Another Iranian peaceful nuclear facility goes *BOOM!*

December 1, 2011

Once is an accident. Twice may just be a coincidence. But when bad things happen over and over?

Someone’s gunning for you. Someone who plays for keeps:

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

The explosion at Iran’s third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Gee, I wonder how the Israelis would know it was intentional and part of a larger plot? They couldn’t have anything to do with it, maybe by helping internal resistance groups, could they? Just because someone’s also been whacking Iranian atomic scientists and unleashing targeted computer viruses at the Mullah’s pet weapons program, and now has escalated to blowing up their missile bases just when the program chief and his North Korean advisers were visiting? And just because Iran has frequently threatened to rain nuclear fire on Israel? Surely it’s a coincidence.

As I like to say, “Oh, those wacky Jews.”

Go, Mossad!

PS: a word of caution about the source from Michael Totten.

A source I trust just told me that the journalist who broke this story has a dubious track record. That doesn’t necessarily mean the story is wrong, but these kinds of stories are sometimes goofed at the outset even by journalists with good records, so we shouldn’t assume we have this all figured out yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Does Barack Obama hate Great Britain?

February 14, 2011

I mean, selling-out an ally’s nuclear secrets isn’t something one usually does to an ally one likes, is it?

Here’s what happened: According to WikiLeaks, a series of classified cables were sent from the U.S. negotiators to the State Department explaining that the Russians wanted to know the full extent of Great Britain’s nuclear capability. This was hardly surprising, as throughout the Cold War they had been trying to get this information. Now they were insisting on it as a price for Russian support for the New START deal. They could gauge this information from examining the “unique identifer” serial numbers on the Trident missiles that the U.S. has sold the UK over the years. The State Department has called these reports “bunk”.

Instead of telling Moscow that Britain was an independent power not party to the treaty, and therefore information about her nuclear deterrent was non-negotiable, the leaked cables show that the Obama administration lobbied the British Foreign Office and Ministry of Defense in 2009 for permission to simply tell Moscow this data about the number, age, and performance capabilities of Trident.

Needless to say, the U.K refused, because not letting the Russians know the full extent of its deterrent has long been key to its success. Yet astonishingly—and in my view despicably—the Obama administration seems to have simply rode roughshod over British objections and—according both to WikiLeaks and the Daily Telegraph of London—“The U.S. agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.”

If this is the way Obama treats one of our closest allies, I’d hate to see how he treats our enemies.

Oh, wait. I have:

Obama with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez


Stuxnet a joint US-Israel project…

January 17, 2011

…started by Bush, and accelerated by Obama. Well done to both men, and to our Israeli partners!

I love it when we do cool stuff like this:

The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.

Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

Be sure to read the whole thing; it’s a fascinating story. One item straight out of science-fiction: the virus was designed to record what normal operations looked like, then play it back so Iranian scientists would think everything was fine while Stuxnet was quietly wrecking their centrifuges. Genius!

Of course, there’s a dark lining to every silver cloud… or something. What we and the Israelis have done to the Iranians could be done to us by a hostile power. (Hello? China?) Let’s hope the DoD and the rest of the government are taking computer security seriously. At least, let’s not make it so easy for the next Bradley Manning, okay?

That downer aside… Ain’t this cool?

RELATED: At Blue Crab Boulevard, Gaius thinks Stuxnet was way overbuilt and wonders what other capabilities it’s hiding.


Good news! Another wacko state wants to go nuclear!

January 5, 2011

What could go wrong?

 

Now the military junta that rules Burma wants the Bomb:

But there is near-smoking gun evidence to substantiate reports of a Burmese nuke project. A major in the army, Sai Thein Win, has defected to the Democratic Voice of Burma, delivering into its hands hundreds of secret documents and photos. The materials reveal the construction of a huge network of underground facilities dating back to 1996 and costing at least $3.5 billion since 2001. This evidence is enough to convince Robert Kelley, a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Burma’s junta is working on uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities with North Korean assistance.

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of Australia has published a study reaching the same conclusion. The authors interviewed two defectors who independently confirmed the building of a secret nuclear site, nearby the public site constructed with Russian aid. One defector testified to the presence of about 60 North Koreans at a secret site, which the authors describe as similar in design to the Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.

The materials obtained by the Democratic Voice of Burma also show that a series of meetings took place in North Korea from the 22nd to the 29th of November in 2008 — meetings that included the Burmese military chief. One cable released by Wikileaks notes that a Burmese official mentioned the chief’s 2008 visit to North Korea in a slip of the tongue.

