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RIGHTALK.com LIVE Debate Fri @10am est- "Does Osama Have Suitcase Nukes?" Miniter vs. Williams
Rightalk.com ^ | 4-27-06 | Bob J

Posted on 04/27/2006 12:20:35 PM PDT by Bob J

On Saturday April 29th "America's Truth Forum" will be holding a symposium on;

The Underlying Roots Of Terrorism: Terrorism's Threat to World Peace & National Security

Prior to that on Friday at 10am est they will hold a debate at the National Press Club between Richard Miniter and Paul Williams. The debate topic is;

"Does Osama Have Suitcase Nukes?"

Rightalk.com will be LIVE webcasting the debate. Immediately following the debate will be a press conference at which a

BOMBSHELL

announcement concerning these topics will be announced!

That's all that can be said right now but make sure to TUNE IN!



TOPICS: Announcements; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaedanukes; debate; jihadinamerica; miniter; nukes; radio; richardminiter; rightalk; suitcase; suitcasenukes; talk; talkradio; williams
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1 posted on 04/27/2006 12:20:42 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: Bob J

-no-


2 posted on 04/27/2006 12:27:31 PM PDT by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: Bob J

Don't you have to have a suitcase to have a suitcase nuke? This guy's napsack won't do it--even if his donkey carries it.


3 posted on 04/27/2006 12:39:35 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Bob J
That's all that can be said right now

Drudge? Is that you?

You sound like my evening newscasters at 10 in the mornging. Usually they are hoping like hell that something breaks before they have to go on the air so they don't look like idiots.

4 posted on 04/27/2006 12:42:00 PM PDT by Glenn (There is a looming Tupperware shortage. Plan appropriately.)
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To: Glenn

I understand that the suitcase nukes, it he got them from the russians, would probably be so/so functional due to the tritium degradation for the triggering mechanism.


5 posted on 04/27/2006 12:55:22 PM PDT by milwguy
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To: milwguy

Yes, but buying military hardware in Russia is like a 7-11. If they can get the suitcases, they may be bale to get new triggering systems.


6 posted on 04/27/2006 1:00:32 PM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: Bob J

Tritium costs $50,000 a gram--it gets locked up SUPER tight as a result.


7 posted on 04/27/2006 1:38:30 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

Ya, just like the tritium triggers on those suitcase nukes.


8 posted on 04/27/2006 1:59:31 PM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: Bob J
Ya, just like the tritium triggers on those suitcase nukes.

Getting new tritium means paying $50,000 a gram, and you have to but the tritium every three months to keep the weapon operational.

9 posted on 04/27/2006 3:55:34 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: Bob J

short answer:

Not a chance in Hades


10 posted on 04/27/2006 5:13:40 PM PDT by MikefromOhio (aka MikeinIraq)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; Bob J
you have to but the tritium every three months to keep the weapon operational.

IF you have a bomb that uses tritium -- a big "if", according to some reports I read a while back -- then the answer is, "No, you don't need to keep buying it every three months."

You only need to buy it once -- right before you plan on using it.

These things, if deployed as reported, are not a mini-strategic-nuclear-force, always maintained in a state of readiness. They are terror weapons.

Tell me -- prior to 911, did al qaida have to buy and maintain a fleet of jet airliners, doing regular engine and airframe maintenance, up until the moment of the attack?

A tactical nuke that needs a fresh dose of Tritium prior to detonation (and it can only be detonated once!) is an example of a "JIT-4-Terror" application.

11 posted on 04/29/2006 9:24:34 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe
IF you have a bomb that uses tritium -- a big "if", according to some reports I read a while back -- then the answer is, "No, you don't need to keep buying it every three months."

Okay, so it may not use a deuterium-tritium "zipper" as a neutron source (also known as an initiator). It may use polonium--and polonium-based initiators are only good for three weeks, which is an infeasibly tight timeline for an operation that requires covert smuggling of the initiator component.

Additionally, "suitcase nukes" are "fractional-crit" designs--i.e., they do not have a supercritical mass, even at maximum compression of the special nuclear material. (This is particularly true if the device uses a non-spherical shape for the critical mass, which raises its surface area relative to its volume. An example of a non-spherical critical mass would be some of the nuclear artillery shells made during the latter part of the Cold War--they used a cylinder of plutonium that was crushed in a linear implosion.) This means that neutrons generated from the fission of the special nuclear material are likely to escape from the critical mass Fractional-crit weapons require a lot of extra neutrons in the pit in order to work. This in turn means that the weapon needs boosting--direct injection of deuterium and tritium into the pit at the instant of detonation to generate a small fusion reaction.

You only need to buy it once -- right before you plan on using it.

Which, in turn, raises a whole new set of problems.

Al-Qaeda would have to obtain a lot of tritium--much more than the weapon itself requires (because tritium exfiltrates through almost any container wall--it's hydrogen, after all--and because some would decay to helium during a covert transit. They would need to be able to separate out any helium that accumulated during transit. They would have to have operatives in place who could service the weapon (i.e., place the tritium in the "zipper" and replace the tritium gas reservoir--and those aren't exactly the sorts of skills that are readily available out there).

One way or another, the weapon has to have some maintenance done on it--and that requires an infrastructure to do so (even if it's only once).

Tell me -- prior to 911, did al qaida have to buy and maintain a fleet of jet airliners, doing regular engine and airframe maintenance, up until the moment of the attack?

No, which is an excellent argument for al-Qaeda not actually having possession of nukes at this time.

