Sunday, July 06, 2008

You Can't Have No Yellowcake and Stockpile It, Too

Yellowcake-gate is much more than a dirty trick played on the American public. It's about the Bush administration's pattern of deception as it pushed and shoved this country into a preemptive war -- from the much-advertised but nonexistent links between Iraq and al-Qaida to the sexing up of Saddam's WMD.
--Arianna Huffington, "Yellowcake-gate" July 16, 2003.

* * * * * *
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.
--AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from IraqJuly 06, 2008

You remember yellowcake. It’s the stuff George W. Bush was convicted in the press of lying about in his 2003 State of the Union address. That's when he uttered the “16 words” that earned him a moral status several levels below Pontius Pilate: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” It doesn't matter any more but it turned out the 16 words were true.

Then yellowcake played a key role in the career uptick of Joe Wilson and his bombshell wife, deep cover clandestine CIA Agent Valerie Plame, (codename, “Ms. Clairol”).

Wilson wrote an article accusing Bush, Cheney, and Condoleeza Rice of deliberately ignoring his well-documented report that Saddam never tried to buy yellowcake from Niger. It won't help Scooter Libbey now but it turned out that everything Wilson said was false.

Wilson also accused Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and Scooter Libby of blowing his wife’s cover. (That is, her CIA cover, not her Vanity Fair cover. Mrs. Wilson's babushka blew that).

That accusation by Wilson turned out to be a lie, too. As even the Washington Post was forced to admit, “it now appears that the person most responsible for the end of Ms. Plame's CIA career is Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson chose to go public with an explosive charge, claiming -- falsely, as it turned out -- that he had debunked reports of Iraqi uranium-shopping in Niger and that his report had circulated to senior administration officials.” (“End of an Affair”).

Now, today, it’s being reported by the AP, apparently for the first time, that Saddam had a stockpile of 1.2 million pounds of yellowcake. The “huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium,” the AP report matter-of-factly states, was “the last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program.”

The nuclear program, that is, that he didn't have, because he never had any stockpiles of WMDs, and never had any yellowcake, nor even tried to buy any yellowcake, because Saddam was a good scout after 1991, and Bush just lied about the whole thing to get us into a war.

Now watch while the Left, hypersensitive enough to ban smoking in bars, trans-fats from restaurants, and carbon dioxide from Earth, suddenly starts defending yellowcake uranium as basically harmless.

Randall Hoven at American Thinker has some thoughts on all this:

Saddam Had Nuke Program
By Randall Hoven

The media have been telling us for years that Saddam had no WMD, so "Bush's War": was based on a "lie." And those who believed Saddam did have WMD or WMD programs were delusional or worse.

But today, on July 6, 2008, the Associated Press reports that

*Saddam Hussein had a nuclear program
*At the Tuwaitha nuclear complex just south of Baghdad
*Which included 550 metric tons (over 1.2 million pounds) of "yellowcake", or concentrated uranium
*And multiple devices that could be used in a nuclear weapon.

The AP does not say alleged nuclear program. It does not add "according to military experts." It simply says "Saddam Hussein's nuclear program."

That's pretty big news, isn't it?

For about five years now, those of us who thought Saddam Hussein probably had at least
WMD programs, if not WMD themselves, have been called not only wrong, but illogical and insane.

One example was an
article by Sharon Begley in the Wall Street Journal titled People Believe a 'Fact' That Fits Their Views Even if It's Clearly False . (Her article series is called, without irony, the "Science Journal".) Ms. Begley reported that "six months after the invasion, one-third of Americans believed WMDs had been found, even though every such tentative claim was discomfirmed [sic]." She cited psychologists to explain this strange behavior. They used terms like "world views" and "mental models."

Jim Lobe at (Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community)
reported that "Three out of four self-described supporters of President George W. Bush still believe that pre-war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or active programs to produce them." He went on to quote the director of the polling company as saying

"To support the president and to accept that he took the U.S. to war based on mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance and leads Bush supporters to suppress awareness of unsettling information about pre-war Iraq."

These findings on people's beliefs were based on a survey that asked people if they believed Saddam had
WMD or WMD programs . Apparently, Sharon Begley, Jim Lobe and a whole lot of other people not only believed Saddam had no WMD programs, but that anyone who did believe such a thing was clearly illogical or insane. In fact, the only interesting question to them was what is wrong with our minds.

Read the rest here.

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