The organization has put together all the intelligence it has on Burma’s secret nuclear weapons program in the form of a documentary available to the public. For now, the junta is able only to mine uranium and produce yellowcake. One defector says that the regime hopes to be nuclear-capable by 2020. But the authors of the Australian study say Burma could go nuclear by 2014 in the absence of major problems. Rudimentary though it may be, the West should not dismiss Burma’s role in the nuclear Axis of Evil. The junta is in a position to fill one of the gaps in Iran’s nuclear effort. According to one defector, in February 2004 he met with an Iranian intelligence officer and nuclear scientist and received a sample of yellowcake. If this testimony is true, then Iran has already turned to Burma to help relieve its critical shortage of raw uranium.

Moreover, the UN has already confirmed that North Korea is shipping nuclear materials to Burma and using “links with overseas criminal networks to carry out these activities.” Next, corrupt Burmese officials might sell nuclear materials to criminals or terrorists. A September 2008 cable describes a Burmese civilian’s threat to U.S. diplomats to sell uranium-238 to Thailand, China, or other countries if the Americans themselves declined to buy. Claiming he already had 50 kg of Burmese uranium in a barrel, the civilian boasted that he could sell up to 2,000 kg. Another cable from January 2007 describes a suspected shipment of 112 metric tons of uranium ore to China by the Burmese government.

So, not only is Rangoon playing patty-(yellow)cake with North Korea and Iran, but private parties are getting involved. And, similar to the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf if (when) Iran gets its Big Firecracker, a Burmese nuclear capability would give incentive to Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to get their own… “just in case.”

Not to mention making nuclear-armed India feel surrounded.

And, speaking of rational state-actors,  have I mentioned that the rulers of Burma use astrology to make key national decisions?

I think I need a drink.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Russians make RINO, squish, aisle-crossers look like chumps

December 24, 2010

Because they ARE chumps. For weeks during this recent lame-duck session of Congress, the White House, Democratic senators, and the liberal media were telling us that the latest START arms-reduction treaty with the Russians had to be  approved now, in spite of serious, legitimate concerns. It absolutely could not wait until the new Senate was seated with new members who would actually reflect the will of the voters as expressed in the recent election. Nope, it had to be done now, or the universe would implode… or something.

So they finally found some “bipartisan” Republicans and ratified it.

And now the Russians say that, gosh, they won’t be able to get it done on their end until next year:

Russian lawmakers gave preliminary approval on Christmas Eve to the so-called New START treaty with a vote in the lower house of parliament. But Konstantin Kosachev, head of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, said it would take until next month “at the earliest” for the treaty to receive its three required readings and get a final vote. Lawmakers’ vacation lasts until Jan. 11.

The assessment seems to put the brakes on the document President Obama called a top priority as he whipped up the Republican votes needed to pass it before the end of the lame-duck session. Vice Adm. Jerry Miller said the Russians appear to be having some fun at U.S. expense.

So, explain to me again, Senators Lugar, Alexander, Bennett, Brown, Cochran, Collins, Corker, Isakson, Johanns, Murkowski, Snowe, and Voinovich: what was the big rush? Couldn’t you have waited for a Senate that had an actual mandate from the people to do more than minimal government business? And do you hear the chuckles coming from Moscow? How does it feel knowing you’ve been played — again?

Idiots.

LINKS: Power Line calls the Republicans listed above Obama’s useful idiots. Jennifer Rubin, who’s been critical of the treaty, points out that, inter alia, we did get something to protect missile defense. The Russian press respectfully disagrees. Legal Insurrection wonders if Republicans will ever learn. Ace of Spades thinks Putin “Pwned” Obama, again.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tehran bombings target nuclear scientists?

November 29, 2010

Gee, who could be behind this?

Two separate explosions killed a nuclear scientist and injured another in the Iranian capital Monday morning, official news outlets reported.

Both scholars’ wives and a driver were also injured in the attacks, according to the news agencies. The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering team at the Shahid Behesti university in Tehran, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA.

(…)

The assassins, riding motorcycles, tossed bombs at — or attached them to — vehicles of the two Shahid Behesti University professors as they drove with their spouses en route to work between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m..

“A Pulsar motorbike drove close to Dr. Shahriari’s car and stuck a bomb on his car which after a few seconds exploded,” Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

The article also mentions another Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated last January.

But, who’s ordering the hits?