A far more likely scenario involves the theft or other acquisition of a ready-for-issue nuclear weapon from a repair/maintenance facility on a short timeline prior to the intended detonation (much as al-Qaeda acquired their aircraft for 9/11 immediately after fueling and maintenance, and immediately prior to the attack).

12 posted on 05/01/2006 4:58:02 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; Bob J
Okay, so it may not use a deuterium-tritium "zipper" as a neutron source (also known as an initiator). It may use polonium--and polonium-based initiators are only good for three weeks, which is an infeasibly tight timeline for an operation that requires covert smuggling of the initiator component.

I was thinking of a different substance, actually, but I didn't mention it because I did not feel like getting the kind of snotty replies that its mention inevitably evokes from the legions of armchair Einsteins who love to demonstrate the scope of their knowledge (and generally succeed). Sorry about that, I've a hard time resisting the urge to damn with faint praise when it avails itself.

Anyway, I realize that scads of Internet "experts" insist that there's less than nothing to it, but frankly -- and, call me what you will -- I find that I have more confidence in someone like Sam Cohen, "father of the neutron bomb", who most definitely does take this stuff seriously.

So, in short, no, I don't think that the issues with tritium are necessarily a show-stopper.

[skipping over a bunch of "conventional wisdom"]

Al-Qaeda would have to obtain a lot of tritium--much more than the weapon itself requires (because tritium exfiltrates through almost any container wall--it's hydrogen, after all

Sorry, I just don't buy that. I don't buy it, because I can buy it -- for maybe fifty bucks or so, for a set of Trijicon pistol sights. Seems like plain ol' glass will contain it for years.

Oops!

--and because some would decay to helium during a covert transit. They would need to be able to separate out any helium that accumulated during transit. They would have to have operatives in place who could service the weapon (i.e., place the tritium in the "zipper" and replace the tritium gas reservoir--and those aren't exactly the sorts of skills that are readily available out there).

You will pardon me for mentioning that this sounds like a pile of ridiculous tripe. You make it sound like a nuclear weapon is something as volatile as an ounce of dry ice, which must be used before you blink and it's gone.

There is plenty of time for an al-q POS to take a bit of Tritium -- properly contained and sealed by his friendly rogue ex-sov scumbag -- and then transport it through our sieve-like "border" to his waiting compadres.

There's a time and a place for "whistling past the graveyard", but... OK, sorry, I lied. There isn't a time or a place for it -- thus, this isn't the time or the place for it. So please don't insult our collective intelligence by painting a rube-goldberg picture of a situation so bloody impractical that it'd be a stretch to even consider our military being able to deal with such funky materials. I mean, a nuclear missile sub, spending months at sea -- and yet, having to return home to make a "run for the border" to load up on another five minutes worth of Tritium? LMAO! Puh-LEEZE! Go peddle that crap somewhere else, OK? No offense, nothing personal, but LOL! (When I read such desperate script-reading, I have to wonder if I've engaged one of those folks who "posts for a living", or, if it's merely someone on a personal quest, fixated on imposing his wishes for how he'd like it to be, by pushing his stuff on the forum via use of the typewritten counterpart to the "command voice." LOL on wheels!)

One way or another, the weapon has to have some maintenance done on it--and that requires an infrastructure to do so (even if it's only once).

Anything that a KGB operative can be trained to do, an al-q operative can be trained to do -- especially if he's got a former KGB operative in tow.

The rest of your stuff is such a poorly attempted effort at reframing the topic via a flop of a non sequitur that I won't embarrass you further by deconstructing it.

13 posted on 05/01/2006 7:39:30 AM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe

LMAO, Good one.


14 posted on 05/01/2006 7:51:17 AM PDT by SwankyC (1st Bn 11th Marines Semper Fi)
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To: Don Joe
You will pardon me for mentioning that this sounds like a pile of ridiculous tripe. You make it sound like a nuclear weapon is something as volatile as an ounce of dry ice, which must be used before you blink and it's gone.

No, it's a precision instrument containing volatile and radioactive components of varying life spans. A lot of effort was expended during the Cold War to to make nuclear weapons less reliant on ongoing maintenance--with only partial success. They were stored in controlled environments (something else terrorists would be unlikely to have), and they still required ongoing maintenance to be ready for use. To bring one back from unusability to usability will require a fair amount of equipment.

What I am saying is that, once the terrorists have a nuclear weapon, the clock is running, and goes to zero in a few months unless they can take it to a maintenance depot for some IRAN work.

Three months may seem like a long time to us, but for someone trying to move around the globe undetected, it's a normal timeline.

There is plenty of time for an al-q POS to take a bit of Tritium -- properly contained and sealed by his friendly rogue ex-sov scumbag -- and then transport it through our sieve-like "border" to his waiting compadres.

The tritium is still decaying the entire time. Very minute amounts of helium will absorb a lot of neutrons (we had devices that failed to generate any nuclear yield in testing due to helium contamination). This isn't an issue in pistol sights, so I can understand your unfamiliarity with the subject.

Like I said, every three months or so, the zipper and the tritium reservoirs needed replacement. Now, you can hypothetically have Team A with the nuke, and Team B with the tritium, but with two teams on the road for one nuke, you're doubling your risk of getting caught, betrayed, in an accident, found out by Echelon or the next "Able Danger," or pulled over for speeding through some podunk burg and the sheriff asking "what's that thingamajig in the trunk," and so on--to deliver one nuke. Better to just get a nuke brand new from the depot right before you need it and issue it to one team.

