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Dirty Bomb? Swallow This

Coming soon to a town near you: Dirty bomb attacks.

Are you ready? If not, do not despair — the FDA is soliciting new drug applications for a medicinal version of a blue dye (known as Prussian blue) that has been found to protect people against radiation exposure following the detonation of a dirty bomb, according to Kristen Philipkoski of Wired News. “In this case the FDA has already written the labeling for the drug,” explains Laura Bradbard, a spokeswoman for the agency. “And we have a guidance that spells out how a company can apply for approval because it may be important to have this on hand if there should be any dirty bomb explosions because of terrorism.”

Gee, I feel better already.

It was just the other day British officials told the BBC nefarious al-Qadea evildoers had worked on the development of a dirty bomb in a hellish lab situated in Herat, Afghanistan, back in the late 90s. “The evidence speaks for itself,” said a confident Foreign Office spokesman. Evidence? Well, there was supposedly an al-Qaeda training manual found with details on how best to use a dirty bomb. Reporters usually press for more information on these kind of things, but the Foreign Office declined to fill in the conspicuous blanks.

So it is. Hey, we’re talking about high British officials here. If they said al-Qaeda is going to hit London with a dirty bomb it must be true. I mean, wasn’t that former gangbanger and al-Qaeda wannabe Jose Padilla searching Google for dirty bomb information in his spare time? The al-Qaeda operative Abdullah Al Muhajir admitted as much. “Padilla met with senior al-Qaeda members to discuss plans for exploding a radioactive dispersal device, what is commonly called a ‘dirty bomb,’ in the United States,” Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said at a press conference at the Justice Department back in June. “He researched nuclear weapons and received training on wiring explosives while in Pakistan. He was instructed to return to the United States to conduct reconnaissance operations for al-Qaeda.” It’s really amazing the kind of stuff you can find on the internet these days. A few minutes ago I searched “dirty bomb” on Google, so what next? Maybe an FBI interview?

But that’s not the end of the story. Colin Powell will soon link up al-Qaeda and that perennial baddie, Saddam Hussein. It seems they worked together on building a dirty bomb or some such related nasty device, or so the presence of al-Qaeda operative Abu Musaab al-Zarkawi in Baghdad last year would seem to indicate. According to statements from al-Qaeda detainees, al-Zarkawi was part of a team of al-Qaeda operatives given the task of developing radiological and other non-conventional weapons in 1999-2001. You got to hand it to those guys at Camp X-Ray for extracting such crucial information from detainees — torture and intense psychological pressure notwithstanding — especially now that Bush needs a darn good reason for attacking Iraq. I bet Osama bin Laden told everybody about his plans to attack America with radiological bombs, even the guys who moved goat dung on wooden carts at those training camps in Afghanistan.

One has to wonder what’s up with the CIA and FBI, though. You’d think they would be chomping at the bit to connect al-Qaeda and Saddam, but they’re not. The CIA says the Bushites are exaggerating the significance of some intelligence reports about Iraq, particularly about its possible links to terrorism, according to the New York Times. “We’ve been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don’t think it’s there,” admitted a bemused FBI guy. But it may all be a misunderstanding. According to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (CIA operative, drug runner, and Iran-Contra alumni) Powell will not assert a direct link between the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda. Instead the Bushites will say al-Zarkawi is a member of a militant group present in Iraq called Ansar al-Islam. Some administration officials, especially Rumsfeld’s Pentagon guys, argue that Ansar al-Islam has close ties to the Iraqi government, while other intelligence officials say there is only fragmentary evidence of such a link. Ansar al-Islam is reportedly a fraternal order of al-Qaeda.

These Bushites and intelligence guys need to get on the same page. Maybe good old Tom Ridge and the Ministry of Homeland Security will put an end to the bickering. I mean, it really looks bad for the cabal when these guys can’t get their fabrications straight.

None of this really matters, though. As the UK Independent reported on February 2, most Americans cannot tell the difference between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Moreover, according to a recent Harris poll, for those Americans who understand Osma and Saddam are not Siamese twins, most of them believe there is either a close link (29%) or some link (49%) between the pair. A USA Today poll conducted back in August indicates an astounding 86% of Americans think Baghdad is giving support to terrorist groups and more than half believe Saddam was involved in the 911 attacks. Of course, there is absolutely no evidence of Saddam’s complicity in 911 or lending a helping hand to Osama bin Laden (who hates Saddam) and al-Qaeda or any other terrorist group (CIA created or otherwise). But since when does Bush and the Pentagon need proof of anything? As Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board told David Corn of the Nation, all we need to do is trust Bush and the neocons. Period. Saddam not only has nukes and other bad stuff, but he is also in bed with al-Qaeda. Maybe the North Koreans and the Iranians were involved, too. Some day we may discover China and Venezuela also helped Osama bin Laden bomb the WTC and the Pentagon. It only stands to reason, of course. Bush said so.

So, let’s all pony up for our little Prussian blue anti-radiation pill — that is after we get our small pox vaccination. Richard Perle and the pharmaceutical corporations know what’s best for us. As Tony Blair says, death and destruction — a toxic cocktail of sarin, mustard gas, tabun, VX, and radiological bombs — await us. Killing 500,000 more innocent Iraqis will do the trick. Bombing water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, and national monuments will show ’em. We can only hope Osama will be sitting down to break bread with Saddam at the very moment those 800 cruise missiles rain down on Baghdad.

In the aftermath, as Richard Perle says, our children will sing great songs.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

We highly recommend regular visits to Nimmo’s website, Another Day in the Empire

 

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KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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