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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list

SATURDAY through Thursday, July 26 through 31, 2008

RES IPSA LOQUITUR.  GS



Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.

'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

Theodore Roosevelt 1907


FRIDAY, July 25, 2008

TPS, good-bye for now.  - Your Family

THURSDAY, July 24, 2008

Several offerings for Rapid Response in the last week have been the work of others.  That will happen at times when the offerings of others render me momentarily speechless.  GS

This is attributed to Jay Leno but Snopes says it is not true.  However, in my opinion it is a great article.

Jay Leno wrote this; it's the Jay Leno we don't often see...

'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe.  It must be true given the  source, right?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with  the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is  unhappy with the performance of the President.  In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day,  7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time  and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move  hrough each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from  around the world is just not good enough either.

H.. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. neighborhoods where  90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens.
They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out?   The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11?   The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession?   Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?

The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?   Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day.  Make no mistake about it.

The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom.

There is currently no draft in this country.  They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.
So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?

Say what you want but I blame it on the media.   If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news.  Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts.  How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations.  They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another.

Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times

for the bottom of your bird cage.  Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad.  We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.   With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Jay Leno

WEDNESDAY, July 23, 2008

HOW DO YOU SAY "BARABING" IN GAELIC.  GS

>
> We, in Ireland , can't figure out why people are even bothering to
> hold an election in the United States .
>
> On one side, you have a pants-wearing lawyer, married to a lawyer who
> can't keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary
> against a lawyer who goes to the wrong church who is married to yet
> another lawyer who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run.
>
> Now...  On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name
> starts with the appropriate "Mc" terminology,  married to a beautiful
> younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.
>
> What in the Lord's name are you lads thinking over there in the colonies!!
>

TUESDAY, July 22, 2008

THIS WAS VALIDATED BY SNOPES.COM.  A TOUCHING MEMORIAL.

Navy Petty Officer Mike Monsoor

PO2 (EOD2) Mike Monsoor, a Navy EOD Technician, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade in Iraq , giving his life to save his fellow SEALs.

During Mike Monsoor's funeral in San Diego , as his coffin was being moved from the hearse to the grave site at Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery , SEALs were lined up on both sides of the pallbearers route forming a column of twos, with the coffin moving up the center.  As Mike's coffin passed, each SEAL, having removed his gold Trident from his uniform, slapped it down embedding the Trident in the wooden coffin.
The slaps were audible from across the cemetery; by the time the coffin arrived grave side, it looked as though it had a gold inlay from all the Tridents pinned to it.  This was a fitting send-off for a warrior hero.

This should be front-page news instead of the crap we see every day.

Since the media probably won't make this news, I choose to make it news by forwarding it onto you guys. I am proud of our military and the men and women who serve in it.  They represent the highest and finest values of this country.

Memorial 1

Memorial 2

FRIDAY through MONDAY, July 18 through 21, 2008

An observer recently commented, "Sounds like the City of New London to me."

NOAH

In the year 2008, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in the United States, and said:
Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the end of all flesh before me.

Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans.

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: You have 6 months to build the Ark before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights.

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard - but no Ark.

Noah! He roared, I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?
Forgive me, Lord, begged Noah, 'but things have changed.

I needed a building permit.

I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.

My neighbors claim that I've violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations.
We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines
and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea.
I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.

Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl.

I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me.
They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.
They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane
to put so many animals in a confined space.

Then the EPA ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work.

The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched across the sky.

Noah looked up in wonder and asked,
'You mean you're not going to destroy the world?'

'No,' said the Lord.
'The government beat me to it.

THURSDAY, July 17,
2008

Jim, thanks.  These are very good.  And, once again, thay reflect the great advantages of studying the present after it has become the past.  The present is to do.  The past is to learn from.
- George

Jim sent:

Quotations on Patriotism

"I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward."
-George Washington. Letter, April 21, 1778.

"True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which impels them—-the desire to do right—-is precisely the same."
-Robert E. Lee, letter to General P. G. T. Beauregard, October 3, 1865

There seems no reason why patriotism and narrowness should go together, or why intellectual fairmindedness should be confounded with political trimming,* or why serviceable truth should keep cloistered because not partisan.+
-Herman Melville (1819–1891)
*trimming= opportunism
+i.e. truth should not be hidden away just because it does not support the American cause.


