Well done, UN

Nuclear Program In Libya Detailed

United Nations inspectors are ALL OVER the Lybian nuclear program.

Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the Libyans exhibited “a good deal of cooperation” during the inspections Sunday, the first since the Libyan leader, Moammar Gaddafi, pledged Dec. 22 to give up the country’s efforts to develop a nuclear device.

They’ve been shown centrifuges and other equipment that could be used to create weapons-grade nuclear material. ElBaradei says the equipment they’ve seen doesn’t point toward former Soviet-bloc sources.


When news of Gaddafi’s agreement with the West broke, I wondered if they actually had any WMD programs. We need to make sure that borderline nations don’t agree to give up things they don’t have in return for US aid.

It seems that Lybia had at least the beginnings of a nuclear program. I’d like to verify that they didn’t just slap it together over the past couple of months.

I also wondered then where Lybia may have purchased its WMD materials and equipment. The first places everyone always thinks of, and with good reason, are the former Soviet-bloc nations. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. We’ll see. The UN wouldn’t elaborate. I wonder why.

“What we have seen is all the equipment they have imported,” said ElBaradei, who declined to specify the origin of the imported centrifuges, steel piping and other equipment.

Excuse me? You believe that you’ve seen ALL the eqipment already? Someone please tell me that was a mistake in translation.

Who does he think he’s kidding?

I hope that we (the US) are performing some sort of independent verification of these inspections. We (and the UK) are the ones responsible for the inspections even happening. I hope this doesn’t turn into another mucked-up UN inspection program.

A senior administration official told the AP that the United States intended to pursue its own program for dismantling Libya’s nuclear infrastructure, along with its chemical and biological weapons and missiles. The United States will send an initial group of technical experts to Libya in January; British experts are expected to go with them.

Last week, the State Department spokesman, Richard A. Boucher, sounded a note of caution about Gaddafi’s intentions, saying the United States would “make sure that whatever disclosures Libya makes, that there is a follow-up to identify the full extent of those programs.”

I don’t care if we use covert agents and/or special forces units to make sure we’re getting what we want to get and that no one is pulling wool over anyone’s eyes.

IAEA teams have been visiting Libya for years and knew nothing about the equipment they saw Sunday. Some of it was found along dirt alleys in urban neighborhoods.

Even permission to allow surprise inspections would not guarantee discovery of a nuclear weapons program. “Low-level programs like this are difficult to detect. They can be run in a garage,” ElBaradei said. “You would have to be lucky or have very good intelligence to run across it. We’re doing a lot of soul-searching.”

I’d rather they were doing a lot more Lybia-searching. Good thing that the UN halted its sanctions against Lybia and that they berated us for not doing likewise. We just need to give inspectors more time.

This is a great chance for the UN organizations to prove that they deserve to exist. You want to be relevant? Don’t screw up an opportunity given to you by the US and the UK. The Lybians appear to be complying. How much easier will it ever get?

We’ll see. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.


  1. Letting the UN inspect for weapons is like letting a kleptomaniac check for shoplifters. The US is simply giving the UN some rope, and I expect the UN will be scrambling to explain their ‘oversights’ before spring.