[ RadSafe ] Fwd: [DailyBrief] Radiation rockets on sale
Glenn R. Marshall
GRMarshall at philotechnics.com
Wed May 11 01:21:51 CEST 2005
Considering the source, this is not at all surprising. I remember watching an old PBS show as part of an Ethics class (if you ever want to see why the world is so screwed up, take and ethics class and look at the drivel our professors are shoveling down the throat of your college student - at your expense). Anyway, one our beloved TV news magazine reporters (I know who it was but I suppose it doesn't matter right now) was asked by the moderator what he would do if, as a battlefield reporter, he obtained reliable information that the Army division he was covering was walking into an ambush where they would all be slaughtered. His answer? He said he is a journalist first, then an American. Therefore it was his duty to keep his mouth shut, move to a safe location, and report news of the slaughter. All the while feigning shock and horror, I imagine. Guess it sells more advertising space....
From: Gerry Blackwood [mailto:gpblackwood at yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 5:28 PM
To: Daily Brief; Rad Safe; PMCS; Johnmacsgroup
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Fwd: [DailyBrief] Radiation rockets on sale toterrorists
The title of this news report should have been, "When Reporters Cross the Line"
After reading the report and knowing the weapon system the Alazan 5. I did some checking. Yes the report as printed by the Sunday Times and its reporters Brian Johnson Thomas and Mark Franchetti is true.
The problem is that both of these reporters and the paper crossed the line and played cop. The weapon system is no joke. The USG has been investigating this system and the reported missing RDD warheads since it was first reported back in December of 2003. First, both of these idiot reporters I am sure did not know that a Geiger Counter could be fooled and it could be as simple as packing the warhead with a naturally radioactive material and even maybe cat litter. Second playing arms broker is a very dangerous game and let's not mention that these are "suspected" TERRORIST WEAPONS and law enforcement authorities were never notified. Third, imagine if these RDD warheads are real and this was not some Russian scam and we blew an opportunity to capture them because reporters played cop and blew the sting! Now since these bright boy's went to press with this how much harder is it going to be for us to interdict weapons like this before one of the warheads ends up used in a terro!
against a city?
For those reporters on this list who are even considering doing anything like this. Remember your playing with the lives of innocent civilians and you should also be put up against the wall and shot for doing something like this for the sake of a story. The job of interdicting illegal weapons is hard enough and this does not help it any.
Radiation rockets on sale to 'terrorists'
Brian Johnson Thomas and Mark Franchetti, Moldovan frontier
THREE radioactive rockets capable of contaminating a city centre were offered for sale last week to a Sunday Times reporter posing as a middleman for Islamic terrorists.
The Alazan rockets, which have a range of eight miles, were among 50,000 tons of weapons left behind at an arms dump in the breakaway eastern European republic of Transdniester when the Russian army withdrew after the cold war.
NI_MPU('middle');They were offered to the reporter for $500,000 (£263,000) after he approached a senior officer in Transdniester's secret police, claiming to represent a militant group in Algeria. The officer contacted a local arms dealer who arranged meetings with the reporter on a bridge in Transdniester and later at a hotel in neighbouring Moldova.
At their first meeting two months ago, the dealer said the price of a single rocket would be $200,000. The rocket could be independently inspected with a Geiger counter to verify that its warhead contained radioactive strontium and caesium, he said.
Last month the reporter was told that he would have to transfer $2,000 to a bank account in Cyprus before the inspection. He would then pay $8,000 for forged documentation that would enable the rocket to be smuggled across Transdniester's border with Ukraine. It could be collected at an airfield in southwestern Ukraine once the rest of the asking price had been handed over.
Last week the dealer said that the terms had changed. "My people want to sell three Alazans for a total sum of $500,000," he said.
According to the dealer, the rockets would be moved to Ukraine tomorrow if the terms were accepted. The Sunday Times withdrew from the negotiations once the availability of the weapons had been confirmed.
Experts said the Alazan rockets, which were originally intended for use in Soviet weather experiments, could spread radiation for more than 20 miles from their point of impact. Few people would die, they said, but the contamination would cause widespread fear and disruption. Large areas would have to be evacuated for a costly clean-up operation.
"The psychological impact would be devastating and the economic damage would run into millions of pounds, " said Andy Oppenheimer, a consultant to Jane's Information Group. "The Alazan would be especially attractive for terrorists seeking to strike a high security target."
United Nations and regional officials are pressing for tighter security at the arms dump in Transdniester.
"Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality."
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