“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Time for Waterboarding

Three are arrested in Eastern Europe with powdered uranium. The first question to come to mind is where was it going? Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has called on European countries to pull their forces out of Afghanistan. Is this foreshadowning?

In a new audio-tape message attributed to the al-Qaeda head, bin Laden urged Europeans to pressure their governments to withdraw from Afghanistan. Bin Laden just happened to mention that he takes responsibility for the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York. He said the Taliban knew nothing of the plans to attack. It must be a pride of authorship thing.

Like a drug addict, bin Laden needs a new fix. He wants to up the ante. The Europeans have been warned. There is a demand for nuclear material and these three were on their way to supply it. They were ready for new BMW's and Europe, in exchange, would be thrown into a financial and terror abyss.

Get out the waterboards.

Uranium for 'dirty bomb' seized by Slovak police
By Karel Janicek and William K Jole
Published: 30 November 2007 Independent

Enriched uranium that could have been made into a "dirty bomb" by terrorists has been seized by Slovakian police after it was allegedly offered for sale for $1m.

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian suspected of peddling the radioactive material were arrested in eastern Slovakia and Hungary on Wednesday. Michal Kopcik, a senior Slovakian police official, said the men had 481.4 grams of uranium in powdered form. It is believed to have come from a former Soviet republic, but the identity of the intended buyer was not disclosed.

"It was possible to use it in various ways for terrorist attacks," Mr Kopcik said. "The uranium was even more dangerous because it was in powder form."

Police intelligence suggested that the suspects – aged 40, 49 and 51 – planned to close the deal earlier this week, he added. One of the Hungarians had been living in Ukraine. Officers moved in when the sale did not take place as expected. Three other suspects, including a Slovak, were arrested in the Czech Republic in October for allegedly trying to sell fake radioactive material. It was unclear to what degree, if any, they played a role in this week's thwarted sale.

"According to initial findings, the material originated in the former Soviet republics," Mr Kopcik said.

The uranium was kept in lead containers. Tests showed it contained 98.6 per cent uranium-235. Uranium is considered weapons-grade if it contains at least 85 per cent uranium-235.

The arrests heightened long-standing concerns that eastern Europe is serving as a source of material for a "dirty bomb", which would use conventional explosives to scatter radioactive debris. Roughly 25 kilos of highly-enriched uranium or plutonium is needed to fashion a crude nuclear device. But experts say a tiny fraction of that is enough for a dirty bomb – a weapon whose main purpose would be to create fear and chaos, not human casualties.

Vitaly Fedchenko, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said people should not worry that the world was awash with easily-obtainable bomb components. "The danger is definitely there but there is no reason to panic," he added. "Most of the 'buyers' are law enforcement agents, and not all the materials out there are weapons grade."

Eastern Slovakia's border with Ukraine is the European Union's easternmost frontier. In recent years, the authorities have spent millions tightening security, fearing that terrorists or organised crime syndicates could smuggle weapons, explosives and other contraband into the EU. In 2003, Czech police arrested two Slovaks in the city of Brno after they allegedly sold undercover officers natural depleted uranium for $715,000 (£350,000).

Ukrainian authorities, Western governments and international watchdogs repeatedly have warned that radioactive material from the nation's 15 operational reactors and the Chernobyl plant could find its way into terrorist hands.


  1. A dirty bomb can't do any more damage than a bomb with high explosives, it derives its effect from the fear and panic it invokes as people imagine their slow or quick death by radiation sickness.

    Likewise, stories like this further the aims of the terrorists by invoking fear and panic in the public. What should be the response of the Home of the Brave? Don't panic, don't succumb to fear, no more talk about a "war on terror", just do the enforcement legwork necessary to bring these perps to justice.

  2. Let's not panic...

    let;s start a long term project called "radiation exposure"

    these 3 men, once convicted of their crimes shall be sprinkled with their powdered uranium rectally...

    and keep alive as long as possible with no pain killers...

    do i care if they give up and info? nope.........