"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."
-Mark Twain

"How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be 'American' before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, & having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries? It is really too easy a disguise for our shortcomings to dress them up as a form of patriotism!"
-Edith Wharton

"My patriotism is not an exclusive thing. It is all-embracing and I should reject that patriotism which sought to mount the distress or exploitation of other nationalities."
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

"I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility which will enable America to remain master of her power—-to walk with it in serenity and wisdom, with self-respect and the respect of all mankind; a patriotism that puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. These are words that are easy to utter, but this is a mighty assignment. For it is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them."
- Adlai Stevenson

"We do not consider patriotism desirable if it contradicts civilized behavior."
-Friedrich Dürrenmatt (1921–1990)

"It seems that American patriotism measures itself against an outcast group. The right Americans are the right Americans because they’re not like the wrong Americans, who are not really Americans." -
-Eric J. Hobsbawm

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."
-Howard Zinn

MONDAY through WEDNESDAY, July 14 through 16, 2008

HERE'S A DEFINITION TO REMEMBER, BETWEEN NOW AND THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS.  GS

$104,655.60 Ad in the Washington Post--

Here is someone with the money to fund a rebuttal to what Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee Chairman, said recently that 'many Republicans have never done an honest day's work in their life'. The following full-page ad was placed in the Washington Post by a businessman named George J. Esseff, Sr.  He paid $104,655.60 to run the ad and only did it because he is sick and tired of the way that 'the rich' are portrayed by liberals these days.  It is a great read.

The Ad

Maybe you're a conservative Republican?

In today's America, ask a growing number of high school and college students, their teachers and professors, the self-anointed media elite and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question, 'What is a Republican?' and you'll be told  '... a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment, the working poor....and all whom they exploit...'

I am a Republican - and I am none of those things....and I don't know any Republicans who are!

    WHAT I AM, first and foremost, is a loving husband of some 52 plus years, the father of four, and an American who's proud of his country...and his country's heritage.
   
    WHAT I AM is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.
   
    WHAT I AM is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed first hand the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed.  I watched as both my parents and grand parents, who had very little themselves, shared what food they had with a half dozen other families who had even less.
   
    WHAT I AM is someone who worked his way through college by holding down three and four jobs at a time and then used that education to build a better life.
   
    WHAT I AM is a husband who, at age 24, started his own business for the 'privilege' of working 60, 70 and 80 hours a week, risking everything I had, including my health, in search of a better life for myself and my loved ones.
   
    WHAT I AM is a businessman whose blood, sweat and tears....and plenty of them..., made it possible for me to provide a secure living, not only for my family and myself, but also for literally hundreds of my employees throughout the years, employees who in turn were able to buy their own homes, raise their own families and give back to their communities and their country.
   
    WHAT I AM is a man who believes in God; a God who has blessed this country ... and all for which it stands.
   
    WHAT I AM is someone who knows, if you doubt miracles exist in today's world, you need only to look into the face of those who received them ... and the eyes of those who give them.
   
    WHAT I AM is an American who's proud that his President embraces a belief in God; proud of a President who understands, as 'politically incorrect' as it may be, there is evil in this world, and for the security and safety of all freedom loving people everywhere, it must be confronted ... and it must be defeated.

    WHAT I AM is an American who takes comfort in the knowledge that our President refuses to allow decisions concerning the very safety and security of this nation to be governed by the political whims of foreign governments.
   
    WHAT I AM is tired of hearing from leading Democrats who see only negativity in America, racism in her people, class warfare in her society and 'political incorrectness' in her character.
    WHAT I AM is a former Democrat who now understands that it is the soldier and not the reporter that guarantees us our freedoms of the press, speech and dissent.
   
    WHAT I AM is a man who believes in the sanctity of life.  A man who is repulsed by the pandering of the political left for votes, at the expense of the unborn.
   
    WHAT I AM is a husband and father who believes in the sanctity of marriage and the preservation of the family unit.
   
    WHAT I AM is a ex-movie goer who is repulsed by those insecure, socially inept, elementary thinking, ego-inflated 'entertainers' who have appointed themselves 'experts' in the fields of national security and geo-politics and then use their forum to attack this nation, its leaders and its actions, much to the delight and encouragement of our enemies.
   
    WHAT I AM is an American who understands the difference between 'censorship' and 'choice.'  Evidently, these individuals do not, because when these same 'celebrities' receive public ridicule for their offensive actions, the first thing they yell is 'censorship.'  What they seem incapable of understanding is that the right of free speech and dissent is shared equally by those offended, as well as those who offend.  I support and will continue to support those films and performers whom I choose to and refuse to support those I don't.  It is my right as an American, a right I will continue to enthusiastically exercise.
   
