Sometimes when I get upset about the fact that Iraq is FUBAR and that over 1,000 men and women have given their lives to squash Saddam Hussein's wet dream-like WMD programs, I remind myself that at least we protected all of the sites that had equipment and materials that could have been used for nuclear weapons. Oh, wait. The BBC is reporting that nuclear "assets" are vanishing in Iraq.
Inspectors from Mr ElBaradei's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who established that Saddam Hussein had abandoned any nuclear weapons programme before the war, have not been allowed to move about Iraq freely by the US. Apart from a couple of limited checks on the main nuclear facility at Tuwaitha last June after reports of looting - and with no teams now on the ground - the IAEA has to rely on satellite imagery and other sources. In a letter to the UN Security Council, Mr ElBaradei said buildings related to Iraq's previous nuclear programme appeared to have been systematically dismantled and equipment and material removed. "The disappearance of such equipment and materials may be of proliferation significance," the IAEA director general warned. [...] Sensitive technology such as rocket engines has turned up for sale abroad, Mr ElBaradei said. However, high-precision "dual-use" items including milling machines and electron beam welders appear to have disappeared, as has material such as high-strength aluminium. Mr ElBaradei called on any state with information on the location of such items to inform his agency. The US removed nearly two tonnes of low-enriched uranium from Iraq earlier this year. The IAEA has verified that 550 tonnes of nuclear material still remain at Tuwaitha.
Yes, you read that correctly. We invaded a country on the grounds that it might "one day" pass along WMD to terrorists, but when we actually invaded the country, we didn't make an effort to secure the very materials we accused them of wanting to give to terrorists. As a result, the very people we didn't want getting the material probably have it! Thank you, George W. Bush! update: The Iraqis say, "Pshaw!!"