Let’s consider: Iran, an aggressive and terroristic nation, is developing nuclear weapons, which no one in their right mind wants them to have. They have repeatedly threatened to drop those weapons on a certain small country nearby, the government of which lives by the motto “Never again” and has been known to deal harshly with enemies who threaten its people.

I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

Via Instapundit.

LINKS: Gateway Pundit has video. Also Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Things I didn’t need to know, nuclear weapons edition

November 22, 2010

Why do I get the feeling we’ve come closer to a Bad Thing happening with our nuclear weapons  a lot more often than most of us know? Oh, maybe it’s the revelation that the men hired to transport them get drunk on the job:

The Energy Department’s assistant inspector general, Sandra D. Bruce, said her office reviewed 16 alcohol-related incidents involving agents, candidate-agents and others from the government’s Office of Secure Transportation between 2007 through 2009.

The memorandum said the incidents “indicate a potential vulnerability” in what it described as a “critical national security mission.”

The findings were detailed in a memorandum dated Nov. 17, which said that when agents had drunk alcohol overnight after checking into local hotels, their trucks were in “safe harbor” status.

(…)

The document said the agents take part in a 21-week training course designed to help them prevent “the theft, sabotage or takeover of protected materials by unauthorized persons.”

They were also meant to meet the “highest standards of reliability and physical and mental suitability,” it added.

However, under a section headed “Alcohol-Related Incidents,” the memorandum said “the number of alcohol-related incidents occurring over the last three years suggests that further action may be needed.”

May be needed??”

After reading that, I think I may need a drink…

Via Legal Insurrection.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In most cases, this would mean war

July 14, 2010

Based on communications intercepted during the operation itself and the confession of one of the operatives, India has accused Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, of being behind the 2008 Mumbai massacre:

India has accused Pakistan’s powerful spy agency of planning and executing the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in the strongest and most specific allegation of Islamabad’s involvement in the assault from a top official.

The remark comes a day before the foreign ministers of the rival nations are set to meet in Islamabad to attempt to rebuild a fragile peace dialogue that was shattered by the attacks, which killed 166 people. It appeared to be an attempt to ratchet up the pressure on Pakistan to prosecute people whom India says were deeply involved in the assault.

In an interview published Wednesday, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai accused Pakistan’s powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence of playing a key role the attacks.

“It was not just a peripheral role. They (the agency) were literally controlling and coordinating it from the beginning till the end,” Pillai told the Indian Express newspaper.

Sponsoring a raid on another country’s city that results in over 150 deaths would usually earn one a visit from the other guy’s military. And I have no doubt that a) India would have every justification to crush Pakistan and b) they could do it within a matter of weeks, if they tried.

But, then, both have nuclear weapons, which no doubt gives India considerable pause. Look at it this way: the point of nuclear weapons is that your enemy can’t be sure of what will trigger a massive response, therefore they aren’t likely to push you too far. In Pakistan’s case, the ISI (which is highly Islamized and only nominally under government control) guesses it can get away with quite a bit without provoking war with India, because India, on its part, cannot be sure that an invasion of Pakistan wouldn’t lead to a nuclear strike by a desperate Pakistani military. India also has to be concerned that punitive action against Pakistan, with its weak and unstable governments, might cause a collapse of central authority and the passing of Pakistan’s nukes into much more dangerous and unpredictable hands.

Hence New Delhi’s relatively mild words (after all, they’re still talking) and the apparent determination that an attack against the nation’s financial capital and the deaths of several hundred citizens isn’t worth war.

Yet.

The danger lies in a Pakistani miscalculation of India’s response after the next incident, and there will be a “next incident,” I’m sure. The ISI isn’t sorry this happened, only that they got caught. With a large part of the service comprising  jihad-minded Muslims, they’re bound to continue their terror war against India. The risk is that the Indians decide they’ve had enough and should “do something” about Pakistan.

At which point things get really scary.

(via DaveedGR)


We are officially wimps

January 2, 2010

Under George W. Bush, we were the ones who gave deadlines to others: first the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein. Now, under President Obama, our threats have so little meaning that our enemies set deadlines for us:

Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Teheran’s counterproposal to a UN-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or the country will start producing nuclear fuel on its own.

The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening in Iran’s stance over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks an effort to make nuclear weapons. Teheran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes and says it has no intention of making a bomb.

“We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.

Yeah, I know our diplomacy toward Iran grew ever more feckless under Mr. Bush in his second term, but under Obama it’s become positively feeble. The Iranians know they can do whatever they want, for the United States is lead by administration even more wedded to soft power appeasement than the Europeans. And it gets better: even the French president is tougher toward those black-robed fascists in Tehran than President Obama.

