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Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms 165

Posted by timothy
from the long-long-ago dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson update their story on the NUMEC affair to take into account the recent release of hundreds of classified documents that shed additional light on the story. In the 1960s, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was found to be missing about a 100 pounds of bomb-grade uranium. Based on available evidence, Gilinsky and Mattson are convinced that the material ended up in Israel nuclear bombs. The newly release documents add more to the story, and Gilinsky and Mattson are calling on President Obama to declassify the remainder of the file."
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Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms

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  • by lseltzer (311306) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @09:40AM (#46794239)
    I think this has been known for many decades
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Assmasher (456699)

      Agreed, this is known to just about anyone with an interest in nuclear proliferation issues, or the history of post 1948 Israel.

    • I also wouldn't be surprised if any wound up in Chinese, Russian or Indian arms as well.

      I am pretty sure some was sold to Iraq. Hell, we sold them planes, tanks and other shit back in the 80s, why not Uranium?! I bet that is how we 'knew' they had WMDs. We just looked at their receipt.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I bet that is how we 'knew' they had WMDs.

        We "knew" they had WMD's because they used poison gas on their Kurds, just like the Syrians did.

        Do remember that poison gas is a WMD, and under US policy is treated exactly the same way as nuclear weapons.

        • by boundary (1226600)
          Are you aware of the Reagan administration's well-documented involvement in supplying Iraq with precursor substances for chemical and biological weapons?
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          We "knew" they had WMD's because they used poison gas on their Kurds, just like the Syrians did.

          We knew they had poison gas because we kept the receipts. We knew they didn't have poison gas any more because they had already used it, and it was very old.

          • That would be funny, except it's bullshit because the seller gives the receipt to the purchaser.

            • by rbrander (73222)

              Oh boy: grammar nazi vs actual nazis. Who'll win?

              Yes, I know Baath weren't literally nazis. And this isn't actually about grammar. Oh, man, now you're going to call MY joke "bullshit". I hate to tell you, but "funny" has come and gone before the brain starts processing issues like the one you raised. I think the "funny" posts should be exempted from the usual slashdot arguments about the details.

        • by Archtech (159117)

          "Do remember that poison gas is a WMD, and under US policy is treated exactly the same way as nuclear weapons".

          In the sense that the USA maintains enormous stocks of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Presumably the policy you refer to is "let's have more of them all".

      • I also wouldn't be surprised if any wound up in Chinese, Russian or Indian arms as well. I am pretty sure some was sold to Iraq. Hell, we sold them planes, tanks and other shit back in the 80s, why not Uranium?! I bet that is how we 'knew' they had WMDs. We just looked at their receipt.

        Iraq? No, not that I know of. Iran though, I'm positive we sold arms to them back in the 50's, 60's and early 70's

    • Why yes it is. However, additional details became available with recently declassified documents. So, the story line is being updated.
  • Common Knowledge (Score:5, Informative)

    by megalomaniacs4u (199468) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @09:42AM (#46794241)

    I thought this was well known, just unofficial.

    Hell, it even made a Tom Clancy novel!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Loooong before Tom Clancy wrote it, Ken Follet wrote "Triple". A truly amazing book.

  • by Marrow (195242) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @09:44AM (#46794249)

    I mean, how do you report that to your insurance agent anyway?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @09:50AM (#46794275)

    You sure that's not missing a few 0s?

    • You may have hit on something there, as 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium would constitute less than went into the Little Boy weapon that exploded over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945; judging from various online sources, that weapon contained about 64 kilograms of HEU, and 100 pounds amounts to only 45 kg. On the other hand, the design of the Little Boy weapon was (again, judging from online sources) highly inefficient. My rough guess is that 100 pounds of HEU would be enough for two or three weapons that em
      • by sumdumass (711423)

        My understanding is that modern or more modern versions of nuclear weapons are hundreds of times more efficient then the ones dropped in WWII. This is due primarily to a change in the ignition design from one that used explosives to ram fissionable material into another fissionable material called a gun type to one that used heat and X-rays from a more easily created fission reaction to ignite a second fission reaction in an enormously more efficient and reactive way. I think this second type is called a b [wikipedia.org]

    • by chgros (690878)

      100 pounds of enriched uranium is a lot.
      https://xkcd.com/1162/ [xkcd.com]

  • by Suiggy (1544213) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:30AM (#46794441)

    This is quite disgusting of Slashdot to be spreading bigotry and hate in this day and age. This article should be removed immediately for spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories.

