Wednesday, October 13, 2004

More WMD Confusion

David Mobley at A Physicist's Perspective is trying to make sense of conflicting stories on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction:

I saw an interesting combination of news stories just now. The AP is reporting "Bush, Cheney concede Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction," while at the same time, USA Today is reporting that equipment which could be used to make components of nuclear weapons may have been looted from Iraq. The AP story says this:

Vice President Dick Cheney brushed aside the central findings of chief U.S. weapons hunter Charles Duelfer – that Saddam not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but he had no means of making any either – while Bush unapologetically defended his decision to invade Iraq.
The USA Today story says:
Among the missing equipment: "flow forming" machines for shaping metal tubes such as missile bodies or uranium centrifuge drums; milling and metal-turning machines; electron-beam welders useful for making centrifuges; and precision measuring devices.

Though no evidence has emerged that looted nuclear manufacturing equipment has been sold on the black market, the Bush administration said Tuesday that it is concerned about the possibility.
I wonder -- if it's really as clear cut as the AP story says (Saddam had no means of making nuclear weapons since 1991), why should we be concerned that the Bush administration may have let this equipment be stolen? Or maybe the Bush administration is at fault for letting people loot equipment that Saddam couldn't have used for nuclear weapons, but they could. How's that again?

The AP story does include this Cheney quote, somewhat buried:
"As soon as the sanctions were lifted, he had every intention of going back" to his weapons program, Cheney said.
I think it is going to be a long time before we get all of this sorted out.

David, of course, is on the League of Reformed Bloggers list, but I have been reading his posts on and off for a couple of weeks and I have decided to add him to the regular blogroll of sites I read daily. His perspective seems similar to my own: a Christian looking out at the world and trying to shed light on it, rather than looking merely talking amongst ourselves until the "Rapture" comes. A nice mixture of science, theology, politics and other interesting stuff.

UPDATE: Pastorius comments:
It would seem that Saddam Hussein was half-pregnant. It also appears that the main-stream media has, like an oh-so-chivalrous boyfriend, arranged for a quickie abortion for the saddled Saddam.

At the same time, the main-stream media seems to be trying to arrange an out-patient castration procedure for the Bush Administration.

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