This Iranian ultimatum is a joke. They know we’ll do nothing. They’re laughing at us.

There is only one response:

Oh, the shame!

(via Legal Insurrection)


Taliban near nuclear weapons

October 22, 2009

This should make us all feel real good:

A Taliban suicide bomber has killed seven people near a nuclear weapons complex in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

The suicide bomber detonated outside a security checkpoint near the Kamra Air Weapon Complex in the district of Attock, Geo News reported. Three security personnel and four civilians were killed in the blast, and 12 more were wounded.

(…)

The Kamra Air Weapon Complex is one of three military industrial production facilities in the Wah Cantt, according to Global Security. The Pakistani Ordnance Factories, a collection of 14 factories that produce arms and ammunition for the Pakistani armed forces, and Heavy Industries Taxila are also contained within the Wah Cantt. More than 40,000 Pakistanis are employed at the factories.

Kamra is believed to be connected with Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. The Pakistani Ordnance Factories are believed to store nuclear weapons at a “screwdriver level” – meaning the components are stored disassembled and can be assembled within hours of needed use.


When bullies whine

October 10, 2009

Forever playing the victim, Iran’s UN ambassador complains when Israel threatens to do something about Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel:

Iran: Israel’s threats inexplicable

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, sent a letter of protest to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he wrote that “there is no explanation for Israel’s continuing threats against Tehran”.

He was referring to an interview given by former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh to the Sunday Times in which he said that if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would attack the country.

Sneh told the paper that if Israel were forced to attack the Islamic Republic on its own it would do so, remarks the Iranian ambassador deemed “irresponsible”.

Poor Iran. It’s always being picked on by those Western-Crusader-Imperialist-Zionist Lackey tools of the Jewish Conspiracy(tm). I mean, it’s not as if Iranian officials have:

You’re right, Mr. Ambassador. It’s totally unreasonable and unfair for the Israelis to threaten Iran over its pursuit of nuclear weapons aimed at Jews peaceful nuclear power.

via Jihad Watch

(Cross-posted at Sister Toldjah)


This is comforting. If you’re a religious psychopath.

October 22, 2007

Yesterday, Western governments were flatfooted by the sudden, surprise resignation of Ali Larijani, Iran’s senior negotiator (read: official charged with playing the West for suckers) for nuclear issues. Pajama Media’s Meir Javendafar described it as a case of one extremist getting fed-up with guys who were even more extreme:

Ahmadinejad does not believe in compromises when it comes to the nuclear program. To him, the reformists who have agreed to suspend Iran’s nuclear program, are as traitorous as the corrupt Iranian leaders who surrendered Iranian territory to the Russians in the Golestan and Turkemanchai agreements in the early 1800s.

To him, as he once put it, Iran’s nuclear program is like “a train with no brakes”. In other words, Iran does not need to make compromises for anyone. It is the West, especially the United Sates who has nuclear weapons and has used them, who must compromise, and not Iran.

Larijani on the other hand, urged caution. Now, he did not do this because he is pro-West. In fact, once he openly threatened that if the US attacks his country, Iran would “put Israel in a wheelchair”. He has also repeatedly attacked the presence of US troops in Iraq, and the policies of President Bush in the region. Larijani’s calls for caution stemmed from the fact that he was far more experienced than Ahmadinejad, both in terms of holding senior government positions and dealing with Westerners.

Today we learned that Mr. Larijani has been replaced by another of the millenarian, messianic end-timers that President Gilligan Ahmadinejad like to hang around with. Saeed Jalili is a close ally of Mojtaba Hashemi Samare, who during his career at the Foreign Ministry, was known for torturing diplomats thought to have become too “Western.” In turn, Hashemi Samare is a disciple of the Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who is adored as a mentor and religious leader by … President Ahmadinejad. To give you an idea of where this crowd sits on the radical scale, Ayatollah Khomeini himself shut down Mesbah Yazdi’s organization for being too extreme.

That’s like Hitler putting down Ernst Röhm.

Now, however, bit by bit, the most extreme of the clerical fascists running Iran are gaining control over the country’s nuclear program, which, as we all know, is for peaceful purposes. (Oh, stop laughing.)

The West didn’t stop the Nazis in the 1930s, and over 50,000,000 people died for it. Let’s not make a similar catastrophic mistake this time.

(Note: Edited 5/31/2011 to fix a broken link.)


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