    I care for them to suffer and to suffer for a very long time....

    have a great weekend!

    oh btw, 50 cents for hugo's head.....

  3. Teresita claims she has drifted left:
    I recognized her as a lefty from the giddyup:

    "A dirty bomb can't do any more damage than a bomb with high explosives, have fun, go shopping."

    Links to sources of the begnign nature of dirty bombs would be appreciated.

  4. WIO proposes the "Uranus Treatment" for these Perps.

    I concur, but propose administration by activated suppository rather than the rectal sphincter sprinkler.

  5. ahhh...
    Where wa it going, to whomever would pay for it.

    Wide disconnect, between possible buyers and the prospective selers.

    wi"o", Hugo only wants to kill you, since you threaten his life, with that big bounty.

    If YOU let him alone, he'd care not aout your existence. But he lives in fear that you're going to go to Venezuela, and kill him. Per your written threats to subsidize violence, and agents (proxies) of your Government may have already tried.

    So, by the Noahide Laws, he's legal and God fearing, in his desire to kill you.

    Or is Hugo a pagan, too?

  6. From the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, verifying Ms T's claims

    A “dirty bomb” is one type of a “radiological dispersal device” (RDD) that combines a conventional explosive, such as dynamite, with radioactive material. The terms dirty bomb and RDD are often used interchangeably in the media. Most RDDs would not release enough radiation to kill people or cause severe illness - the conventional explosive itself would be more harmful to individuals than the radioactive material. However, depending on the scenario, an RDD explosion could create fear and panic, contaminate property, and require potentially costly cleanup. Making prompt, accurate information available to the public could prevent the panic sought by terrorists.

    A dirty bomb is in no way similar to a nuclear weapon or nuclear bomb. A nuclear bomb creates an explosion that is millions of times more powerful than that of a dirty bomb. The cloud of radiation from a nuclear bomb could spread tens to hundreds of square miles, whereas a dirty bomb’s radiation could be dispersed within a few blocks or miles of the explosion. A dirty bomb is not a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” but a “Weapon of Mass Disruption,” where contamination and anxiety are the terrorists’ major objectives.

    All there is to fear ...
    Is fear itself.

    Some famous American said

  7. "Likewise, stories like this further the aims of the terrorists by invoking fear and panic in the public. What should be the response of the Home of the Brave? Don't panic, don't succumb to fear, no more talk about a "war on terror", just do the enforcement legwork necessary to bring these perps to justice."

    From the story:"But experts say a tiny fraction of that is enough for a dirty bomb – a weapon whose main purpose would be to create fear and chaos, not human casualties."

    Damn those truth tellers. Send the police to Waziristan and Saudi Arabia, for starters.

  8. Clarence Thomas endorses his friend Bobby Knight, that's good enough for me.
    ...but, we all have our a-hole moments, and Bob's lucky his neighbor didn't plug him.

  9. A dirty bomb is not a “Weapon of Mass Destruction” but a “Weapon of Mass Disruption,” where contamination and anxiety are the terrorists’ major objectives.

  10. Be that as it may be, all things being equal, I would rather not inhale plutonium, thank you!

  11. Anxiety can be imposed, without ever firing a weapon.

    Those five nuclear devices slung under the B52s wing, that was a greater "real time" threat to the US, via an accident while in flight, than the 481.4 grams of material these guys were trying to sell.

    Seems the only buyers, out in the public marketplace have been Government agents, posing as bad guys.

    So either the Mosques have been infiltrated, or the sellers are not connected to the buyers, there is no nuclear network to break up. Just loose pieces to police.

    So far.

  12. It is all well and good to consul against panic.
    To come up with a way to prevent it, something else:

    Take the Anthrax Envelopes and the Maryland Snipers, for instance.