    WHAT I AM is a voter, tired of politicians who, every time their voting records are subjected to public scrutiny, try to divert attention from their political and legislative failures by accusing their opponents of 'attack ads' and 'negative campaigning;' and the news media who allow them to get away with it.
   
    WHAT I AM is a Catholic who loves his God and his Faith, and who's been taught to respect all religions whose teachings are based in love, peace and charity.  As such, I am embarrassed and ashamed of those individuals in both private and public life whose decisions and actions are devoid of any sense of character or morals; individuals who are only driven by what's best for them, rather than what's right, often times at the expense of many, including our national security.
   
    WHAT I AM is a realist who understands that the terrorist attack that murdered hundreds of innocent Russian children could have occurred here, in our heartland.  That's why I sincerely believe America needs, now more than ever, a President who sees with a clear and focused vision and who speaks with a voice, when heard by both friend and foe alike, is understood, respected and believed.
   
    WHAT I AM is eternally grateful to Ronald Reagan for having the bravery to speak out against Communism and the courage of his convictions in leading the fight to defeat it; and to George W. Bush for the vision, courage, conviction and leadership he has shown in America's war on terrorism amidst both the constant and vicious personal and political attacks both he and his family are made to endure.
   
    WHAT I AM is a human being, full of numerous faults and failures, but a man, nonetheless, who though not always successful, has continually strived to do 'what's right' instead of 'what's easy.'  A man who is challenging the religious leaders of all faiths to not only preach to their congregations the fundamentals of 'what's right' and 'what's wrong,' but to also then hold them accountable for their actions in both the public and private sectors.
   
    WHAT I AM is disgusted with the Courts who, on one hand, call the murder of a pregnant woman a 'double homicide," but then refer to the abortion of her baby as 'pro-choice.'
   
    WHAT I AM is someone deeply troubled by a political party which embraces a candidate whose primary 'leadership' qualities center around his protesting of the Vietnam war and his labeling the honorable men and women who fought in it, (50,000 of whom gave their lives in that action), as rapists and war criminals (John Kerry). That same political party then stepped forward this year to block the appearance of a true Vietnam war hero, retired Admiral and former United States Senator, Jeremiah Denton, (a man who spent seven years and seven torturous months in a North Vietnamese prison), from speaking before an open session of the California Legislature as part of that state's 4th of July celebration.  The reason Democrats gave for refusing to allow this American hero to speak before their state legislature was because of the 'conservative' nature of his views.  As an American, that troubles me deeply....as well it should you.  (Are you listening Mr. D?)
   
    WHAT I AM is a man who feels the need to spend ONE HUNDRED & FOUR THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED & FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS ($104,655.60, tax paid) of his own money, to purchase this advertisement in order to set the story straight.  Some may say this money would have been better spent feeding the world's poor.  At the risk of sounding self-serving, as an American and as a Republican, for the last six decades of my life, I have done exactly that ... and more.  Following the examples of my parents and grandparents, I have used my earnings to feed the poor, shelter the homeless, provide housing for the elderly and medical care for the sick ... and continue to do so ... and I'm not alone in that work.
   
    WHAT I AM is someone who is paying for this announcement at my sole expense in hopes of opening the eyes of those led blindly by ill-informed elements of our great nation, who through either ignorance or malicious intent, repeatedly attack and belittle those of us who belong to a political party that holds true to the belief, 'The rights of the governed exceed the power of the government.'  For those interested, I am speaking only as a tax-paying individual who is in no way associated with the Republican National Committee, nor with any of its directors or delegates.
   
    WHAT I AM is a man who understands, 'the American way of life' is a message of self-empowerment for all.
   
    WHAT I AM is an American who is grateful that our nation gives each of us the opportunity of self-determination and the right to benefit from the fruits of self achievement.
  
    WHAT I AM is an American who wants to preserve that way of life for all who seek it.
   
    WHAT I AM is blessed to be an American .... and proud to be a conservative Republican.

WOW!!! ...AMEN

SUNDAY, July 13, 2008
GS

MONDAY through SATURDAY, July 7 through 12, 2008
GS

TUESDAY through SUNDAY, July 1 through 6, 2008
AP Exclusive: US removes uranium from Iraq

By BRIAN MURPHY, Associated Press Writer Sun Jul 6, 4:45 AM ET

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad — using teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Ukraine.

