So 550 tons of yellowcake uranium – which, if refined to weapons-grade, could have been used to produce as many as 140 nuclear bombs – was removed from Iraq over the past year, and and arrived last week in the Port of Montreal, on the way to its ultimate destination, the Cameco uranium processing plant in Blind River, Ontario (a small outpost town on the shores of the Lake Huron narrows, about a five-hour drive from either Detroit or Toronto), to be converted to fuel for the province’s nuclear power plants. The world’s press yawns. Any story that, in any way, supports President Bush’s decision to take out the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, is certain to be buried far behind, say, the latest update on whether or not the Obamas are going to buy a dog.
The most confounding aspect of this story is the fact that knowledge of Saddam’s nuclear ambitions, and his massive stockpile of Uranium, has always been common knowledge to those who wanted to know! Randall Hoven writes a brilliant column on the topic at American Thinker: “The 500 Tons of Yellowcake”, discussing the great danger such a stockpile poses to its handlers, the potential for its weaponization, and the nonsensical attacks by the “Bush Lied, No WMDs” crowd that should know better. Hoven correctly states that little comfort should be taken in the fact that the Uranium was “monitored” by the UN from the conclusion of the 1991 Gulf War, until the inspectors were kicked out in 2003:
…even Charles Duelfer concluded that Saddam had every intention of getting back into the WMD business as soon as he could end the sanctions regime, which he was busy doing with oil-for-food bribes.
I think it neither illogical nor bizarre to think Saddam had WMD or WMD programs in 2003. I still believe he did, in a “preponderance of the evidence” sense. And I believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that he would have been back in the WMD business by now, if not by 2004, had we not invaded.
That he sat on 550 metric tons of yellowcake under UN “safeguard” is about as comforting to me as knowing the convicted child rapist next door has a case of duct tape (dual use, by the way) that the police check up on every week.