To nuclear experts in the United States, the discovery of a subterranean complex is highly interesting, perhaps the atomic “smoking gun” intelligence agencies have been searching for as Operation Iraqi Freedom unfolds.
Last fall, they say, the Central Intelligence Agency prodded international inspectors to probe Al-Tuwaitha for weapons of mass destruction. The inspectors came away with nothing.
“They went through that site multiple times, but did they go underground? I never heard anything about that,” said physicist David Albright, a former IAEA Action Team inspector in Iraq from 1992 to 1997. Officials at the IAEA could not be reached for comment.
“The Marines should be particularly careful because of those high readings. Three hours at levels like that and people begin to vomit. That leads me to wonder, if the readings are accurate, whether radioactive material was deliberately left there to expose people to dangerous levels.
“You couldn’t do scientific work in levels like that. You would die.”
Another smoking gun is found. Hans Blix, call your office.