Right, as far as it goes. The uranium was tagged, but not removed. It was still there for the day he decided to use it.
You'll remember that IAEA monitored North Korea's nuclear weapons program for 10 years with inspectors and video-cams while two miles down the road it continued right along. They confirmed that NK's weapons program had been discontinued "here". They didn't go looking for it "there", where it was.
Like the joke about the man looking for his car keys under the street lamp. Did you lose your keys here? No, lost them over there. So why are you looking here? Because the lights better here.
And you'll remember that, while the press claimed that Niger couldn't sell uranium under the table due to IAEA monitoring, the fact was that IAEA themselves admitted they weren't monitoring it at all.
Libya had two stashes of uranium. One they obtained years ago secretly from Niger and later admitted to. And another similar amount they smuggled in later, but didn't tell anyone about. From Niger.
But you're right. This is 500 tons of the stuff that everyone knew about which makes it inert. Somehow.
The issue is clear. With regard to WMD, he had sarin and VX. A key part of the argument laid out in the column is that he didn’t need nukes to be a threat, as evidenced by his other cavalier moves against the US that he took knowing full well of the risk of reprisal. That dangerous mentality is what made leaving gas weapons in his hands a huge threat in and of itself.
But the main point with regard to the uranium is that all that was needed to switch it back, to, in essence, reverse the isotopic dilution, was the acquisition of centrifuges or even the use of more primitive methods, which he had already used. That’s almost as bad as saying he didn’t have a bomb because he still needed to build a switch.
Libs can try to tear that to shreds, but they’d just show how wrong they are.