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» Fitting the pieces together from Pajamas Media
Did Saddam Hussein's Iraq have a successful nuclear test in the late 1980s? See the evidence for and against at Ray Robison. (Cross-posted at The Iraq Files)... [Read More]

» "Saddam's Bomb?" from The Anti-Jihad Pundit
From Protein Wisdom quoting an article from The American Thinker: [Read More]

» Saddams Bomb? from protein wisdom
Using recently translated Harmony Database documents, an intriguing American Thinker post attempts to connect some dots concerning Iraqs supposedly nonexistent nuclear program:Our contributor Ray Robison notes a startling early 2001 artic... [Read More]

» Saddam Payed Terrorists from Flopping Aces
Another Saddam document translated by Jveritas is dated April 4th, 2003.5 days before the fall of Baghdad, in which he orders his Government to treat the Arab Fedayeen, terrorists, as equals in every respect.ie pay, and benefits. Another... [Read More]

» Saddam and nukes from Sister Toldjah
Confederate Yankee has posted links to a series of posts by Ray Robison, who he describes as a current military operations research analyst as well as a former member of the Iraq Survey Group for the DIA. Robison has uncovered documents that suggest ... [Read More]

» Web Reconnaissance for 04/21/2006 from The Thunder Run
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention. [Read More]

» Friday Nukes from Confederate Yankee
I'll be in meetings most of the day today, but to tide you over, check out what Ray Robison has uncovered regarding documentation that seems to support the theory that Saddam Hussein was looking into nuclear weapons, here, here, here... [Read More]

Comments

Urinated State of America

" I did some research and found no serious academic or professional rebuttals other than people who also found it hard to believe."

Ray, I have a real problem withmaking up my mind on you. On the one hand, you're a former member of the ISG, probably were in MSIG and deserving of respect, but then you come out with credulous stuff like this or the Radio Sawa anthrax story, or Seixon's woeful piece on the trailers* and wreck your credibility.

Here's two rebuttals for you:
http://www.theestimate.com/public/030901.html


You've also got Duelfer in a 2002 report to Congress saying it was "demonstrably wrong" in a footnote on page 2:

http://armed-services.senate.gov/statemnt/2002/Duelfer.pdf

(* Why was it woeful? 'Cos Seixon's doubt on the hydrogen generator explanation story is based on the presence of sodium azide (in preliminary chemical analyses) and urea. Well, sodium azide hydrolyzes under acidic conditions to nitrogen gas, which would be used to displace hydrogen from the reactor to avoid creating a potentially explosive mixture in the reactor when opened for servicing. Likely source of the urea is left as a trivial exercise for the reader while sitting on the toilet.)

Ray Robison

Urinated, I saw the article from the estimate. They used zero evidence and only conjecture. For instance, it makes this determination "In his story, Roberts claimed to have been shown a letter by Saddam Hussein's late son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, confirming the test. But Hussein Kamel defected to Jordan in 1995 and was certainly debriefed thoroughly by Western intelligence. He later returned to Iraq and was killed by his family. If Kamel knew about a successful nuclear test, would he not have told Western intelligence?" See the problem? Leone says in the very article that Hussein Kamal gave the order to kill these people and cover it up. Yet this article questions why he did not report it. Are they serious or was that a joke? I will check out the other reference you posted. I am not maried to the analysis here. As you can see, I qualified my remarks pretty heavily. But the first debunking you present is crap. thanks for the other citation. For those who question the article, know that the author Gwynne Roberts got the interview with Bin Laden and I have never seen that debunked.

Ray Robison

oh you have got to be kidding me. The report sites two reasons why they call the story dubious. One- that Saddam's behavior would change. Ohhhhh pllleeeaassseee. that is a weak assessment. How do we know his behavior didn't change?

Two, there was no underground facility. Now this is 2002 before we controlled Iraq. So on the ground inspection would be difficult. If you look at the global security article, you will notice two things. One, a picture that sure seems to fit the story, and two, no retraction or statement of doubt on the story by the times or global security. In fact, I could not find any article that stated the facts had been called in to question and I looked fully expecting to find that because the story is so odd. Again, I have no way of knowing if Leone is telling the truth. But judging by the IIS memo, it sure as hell looks like they were concerned about it.

Ray Robison

BTW, I did not endorse or analyze the seixon story but chemistry aside, it made one very good point. Why would the Iraqis need to build those trailers when the had bought commercial portable hydrogen generators?

Ray Robison

oh yea, forgot "Saddam's behavior didn't change". The claim is that the test was done in 1989. What did Saddam do the nex year? Invade and occupy Kuwait. Hhhhmmmmmm.....

Urinated State of America

Took a long while ('cos of multiple ways to transliterate rezaza). Appears to have been debunked pretty shortly after Gwynne Roberts story.

On the testing the graves: remember that DU was used extensively during Iraq War I.

As the medical adage goes, when you hear the sound of hooves, expect horses rather than zebras.