I mean, a nuclear missile sub, spending months at sea -- and yet, having to return home to make a "run for the border" to load up on another five minutes worth of Tritium?

First, those warheads are stored in a controlled environment for the duration of the patrol. Second, the maximum patrol time is about 90 days (in other words, about three months--remember the tritium?). Third, the warheads go right back to the maintenance facility as soon as the submarine docks. Fourth, they aren't fractional-crit suitcase weapons that absolutely depend on boosting to generate enough neutrons. Fifth, supposedly reliable operational warheads gave us some nasty surprises throughout the Cold War in terms of reliability (one Poseidon warhead zero-yielded after it was taken off of a submarine following a two-month patrol). I am worried about whether the Stockpile Stewardship Program can really maintain our current weapons as advertised, given that we were still learning things about warhead aging right up to the end of nuclear testing.

Anything that a KGB operative can be trained to do, an al-q operative can be trained to do -- especially if he's got a former KGB operative in tow.

KGB operatives didn't pull maintenance on nukes.

15 posted on 05/01/2006 9:05:19 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

BTW, I do have worries--I don't think that nuclear weapons (even our own) are nearly as secure as advertised. I think a small team of dedicated, resourceful people could steal an operational nuclear weapon--and do it so well that they make it look easy.


16 posted on 05/01/2006 10:08:18 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; Bob J; SwankyC
KGB operatives didn't pull maintenance on nukes.

LOL!

Or, should I say (putting on uber-serious face), BFD?

The guy flying the 7x7 from Podunk to E. Overshoe doesn't "pull maintentance" on jet engines either.

OK, OK, so Vanya the Vapid KGBchik didn't "pull maintenance on nukes." BFD (there, I got it right this time). He did "pull nukes" themselves, though (in the singular with the plural implied for the aggreate collection of Vanya and his Friends).

As to the rest of your pantload, OK, OK, you convinced me. I'm a fool. An utter fool to worry about this stuff, since YOU, Mr. Anonymous Bits on the Internet assure me, with all the authority your "voice" can muster, that it just cannot, and just will not happen!

OK, I confess! I'm a fool!

Me, and all the real experts, including the many in our government who stay up nights sweating out the probability that this will happen... and, spend our tax money by the wheelbarrow-full in their efforts to try to detect and prevent "the impossible" from happening.

I suggested earlier that you reminded me of what I politely term an "Item Number 2" character (see my Profile Page if you seek further clarification, I shan't clutter the thread with too much off-topic'ry) -- or, a typical example of a "poster on a mission" to persuade the readers of your particular fallacy of choice. Your dedication to your cause, however, makes me lean strongly toward the first belief. I've seen a lot of stuff in my near-60 years on this ball o' woe, but I've seen few individuals so "driven" that they push their load with such dedication... for free.

If you "pull a" ... ahem, a "stealth ping" to one of the other "usual suspects" who can be relied on to appear from the shadows any time "the topic" arises, to screech like goat-bitten banshees that it CANNOT be done, it WILL NOT happen, and... and the same damn thing over and over, with prodigious quantities of Erwin Coreyesque "proofs" of their equally prodigious assertions. The goal, I guess, is that if you can't reason your way out of a discussion, the next best solution is to swamp it in spam. Anything to cause the readers' eys to glaze over, and push 'em to leave, lest they read the inconvenient facts that run counter to whatever ad hoc policy drives these guys when they show up and start "power-posting."

I wait wif bated eyes. I certainly haven't pinged any of 'em, and this is an obsure enough post that it'll make an interesting "single data point" if any of 'em do "just happen" to show up to join your chorus.

BTW, I'm also reminded of something Thomas Sowell once said:


Bogus arguments are a tip-off that you wouldn't buy the real reasons for what someone is doing.

--Thomas Sowell


I'll wrap up by suggesting that any other folk who are reading this thread take a gander at Christopher Hitchens' short column titled, "The Night of the Weak Knees."

As a courtesy, I've enclosed the pertinent excerpt on my Profile Page. Click my name, then scroll down to read it.

If that gives you pause, then you might want to check out what Sam Cohen, the "father of the neutron bomb" has to say on various topics here: The Nuclear Threat That Doesn't Exist – or Does It?

And if that leaves you a bit shaken, then why not check out Scary Things Come in Small Packages too? (Caveat: this article concerns some very leading-edge stuff -- however, there is nothing to suggest that the Soviets were not "already there", nor is there anything to suggest that they didn't achieve other nightmares, the likes of which Cohen addresses. To succumb to a regimen of coerced inside-the-box thinking, is tantamount to "proving" that travel to the Moon is a scientifically proven impossibility, because it has been conclusively demonstrated that a large Mack truck -- the smallest vehicle capable of containing the necesary life support and other required equipment -- cannot even lift one inch off the launchpad, let alone all the way to the Moon.)

If, after that, you find that you do accept the fact that this is a credible threat, then I'd suggest doing some "independent study" on your own. A few simple queries, which you should be able to ration out on your own, submitted to the Google search page, will return plenty of salient links for you to dig through.

In summary, certain facts are known:

And, to balance things out:

So, as the saying goes, "we report, you decide"! :)

PS: at the risk of backtracking somewhat into the "meat" of this post, I'll mention one intriguing statement -- consonant with Sowell's observation -- from Cohen's article, which may have some bearing on the intensity with which some entities push you to reject the topic under discussion:


That is, the pure-fusion device renders the unthinkable thinkable. This is why officials do not want to discuss the possibility of pure-fusion warheads and, as will be seen, will do their best to deny their possible existence.

