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Making The Bomb No Cakewalk After All

Libya has pledged to dismantle its atomic weapons program. That is obviously good news, in addition to being a victory for George W. Bush's aggressive foreign policy. But what, exactly, is Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi giving up? Not much... Libya may be closing down its nuclear program because it wasn't working anyway. This points to an important reality about nuclear weapons: they are extremely difficult to make. Claims that bomb plans can be downloaded from the Internet, or that fissile material is easily obtained on the black market and slapped together into an ultimate weapon, seem little more than talk-radio jabber. Nations like Libya that have made determined attempts to obtain atomic munitions have not even come close.

If the Bomb Is So Easy to Make, Why Don't More Nations Have It?
posted by y2karl on Jan 4, 2004 - 42 comments

 

So this passion party vibrates? Not in Texas!

A concealed weapon that's not allowed in Texas. Mother of three, Joanna Webb, could be put into jail for a year for holding a Passion Party where she sold a vibrator to undercover narcotics agents. Don't they realize it's just for "therapeutic massage?"
posted by drezdn on Dec 21, 2003 - 64 comments

Transdniester

Transdniester. The unrecognized Moldovian breakaway republic is your one stop shopping solution for black market arms.
posted by srboisvert on Dec 7, 2003 - 12 comments

The Crime Apprentice's Kit

Pick A Lock, Any Lock: Why do Selfdefenseproducts.com's products seem so ill-related to self-defense and so suited to, er, crime and violence? Got your PayPal ready? File under "Only in America". (Via Bifurcated Rivets.)
posted by MiguelCardoso on Oct 1, 2003 - 31 comments

Britain, US shelve report on Iraq banned weapons: report

Britain, US shelve report on Iraq banned weapons: report We'll keep on looking and we know they will turn up...just you wait and see. And meantime, make sure Congress foots the bill for Iraq needs.
posted by Postroad on Sep 14, 2003 - 61 comments

Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race

Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race "The hafnium explosive could be extremely powerful. One gram of fully charged hafnium isomer could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT. Miniature missiles could be made with warheads that are far more powerful than existing conventional weapons, giving massively enhanced firepower to the armed forces using them." Half of me thinks: "WOW! Cool!" The other 1% thinks: "We've really had it now"
posted by hmgovt on Aug 14, 2003 - 25 comments

WMD, where they be?

Another senior Iraqi officer claims Saddam destroyed all his WMD in 1991. "Iraqi scientists, including those currently held by the U.S. military, have maintained that no new unconventional weapons programs were started in recent years and that all the materials from previous programs were destroyed." Also see Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel's 1995 statements to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
posted by skallas on Aug 1, 2003 - 20 comments

David Kelly microbiologist and games death

Kelly warned of 'dark actors playing games Dr David Kelly's recent death has the British press in an uproar. Kelly was the former head of biological inspections in Iraq for the UN mission, Unscom, former deputy head of Porton Down and the Ministry of Defence's senior adviser on biological defence. In July 2002. According to reports the Carlyle Group took a 34% stake in QinetiQ which was splitoff in 2001 from the Porton Down research lab and is now a private company according to this story The Carlyle Group is profiled here in this explosive explosive Dutch expose (note the first 1.48 minutes are in Dutch the rest is in English Since David Kelly was himself a micro-biologist in the past connected to Porton Down does he have any connection (as some have claimed: including a radio show I heard this evening) to the 11 or so micro-biologists that have died mysterious deaths after the 911 event? These deaths and there timelines are are extensively documented around the web.Including the following web page----(http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)---- Is this is an area some creative journalists need to investigate?
posted by thedailygrowl on Jul 20, 2003 - 48 comments

New Zealand, new rogue nation?

