April 16, 2004
Posted by Jon Henke
Remember when Bush was asked if he could name one mistake made by his administration? He could have mentioned this....
Some Iraqi nuclear facilities appear to be unguarded, and radioactive materials are being taken out of the country, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency reported after reviewing satellite images and equipment that has turned up in European scrapyards.
Maybe there's a good excuse for this, but I doubt it. Cutting the IAEA completely out of the loop doesn't seem like such a good idea, either. At the very least, we could have tasked them with containment and clean-up of secured nuclear facilities.
The International Atomic Energy Agency sent a letter to U.S. officials three weeks ago informing them of the findings.
...arms control officials now worry the war and its chaotic aftermath may have increased chances that terrorists could get their hands on materials used for unconventional weapons or that civilians may be unknowingly exposed to radioactive materials.
According to ElBaradei's letter, satellite imagery shows "extensive removal of equipment and in some instances, removal of entire buildings," in Iraq.
In addition, "large quantities of scrap, some of it contaminated, have been transferred out of Iraq from sites" previously monitored by the IAEA.