In late summer 1995, a fax arrived at my office. The written invitation came by mail a week later. Sarkis Soghanalian, the international arms dealers, had been released from an American prison and had set up shop in Paris. He was hosting his coming out party. A larger than life character, he wanted the world to know he was back in business. He also wanted to thank his friends and family who had stood by him through that awful ordeal. I was included because I had kept in touch with him throughout his prison term, bringing journalists to interview him. I knew if the media was watching, the authorities would be less reticent to try something sinister. Continue reading The Death of The Merchant of War
The multi-billion dollar Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) program, under construction at the Savannah River Site, is supposed to contribute to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. But this very generous contract in the hands of the French company AREVA remains controversial.
A few years after ratification of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), the United States and Russia committed to dispose of 34 metric tons of their surplus weapons plutonium in order to reduce the threat that this material could be stolen or diverted. The countries put in place a U.S.-Russian independent and scientific commission in 1996 to propose concrete options to dispose of the plutonium. Its report published in 1997 contained a two-approach proposal: mixing the plutonium with uranium to get MOX fuel for burning in currently operating civilian nuclear power reactors and/or vitrifying the plutonium in glass logs for burial.
Continue reading Areva supplied MOX fuel to Japanese reactor, also on DOE payroll
Increased night raids by Special Operations forces are putting pressure on the Taliban, but the increase in civilian casualties is causing problems for the Karzai government. Afghan President Karzai has asked NATO to stop the raids, but U.S. General David Petraeus believes these military actions are successful. At a NATO meeting in Lisbon this week, the United States is presenting a plan to withdraw combat troops by 2014.
Continue reading NYT: Despite Gains, Night Raids Split U.S. and Karzai
Afghan private security forces with ties to the Taliban, criminal networks and Iranian intelligence have been hired to guard American military bases in Afghanistan, exposing United States soldiers to surprise attack and confounding the fight against insurgents, according to a Senate investigation.
Continue reading NYT: Afghans Linked to the Taliban Guard U.S. Bases