  13. "Those five nuclear devices slung under the B52s wing, that was a greater "real time" threat to the US, via an accident while in flight, than the 481.4 grams of material these guys were trying to sell."
    Does not compute, given the hours flown, armed, by SAC, in the Cold War Years.

  14. Or, as we said in the Army:
    Connoting excellence/high standards in carrying out the mission.

  15. Well sure, doug, as would I.

    But the threat to life and limb derived from the 4,000 illegals entering the US, today. That is a real threat that is magnitudes greater than 500 some grams of U-235.

    Granted that if the two were combined, we'd be having even greater magnitudes of challenge than we do, already. But so far, we've been lucky.

    We have not secured the supplies of uranium available in the world, nor have we secured our borders.

    The Government does not see a security threat there. It has been pointed out, often enough, by "serious" people, but no actions are taken to rectify the challenge, so it must not exist. On either end of the spectrum.

  16. "The GoiĆ¢nia incident to some extent predicts the contamination pattern if it is not immediately realized that the explosion spread radioactive material, but also how fatal even very small amounts of ingested radioactive powder can be [9]. This raises new worries of terrorists using powdered alpha emitting material, that if ingested can pose a serious health risk [10], as in the case of now deceased former K.G.B. spy Alexander Litvinenko, who either ate, drank or inhaled polonium-210. “Smoky bombs” based on alpha emitters might easily be just as dangerous as beta or gamma emitting dirty bombs [11]."

  17. 'Rat,
    Haven't seen them yet, but heard Stats show that the last 7 years have seen the highest illegal entries in History!
    Good old Honest George.

  18. Bush, the Burger King

    THE migrant farm workers who harvest tomatoes in South Florida have one of the nation’s most backbreaking jobs. For 10 to 12 hours a day, they pick tomatoes by hand, earning a piece-rate of about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket. During a typical day each migrant picks, carries and unloads two tons of tomatoes. For their efforts, this holiday season many of them are about to get a 40 percent pay cut.
    Florida’s tomato growers have long faced pressure to reduce operating costs; one way to do that is to keep migrant wages as low as possible. Although some of the pressure has come from increased competition with Mexican growers, most of it has been forcefully applied by the largest purchaser of Florida tomatoes: American fast food chains that want millions of pounds of cheap tomatoes as a garnish for their hamburgers, tacos and salads.

  19. Man, would I like to wipe that grin off his smart-ass face!

  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Obviously, doug, those "High Standards" were not met by the Air Force, on that particular mission.

    The airframes are older now, than back in the day. Those flights, armed over the US, cancelled years ago, because of safety concerns, over an accident. As has occurred.

    Brookings puts the number of lost and never recovered US warheads at 11, some of those loses detailed below, the stories not from Brookings

    21 January 1961
    A B-52 bomber carrying one or more nuclear weapons disintegrated in midair following an engine fier and explosion approximately 10 miles north of Monticello, Utah, killing all five crewmembers.

    24 January 1961
    A B-52 bomber suffered structural failure and disintegrated in mid-air 12 miles north of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC, releasing two hydrogen bombs. Five crewmen parachuted to safety, while three others died when the aircraft exploded in mid-air. The bombs jettisoned as the plane descended, one parachuting to earth intact, the other plunging deep into waterlogged farmland. To this day, parts of the nuclear bomb remain embedded deep in the muck. The area is off-limits, and is tested regularly for radiation releases. More information can be found at the Broken Arrow: Goldsboro, NC site at

    14 March 1961
    A B-52 with nuclear bombs crashed in California while on a training mission.

    13 January 1964
    A B-52 with two nuclear weapons crashed near Cumberland, Maryland.

    8 December 1964
    A B-58 slid off a runway at Bunker Hill (now Grissom) Air Force Base in Peru, Indiana. The resulting fire consumed portions of five onboard nuclear weapons, leading to radioactive contamination of the surrounding area.

