by Gordon Prather
a recent column entitled "Powerless
Non-Experts" syndicated columnist Charley Reese
allowed how "journalists" had no power:
are mere observers. Like the fans in the bleachers, we watch the
game, and some of us report it and some of us comment on it. But
we don't affect it.
was describing honest journalists, like himself. He wasn't describing
the neo-crazy media sycophants who played such an indispensable
role in getting you soccer moms to support at least initially
the Bush-Cheney war of aggression against Iraq.
who may play such an indispensable role in getting you soccer moms
to support God forbid the upcoming Bush-Cheney war
of aggression against Iran.
journalists actually watch the game. They know the score. And at
the very least, you can depend upon true journalists to tell you
which team won. Or if the game was "rained out."
neo-crazy media sycophants don't even go to the game. And you can't
depend upon them to even tell you which team won. They'll call up
some neo-crazy in or out of government and ask which
team the neo-crazies would like to be declared the winner.
example, a couple of years ago, the Iranians allowed inspectors
for the International Atomic Energy Agency to take a few "swipes"
off some gas-centrifuges they were assembling.
their existing Safeguards Agreement, the Iranians had not been obliged
to inform the IAEA about anything they planned to do, were doing
or had done that did not involve the impending chemical or physical
transformation of "source or special nuclear materials."
particular, until the Iranians signed an Additional Protocol to
their existing Safeguards Agreement and immediately began to adhere
to it, they had been under no obligation whatsoever to inform the
IAEA that they had imported or were constructing thousands of gas-centrifuges,
and had under construction a uranium-enrichment pilot plant and
a partially underground industrial-scale "bunker" capable
of housing tens of thousands of gas-centrifuges.
it turned out one of the "swipes" showed traces of "36
percent HEU." That is, there were traces of uranium on the
Iranian equipment whose U-235 isotopic concentration had been "enriched"
more than two orders of magnitude.
by that time, the neo-crazy media sycophants had managed to get
even honest journalists to "report" that any uranium-enrichment
capability was bad because even uranium enriched just enough to
make reactor fuel could easily and undetectably be further enriched
to make nuclear-weapons "fuel."
not true, of course. Enriching uranium on an industrial scale is
no "slam-dunk" exercise.
commercial nuclear power plants like the one the Russians
have almost finished constructing at Bushehr are fueled with
"low-enriched" uranium [LEU] whose U-235 isotopic concentration
is 35 percent.
whose U-235 isotopic concentration is greater than 20 percent is
classed as "highly enriched uranium" or HEU.
be classed "weapons-grade," the U-235 isotopic concentration
has to be 90 percent or more.
how did neo-crazy media sycophants universally "report"
traces of 36 percent HEU being found on centrifuge parts the Iranians
claimed to have imported? That the Iranians had been caught secretly
making "weapons-grade" uranium.
continued making that claim even after the IAEA concluded about
a year ago that the Iranians were probably telling the truth
that the Iranians had not yet begun producing in any quantity
even 3 percent LEU, much less 36 percent HEU. That the 36
percent HEU probably was a contaminant, already present on the "used"
parts they had purchased from a "third party."
Pakistanis finally admitted that they had been the original producers
of the equipment the Iranians had bought, and although not a signatory
to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Pakistanis
voluntarily provided the IAEA samples of the 36 percent HEU they
had produced with that equipment.
would anyone produce 36 percent HEU?
there are more than 130 operating research reactors in more than
40 countries around the world that use HEU fuel. Some used "weapons-grade"
HEU. Several including one in Bulgaria used 36 percent
last week, Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post (perhaps not
a neo-crazy sycophant, but someone who frequently doesn't know the
bomb-grade uranium found two years ago in Iran came from
contaminated Pakistani equipment and is not evidence of a clandestine
nuclear weapons program, a group of U.S. government experts and
other international scientists has determined.
if only Linzer would report on the magnanimous offer the Iranians
made last March to the Europeans to drastically
"confine" the Iranian nuclear program [a .pdf document].
James Gordon Prather [send
him mail] has served as a policy-implementing official for national
security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency,
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department
of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department
of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for
national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla.
ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the
Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather
had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore
National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory
in New Mexico.
© 2005 Gordon Prather