    • by NicBenjamin (2124018) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @10:56AM (#46794519)

      The worst part of debating Israeli issues on the internet?

      I have no idea whether this guy is kidding.

    • None of those require the other two. None of those should be exclusive of the other two. Unfortunately, none of those are required to post on Slashdot - just a keyboard and an internet connection. I still want this sign:

      "--- You must be this intelligent to ride the internet. Shorter riders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian."

  • Good for them. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by burni2 (1643061) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @11:01AM (#46794545)

    Actually, I have two oppinions on this matter

    1.) if a country is in possession of nuclear weapons,
    they should join the nuke arms test & proliferation ban

    Israel should join this treaty.

    No army and nobody should own nuclear weapons.

    And Mordechai Vanunu should be given the chance to go exile.

    2.) Israel is a special case

    a.) The country is actually nothing more than an airstrip, from north to south it's approx. 200km wide. If aggressors try to invade it's a really short walk.

    Or just four thermonuclear devices to split a country.

    b.) Israel would never use the nuclear bomb as a first strike option. This can be seen as it never officially admitted having nukes, but everybody knew. It's a much critized politic style - but it worked - and choses nukes as a means of mutually assured destruction or retaliation.

    So actually I'm ok with Israel having nuclear weapons and german fuel cell drivin subs to launch them.

    But to be clear on the other point when it comes to Israel:
    I'm absolutely not ok with the politics Israel undertakes towards the palestineans, the actual worst enemy for peace in Israel( In my count Gaza and west jordan area are part of Israel) is the whole politics of blame and shame.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xenkar (580240)

      Look up the Samson option. Israel plans on nuking every major European city they can if Israel falls. They are holding us hostage and forcing us to support their government.

      An ideal that is good shouldn't require the threat of annihilation just to get others to go along with it.

      • Re:Good for them. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mark_osmd (812581) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @05:28PM (#46796481)
        That's a rumor of a strategy, usually quoted from unidentified third parties or as personal opinions of military historians. I don't know of any official Israeli government document or statement that there's such a doctrine. It would be hard for them to since there's no official admission by Israel that they possess nuclear weapons. When looked up in wikipedia it's described as "...the name that some military analysts have given to Israel's hypothetical deterrence strategy of massive retaliation with nuclear weapons as a "last resort" against nations whose military attacks threaten its existence" hardly equivalent to nuking "every major European city" which implies those cities are in nations not attacking Israel.
      • by Sun (104778)

        I've read the Samson option, and don't recall that particular strategy ever coming up there. Would you care to give a page number?

        It is true (at least according to said book) that Israel let US spy satellites take photos of missiles ready for launch in 1973, to push the US to lift the weapons embargo on Israel, and again in 1991, to nudge the US to start doing something about Saddam firing ground to ground missiles at civilians. In both cases, however, I don't think anyone thought the missiles were aimed at

      • The problem with that option is that, for it to work, it would have to be publicized, and it isn't. If I have plans to secretly get your dog killed if you don't upmod me on /., it isn't going to affect your use of your mod points. Revealing a plan to nuke European cities would result in a good deal of covert response intended to nullify the threat, or if it seemed imminent a series of air strikes on known or suspected Israeli nuclear sites.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mashiki (184564)

      I'm absolutely not ok with the politics Israel undertakes towards the palestineans, the actual worst enemy for peace in Israel( In my count Gaza and west jordan area are part of Israel) is the whole politics of blame and shame.

      That's nice and all, but maybe you can get the palestinian's government to explain why they're so pro-genocide in their teachings. With the various terrorist organizations, which were elected actively supporting said teachings, and taking money from the countries in the region to wage a proxy war. And while you're at it, perhaps you can explain why the BDS movement is so anti-Israeli while said organizations actually hire and pay said palestinians not only a good wage, but an amazing wage. All the while

      • Re:Good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Xenkar (580240) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @01:15PM (#46795247)

        I think it might be because at the start of every peace negotiation, Israel announces a new illegal settlement project in the West Bank.

        Gaza and the West Bank are basically open air prisons. Do the prisons in the US make prisoners a better fit for society, or merely drive them further into anti-social lifestyles?

