Its been all over the press for the past few days. 550 METRIC TONS (that's BIGGER than 5 Rosie O'Donnells) were removed from Bagdad by the US Government:
The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program — a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium — reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.
The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" — the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment — was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.
The name"Yellowcake" sounds benign, like you can throw some chocolate frosting on it and serve it at a birthday party. But this yellowcake can be enriched to be used in nuclear plants or worse Nuclear weapons
The question arises why is everyone treating this like a regular UPS delivery. Sure, it was clandestine until it got to Canada. But why is no one asking the question, WHAT WAS SADDAM HUSSEIN DOING WITH 550 METRIC TONS OF YELLOWCAKE? He Knew it wasn't eatable, do you think that he was using it as part of a , gee I don't know, WEAPONS PROGRAM?
In November 2006 the NY Times reported that Saddam was close to Nukes (yes that New York Times):
Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.
European diplomats said this week that some of those nuclear documents on the Web site were identical to the ones presented to the United Nations Security Council in late 2002, as America got ready to invade Iraq. But unlike those on the Web site, the papers given to the Security Council had been extensively edited, to remove sensitive information on unconventional arms.
The deletions, the diplomats said, had been done in consultation with the United States and other nuclear-weapons nations. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, which ran the nuclear part of the inspections, told the Security Council in late 2002 that the deletions were “consistent with the principle that proliferation-sensitive information should not be released.”
In Europe, a senior diplomat said atomic experts there had studied the nuclear documents on the Web site and judged their public release as potentially dangerous. “It’s a cookbook,” said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of his agency’s rules. “If you had this, it would short-circuit a lot of things.”
Ray E. Kidder, a senior nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, an arms design center, said “some things in these documents would be helpful” to nations aspiring to develop nuclear weapons and should have remained secret.
So if Iraq had the plans and they had the Uranium, It sounds awfully like a WMD program to me....
Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:56 am Iraqi uranium transferred to Canada
Iraqi uranium transferred to Canada
July 7, 2008
WASHINGTON — At Iraq's request, the US military this year transferred hundreds of metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Iraq to Canada in a secret, weeks-long operation, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
The 550 metric tons of uranium, which was sold to a Canadian company, was moved by truck convoy to Baghdad's "Green Zone," then flown by military aircraft to a third country where it was put on a ship for Canada, said Bryan Whitman, the spokesman.
"The operation was completed over the weekend, on Saturday," Whitman said.
The yellow cake was discovered by US troops after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq at the Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Facility south of Baghdad, and was placed under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Yellow cake is a form of processed uranium ore that can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors, or if further enriched as fuel for nuclear weapons.
Whitman said the Iraqi government asked the United States for help in selling and transferring the uranium to another country.
Cameco, a Canadian company, agreed to buy the yellowcake for a reported sum in the tens of millions of dollars.
The cost to the United States of transferring the uranium came to about 70 million dollars, Whitman said. He said the Iraqi government has agreed in principle to repay part of the transfer costs.
The US State and Energy Departments also played roles in the months long operation, Whitman said. But the Defense Department took the lead in carrying out the transfer, he said.
It took 110 shipping containers to carry the drums loaded with yellowcake, he said.
They were transferred by convoy from Tuwaitha to a secure facility within the Green Zone, the international zone, Whitman said.
Then they were flown by C-17 military transport planes to an undisclosed third country. Whitman said it took 37 planeloads to complete that portion of the transfer.
"At this intermediate location the cargo was loaded onto a US-flagged cargo ship, a military sealift container ship, the USS Gopher State," he said.
Whitman said the arrangements for the sale began several months ago, but the transfer itself took "weeks not months."
With the transfer, no yellowcake was known to be left in Iraq, Whitman said.