17 posted on 05/01/2006 12:04:09 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe
Argh, Mr. Mom Day takes its toll. (What? Approaching 60, and is raising a baby? Yes, as a matter of fact, I did rob the cradle. My wife ain't nuthin' near 60! Got a problem with that?)

Between racing to and fro across the house at the behest of the sounds on the baby monitor, I slipped a gear, and neglected to complete a sentence.

The sentenced that ended with, "with prodigious quantities of Erwin Coreyesque "proofs" of their equally prodigious assertions" should have gone on to say that I would therefore have the concerns (voiced prior) reinforced to a nontrivial degree.

Yes, it's sloppy editing, but not nearly as sloppy as the time my editor, while nitpicking on every jot and tittle of my grammar, somehow did a "forest and trees error", missing the fact that I somehow managed to leave an entire paragraph chopped off in the middle, hanging mid-sentence, without even a misplaced period for cosmetics' sake.

I was given a new editor after I called that to their attention (at a decibel level I shall not mention). :)

18 posted on 05/01/2006 12:15:08 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe
Me, and all the real experts, including the many in our government who stay up nights sweating out the probability that this will happen... and, spend our tax money by the wheelbarrow-full in their efforts to try to detect and prevent "the impossible" from happening.

Generally, governments do very few things well. One of those few things they do well is to spend large amounts of taxpayer's money (certainly not in piddling wheelbarrow-sized lots--think more along the lines of coal unit trainloads) by proclaiming some sort of "crisis" or "emergency." The more money that is spent on RDT&E or "studies" in lieu of real-world concrete actions to cope with a "crisis," the more the "crisis" is a product of hype.

If there were a real crisis or emergency of the sort you postulate, you'd see significantly different actions on the part of the government, such as "crisis relocation" of all persons in the presidential line of succession so that even a large strike against multiple targets would not render the country leaderless. We're not seeing that. You'd see significant efforts being made to improve security of our own nuclear stockpile (both operational weapons and disassembled weapon components). We're not seeing that.

If you "pull a" ... ahem, a "stealth ping" to one of the other "usual suspects" who can be relied on to appear from the shadows any time "the topic" arises

That's a very nasty case of projection you've developed.

If that gives you pause, then you might want to check out what Sam Cohen, the "father of the neutron bomb" has to say on various topics...

Anyone who links to J.R. Nyquist's website (who has predicted about a dozen of the past zero nuclear wars) is not to be taken seriously.

And if that leaves you a bit shaken, then why not check out Scary Things Come in Small Packages too?

I did. Amazing how Collins always had another excuse ready for why his experiment could not be reproduced. Reproducibility is key. Without it, you don't have science. Even supporters of isomer research said that efforts at weaponeering are premature and that Collins' paper was flawed and should not have passed peer review.

And at a megabuck a gram, this stuff would cost over 40,000 times as much as gold does. (Don't tell SwissAmerica and Blanchard--we'll get annoying radio ads for "Buy Hafnium today!")

Very notable bona fide authorities on the topic do take it very seriously.

"Appeal to authority" is a logical fallacy.

The government believes the threat of terrorists with nukes is not only possible, but credible, and is expending massive sums of money in an effort to try to counter it.

Yes, "terrorists with nukes" makes for a good excuse to spend massive sums of money on everything except (for example) actually improving security of existing nuclear weapons and survivability of the chain of command--in other words, they're not actually trying to reduce the likelihood of the "terrorists with nukes" scenario or in mitigating the consequences thereof.

19 posted on 05/01/2006 12:56:57 PM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; Bob J; SwankyC; ExSoldier
Generally, governments do very few things well. One of those few things they do well is to spend large amounts of taxpayer's money (certainly not in piddling wheelbarrow-sized lots--think more along the lines of coal unit trainloads) by proclaiming some sort of "crisis" or "emergency."

Another thing they do well is deploy agent's provocateur and/or their "mild-mannered counterparts", which I term "hush-puppies", scripted with miles of "now don't you worry 'bout that chicken-little stuff."

If there were a real crisis or emergency of the sort you postulate, you'd see significantly different actions on the part of the government, such as "crisis relocation" of all persons in the presidential line of succession so that even a large strike against multiple targets would not render the country leaderless. We're not seeing that. You'd see significant efforts being made to improve security of our own nuclear stockpile (both operational weapons and disassembled weapon components). We're not seeing that. Oh please, spare us the all-knowing dicta, will you? Good grief.

By the way, they have of late gone into overdrive vis-a-vis ramping up activities at Mount Weather and other "shadow government" operations located across the country. But then, you knew it already.

That's a very nasty case of projection you've developed.

That makes about as much sense as anyhthing else you've said here, i.e., approximately none. Just one more vain effort to reframe the discussion by putting your better on the defensive via "shoot-from-the-lip" non sequitur. Predictable, if nothing else.

If that gives you pause, then you might want to check out what Sam Cohen, the "father of the neutron bomb" has to say on various topics...

Anyone who links to J.R. Nyquist's website (who has predicted about a dozen of the past zero nuclear wars) is not to be taken seriously.

See what I mean? There you go again, trying to derail the discussion. You do NOT like the fact that I cited Sam Cohen, "father of the neutron bomb", as qualified and respected a bona fide expert as there is, so, what do you do? Do you argue with anything Cohen said? Of course not. You can't. You're so far out of your league that it's hilarious.