        Every new building in the West Bank needs almost impossible to get Israeli approval. Those who dare to build houses without approval get there structured knocked down by armored bulldozers.

        Gaza has a hard time getting raw materials shipped in to build buildings. Any farming they do will probably be destroyed by Israeli armed forces.

        Now let me ask you, if someone urinated on your face and you weren't into that, would you be grateful for them to do it, or will it piss you off? Asking him to stop just makes him aim it closer to your eyes. His buddies come up and beat the shit out of you if you dare strike back. They then join in the urination party. This is the Israeli-Palestinian relationship.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Mashiki (184564)

          Well let's be realistic then shall we? Technically they're not beholden to anyone to not build on the West Bank, being that it was a captured territory. Useful point, that much of it was already bought previously and before 1940. And every time that they gave land up--end when it was fully productive the palestinians fully destroyed it, looted it, and went on their way instead of taking it over and using it to bolster their own economy.

          Gaza and the West Bank are "open air prisons" of their own making. T

          • Re:Good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Xenkar (580240) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @03:08PM (#46795849)

            I tried to look up some cases of Palestinians destroying factories but I couldn't find any in the Google search results. It consisted mostly of Israelis destroying Palestinian factories and farms, or a Palestinian concrete factory that recycled rubble from bombed out structures from Israeli raids. Please enlighten me with some links.

            I took a look at the statistics a while back and Israelis are more likely to die from an automotive accident on their Israeli-only highways that web throughout the West Bank than from any Palestinian attack.

            I've looked at the structures that Palestinians like to construct. Thick walls, preferably earthbound if possible. Now while one might think that this is a horrible crime, it is the only way to build a structure that doesn't require air conditioning in the region. Air conditioners typically require electricity and it isn't like the Palestinians can count on Israelis to not bomb out their infrastructure.

            "Hmm, they bulldozed my house for the fifth time. Perhaps I should build something that's a bit more costly for them to destroy this time." Unfortunately they don't realize that the Israeli military is subsidized by the American and German tax payers and thus won't stop the Israelis from just using a bunker buster missile without second thought. They just need to say it was a weapons factory or a terrorist's bunker and all is forgiven.

            If I had driven one of my neighbors to do all of that, I'd deeply reflect on my own actions and wonder if building my house right in his front yard and then bulldozing his down was the best course of action.

          • by Uberbah (647458)

            Gaza and the West Bank are "open air prisons" of their own making. Their own making revolved around: Palestinians, sniping at civilians along the highways, strapping explosives to themselves and blowing themselves up at cafes, bus stops, and other crowded civilian areas, and so on. Of course we can't forget the "rock throwing" brigades either, or some of the other incidents.

            Oh, get fucked already, racist. Israel is nothing more than a colonial operation from Zionists who have been living in Europe for hund

      • Re:Good for them. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by quantaman (517394) on Saturday April 19, 2014 @06:03PM (#46796639)

        That's nice and all, but maybe you can get the palestinian's government to explain why they're so pro-genocide in their teachings. With the various terrorist organizations, which were elected actively supporting said teachings, and taking money from the countries in the region to wage a proxy war.

        Absolutely.

        Israel is actively occupying Palestine and stealing the Palestinian's land.

        Look at the racism that occurs against Hispanics in the US due to them taking some crappy jobs. Is it a surprise that a nation that's been constantly losing it's land to self-identified Zionists for over 100 years is going to end up really antisemitic? Having Palestinians spontaneously turn into a nation of Ghandis isn't a realistic prerequisite for peace in the middle east.

        • Israel is actively occupying Palestine and stealing the Palestinian's land.

          Yeah and that happened around the 6 day war (pre occupation) against a bunch of people who wanted to wipe out the jews. The Palestinians were on the wrong side of that war. ut that only happened because balh blah etc etc.

          Basically pointing the finger at this point is a useless thing to do. Both sides have been colossal cunts and both sides have made some deeply unwise decitions. Pointing fingers is easy because for each act one has

          • by Megol (3135005)

            Do you really think this? That the people that want to wipe out _Israel_ (a state) necessarily want to wipe out the Jews? I know this is how many like to portrait the situation but it isn't the impression I've got from people that want Israel removed as a state. In fact such a suggestion gives a surprised reaction and a response that that would be morally and against their religion.

