No news, so move on!

Recent reports about Iraqi uranium have not received the wide circulation they should have:

The victory is so complete that Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki said Saturday his government has defeated the terrorists in Iraq. Defeated. Past tense.

Major General Mark Hertling, who commands U.S. troops in northern Iraq, wouldn't go that far. But he told Ms. Colvin: "I think we're at the irreversible point."

Not a word about this "spectacular victory" appeared in the Washington Post or the New York Times Sunday, or on the evening network newscasts. The New York Times did run a story on the front page Monday about an "epic battle," but it was about a tennis match at Wimbledon.

Few American newspaper readers learned that on Saturday the last of 550 metric tons of yellowcake was shipped from Iraq to a firm in Canada. Yellowcake is milled uranium oxide, the raw material from which nuclear bombs are made. According to Norman Dombey, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Sussex in England, the yellowcake shipped from Iraq was enough to make 142 nuclear bombs. Apparently, Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program was rather more than a figment of Dick Cheney's fevered imagination.

"This is a big deal," the New York Sun said in an editorial Monday. "Iraq, sitting on vast oil reserves, has no peaceful need for nuclear power. Saddam Hussein had already invaded Kuwait, launched missiles into Israeli cities, and harbored a terrorist group, the PKK, hostile to America's NATO ally, Turkey. To leave this nuclear material sitting around the Middle East in the hands of Saddam and the same corrupt United Nations that failed to stop the genocide in Darfur and was guilty of the oil-for-food scandal would have been too big a risk."

But it wasn't a big enough deal to make it beyond the newsbriefs section of most of those few newspapers which chose to report it. Evidence Saddam possessed enough material to build more than a hundred nuclear bombs undermines the media meme that he had no WMD, so it's not a story many journalists wish to revisit, new evidence or no.

I found an AP report posted at the Philadelphia Inquirer's web site, but it has hardly been front page news, and while I don't recall seeing it in the paper's hard copy, I might have missed it.

From the AP report:

And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Hussein's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.

Accusations that Hussein had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger - and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims - led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration.

Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well-known for decades as the centerpiece of Hussein's nuclear efforts.

Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

Well that's all good and fine. But what about the old news reports like this one (original news link expired) -- which was headlined "No uranium, no munitions, no missiles, no programmes"? The "no uranium" claim was central to the "Bush lied people died!" claim. How did Saddam Hussein obtain 550 the tons of uranium that wasn't there?

Never mind?

The Examiner calls the "Bush lied, people died" meme a useful fiction, does not think apologies will be forthcoming, but thinks Bush's assessment will be vindicated:

The clear conclusion suggested by these facts is that Saddam was biding his time until United Nations sanctions against his nuclear program were either lifted or he felt sufficiently confident of deceiving U.N. inspectors to begin large-scale enrichment and ultimately nuke production.

This page has been highly critical of Bush on many issues, foreign and domestic. The yellowcake shipment, however, is another reason why we remain convinced history will vindicate Bush's assessment of Saddam's intentions and capabilities. We doubt his critics will ever apologize for their extreme invective.

Oddly enough, Bush's assessment of the Iraqi threat was once shared by most Democrats. (List of actual "Quotes from war-mongering Democrats" here for all WMD nostalgia buffs.)

What this means, of course, is that the Democrats can truthfully state that none of this is news, because they knew all along.

posted by Eric on 07.09.08 at 09:13 AM


I sent this link to my very liberal uncle in NoCal, who took it as proof that Joe Wilson was telling the truth, and that the Bush administration was incompetent for not removing this sooner.

Facts, apparently, do not dent the narrative. Raise your children and grandchildren to be interested in space travel, because America is going to have to be refounded somewhere else. That may buy us another couple of centuries.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  July 9, 2008 2:00 PM

Thanks for this mega informative text :))

Daniel   ·  July 9, 2008 4:16 PM

Sanity is optional.

Beck   ·  July 19, 2008 9:12 PM

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