key facility for producing magnets used in third-generation gas centrifuges, 3) anhydrous hydrogen fluoride and fluorine gas used to convert uranium into uranium hexafluoride for use in uranium-enrichment cascades, 4) a large filament-winding machine for manufacturing third-generation composite gas-centrifuge rotors, and 5) a large balancing machine for dynamically balancing gas-centrifuge rotors.

Largely on the basis of the Bush-Blair claim that Saddam is actively attempting to construct cascades of gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, Congress has now given President Bush the authority to invade and occupy Iraq – under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council if at all possible, but unilaterally, if he deems it necessary.

President Bush had already demanded that the UNSC pass the tough new disarmament resolution we offered, and authorize us to invade and occupy Iraq if Saddam isn’t in full compliance with it by Tuesday of next week.

Even though there was almost no possibility that the UNSC would accept our resolution, Secretary Powell has been trying. Now there is no chance.

You see, the evidence we have had all along that North Korea was constructing a clandestine gas-centrifuge cascade to enrich uranium – in violation of the U.S.-IAEA-DPRK Agreed Framework – was far better and more alarming than any we had for Iraq.

The Agreed Framework resulted from the discovery in 1994 by the IAEA that North Korea was already producing some weapons-grade plutonium and was on the verge of producing lots of it. So, Clinton-Gore bribed the North Koreans: If they shut down their plutonium producing reactors, Clinton-Gore would build them conventional nuclear-power plants that don’t produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Now comes the stunning revelation, kept secret from Congress, the UNSC and perhaps even the IAEA until now: On Oct. 2, the North Koreans confirmed our suspicions. They admitted they were now producing weapons-grade uranium and declared the Agreed Framework null and void.

Talk about a revoltin’ development. What everyone now wants to know is why Bush-Cheney warhawks aren’t demanding the UNSC authorize a U.S.-led invasion and occupation of North Korea, rather than Iraq.