"Everyone is very happy to have this safely out of Iraq," said a senior U.S. official who outlined the nearly three-month operation to The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

While yellowcake alone is not considered potent enough for a so-called "dirty bomb" — a conventional explosive that disperses radioactive material — it could stir widespread panic if incorporated in a blast. Yellowcake also can be enriched for use in reactors and, at higher levels, nuclear weapons using sophisticated equipment.

The Iraqi government sold the yellowcake to a Canadian uranium producer, Cameco Corp., in a transaction the official described as worth "tens of millions of dollars." A Cameco spokesman, Lyle Krahn, declined to discuss the price, but said the yellowcake will be processed at facilities in Ontario for use in energy-producing reactors.

"We are pleased ... that we have taken (the yellowcake) from a volatile region into a stable area to produce clean electricity," he said.

The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives — kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying 3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.

And, in a symbolic way, the mission linked the current attempts to stabilize Iraq with some of the high-profile claims about Saddam's weapons capabilities in the buildup to the 2003 invasion.

Accusations that Saddam had tried to purchase more yellowcake from the African nation of Niger — and an article by a former U.S. ambassador refuting the claims — led to a wide-ranging probe into Washington leaks that reached high into the Bush administration.

Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's nuclear efforts.

Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have guarded the 23,000-acre site — surrounded by huge sand berms — following a wave of looting after Saddam's fall that included villagers toting away yellowcake storage barrels for use as drinking water cisterns.

Yellowcake is obtained by using various solutions to leach out uranium from raw ore and can have a corn meal-like color and consistency. It poses no severe risk if stored and sealed properly. But exposure carries well-documented health concerns associated with heavy metals such as damage to internal organs, experts say.

"The big problem comes with any inhalation of any of the yellowcake dust," said Doug Brugge, a professor of public health issues at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Moving the yellowcake faced numerous hurdles.

Diplomats and military leaders first weighed the idea of shipping the yellowcake overland to Kuwait's port on the Persian Gulf. Such a route, however, would pass through Iraq's Shiite heartland and within easy range of extremist factions, including some that Washington claims are aided by Iran. The ship also would need to clear the narrow Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, where U.S. and Iranian ships often come in close contact.

Kuwaiti authorities, too, were reluctant to open their borders to the shipment despite top-level lobbying from Washington.

An alternative plan took shape: shipping out the yellowcake on cargo planes.

But the yellowcake still needed a final destination. Iraqi government officials sought buyers on the commercial market, where uranium prices spiked at about $120 per pound last year. It's currently selling for about half that. The Cameco deal was reached earlier this year, the official said.

At that point, U.S.-led crews began removing the yellowcake from the Saddam-era containers — some leaking or weakened by corrosion — and reloading the material into about 3,500 secure barrels.

In April, truck convoys started moving the yellowcake from Tuwaitha to Baghdad's international airport, the official said. Then, for two weeks in May, it was ferried in 37 flights to Diego Garcia, a speck of British territory in the Indian Ocean where the U.S. military maintains a base.

On June 3, an American ship left the island for Montreal, said the official, who declined to give further details about the operation.

The yellowcake wasn't the only dangerous item removed from Tuwaitha.

Earlier this year, the military withdrew four devices for controlled radiation exposure from the former nuclear complex. The lead-enclosed irradiation units, used to decontaminate food and other items, contain elements of high radioactivity that could potentially be used in a weapon, according to the official. Their Ottawa-based manufacturer, MDS Nordion, took them back for free, the official said.

The yellowcake was the last major stockpile from Saddam's nuclear efforts, but years of final cleanup is ahead for Tuwaitha and other smaller sites.

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency plans to offer technical expertise.

Last month, a team of Iraqi nuclear experts completed training in the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat, which once housed the Chernobyl workers before the deadly meltdown in 1986, said an IAEA official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decontamination plan has not yet been publicly announced.

But the job ahead is enormous, complicated by digging out radioactive "hot zones" entombed in concrete during Saddam's rule, said the IAEA official. Last year, an IAEA safety expert, Dennis Reisenweaver, predicted the cleanup could take "many years."

The yellowcake issue also is one of the many troubling footnotes of the war for Washington.

A CIA officer, Valerie Plame, claimed her identity was leaked to journalists to retaliate against her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who wrote that he had found no evidence to support assertions that Iraq tried to buy additional yellowcake from Niger.

A federal investigation led to the conviction of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.


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