From http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/unmovic/2001/0611nuc.htm

Did Iraq Conduct a Clandestine Nuclear Test?
Reuters
June 11, 2001

The chief U.N. arms inspector and experts at a London think tank have concluded there was no evidence Iraq had carried out a successful nuclear test in 1989, as alleged in news reports earlier this year.
Hans Blix, the executive chairman of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said he reported to the U.N. Security Council last week "the information is totally wrong" that Iraq conducted a nuclear test beneath Lake Rezazza, southwest of Baghdad on Sept. 19, 1989, before the Gulf War.

He told reporters his department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had evidence in its files, from overhead flights and previous ground inspections "there had been no nuclear tests" nor a tunnel under the lake.

Purported evidence of a test, from two defecting former scientists in Iraq and an interpretation of satellite photographs of the test area, was reported in London's Sunday Times newspaper in February and received fairly wide coverage.

Terry Wallace, a professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona, says that while it is far easier to prove something did happen than to prove it did not there was no reason to believe the story is "anything but a hoax."

An examination of global earthquake catalogs, produced by the International Seismic Center and U.S. Geological Survey, revealed no significant seismic activity in Iraq the day the test was alleged to have taken place, Wallace said.

Such an explosion he said, in an article for the London-based think tank, the Verification, Training and Information Center, would have been easily detectable by international or by regional monitoring in Iran, Israel or Jordan, which keep records of earthquakes.

None of them reported any seismic events of the magnitude necessary for a nuclear test in the region around Lake Rezazza, Wallace said.

U.N. arms inspectors have not been permitted to track down Baghdad's weapons of mass destruction since mid-December 1998, when they were withdrawn shortly before the United States and Britain launched a four-day bombing campaign prompted by Iraq's failure to cooperate with the arms teams.

Blix's agency has now signed a contract with a private, satellite firm and is restarting overhead flights this month.

Earlier this year, Western intelligence agencies alleged that Iraq had reconstituted parts of its banned arms programs. The German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) in February told selected reporters Iraq could produce a nuclear device in three years and fire a missile as far as Europe by 2005.

U.S. and British officials alleged in January that Iraq had rebuilt three factories capable of producing chemical and biological weapons.

The IAEA, meanwhile, carried out its annual inspection of the Iraq's Tuwaitha nuclear power center in January and reported that low-grade nuclear material held there had not been moved since its last visit.

Ray Robison

Urinated, I saw scrubs as well, great show.
As for the DU, when the document first came out, abscent knowing about the GR article, I had thought the same thing and said so. I considered that they were going to put radioactive material on a mass grave to make it look like DU. (BTW, that whole DU thing is completely stupid, even if it was a major environmental disaster, it would never cause a mass casualty situation necessitating a mass grave in the application used by U.S. forces. That is just absurd, but the story might just work on the leftists and media.)

So of course, I considered that in this analisys. The problem is, the whole tenor of the document is for a coverup. If they truly believed it was caused by DU, why manipulate the scene or "leak" the coverage? And why wait for years to bring this up? It just doesn't fit the document. Leone's story does fit the document.

The Reuters article is the best rebuttel I have seen. I think it should be judged and when I get a chance, I will add it to the story.
There are I believe two significant points:
"He told reporters his department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had evidence in its files, from overhead flights and previous ground inspections "there had been no nuclear tests" nor a tunnel under the lake."

The article contains photos of what certainly appears to be the tunnel Leone described. However, it was not under the lake. Perhaps if they were looking for a tunnel under the lake, they were looking in the wrong place. And I have to consider, how many times were the UN and IAEA fooled by Saddam before.

Also "Such an explosion he said, in an article for the London-based think tank, the Verification, Training and Information Center, would have been easily detectable by international or by regional monitoring in Iran, Israel or Jordan, which keep records of earthquakes."

The article describes a method of suspending the bomb in a way to reduce the seismic signature. Thus, I can't discount the story based on that statement alone.

But don't get me wrong. If I saw convincing evidence like a report that a nuclear detection team had found the tunnel and saw no sign of radiation, well then the story would be a cleverly crafted lie using real elements. That is always a possibility. I just haven't seen anything yet that debunks the essential elements of Leone's story that can not be countered within the story itself, which of course was known before the attempts at rebuttel. I went on google earth and found the military base near the lake pictured in the article. That element is verifiable. I hope to search for the tunnel soon, but realize that may be impossible for the resolution on google earth.

Ray Robison

"Wallace and his colleagues examined the global earthquake catalogues produced by the International Seismic Center and the US Geological Survey and say they reveal no seismic disturbances at all in Iraq that day. Moreover, they say there has been no seismicity within 50 km of the reported test site for the years 1980 to 1999. One problem with the assertion that no weapons testing took place, they point out, is that the detection threshold for these global catalogues was just magnitude 4.0 in 1989 so a smaller magnitude event may have not been picked up by the sensors."

Leone said it was 2.7 on the surface. http://www.psigate.ac.uk/spotlight/issue9/earth.html

Ray Robison

Just found this:
http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Features/DU/finalreport.pdf

It is an IAEA on site environmental inspection of locations in Kosovo where DU was used. This is a serious scientific study.

Under findings, it says
"The corresponding radiological and chemical risks from all points of view are consequently insignificant"

The radiation in this case is not from DU.

AL

"Urinated", pulling out (and sticking with) the old DEPLETED Uranium line is a very quick way of losing credibility.

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