10 March 2007

The Elders triumph again

The world should be aware by now of the extraordinary powers of our omnipresent and (almost) omnipotent organization. Here comes another example:

BEIRUT: A panel of experts from the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international agencies announced a unanimous determination Monday that no depleted-uranium weapons had been used in the summer 2006 war in Lebanon. “To date, there is no evidence of depleted-uranium-ammunitions use during the 2006 conflict in Lebanon,” Didier Louvat, IAEA head of radioactive waste issues, told a news conference hosted by the National Council for Scientific Research in Bir Hassan.
But the expert panel comes against what such an enlightened expert as Robert Fisk has written in his article:
According to Dr Chris Busby, the British Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk, two soil samples thrown up by Israeli heavy or guided bombs showed "elevated radiation signatures". Both have been forwarded for further examination to the Harwell laboratory in Oxfordshire for mass spectrometry - used by the Ministry of Defence - which has confirmed the concentration of uranium isotopes in the samples.
Of course, blaming Fisk for this article is pointless. His journalistic integrity and strict adherence to facts is well known*. Besides, he only quoted the learned Dr. Busby who went so far as to risk his good name as a scientist** by producing the following:
The first is that the weapon was some novel small experimental nuclear fission device or other experimental weapon (eg, a thermobaric weapon) based on the high temperature of a uranium oxidation flash ... The second is that the weapon was a bunker-busting conventional uranium penetrator weapon employing enriched uranium rather than depleted uranium.
Small fission device, enriched uranium, thermobaric weaponry... It reads like a SF story, but what can one do, when this is written by a doctor with an impeccable CV?

Of course, Fisk could not contain himself by merely quoting the scientist, he had to add the following sentence:
A photograph of the explosion of the first bomb shows large clouds of black smoke that might result from burning uranium.
That puts a completely new twist on the whole body of knowledge about nuclear fission. Apparently, Dr Busby told Fisk more than the article contains and more than he divulged in his report linked above. It looks like some enriched uranium and a matchbox is all you need to nuke a neighboring country...

So, our dear reader, where is the truth, you may ask. How these two luminaries of truth and science could have gone so wrong? It is very simple. The first stage is depicted here:

You can see a team of our specially trained reptilians removing the incriminating radioactive soil. The soil in question was transported several years back in time to the West Bank, causing this outburst by Arafat. To avoid further complications, it was then teleported several millions years back in time, which act obviously caused the extinction of dinosaurs.

The amount of energy required for this last act was so enormous that the day the teleport happened is still remembered in Israel as the day when "these sumbitches from electric company pulled the plug". Now you know the truth.

This is the story in a nutshell. Now to the idea by Ami Isseroff to demand a retraction from Indy re the original Fisk. Do we really need it? Or want it?


(*) This sentence cost me an extra visit to the bathroom.
(**) Dr Busby is actually a chemist, but he is not too humble to venture in the areas where his knowledge is, how to say it mildly - wanting. Making rather a monkey of his learned self. But if you require a report with certain conclusions, he is apparently your man - just tell him what is it you want to see as conclusions.