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How Are You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the (Nuclear-Free) Farm?

02.10.2006 05:21 | DISPATCHES

Who are we to express outrage that Iran has procured designs and documents for constructing an atomic warhead on the nuclear black market? After all, wasn't it the US that underfunded securing loose Russian nukes while Al Qaeda may have been busy buying tactical nuclear weapons on that same black market (read: Russian or Chechnyan mobsters)? If you doubt that, consult Graham Allison (Nuclear Terrorism) or Paul L. Williams (The Al Qaeda Connection).

Consider the pace of technological innovation in recent years. How then can a state realistically expect to keep nuclear secrets under its hat? After all, it's been six whole decades since the US detonated its first nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, many believe the US is considering attacking Iranian nuclear facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Those who scoff might be surprised to learn that plan actually seems tame when compared to what Philip Giraldi reports in the latest American Conservative (not online):

"The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. . . . As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States [editor's italics]."
You're not the only one who's scared. Giraldi again:
"Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing -- that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack -- but no one is prepared to damage his career by pos-ing any objections."
Thanks to one of the Web's most incisive progressive blogs,, for bringing this to our attention.


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