New Zealand: The New Threat A New Zealand handyman with a passion for jet engines says he is building a cruise missile in his backyard using parts and technology freely available over the Internet. The 'handyman' is a part-time new economy pundit and his methodology isn't documented yet, but he does have a rather interesting page about the idea up.
posted by tankboy on Jun 5, 2003 - 8 comments

the new Dr. StrangeLove

The Real Dr. StrangeLove?
Last May 9, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to repeal a 10-year ban on the research and development of "low-yield" nuclear weapons—defined as nukes having an explosive power smaller than 5 kilotons. (The House committee will take up the measure this week.) The Bush administration has lobbied heavily for the repeal. Democrats oppose the idea on the grounds that "mini-nukes"—by blurring the distinction between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons—make nuclear war more thinkable and, therefore, in the minds of some, more doable.

Scary people. How weird can our new overlords get? I'm afraid to speculate.
posted by nofundy on May 13, 2003 - 25 comments

Robert Scheer on the so far non-existant Iraqi WMDs.

Robert Scheer on the so far non-existant Iraqi WMDs. If the President went to war without real evidence of a threat would this be considered an impeachable offense as Scheer suggests? What's Ken Starr been up to lately?
posted by skallas on Apr 25, 2003 - 86 comments

Freedom, Connecticut-Style

"We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria" President Bush gets ready to liberate Syria.
posted by four panels on Apr 13, 2003 - 132 comments

Patriot Missiles shooting down our side

US fighter shot down by Patriot missile The Patriot Missiles that are supposed to be the protector of American forces are living up to their reputation. So far, one just shot down an F-18, and previously took out a RAF Tornado, killing two people. Another one locked onto an F-16, but the quick-thinking pilot blew up the Patriot missile battery's radar dish with a HARM missile. These missiles didn't work in the last gulf war, and are continuing to follow that trend. The locking onto allied planes seems to indicate a bug in the IFF routines of the Patriots. Not very patriotic of it.
posted by Xoc on Apr 3, 2003 - 20 comments

Where did those chemical and biological weapons come from?

Where did those chemical and biological weapons come from?
”According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.”

I’ve always been surprised that this type of report doesn’t get more attention. During the UN hearings I half expected the Administration to level with the world and simply say: ”We know they have the stuff because we sold it to them.”
posted by peebo on Mar 26, 2003 - 32 comments

US and Gassing Iraqis

Military use of Gas
Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons.

Would someone explain to me again why we're attacking Iraq? Was it something about use and/or possession of chemical weapons?
posted by nofundy on Mar 21, 2003 - 60 comments

soul food for the coalition of the willing

mustard with your pork sir? as we head to war, here's some alarming data on america's own stash of undestroyed chemical weapons as well as the phenomenal return on investment for deep-pocket GOP campaign contributors.
posted by subpixel on Mar 17, 2003 - 4 comments

Remembering Halabja

15 years ago today Saddam Hussein launched an unprecedented chemical weapons attack on 20 Kurdish villages. (warning: disturbing images). I think this speaks for itself.
posted by clevershark on Mar 16, 2003 - 53 comments

Oh, THOSE wmd's?, well.............

"Weapons of Mass Destruction", you say? Question: If Iraq is the vicious rat and North Korea the furious pygmy of WMD threats, where is the 800 pound gorilla? Answer - "...law enforcement officials worldwide have seized 40 kilograms of Russian-origin uranium and plutonium since 1991. Stanford researchers have also estimated that only 30 to 40 percent of the nuclear material stolen from facilities in Russia and other territories in the former Soviet Union are ever recovered by authorities." the collapse of the Soviet Union left vast stores of Nuclear weapons and weapons grade plutonium and uranium, and stocks of chemical and biological warfare agents lying about at dangerously underfunded facillities scattered through the vast expanse of the ex-Soviet realm. "Russian stockpiles of weapons and materials are the most likely source for terrorists attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction", said US Senator Richard Lugar, Republican chairman of the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. An international effort to destroy these stores of ex-Soviet WMD's is currently funded at a tiny fraction of the estimated cost of a possible US invasion and occupation of Iraq. (more inside)
posted by troutfishing on Mar 16, 2003 - 10 comments

moab bomb

MOAB (Massive Ordnance Air Blast), privately known in military circles as "the mother of all bombs," carries 18,000 pounds of tritonal explosives. It replaces the Vietnam-era "Daisy Cutter" a 12,600-pound bomb. It was tested in public for the first time today in Eglin Air Force base, Florida as PR to send Iraq a message (plus video). It is the largest conventional bomb in existence.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 11, 2003 - 49 comments