Yet, you do remain compelled to challenge everything that is counter to your agenda, so what do you do? You insult the website where I found Cohen's writings! Gee, silly me, to have grabbed the first instance of Cohen's work that Goggle returned.

I guess if I'd pulled his site from a different web server you'd then engage in HONEST debate over what HE said, rather than try to disrupt the train of discussion as you just did?

Yeah, right. LOL! Like I said, you are if nothing else, predictable!

Very notable bona fide authorities on the topic do take it very seriously.

"Appeal to authority" is a logical fallacy.

So is "Shooting the messenger", which, as you will recall, you just engaged in while dismissing Sam Cohen solely on the basis of the web server that carried his writings.

So too, is miscasting the citation of factual data as an "appeal to authority" simply because it comes from an authority. By your present "logic", any time someone provides a citation, he's automatically disqualified it. Of course, if he doesn't provide a citation, you can then go, "Ahah! NO citation available to support your assertion?"

A nice "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" set-up -- for someone with a double-digit IQ. Sorry to disappoint you by not walking into that lame trap.

The irony of course is that the sole basis of your endless screeds is YOUR implied authority. You issue one ex cathedra statement after another, from the anonymity of your desk, while accusing those who present actual citations from real principals of engaging in precisely that which you have raised to an artform.

Keep it up. You're good at it. So good, in fact, that I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that the "poster on a mission" profile just doesn't seem to fit.

The closing paragraph of your diatribe can stand on its own merit, as a display of your shameless tactics. Hey, what's one more ex-cathedra declaration left unanswered? LMAO!

At this point, I am thinking that I'm probably through with you. It irritates me to consider the proability of MY tax money going into your pocket, increased with each opportunity I provide you to type your scripted replies to the thread.

20 posted on 05/02/2006 4:09:50 AM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: repubzilla; alice_in_bubbaland; TomGuy; CougarGA7

As "I think I'm finished here, but y'all may find this stuff interesting" ping


21 posted on 05/02/2006 4:17:53 AM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
it's hydrogen, after all--and because some would decay to helium during a covert transit.

Do you want to explain to me how it will DECAY to a heavier element.

22 posted on 05/02/2006 8:03:04 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (There are no trophies for winning wars. Only consequences for losing them.)
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To: CougarGA7
Do you want to explain to me how it will DECAY to a heavier element.

Tritium is, chemically speaking, hydrogen. On the nuclear level, it consists of one proton and two neutrons. Therefore, it is not a stable nucleus; its half-life is 12.3 years. It decays to helium-3 by releasing an electron and an electron antineutrino. This turns one of the neutrons into a proton, thus leaving a nucleus with 2 protons and 1 neutron, which is helium-3.

Decay is not just heavy elements to lighter elements; it's also lighter elements to heavier ones..

For example, a deuteron (the nucleus of deuterium, one proton and one neutron--what most people think of as "heavy hydrogen") has an atomic mass of 2.013553. But if you add the mass of a proton (1.007276) and a neutron (1.008665), you get 1.007276 + 1.008665 = 2.015941. Subtract the actual mass of a deuteron from the sum of its parts, and you get: 2.015941 - 2.013553 = 0.002388. The "missing mass" is actually the binding energy of the deuteron (since mass and energy are the same by the formula E = MC^2). When the deuteron is split up, that energy is released.

23 posted on 05/02/2006 9:14:32 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: Don Joe
Another thing they do well is deploy agent's provocateur and/or their "mild-mannered counterparts", which I term "hush-puppies", scripted with miles of "now don't you worry 'bout that chicken-little stuff."

I suggest reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. He discusses at length how governments actually spend a great deal of time and effort promoting fear--which, incidentally, is exactly what you're doing.

As for Red Mercury...

Another website quoted below:

The new type of non-nuclear explosives are called ballotechnic materials. Cohen says that unlike other explosives, they produce no bang, no cloud, keep the same shape while they detonate, "but Boy!, do they get hot!"

In other words, according to Sam Cohen, ballotechnics engage in perpetual motion (i.e., high thermal output with no corresponding phase state change), all without any sort of "oh, isn't THAT interesting" from a no-kidding nuclear physicist.

Cohen identifies the mysterious "red mercury" (of TV documentary fame) as a ballotechnic material. He offers this "recipe:" take mercury-antimony oxide, compress it, and bombard with neutrons. He says it is slightly radioactive, with a half-life of a couple of days.

OK, Cohen says the half-life is about 48 hours. Now, what are the decay products? What are their effects on the much-ballyhooed ballotechnic materials? After 48 hours, you have 50% "Red Mercury" and 50% decay products. At two weeks, 127/128ths of the weapon has decayed.

You ridiculed my remarks about how nuclear weapons require ongoing maintenance to be ready for use; in turn, you propose a super-doomsday weapon that becomes unusable in less than two weeks, and probably fatally irradiates the guy trying to smuggle it into America...

Cohen says the Russians have built and tested mini-nukes, and that Americans and Russians are cooperating on pure fusion. He says that a Russian bomb was brought to Los Alamos ("by Federal Express" from a Russian plane in Washington) and successfully tested.

This part so completely beggars belief--on so many levels--that the rest of his story is called into question.

