Dr. Gordon Prather, a National Asset
Jude Wanniski
May 15, 2002


Memo To: Administration pooh-bahs
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Listen Up and Learn

Those of you who are regular readers of these postings know how much I rely upon Dr. Prather for his superior knowledge of scientific issues that become entwined with public policy. I am not kidding when I tell you I firmly believe he is a national asset, the one American, the only American, who has the skills in the scientific and political realm who can help you pooh-bahs avoid more of the kind of blunders that led to 9-11. There are undoubtedly nuclear physicists who are better than he, although I do not think there are many. There are no doubt nuclear weapons specialists who are superior, but not too many. There are scientists with political experience in Congress and in the Pentagon who have an edge on him, but perhaps only one or two. But there is nobody better than he in these diverse areas of expertise.

If you saw my memo yesterday on the ludicrous “60 Minutes” report Sunday on how Saddam Hussein “gassed his own people,” you will note Gordon Prather’s comments, on how none of the report made any sense and why. Dr. Prather was deputy assistant secretary of the Army for science and technology in the Reagan administration, but it is precisely because he is known to those as a man of superior intelligence and integrity that he has been blackballed from the administration. Those with hidden agendas that are not necessarily in our national interest do not wish to confront a Dr. Prather, when they are now find it so easy to hornswoggle innocent pooh-bahs.

He now writes a weekend column for Worldnetdaily.com, which is vastly underappreciated. I’ve decided to post a home-page link to his column from now on, so you can get to it easily from this spot.

Supercritical Thoughts Gordon Prather
Knapsack missiles? Posted: May 11, 2002
By Gordon Prather
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

Administration pooh-bahs recently told U.N. Security Council members that there have been significant developments in the "weapons of mass destruction" programs of both Iran and Iraq. This week, we accused various Chinese "companies" of helping the Iranians and imposed sanctions.

The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 requires U.S. sanctions to be "imposed on countries whose companies provide assistance to Iran in its efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and missile delivery systems."

The war hawks have been telling you we've got to invade because Iran and Iraq are developing those weapons to give to terrorists. Of course, every time you hear "weapons of mass destruction," the war hawks have conditioned you to instantly think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The uranium bomb we dropped on Hiroshima and the more sophisticated plutonium bomb we dropped on Nagasaki each weighed 5 tons! Our B-29 Super-Fortress was the only aircraft we had capable of delivering them on Japan. Certainly the German V-2 ballistic missile couldn't have delivered a first-generation nuke across the English Channel.

It took more than a few years for us to develop plutonium nukes that were small and light enough to be delivered by ballistic missile. Of course, Iraqi descendents of the V-2 can carry much heavier payloads, but if either Iran or Iraq is ever able to develop nukes on its own, it will almost certainly be uranium nukes weighing thousands of pounds hardly something a terrorist could carry around in his knapsack.

In the aftermath of the Gulf War, it became apparent that the import-control provisions of the Nonproliferation Treaty regime then applicable to NPT signatories had not prevented Iraq from pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program. The only hard part about making a first-generation nuke is producing all the highly enriched uranium, and Iraq wasn't able to do that.

Moreover, the discovery of the Iraqi nuke programs resulted in the NPT regime enforced by the International Atomic Energy Agency being strengthened, considerably. No NPT signatory could ever do again what Iraq had done. However, the IAEA had no authority over non-NPT signatories such as India, Pakistan and Israel.

So, the war hawks have been muttering something about how Iraq or Iran might not have to make their own highly enriched uranium, or HEU something about buying it from Pakistan.

Enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a strictly volunteer group of 39 countries. Each member had already agreed to govern its export of dual-use items and technologies that could have nuke applications. So they decided to require the acceptance by NPT non-signatory states such as Pakistan of full-scope IAEA safeguards on all current and future nuclear activities. The result: Now Pakistan can't sell HEU.

So, if neither Iran nor Iraq had produced or bought HEU, what were the Bush-Cheney pooh-bahs warning about? Significant increases in the range of Iranian and Iraqi ballistic missiles, that's what.

During the Gulf War, about 50 Iraqi Scud-like ballistic missiles carrying ordinary high explosive warheads had reached Israel. Now, Iraq is not allowed to possess missiles capable of reaching Israel. And Iranian missiles launched in Iran couldn't until now. Administration pooh-bahs have just charged that Iranian and Iraqi missiles can reach Israel, after all.

Hence, the sanctions just imposed on China had to do with "missile delivery systems," not nukes. There are currently North Korean, Pakistani and Chinese entities under U.S. sanctions for missile proliferation activities.

You're probably wondering how ballistic missiles ever came to be classified as weapons of mass destruction. U.N. Resolution 687 which establishes the terms and conditions for the formal cease-fire in the Gulf War never defines the term. But it required Iraq to accept the destruction, removal or rendering harmless of all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers.

Enter the Missile Technology Control Regime, another strictly volunteer organization of 39 countries. Each member was already committed to controlling the export of virtually all equipment and technology needed for the development and production of "nuke-capable" ballistic missiles. In the aftermath of the Gulf War, they agreed to focus on the export of missiles capable of delivering a warhead nuke or chembio weighing at least 1,100 pounds a distance of at least 170 miles, as well as all related technology.

So now, when the war hawks tell you to be on the lookout for Islamic terrorists bearing Iranian or Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction," you know what to look for. In particular, the Iranian Shahab-4 missile is 75 feet long and weighs more than 40,000 pounds, without the warhead. Hardly something a terrorist could carry around in his knapsack.