Leaked Pentagon Document on Mini Nukes and Treaty Challenges

Mini Nukes - Major Treaty Threats. "A leaked Pentagon document has confirmed that the US is considering the introduction of a new breed of smaller nuclear weapons designed for use in conventional warfare. Such a move would mean abandoning global arms treaties." The document was made available by The Los Alamos Study Group, which comments "It is impossible to overstate the challenge these plans pose to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the existing nuclear test moratorium, and US compliance with Article VI of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which is binding law in the US....These plans deserve outrage – first in the United States, and throughout the world. It may or may not be obvious that if allowed to proceed further -- especially in the present jingoistic atmosphere now prevailing in Washington -- the process outlined here will be quite hard to stop. "
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Feb 20, 2003 - 26 comments

Spertzel

A list of articles by former weapons inspector Richard Spertzel on current inspections. Also former weapons inspector Bill Tierney says Saddam has nukes and the French sabotaged U.N. WMD searches.
posted by Ron on Jan 29, 2003 - 25 comments

Were from the UN and we're here to help!

Were from the UN and we're here to help! Question: If you're a UN Weapons Inspector and a man jumps into your vehicle screaming "Save me! Save me!" clutching notebooks to his chest what do you do? The answer is simple, you turn him over to the Iraqi authorities who now claim to have "no information on the incident." This ought to foster more cooperation from Iraqi scientists...good work Blix and Co.
posted by RevGreg on Jan 25, 2003 - 54 comments

Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns

Iraq: How Saddam hides the smoke and the guns This account is from an Italian paper and appears in an Israeli site that sums up materials pertaining to the Middle East. Of course I am not able to verify its authenticity, nor would anyone, given the "hidden" nature of the man being interviewed. But it does suggest what the Bush administration and many pundits have been saying or implying for some time now.
posted by Postroad on Jan 24, 2003 - 49 comments

But Can I Bring My Spear Gun?

What should I pack? According to the official list Toy Transformer Robots are OK (presumably real ones are not), but I'll have to put my throwing stars in my checked luggage.
posted by JoanArkham on Jan 15, 2003 - 31 comments

Middletown Weapons Plant

For decades, Iowans found jobs making atomic bombs and non-nuclear weaponry at the Middletown Ammunition Plant. Now their bodies are paying a heavy price.. According to today's installment, the US government and other groups denied knowledge of this plants' role in our nuclear history.
posted by justlisa on Dec 23, 2002 - 2 comments

F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor is the next generation fighter for the United States. At nearly 97 million each, it will be deployed in 2004.This site gives a remarkably detailed report regarding its design and function. Including such gems as "first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability" and " Humans are good differentiators, but they are poor integrators."
posted by JohnR on Dec 19, 2002 - 53 comments

The mind has no firewall

"The mind has no Firewall" A discussion on the development of "Psychotronic" weapons From the US Army publication, 'Parameters': "An entirely new arsenal of weapons, based on devices designed to introduce subliminal messages or to alter the body's psychological and data-processing capabilities, might be used to incapacitate individuals." Ominous? Inevitable?
posted by troutfishing on Dec 16, 2002 - 11 comments

2nd Amendment decision

The right of the people to keep and bear grenade launchers. San Francisco's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that the Second Amendment protects only the right of states to organize and maintain militias, not the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The 3-0 decision upheld California's sweeping 1999 assault weapons ban.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 6, 2002 - 60 comments

Who is Hans Blix?