24 posted on 05/02/2006 9:41:43 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; repubzilla; alice_in_bubbaland; TomGuy; CougarGA7; Bob J; SwankyC; ExSoldier
I suggest reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. He discusses at length how governments actually spend a great deal of time and effort promoting fear--which, incidentally, is exactly what you're doing.

Are you suggesting that I might be a sham poster, here on behalf of the Feds? LOL!

During the varied phases of my life, I've been employed by a state, in the role of a Commissioner regulating a health agency; I've indeed worked for a federal service, although I wore their badge for a relatively short time, and the only time it was seen was when a federal official from another service inadvertently spotted it, which caused a bit of a minor confrontation. (Is there more to this story -- or less, than you'd suspect? LOL! "Further affiant sayeth not!") I've also... aw, nevermind. The point is, I'm Private Citizen "Don Joe" today, very unhappy at a lot of the crap I see being promulgated -- and particularly unhappy at being paged BACK to a thread I announded I was through with. Typically trollish behavior, Mr. Anonymous Expert. VERY trollish behavior on your part. Gotta keep stirring the pot, doncha. Can't leave the chance that someone might look at the evidence and form their OWN conclusions, can you. Gotta keep hammering away, to make sure they ONLY form the "right" opinions.

Nice work if you can get it. I suppose.

[blahblahblahblah snipped]

This part so completely beggars belief--on so many levels--that the rest of his story is called into question.

Look who's talking, LOL!

25 posted on 05/02/2006 10:11:08 AM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: Don Joe
Are you suggesting that I might be a sham poster, here on behalf of the Feds?

Maybe you are, maybe you aren't. Frankly, I don't care. You, conversely, seem to care a very great deal, and get very defensive when the similarity of your behavior to what you accuse me of is noticed.

The point is, I'm Private Citizen "Don Joe" today, very unhappy at a lot of the crap I see being promulgated -- and particularly unhappy at being paged BACK to a thread I announded I was through with. Typically trollish behavior, Mr. Anonymous Expert. VERY trollish behavior on your part.

Interesting.

You were the first to post to me, and were the first to page me back to a thread I thought I was done with. You were the first to launch insults; you were the first to accuse me of nefarious motives; and, for the finale, you accuse me of trolling--after behaving as a textbook example of a troll.

Gotta keep stirring the pot, doncha. Can't leave the chance that someone might look at the evidence and form their OWN conclusions, can you. Gotta keep hammering away, to make sure they ONLY form the "right" opinions.

Actually, with your naked hostility to anything (indeed, to any person) that disagrees with your opinion, your constant barrage of accusations against those who disagree with you, you seem to be the one intent on making sure that others form ONLY the opinions you deem to be "right."

[blahblahblahblah snipped]

Translation: "Don Joe has absolutely no substantive counterargument to the points made about Red Mercury as described by Don Joe's authoritative source, Sam Cohen, and stipulates those arguments as fact."

As for the discussion of an alleged Russian nuclear weapon being shipped via FedEx to Los Alamos for testing...

If that actually did happen as described, the U.S. national security community is so FUBAR'd that there's nothing that can be done to fix it, anyway.

I still believe that the primary worry is theft or other acquisition of a tactical nuclear weapon, or pieces thereof, from a storage or maintenance depot, because it seems to me that governments around the world are relying more on the appearance of tight security than on the fact.

I guess we simply disagree, and that's that.

26 posted on 05/02/2006 10:41:14 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: Bob J; ExSoldier; All
There's no need to complicate this thing. You're assigning more credit to Ivan than is due; these suitcases are not multistage fusion devices.

There is no tritium required for a simple fission device.

This is a simple gun type device that only requires maintenance of two aspects:

1. The plastic explosive that drives the sub critical u235 "bullet" would need periodic replacement

2. The battery for the detonator would bleed out over time

This isn't a high tech weapon. Anyone with access to U235 could produce it. It's inefficient and inelegant, but it's also highly effective.

"Little Boy" was a gun type that yielded 13+ kt over Hiroshima. We'd NEVER see a yield that high from a device this small, but that's not really their point. They are tactical devices.

There is a minimum weight for the sub critical masses, but that is within the realm of "suitcase" sized devices, as long as the bullet is driven fast enough.
27 posted on 05/02/2006 7:42:50 PM PDT by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: Bob J

Serious question: What happened to the "bombshell" announcement?


28 posted on 05/02/2006 11:00:53 PM PDT by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
If that actually did happen as described, the U.S. national security community is so FUBAR'd that there's nothing that can be done to fix it, anyway.

Well, I think that sort of thing happens far more often than we'd like to think. I remember my law school experience 25 years ago. We studied a case of a long tubular package shipped via FEDEX that contained cocaine. The truck operator accidentally broke the container and some "product" spilled out. The driver, being a good citizen, alerted the authorities who set up a sting. At the trial the defense asserted that the driver of the FEDEX truck had violated the 4th Amendment protections of the coke dealer.

USSC held that NO that is not true. No private citizen, especially one engaged in the act of lawful commerce can violate the US Constitution, only the government can violate civil rights. How often do you think coke or heroin gets shipped that way today? Sure I'll be that FEDEX got some safeguards to preclude this...but still....

29 posted on 05/03/2006 5:19:49 AM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
Btw, may I present freeper HipShot....a retired navy guy. What did he do in the navy? MIRV technician. So I trust HIS judgment above nearly everybody else on the topic of nukes! His opinions, also, btw, dovetail with those of my father in law who holds a Ph.d in nuclear physics and used to run a nuke power plant before retiring years ago. He also holds the Navy Cross from WWII and 2 Silver Stars with the "V" device. This old guy is a warrior and knows whereof he speaks. He and HipShot agree quite a bit in their views. Taken together, that is just about GOSPEL for me.
30 posted on 05/03/2006 5:23:51 AM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: HipShot
There is no tritium required for a simple fission device.