    5 December 1965
    An A-4E aircraft accidentally fell overboard off the USS Toconderoga, with the loss of pilot LTJG D.M. Webster and a nuclear weapon. The incident, which occurred in the Pacific Ocean approximately 200 miles east of Okinawa, was not reported by the Department of Defense until 1981.

    17 January 1966
    A B-52 collided with an Air Force KC-135 jet tanker while refueling over the coast of Spain, killing eight of the eleven crew members and igniting the KC-135's 40,000 gallons of jet fuel. Two hydrogen bombs ruptured, scattering radioactive particles over the fields of Palomares; a third landed intact near the village of Palomares; the fourth was lost at sea 12 miles off the coast of Palomares and required a search by thousands of men working for three months to recover it. Approximately 1,500 tons of radioactive soil and tomato plants were removed to the U.S. for burial at a nuclear waste dump in Aiken, S.C. The U.S. eventually settled claims by 522 Palomares residents at a cost of $600,000, and gave the town the gift of a $200,000 desalinizing plant.

    22 January 1968
    A B-52 crashed 7 miles south of Thule Air Force Base in Greenland, scattering the radioactive fragments of three hydrogen bombs over the terrain and dropping one bomb into the sea after a fire broke out in the navigator's compartment. Contaminated ice and airplane debris were sent back to the U.S., with the bomb fragments going back to the manufacturer in Amarillo, Texas. The incident outraged the people of Denmark (which owned Greenland at the time, and which prohibits nuclear weapons over its territory) and led to massive anti-U.S. demonstrations. One of the warheads was reportedly recovered by Navy Seals and Seabees in 1979, but a recent (August 2000) report suggests that in fact it may still be lying at the bottom of Baffin Bay.

  22. Your citations, Rat, make one wonder how many incidents happened in the good ol USSR, that we never heard about. I remember reading about some of those you cite, particularily the one in Spain.

  23. oh my god!!!

    Now we've got to send the army into Hungary and the Czech republic. Another front in the War on Terror has opened. Silly fools who think it is a matter for police action.

    Not only is Islam the problem but now so to Hungarianism and Czechism...or should we condemn all of Eastern Europe? Oh my, all of Europe...

  24. Fear not, Ash.
    Dr. Strangelove can handle it.

  25. At least as many, doug. Most likely, increased by a factor of five or ten, as the Soviets always had higher mortality rates in space exploration and other technical endevours.

    One would assume their over all accident rates were higher, as well.

  26. Yessss Doug, and we need to find a way to make sure CNN screens everyone so that only good Republicans are allowed to ask simple easy to answer questions so the GOP doesn't make itself look too stoopid.

  27. Both are NATO allies, now.

    We've already committed, if they call for help.

    The US needs that radar station.

    Looks like we're gonna get some weather. Smells of rain, cloud cover ...
    Haven't seen it like this, for years.

  28. That was Albob.
    Soviet safety now bests NASA's, since they use old reliable rockets that sent Yuri Gagarin into orbit, while we have the Suicide Shuttle as our large launching vehicle.
    A Bureaucrap's dream Machine.

  29. You show your inanity by defending CNN, Ash, while your ilk complained about Russert!

  30. What we should, and have done, ash...

    Show that CNN does that for the Democrats. Ask easy to field questions, so as to not cause Ms Clinton any embarassment, while answering questions.

    That's the rub, neither Party is asked the hard questions at these tv events. They certainly are not debates, no substative issues are discussed at length, nor arguements judged.

    By any of the organizers, CNN, CBS, ABC, FOX ...

  31. Does honesty/integrity matter or not?
    5 plants out of 5,000 is NOT the result of Chance!

  32. Resolved:
    Your position on Executive Authority to initiate military hostilities against other countries.

    Your position on illegal immigration and the solutions proposed to:
    Levels of approved immigration should be ...
    Increased security on the frontiers, how you'd achieve it
    What to do with up to 1 million unlicensed drivers, in New York alone.