Who is Hans Blix? A 74 year old Swede with a long career in international law, he was recently featured as Time person of the week and is, obviously, something of a key figure in U.S.-U.N.-Iraq interaction. You can also examine his brief U.N. Bio (linked in title), a BBC Profile for an introduction, and a number of his past speeches and remarks (link to another CV on that site, too). Is he the man for the inspection job, or a a man who has and will again be fooled by Hussein?
posted by namespan on Nov 15, 2002 - 5 comments

North Korea is working on a nuclear weapon?? Maybe that whole Axis Of Evil thing wasn't too far fetched.
posted by Degaz on Oct 16, 2002 - 99 comments

They Could Be Packing.

They Could Be Packing. Or, Buddy's got a gun (sung to the Aeorosmith tune of almost the same name). Buddy Hackett, that is. Sorry for another news story link, but New York City's issuing fewer and fewer concealed carry permits, but more and more to celebs, including Steven Seagal, whom I thought wouldn't need one ....
posted by Jos Bleau on Oct 1, 2002 - 23 comments

The last Minority Report in the Nation by Christopher Hitchens

The last Minority Report in the Nation by Christopher Hitchens
posted by semmi on Sep 28, 2002 - 46 comments

Scott Ritter on Weapons Inspection, Chemical, Biological and Nuclear WMD

Scott Ritter on Weapons Inspection, Chemical, Biological and Nuclear WMD Why hasn't the American media picked up on these issues that are being put forth by Scott Ritter? Is Mr. Ritter correct in his assessment of Iraqi capabilities?
posted by FullFrontalNerdity on Sep 27, 2002 - 44 comments

"All this costs money. It costs more than we have."

"All this costs money. It costs more than we have." One year ago today, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned of a "subtle and implacable" adversary whose "brutal consistency...stifles free thought...and places the lives of men and women in uniform at risk." It wasn't freedom's obvious foes; he was referring to waste in the Pentagon. The DOD uses so many different financial systems and interfaces it won't have auditable books for another five to 10 years. It still manually enters purchases made with electronic purchase cards. It fires whistleblowers who call attention to shady missile defense deals. And every year, it completely loses track of a quarter of the world's biggest military budget.
posted by mediareport on Sep 10, 2002 - 7 comments

"The old doctrine was that nuclear weapons were far too big and nasty to use, and now they've moved towards developing nuclear weapons they can actually use". On the aniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, does the development of 'low-yield nukes' threaten to blur the distinction between conventional and nuclear warfare.
posted by gravelshoes on Aug 7, 2002 - 29 comments

One Hell of a Big Bang

One Hell of a Big Bang -- Studs Turkel meets Paul Tibbets the pilot of the Enola Gay. It's a great, though-provoking and disturbing interview to read on Hiroshima Day.
posted by LMG on Aug 6, 2002 - 40 comments

new counterbalance to israeli nuclear capability

new counterbalance to israeli nuclear capability if you can't beat 'em join 'em (sort of)
posted by johnnyboy on Jul 6, 2002 - 2 comments

Firearms exempted from Consumer Product Safety Commission. Why?

Firearms exempted from Consumer Product Safety Commission. Why? Erik Zenger lost consciousness for only a few minutes when his black powder gun misfired on a Utah County shooting range, burying a 3-inch steel spring bolt in his cheekbone. . . There is no national agency or organization either man could have consulted to find out if a rifle or handgun had been recalled. Firearms are specifically exempted from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said agency spokesman Ken Jiles, and no other federal agency is empowered to gather information on safety hazards of weapons. Neither the National Rifle Association nor the National Sports Shooting Foundation tracks such information or has lists of gun recalls. Consumers must rely on retail stores and manufacturers to determine if weapons have malfunctioned or injured anyone.
posted by onegoodmove on Jun 10, 2002 - 43 comments

The New Frontier-

The New Frontier- Preparing the law for settling on Mars. "Like the abandoned launch fields [at Cape Canveral], the Outer Space Treaty [of 1967] needs to have its valuable parts salvaged, and the dangerous ones demolished."
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 4, 2002 - 12 comments

Questioning the myth of plastic knives and boxcutters. "This fictoid serves to divert public attentions from the responsibility, and legal liability, of the government and airlines to prevent major weapons — such as guns, bombs, chemical sprays and hunting knives [all of which were mentioned in flight attendant and passenger cell phone calls] from being carried aboard airplanes. If such illegal devices had been smuggled aboard the planes, the liability could amount to billions of dollars. If, on the other hand, it could be disseminated that the hijackers had only used plastic knives, such as those provided by the airlines for meals, or box cutters, which were allowed on planes, neither the airlines, the screeners at the airport, or the FAA, which regulates the safety of airports, could be held legally responsible."
posted by fotzepolitic on May 31, 2002 - 7 comments

Welcome to the Boomtown.

