I’m Still In My Pajamas

Folks, I am having the kind of morning where parts of you are awake and parts of you are asleep.  I have been up since seven or so, I think, and yet, here it is almost noon and I’m still in my pajamas sitting on the couch, listening to the dog snore.

Every once in a while, I stare off into space and I suddenly realize ten minutes have passed.

What, you may ask, accounts for my bout of decadent laziness?

Because someone decided that the funnest way we could spend the afternoon was by imbibing in the fermented sap of the blue agave plant and someone else encouraged him and I, not wanting to be impolite, joined in. 

For those of you looking for a fun get-away, Mack has a little cabin on his property where you can stay and get away from it all, and, if you ask nicely, he’ll put you in his truck and drive you all over tarnation while you try not to spill your beer on yourself.

Good fun. 

I’m thinking of writing a book about a state legislator who is having a scandalous affair with a Ku Klux Klan member in his district kind of along the lines of A Confederacy of Dunces but with less hot dogs.  I may impose on Mack’s cabin as a little writers’ retreat as I work, should I start work, which will not happen today.

I’m Still Confused About Terry Frank

I’m sorry.  I feel like this is bordering on dumb-ass, but at this point, I am really hoping someone will come along and clarify.  I don’t guess we can count on Frank, because she certainly doesn’t read this filthy blog, but maybe someone who is sympathetic to her position.

Frank says:

Frankly Speaking has obtained unclassified documents showing that at
just one site alone, Saddam Hussein possessed and stored over 1 million
pounds of uranium.

But didn’t we know this?  On July 7, 2004, USA Today reported

In 1992, after the first Gulf War, all highly
enriched uranium — which could be used to make nuclear weapons — was
shipped from Iraq to Russia, the IAEA’s Zlauvinen said.

After 1992, roughly 2 tons of natural uranium,
or yellow cake, some low enriched uranium and some depleted uranium was
left at Tuwaitha under IAEA seal and control, he said.

So were radioactive items used for medical,
agricultural and industrial purposes, which Iraq was allowed to keep
under a 1991 U.N. Security Council resolution, Zlauvinen said.

IAEA inspectors left Iraq just before last
year’s U.S.-led war. After it ended, Washington barred U.N. weapons
inspectors from returning, deploying U.S. teams instead in a so far
unsuccessful search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

An exception was made in June 2003 when
Washington allowed an IAEA team to go to Tuwaitha to secure uranium
after reports of widespread looting when the fighting ended.

The IAEA recovered most missing material and
Zlauvinen said the uranium was put in sealed containers and left for
the Americans to guard.

So, to reiterate, all of the weapons-grade uranium was sent to Russia. Two tons of non-weapons grade uranium was left in Iraq along with an unknown quantity of radioactive items.  In June of 2004, nearly two tons of uranium was taken from Iraq and brought to the United States. 

So, as far back as 2004, every bozo at a hotel in the US who bothered to open his USA Today knew that Saddam had uranium and that we knew he had uranium, but that it was under seal, and then came under the control of U.S. forces.

So, if Terry Frank is saying that she’s learned that there was uranium in Iraq, well, that is old and well-known news.  If she’s saying that she’s learned that that uranium was brought to Oak Ridge, that’s also old news.

The first few paragraphs of her post are written in such a way as to make it seem as if she’s reporting that there had been uranium in Iraq.  If so, that seems to me well and widely known.

Now, if she’s saying that the story is that there is still uranium in Iraq, that’s slightly different, but also, it seems to me, well and widely known.

USA Today, for instance, makes it sound like almost all of the uranium in Iraq was accounted for and removed.  But a Washington Post article from a few days later reports that the U.S. was being criticized for leaving tons of uranium in Iraq.

Nuclear experts yesterday questioned a decision by the Energy
Department to leave in Iraq nearly 400 tons of natural uranium that
could be enriched for a nuclear weapon or used to build a radioactive
“dirty bomb.”

Remember, this is all stuff that was being widely discussed in the news in July of 2004–that there was uranium in Iraq, that we removed some, but that there’s still a great deal there.

So, I’m sorry for being an idiot, but I don’t understand what Frank’s story is–is it that she has a more specific inventory of what kinds of uranium were and are in Iraq than most people?  Because, frankly (pun intended), THAT would be an interesting story, but she needs to reframe it.

But if her story is just that there’s uranium in Iraq, I do not get how that’s exclusive and new.  And the fact that her supporters are all talking about how big a deal this is and how important it is is confusing me.  How is this an important big deal?