January 10, 2003
Remember the Aluminum Tubes!

Aluminum Tubes? Doesn't have quite the same ring as Remember the Alamo, or even Remember the Maine. But it's what George W. Bush is using to march us all off to his splendid little war.

Don't remember those tubes? Well, a while ago Saddam tried and failed to buy thousands of aluminum tubes. Aluminum tubes are necessary to build the type of centrifuge required for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. To the war party in the White House, this was irrefutable proof that our new Evil One would've built an atom bomb if he could've. Based in large measure on this house of cards we are massing an invading army on Iraq's borders.

But there are times when a tube is only a tube. Experts from our State Department, our Energy Department, Great Britain, and the United Nations think this is one of those times. The tubes Saddam ordered weren't the right design for developing nuclear weapons, these experts say. They were, however, just right for back-engineering rockets. And this is precisely what Saddam has said he ordered them for.

Lined up on the opposite side of the question are the usual suspectors: the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the NSA, and of course the White House.

For the International Atomic Energy's assessment. For more background.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 10, 2003 08:23 PM
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