Welcome to the Boomtown. 'Fast Company' magazine profiles the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant -- a rural Oklahoma factory that is the source of nearly every nonnuclear bomb in the United States' arsenal. Man
posted by Dirjy on May 30, 2002 - 8 comments

J. Robert Oppenheimer, watching the first mushroom cloud rise above the American nuclear test heartbreakingly codenamed Trinity, said: "Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds." Today, a half century after the first use of atomic weapons, in the birthland of the sacred text Oppenheimer quoted, 12 million people could die at once in a nuclear exchange.

Ah, Shiva as each of us...one hand on The Button, the other writing: "The only way to live humanly - still - is in resistance to war. The prevention of war, in the nuclear age, must be a central purpose of every person's life."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on May 28, 2002 - 58 comments

He needed it to cut an onion.

He needed it to cut an onion. Under normal circumstances I would have shook my head and said, "Oh, those silly americans". This story, however, is about my 12-year old brother who's facing a 1 year expulsion after bringing a (small) kitchen knife to school for a science assignment. Zero tolerance - or zero interest in what's best for the kid?
posted by mschmidt on Apr 6, 2002 - 80 comments

Reclaim your favorite sailing spot.

Reclaim your favorite sailing spot. A Red Green solution for the frustrated catamaran sailors out there. A bit of a bagatelle, but at least you can get a t-shirt.
posted by joaquim on Mar 27, 2002 - 4 comments

Laser Weapons

Laser Weapons like in Real Genius, but for real! Combine them with GPS and you get Death Rays!! The technology is there, but how will it change warfare? (via drudge :)
posted by kliuless on Feb 17, 2002 - 11 comments

Iraq Calls Bush's Bluff on Weapons Scrutiny.

Iraq Calls Bush's Bluff on Weapons Scrutiny. Former U.N. Weapons inspector Scott Ritter claims that Iraq's new attitude toward inspections might undermine attempts to end Saddam Hussein's regime.
posted by Ty Webb on Feb 11, 2002 - 8 comments

"Civil War, Revolutionary War and Pirate cannons

"Civil War, Revolutionary War and Pirate cannons could not harm tanks, half tracks, armored cars or self-propelled guns." Army Men, my friends, Army Men.
posted by rodii on Feb 6, 2002 - 21 comments

Psychotronic

Psychotronic and other space-based mindcontrol weapons would be banned under a bill introduced in the US House of Representatives by Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) last October. If it passes, can I take off my tinfoil helmet?
posted by MrBaliHai on Jan 14, 2002 - 10 comments

More ammo for the "U.S. brought it on themselves" crowd, courtesy of the New York Times.

"One report obtained by Dr. Zilinskas from the government is "Development of `N' for Offensive Use in Biological Warfare." `N' was the code letter for Bacillus anthracis, the germ that causes anthrax. Another is "The Stability of Botulinum Toxin in Common Beverages." The germ-derived substance is the most poisonous known to science."

Seems that the United States has been selling instructions for the creation of bio-weapons.
posted by Yelling At Nothing on Jan 12, 2002 - 4 comments

"Active Denial Technology uses a transmitter to send a narrow beam of energy towards an identified subject. Traveling at the speed of light, the energy reaches the subject and penetrates less than 1/64 of an inch into the skin, quickly heating up the skin’s surface. Within seconds, an individual feels an intense heating sensation that stops when the transmitter is shut off or when the individual moves out of the beam."
[The link is to an MS Word document, I saved an HTML version here.]
posted by quonsar on Jan 4, 2002 - 22 comments

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