Nuclear Equipment Missing

Funny, Mr. Bush talks about how Saddam Hussein was a threat because he might pass along information or equipment that would let other countries create weapons of mass destruction. Fortunately, it's become apparent that Saddamn didn't pass any information to anyone. Unfortunately, it appears that we have:

The senior adviser to Iraq's Interior Ministry blamed U.S. forces Tuesday for not securing facilities where the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency says equipment that could be used to make nuclear weapons has vanished.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, playing down the International Atomic Energy Agency's concerns, said U.S.-led coalition forces "did move quickly" to secure the so-called dual-use equipment after invading Iraq in March 2003.

"I think we share the general concern that some material might have gotten out [during the mass looting that took place] immediately after the war, but it has been brought under control," Boucher told reporters in Washington.

According to an October 1 letter from IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei to the U.N. Security Council, satellite imagery showed that not only was dual-use equipment missing, but buildings that once housed it had been dismantled.

"The imagery shows in many instances the dismantlement of entire buildings that housed high precision equipment ... formerly monitored and tagged with IAEA seals, as well as the removal of equipment and materials (such as high-strength aluminum) from open storage areas," ElBaradei's letter said.

ElBaradei said that although some radioactive equipment taken from Iraq after the war began has shown up in other countries, none of the missing dual-use equipment or materials have been found.

IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky, speaking from the agency's headquarters in Vienna, Austria, said locating the dual-use equipment was a priority.

"The kind of equipment we're talking about ... is the sort of thing that has a multitude of industrial applications," Gwozdecky said. "We were satisfied when we were in Iraq that it was not being used for a nuclear weapons program.

"In the wrong hands, it could be turned to use in a nuclear weapons program," he said. "Until we establish that this material is in responsible hands, we have to treat it as a serious proliferation concern."

Iraqi Interior Ministry adviser Sabah Kadhim acknowledged that much of the country's dual-use equipment was missing, charging that the looting was organized and carried out by "neighboring countries."

He also alleged that "lower-level U.S. military officers" facilitated the sale of some of the equipment. CNN is seeking comment on the allegation.

A CIA report released last week by chief U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer showed that some equipment could have been taken during the chaos of the 2003 invasion.

Gwozdecky said, however, that looting apparently continued after that.

"From our satellite photos, we've seen evidence that some of the facilities we used to monitor closely have been dismantled completely," Gwozdecky said, indicating that it happened over a longer period with more forethought.

"We need to answer the question, 'Where did this material go?' "

Kadhim did not put a time frame on the dismantling of the facilities and the disappearance of equipment.

Gwozdecky said the IAEA has been "alerting the relevant authorities to" its concerns about the missing equipment since the war, noting that the matter has been included in biennial reports to the Security Council.

More proof on what a professional and bang-up job Bush and his crew did in this "war for the peace." No one has any idea where this equipment has gone and they clearly state that it could used as part of a nuclear weapons program. Anyone claiming that Bush shouldn't be held responsible for this sort of thing is painfully ignorant. Thanks to WickedTribe for the link.
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