Does Yellowcake Uranium Mean Anything?

John ArmstrongThe War on Terrorism

It’s a little known fact that, after invading Iraq in 2003, the U.S. found massive amounts of uranium yellowcake, the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel, at a facility in Tuwaitha outside of Baghdad. It does seem to me that this fact is little known because the mainstream media simply doesn’t tell us information like this when it goes against the storyline they have created for five plus years. All we have heard is: "There were no WMDs thus the war was begun on false pretense."

Now I am not a big defender of the initial arguments for going into Iraq and I will always remain a tad skeptical until history allows more and more to come out in a dispassionate context. Time will tell, as they say. But in recent weeks, the U.S. secretly has helped the Iraqi government ship this yellowcake uranium to Canada, where it was bought by a Canadian company for further processing into nuclear fuel—thus keeping it from potential use by terrorists or unsavory regimes in the region.

AP actually reported that this marks a "significant step toward closing the books on Saddam’s nuclear legacy." Unless I am totally naive this seems like major headline news but then who asked me and you? If President Bush "lied" about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam posed little if any nuclear threat to the U.S. then why tell this story anyway?

What does this prove? Not that Iraq had WMDs for sure. But it seems to more or less prove that Saddam had a program on hold for building WMD and that he planned to boot it up again at some point in the future. We do know he had one in the past and there was no debate politically about this fact.

Further, since Saddam acquired most of his uranium before 1991, and still had it in 2003, when invading U.S. troops found the stuff,  The International Atomic Energy Agency seems to have known about the yellowcake in the 1990s. What did it do? Absolutely nothing. It appears that it is now duplicating this same error with Iran and North Korea.

Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) concluded last week: "Saddam held onto it for more than a decade. Why? He hoped to wait out U.N. sanctions on Iraq and start his WMD program anew. This would seem to vindicate Bush’s decision to invade." Quite possible and again history will finally tell. We simply do not know all the facts right now but the media treats the story as if we do. The same publication, IBD, added, "By the way, this should put to rest the canard peddled by the American left and by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson that ‘Bush lied’ about Iraq seeking yellowcake from the African country of Niger. Given what we know, including comments by officials in Niger’s government, Iraq did make overtures to buy uranium. And it’s quite possible all or part of the 550 tons came from there."

Assuming President Bush hadn’t acted, we might today see a nuclear Iraq, an Iran on the way to having a weapon, Libya with an expanded nuclear program, and Syria—with its close ties to Saddam —on the way to having a nuke. One thing is for sure, or so I am inclined to think, this scenario is not all that far fetched at all.