    What is your action plan to achieve energy independence by ...

    The War on Terror is best fought by ...

    The War on Terror is a police challenge, after all.

    The Religion of Peace is the problem, or not.

  33. From Lincoln/Douglas to utube. From four and five hours to sound bites. Part of the problem is too many candidates. The debates have been miserable on both sides.

  34. Sure it matters, doug.

    Everyone that cares to know, does.

    CNN has been biased for a decade, more. That is not news. That the GOP participates with them, while the Democrats boycott FOX, that tells the tale of intelligence and preemptive spin control.
    Walking into the lions den, then feigning surprise, when the lions behave as lions are apt to do.

    Clinton News Network, it was well known as, back in that era.
    Not much has changed.

  35. The GOP have become better Dhimmis under Bush's New Tone.

  36. He and Papa, resurrected Clinton, all by themselves.

  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. Doug: Soviet safety now bests NASA's, since they use old reliable rockets that sent Yuri Gagarin into orbit, while we have the Suicide Shuttle as our large launching vehicle. A Bureaucrap's dream Machine

    Wake up and smell Orion.

  39. Doug: Teresita claims she has drifted left: I recognized her as a lefty from the giddyup

    I'm just a loyal wife and member of the Reality Based Community, trying to work my way up to the Silver Oak Leaf Cluster like Sam and Metuselah and Cutler.

  40. I nominate T, Sam, Cutler and Mat for the coveted Oak Leaf Cluster, Silver. An honor that doesn't diminish with numbers. I'd nominate Trish, but she resigned from the board of directors.

  41. A man with a bomb duct taped to his chest, has taken control of a Clinton Campaign office and the people within.

    FOX News is enroute, to Rochester NH.

    If it's a bomb, does not the miscreant realize that bombs are illegal?

    That when bombs were outlawed, only outlaws would have bombs.

  42. In the early summer of 1969 I was hitchhiking my way through Spain towards Gibraltar. I was a 21 year old who had taken an overseas discharge from the Army. Somewhere along the trip I was picked up by a friendly gentleman with more of a command of English than I had of Spanish and he pointed to a rough desert like area off the road and said "that's where you Americans dropped the H-bomb. You can't tell if it went off or not."

    Fond memories of Spain and H-bombs.

    We need more bomb control laws.

  43. we don't want to good guys rashly using bombs in anger rat.

  44. Sounds like a chance for Hillary and destiny, she should go in alone, negotiate, talk to the young fellow, be a heroine--c'mon Hillaray strut your stuff.

  45. We had a guy pulled to death by the neck behind a pickup truck from a hunting camp over the border in uncivilized Washington state couple of days ago. Threatened the others with an ax, the defense attorney says. That defense isn't going to fly. But it makes a good case for outlawing alcohol, axes, ropes, pickup trucks. Guy lost his head, literally, over the incident. Not a shot fired.

  46. A friend of the family said that the man thought that there was a government conspiracy and that government officials were "coming after him."

    Well, he's right now, anyways.

    Probably worried about HillaryCare.

  47. Ladies and Gentlemen, a Moment of Silence

    Evel Knievel is dead.

    Spotlight dims on a great showman. We won't being seeing one of his stature again, for a long time.

    Knievel, age 69

  48. Republicans have better mental health than democrats and independents. The independents beat the democrats too. Graphs, Evidence Here

  49. Sam was right, democrats are zombies:)

  50. Bobal, back in the days when Idaho's drinking age was 19 (or was it 18?) they used to run the Fun Bus To Moscow from Wazoo.

  51. "Basically, we need warriors who don't want to make it in show business."

    - Gary Brecher, the War Nerd

    We just need to remove the show business from war. Such are our cultural affinities, they are one and the same. It is the highest form of entertainment. Or entertainment is the highest form of war.

    You don't have to be a cynic to acknowledge that. Though it can help.