May 4, 2003

The world's most destructive weapons  

I was absolutely appalled by this report:

A specially trained Defense Department team, dispatched after a month of official indecision to survey a major Iraqi radioactive waste repository, today found the site heavily looted and said it was impossible to tell whether nuclear materials were missing.
It's incredible to me that, after justifying this war in terms of weapons of mass destruction - and specifically the threat that those weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists - the defense department had the gall to leave these facilities unguarded for a month. Is it possible they didn't even believe their own intelligence about the presence of radioactive materials? They obviously knew about the facility - it's the same location the Israelis bombed in 1981. What exactly does it mean, "official indecision"?

I've pretty much accepted the fact that weapons of mass destruction had little or nothing to do with this war. But couldn't we at least have secured this facility? Our failure to prevent looting was bad enough when it meant a total breakdown of the rule of law. But now there's the possibility that we've placed the world's most destructive weapons in the hands of terrorists. Talk about irony!


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