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Nuclear Terrorism, Chaos, and the Revenge of Gaddafi

The chaos that is reigning in the streets and in the deserts of Libya has been filling the headlines on the nightly news and across the web. There is one aspect of the situation that is receiving little attention, however, and that is the uncertainty about what is happening with Gaddafi’s stocks of dangerous radioactive nuclear materials.

While Saddam Hussein’s supposed stores of weapons of mass destruction and the materials to manufacture more may have been lies force fed to the American public by certain warmongering elements in the government, in the case of Gaddafi, things are quite different. Up until 2003, the Libyan leader enthusiastically pursued a uranium enrichment program in order to create weapons-grade materials, and it was only after Gaddafi decided to make nice with the West that this program was finally abandoned. However, according to Olli Heinonen, head of the UN nuclear safeguards inspection division until 2010, Libya’s Tajoura research center still holds enough leftover radioactive materials to manufacture numerous “dirty bombs.”

For those unfamiliar with the term, a dirty bomb combines radioactive substances with conventional explosives that can spread those materials over a wide distance. Because of the current situation in Libya, the fate of Gaddafi’s radioactive poisons cannot be guaranteed, as there is no telling what might happen at Tajoura now that control of the country has been thrown up for grabs by the decision of the United States and NATO to support a formerly weak and ineffective insurgency in order to overthrow the Gaddafi regime.

Assessing the Threat

Terrorists operating in the Middle Eastern theater are certainly well aware of conditions in Libya, which, despite the facile assertions of the US government and the lapdog media, are actually in a state of chaos and flux. With a general breakdown of law and order that is not likely to be resolved soon, a golden opportunity is presenting itself to any nefarious groups that would like to sneak in and steal any radioactive material they could get their hands on as well as local interests that might see the chance to make some big money by selling those materials on the black market. Once nuclear toxins have been acquired, actually making the dirty bomb is a piece of cake – and thanks to the porous, unsecured borders in both the north and south of the United States, getting an economically-sized dirty bomb into the U.S. in a suitcase or backpack would be even easier to accomplish.

Where are the Suitcase Nukes?

The U.S. government is not telling us the truth about what is happening in Libya because they don’t want us to realize how little control their rebel puppets really have, either militarily or security-wise. This is in line with their policy regarding our own borders, where they also keep the truth from us about how insecure we really are against terrorist infiltrators who could – and no doubt already have – cross into the US at any time, carrying anything they might choose to bring along with them.

And dirty suitcase bombs may not be the only threat. After the fall of the Soviet Union, there is evidence to suggest that as many as 100 small tactical nuclear weapons- which were tagged with the moniker ‘suitcase nukes’ – may have disappeared from Russian stockpiles. The theory is that they may have been offered for sale on the black market to the highest bidder, and that terrorist groups may have found a way to get a hold of some.

Admittedly, the fact that a suitcase nuke has never been discovered or detonated anywhere in the twenty-plus years since the Soviet Empire crumbled could be seen as proof that the suitcase nuke story is only an urban legend. But then again, perhaps terrorist groups are simply waiting for the right moment to make the biggest possible impact.

Endless War and the Political Establishment

One assumption often made is that the continuing terrorist threat is evidence of incompetence at the highest levels of government. But there is another possibility. The influential Project for the New American Century, comprised of many of the most influential members of the defense and intelligence establishment, expressed their belief in the days before 9/11 that the United States and the West needed a new enemy to replace the defunct Soviet Union, in order to keep our country vibrant and strong. This philosophy of the value of eternal struggle motivated the post-9/11 response in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it remains a prescription still today for endless war and conflict.

Because the concept that struggle is necessary to avoid moral decay is so pervasive in organizations like NATO, the Pentagon, and the CIA, the question has to be asked – do they even want to stop the terrorists from eventually setting off a dirty bomb somewhere within our borders? Or do they feel that the threat of terrorism needs to be kept alive so it can fill the role of the eternal enemy they believe we need to survive and prosper? One thing that is clear is that terrorism is primarily a security threat, not a military one; and yet, its existence has been used as an excuse to justify military action in a part of the world where such an approach offers little chance for success. So there are good reasons to wonder about how the powers that hide in the shadows really view the threat of terrorism – do they see it as something bad that should be stopped at all costs, or do they see it as a necessary evil that we have to tolerate in order to serve the greater good?

©2011 Off the Grid News

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