Paul Williams isn't talking about a "simple fission device." He's talking about suitcase nukes. Those are a wee bit more complicated than "a simple gun-type device."

31 posted on 05/03/2006 5:45:34 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: ExSoldier

People breaking the law and shipping cocaine and heroin are one thing.

Shipping a nuclear device is something else entirely. Shipping it via FedEx is just plain stupid.

BTW, responded to your friend HipShot. Thanks for the info.


32 posted on 05/03/2006 5:47:38 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
Shipping a nuclear device is something else entirely. Shipping it via FedEx is just plain stupid.

Why? It's not like FEDEX can afford the necessary detectors for all it's huge fleets everywhere...

Heck even if the durn thing leaks and employees start to glow in the dark, produce three armed babies and die in droves by cancer none of it will happen immediately.

Very little risk of detection UNLESS the FEDEX truck is going thru a government sensor at one of it's stops like a port etc. It's not like the weight is a big deal, either. FEDEX transports lots of heavy items. I'll bet such a device weighs about as much as a top end double gun safe.

33 posted on 05/03/2006 7:22:10 AM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
"Paul Williams isn't talking about a "simple fission device." He's talking about suitcase nukes. Those are a wee bit more complicated than "a simple gun-type device.""

Whatever. Everyone can pretend that they know what they're talking about; it doesn't hurt me in any way whatsoever.

This is pure sophistry; just another form of creating a state of denial.
34 posted on 05/03/2006 8:18:18 AM PDT by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: ExSoldier
Why? It's not like FEDEX can afford the necessary detectors for all it's huge fleets everywhere...

Maybe you need to go back and reread Sam Cohen's statement that I was referring to. (It helps if you actually read posts before commenting on them.)

I am saying that the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT shipping a RUSSIAN NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE DEVICE from Washington DC to Los Alamos is extremely stupud.

35 posted on 05/03/2006 8:20:52 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
I am saying that the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT shipping a RUSSIAN NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE DEVICE from Washington DC to Los Alamos is extremely stupud.

If the government knowingly did such a thing, you don't think there would be steps taken to insure said device was inert? As long as the detonator is not with the device and the radioactive materials aren't leaking from the case, it's perfectly safe. Just 'cause you say it's stupid, doesn't necessarily make it so. Heck even the father of the Neutron Bomb (Sam Cohen) can have a difference of opinion without being "wrong" or even being "right."

36 posted on 05/03/2006 9:27:48 AM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: HipShot
This is pure sophistry; just another form of creating a state of denial.

No, I'm not in denial. I do worry that we're not taking nuclear weapons security seriously enough--and that others are taking it even less seriously. That's a lot different from worrying about Osama's 2 (or is it 10? A dozen? 30? Maybe the original two were a breeding pair) suitcase nukes that he got in 1998 (if you believe Paul Williams and WorldNutDaily). If he's got them in usable condition, it's too damn late. What we can and should do is put a lot more effort into keeping them out of irresponsible hands in the first place.

37 posted on 05/03/2006 10:05:16 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: ExSoldier
If the government knowingly did such a thing, you don't think there would be steps taken to insure said device was inert?

As long as the detonator is not with the device and the radioactive materials aren't leaking from the case, it's perfectly safe.

Until it gets stolen in transit. (FedEx loses about 0.2% of shipments annually to "employee pilferage.")

If you think that a 1 in 500 chance of someone stealing a 1-kiloton nuke the size of a softball that is only missing a detonator is perfectly safe, then you're part of the problem.

38 posted on 05/03/2006 10:08:00 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: HipShot

Thanks Hipshot.


39 posted on 05/03/2006 10:11:11 AM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: EternalHope

A source close to Al Qaeda says they have smuggled nukes in across the Mexican border and will use them if the US attacks Iran...is not a bombshell announcment?


40 posted on 05/03/2006 10:12:54 AM PDT by Bob J (RIGHTALK.com...a conservative alternative to NPR!)
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To: Bob J
A source close to Al Qaeda says they have smuggled nukes in across the Mexican border and will use them if the US attacks Iran...is not a bombshell announcment?

Oh, this source is close to al-Qaeda? What's his name? Which cell does he occupy at Gitmo?

41 posted on 05/03/2006 10:37:07 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
"No, I'm not in denial. I do worry that we're not taking nuclear weapons security seriously enough--and that others are taking it even less seriously. That's a lot different from worrying about Osama's 2 (or is it 10? A dozen? 30? Maybe the original two were a breeding pair) suitcase nukes that he got in 1998 (if you believe Paul Williams and WorldNutDaily). If he's got them in usable condition, it's too damn late. What we can and should do is put a lot more effort into keeping them out of irresponsible hands in the first place."

I fully agree with you about the security aspect. Beyond the simple mistakes that are made when security is not taken seriously, there are the "Savannah River" and "Rosenberg" type of mistakes. No man can serve two masters.

I'd like to point out that we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater here. We can decide what value to assign to statements based on our personal beliefs or sense of judgement of the messenger, but we need to focus on the physical reality and potential. We don't have access to the intel necessary to make an informed judgement, but we can certainly apply reasoning to the situation.

