“The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.”
-President George W. Bush
The latest escalation of the propaganda war against people desiring a return to some semblance of normalcy as existed prior to September 11, 2001 – the day when everything changed – is the claim that the bad-ass Islamic bogeymen ISIS has taken control of 88 pounds of Uranium in Iraq. The dirty bomb card has now been dealt and will be hyped by the corrupt state-corporate media as one more reason to ratchet down civil liberties, subject citizens to more invasive search and confiscate tactics in airports and most of all serve as a cudgel during the coming election cycle.
The tale of the Iraqi Uranium redux and the weapons of mass destruction threat – remember, we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud – first surfaced back in June with the story that ISIS had taken control of one of Saddam’s old chemical weapons plants at Muthanna. That one didn’t get much traction other than on selected right-wing echo chamber blogs and bottom-feeder websites because it was hasty and sloppy. The 88 pounds (nice round and memorable number isn’t it?) that are now claimed to have been seized from Mosul University has the official backing of the government of Iraq, the UN Ambassador who per a Reuters story told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a recent letter.
The Reuters story, “Exclusive: Iraq tells U.N. that ‘terrorist groups’ seized nuclear weapons”states:
Insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad.”
Nearly 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the July 8 letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.
“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”
“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” said Alhakim.
He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.
Libertarian financial blog Zero Hedge also cites the story of the 88 pounds of uranium in a posting entitled “ISIS Has Seized 88 Pounds Of Uranium In Northern Iraq” from which I excerpt:
With the mainstream media having moved on in the news cycle to Dow ‘almost’ 17,000 and the ‘Border Crisis’ Scandal, it seems The Islamic State (the terrorists formerly known as ISIS) have stepped up their game and come out swinging… by seizing 88 pounds of nuclear material (uranium compounds) from Mosul University. As Iraq’s UN Ambassador warned, “these nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned,“can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction… or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts.”
First, the sitting government of Iraq as besieged as it currently is has a huge interest in putting down the mysterious ISIS eruption so anything that comes out of it, such as claims made by the Iraqi UN Ambassador about 88 pounds of uranium needs to be taken with extreme skepticism. The timing also serves western regimes in Washington and London who are continually confronted with their rogue behavior, specifically NSA/FBI/CIA unconstitutional and unjustifiable surveillance – as in prominent American-Muslim leaders being subjected to targeting because they are Muslims and two US spies turning up within the German government. The renewed threat of that “smoking gun as a mushroom cloud” gives the ruling regimes of both nations an excuse to rebut critics and launch a crackdown in the always invoked interests of “national security”. This is already happening in the UK where Prime Minister David Cameron has called for an emergency law to circumvent the process in order to lock their surveillance systems into place as a matter of protecting the populace from “terrorists” (never mind that the real terrorists are embedded in the increasingly Norsefire leaning government) and using ISIS as the excuse.
The Obama administration hasn’t gone that route yet but it’s coming and if it isn’t Obama then it will be Republicans in Congress after they retake the Senate in November and begin the impeachment proceedings. Having a dirty bomb go off – or better yet, an alleged plot being foiled -would be an enormous boon to the security state apparatus and will provide Republicans with the added charge that Obama “did not keep America safe from the terrorists”. The chatter from those seemingly in the know, for example Dick Cheney with his promise of a new 9/11 and Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham is extremely suspicious and grows louder with each subsequent Sunday morning bloviation circuit cycle.
The story of the 88 pounds of death and destruction though, at least of this morning is primarily being promulgated once again on right-wing blogs and websites such as The Gateway Pundit with “Caliphate Goes Nuclear”, Free Republic with “ISIS has seized 88 pounds of Uranium in Northern Iraq” (taken from Zero Hedge) and trashy site BuzzFeed with“ISIS Militants Seize Nuclear Materials in Iraq that Could Be Used for WMD’s”, It has all of the hallmarks of one of those propaganda dispersals that were commonplace during the Bushreich and nothing could be better for the future prospects of Republicans than to resuscitate that monster again. Not that the Democrats don’t deserve to be nailed to the wall on their abysmal record on “terrorism” – Obama has vastly expanded the surveillance state, formally put into law the right of the president to have American citizens extra-judicially killed and continued the meddling in the Middle East that does the exact opposite of win hearts and minds. – The administration is also standing by while Israeli extremist nutjob Bibi Netanyahu is engaging in another bloody attack on Gaza after his demagoguery over the tragic abduction and murder of three young Jews that created a climate of racism and lust for blood vengeance much like the one that gripped the USA! USA! USA! after 9/11. While the nature of ISIS itself is still unknown as to the origin, funding and state backing behind it the region continues on a slow rolling boil.
Onward goes this sweltering summer of fear…