            Israel is a state that was started with terrorism and that still support and actively use terror. I don't think the west should

            • Do you really think this? That the people that want to wipe out _Israel_ (a state) necessarily want to wipe out the Jews?

              There are certainly plenty of people out there who do want to wipe out all jews.

              And do you really think if they wiped out the government of Israel and annexed the lands, they'd just integrate all the citizens into their country?

              I know this is how many like to portrait the situation but it isn't the impression I've got from people that want Israel removed as a state.

              Depends on who you tal

          • by quantaman (517394)

            Israel is actively occupying Palestine and stealing the Palestinian's land.

            Yeah and that happened around the 6 day war (pre occupation) against a bunch of people who wanted to wipe out the jews. The Palestinians were on the wrong side of that war. ut that only happened because balh blah etc etc.

            Basically pointing the finger at this point is a useless thing to do. Both sides have been colossal cunts and both sides have made some deeply unwise decitions. Pointing fingers is easy because for each act one has done, the other has done something worse.

            But it makes for fun slashdotting.

            You need to point the finger to understand why they're fighting.

            The Palestinians in 1948 had a valid grievance, for decades while the British ruled Palestine they allowed European Jews to buy up huge chunks of the country with the goal of creating a friendly Jewish state in Palestine, then the UN partition made it official with a split they didn't agree to. The Palestinians (and sympathetic Arabs) also had a valid grievance in 1967, after the war in 1948 they fled or were expelled from huge portions of Isra

    • by Uberbah (647458)

      Israel is a special case

      Indeed. At no other time in human history have the two world's greatest superpowers performed an act of colonialism for the benefit of refugees and settlers from another continent.

      the actual worst enemy for peace in Israel( In my count Gaza and west jordan area are part of Israel) is the whole politics of blame and shame

      Hardly. An enemy of peace is the farce to pretend the two sides have equal grievances, or deflect from the crimes committed upon Palestinians by the crimes committ

      • by burni2 (1643061)

        Wake up, Blame & Shame .. it's what you are doing right now, you are running around in circles and complain about that you cannot advance.

        But yes, israel is too blame for many things, so is the Hamas & Fatah, because suicide bombers against civilians are murder, as well as bombs against civilians.

        My point is: both sides have blood on their hands, so they both need to find a way to solve their conflicts.

        But one fact remains, Israel is stronger by any means, accept it, why Monty Python:Live of Brian

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Wake up, Blame & Shame .. it's what you are doing right now, you are running around in circles and complain about that you cannot advance.

          That's the exact sort of "both sides are guilty" handwaving bullshit that I'm talking about. You wouldn't pretend that the Jews and the Spanish Inquisition were "equally guilty", nor would you for the Popes who forced Jews into ghettos, nor the Russian Czars that waged pogroms on them. So stop pretending that Palestinians aren't the victims and the Zionists aren't a

  • Tom Clancy told us this in the Sum of All Fears, the great book; not the horribly butchered movie...

  • When are we going to put sanction on Israel over their Nuclear Arms program?

  • Nothing much has changed in the last 30 years. The US still has intrests in Israel and the middle east. Everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons but can't prove it and that is just the way Israel likes it. Israel was on the brink of extinction in 1973 and no WMDs were used this proves remarkable self restraint. Accusing Israel of a 50 year old crime would serve no practical purpose. It would hurt relationships with Israel it will harm the peace process it would harm the fight against WMDs because it would

  • Note that uranium is extremely dense - 19.1 kg/liter - so we're not talking about a huge amount of material. 100 pounds is only about 2.4 liters - a little more than a half-gallon milk carton.
    • While that's true, you would not be carrying 100 pounds of weapons grade uranium in one 2.4 liter sized container. If you tried, everyone would know where you were standing at the time you attempted it.
  • How does weapons-grade uranium go "missing", don't they mean someone stole the uranium ..
    • How does weapons-grade uranium go "missing", don't they mean someone stole the uranium ..

      Um, hello..... half-life???

      • You mean they don't weigh the stuff, tell me more, provide citations ...

        -- "CIA’s conclusion at about the same time that Israel previously stole bomb-grade uranium from a US naval fuel plant" ref [nybooks.com]
  • To discover that one of the USA's middle eastern client states might have been provided with the materials for nuclear weapons just in case the USA had to throw a bomb or two at a particularly stubborn oil producing country without making the USA itself an immediate target for nuclear retaliation.

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