Does Osama want us destroyed?
How would he best go about it?
Does he have the financial resources?
Was there a time when anything Ivan had was for sale?
Is there another source?
Would anyone in the Pakistani or Iranian systems answer his call? (A la Savannah River or Rosenberg)

It becomes a little easier to ignore anyone sensationalizing for any reason, be it attention or book sales.

Expect the best, prepare for the worst. I'm personally FAR more concerned about the Chicoms and their theft of our warhead technology. I won't ignore anything else, however.
42 posted on 05/03/2006 11:07:09 AM PDT by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: Bob J

You are most welcome, Sir.


43 posted on 05/03/2006 11:08:11 AM PDT by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: HipShot

The problem is that Paul Williams, in the end, contributes nothing to the debate except for continuously shilling his own books on the subject. (I've borrowed both from the library; they are almost identical in content. "Repeating one's self," to quote my English professor, "compounds the academic crime of plagirism with the aesthetic sin of extremely poor taste.")


44 posted on 05/03/2006 11:15:50 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse

Paul Williams is taking advantage of "The Wizard's First Rule".

People can be convinced of anything if it meets one of two criteria:

1. They want it to be true

or

2. They are afraid that it's true

I'm not addressing the truth of the topic, but rather his approach. He appears to be shilling.

The topic deserves more respect than he's given it. It's as if he's smearing it intentionally.

Your perspicacity is intact, Sir.


45 posted on 05/03/2006 12:02:55 PM PDT by HipShot ("Remember the first rule of gunfighting... have a gun." --Colonel Jeff Cooper)
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To: Bob J
A source close to Al Qaeda says they have smuggled nukes in across the Mexican border and will use them if the US attacks Iran...is not a bombshell announcment?

As I said in my original post, my question was a serious one. I could not find ANYTHING on the web that covered the "blockbuster" announcement that was supposed to be made at the end of the first day. (For that matter, there was almost no press coverage of the event at all, so that may explain why the "bombshell announcement" was ignored too.)

I gather from your post that "Nukes were smuggled in from Mexico" was the announcement. We've heard this kind of thing before, so the next question is: Was there any substantiation?

Changing topics to the on-going debate on this thread about suitcase nukes: HipShot is right. He's a retired MIRV technician, so he has more hands-on experience than I do. However, one of my jobs in the Air Force was running the team that set the manpower standards for Air Force ICBM missile maintenance for all Air Force ICBMs. I could not fix one myself, but I know a bit about how it's done. I also know the physics behind making a bomb (or at least I did when I was younger...).

As an additional aside, I listened to the "debate" between Miniter and Williams. Perhaps he just oversimplified, but Miniter seemed to have some of his basic facts wrong. First, he seemed to be unaware that neutron emissions cannot be detected with a geiger counter (neutrons have no electrical charge). That makes detecting nukes much more difficult than he implied. Second, there is no way you need something as large as "three footlockers" to make a nuke. Anyone who would assert this is either completely unaware of the facts, or is assuming that the audience is unable to tell truth from fiction. Finally, you definitely do NOT need tritium to make a nuke. As long as you have plenty of fissionable material, the design of the bomb itself can be relatively simple (especially if you are not concerned about "fail safe" issues).

On the other side of the debate, I don't have any way of knowing if Paul Williams is right, or just hawking books. But the CONCEPT that small nukes could be smuggled in to our country, and successfully set off, is certainly in the realm of the possible.

46 posted on 05/03/2006 2:08:48 PM PDT by EternalHope (Boycott everything French forever. Including their vassal nations.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
Until it gets stolen in transit. (FedEx loses about 0.2% of shipments annually to "employee pilferage.")

You know something? I am not connecting today. You are saying the government would use FEDEX to ship the nuke? ROFLMAO yes of course you would be 100000% correct that would be the DARWIN AWARD of the century. I figure a government shipment of a nuke is going to involve a convoy and Apache's overhead....

47 posted on 05/03/2006 3:40:18 PM PDT by ExSoldier (Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on dinner. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse
(FedEx loses about 0.2% of shipments annually to "employee pilferage.")

Just curious. Where did you get that number?

48 posted on 05/03/2006 3:43:56 PM PDT by Glenn (There is a looming Tupperware shortage. Plan appropriately.)
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To: BeHoldAPaleHorse; HipShot; ExSoldier; repubzilla; alice_in_bubbaland; TomGuy; CougarGA7; Bob J; ...
Paul Williams isn't talking about a "simple fission device." He's talking about suitcase nukes. Those are a wee bit more complicated than "a simple gun-type device."

Oh really now?

Another ex cathedra statement from Mr. Anonymous Expert, eh?

LOL!

Sorry, buster, I'm with ExSoldier on this. I'll take HipShot's POV over yours. Nothing personal.

49 posted on 05/07/2006 1:20:34 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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To: EternalHope
Changing topics to the on-going debate on this thread about suitcase nukes: HipShot is right.

Interesting factoid: I have literally lost track of how many times I've referred people to Christopher Hitchens' "The Night of the Weak Knees" article (salient portion of which is avaialable on my Profile Page).

Another interesting factoid: I have kept track of the number of times the "haw-haw-haw-nukes-in-country-LOL!" squad members have come back with anything louder than crickets chirping after having been directed to read that article: Zero.

50 posted on 05/07/2006 1:25:59 PM PDT by Don Joe (We've traded the Rule of Law for the Law of Rule.)
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