ntang (ntang) wrote,
ntang
ntang

Bush: keeping us safer. Ok, not so much.

There was a great article in the New York Times this morning about how the US was storing high-powered explosives in Iraq. Yes - in Iraq. Oh, and they were sort of, how you say, oh, um, mostly unguarded. And it seems that a little was stolen. Not much, though, just 380 tons.

To give some perspective on what you can do with 380 tons - aka 760,000 pounds, if my math is right:

"The bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 used less than a pound of the same type of material, and larger amounts were apparently used in the bombing of a housing complex in November 2003 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the blasts in a Moscow apartment complex in September 1999 that killed nearly 300 people."

Now, in all fairness, it doesn't take much of any type of explosive to down a normal airplane, as I understand it. But the point is that 380 tons of any explosive is a lot, and of high-powered explosives is a bit crazy. And, while I don't know that it really means much since it's the easiest component to get, these also happen to be the same types of explosives you use to detonate nuclear weapons. Again, I don't want to over-emphasize that, though, since getting the detonating explosive is the (relatively) easy part of building a nuclear device. Having enough money to buy the rest of the stuff from someplace like Iran or Pakistan, say, is a totally different story.

Anyways. Yet another way Bush is making us safer. Oh wait, nevermind, we're actually less safe - that's right. I wonder if any of the US soldiers killed in ‏Iraq, or US citizens killed anywhere in the world in the past couple of years due to terrorism, were killed by any of that material. Sigh.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/25/international/middleeast/25bomb.html

Update: Here's a great quote:
"One US government official told Nelson, "this is the most likely primary source of the explosives which have been used to blow up Humvees and in all the deadly car bomb attacks since the Occupation began." Another official told him, "this is the stuff the bad guys have been using to kill our troops."
That was found in TPM.
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