Nucs on the Loose (Part II)
January 13, 1999
Discussion Thread: #s 216, 218, 219, 222
 Steve Goldstein, "NUKES ON THE LOOSE: Russia's Dejected Scientists See Bomb Skills As Ticket Out," Philadelphia Inquirer, January 11, 1999. Excerpt Attached.
Reference #1 is the second in a four-part series of reports now running in the Philadelphia Inquirer [Part 1, which discussed past diversions, is contained in Comment # 222]. Like the information in Andrew and Leslie Cockburns book, One Point Safe, and David Hoffman's recent series in the Washington Post [attached to #s 216 & 218], this report is another cry in the political wilderness.
Steve Goldstein tells us of the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Russia by taking us on a tour of the personal perspectives of the scientists and weapons designers whose world has collapsed -- he describes how many of these people subsist on starvation wages, often not being paid at all. Their own comments tell us their privations are making them much easier targets for terrorists or a rogue states to exploit in their efforts to smuggle fissile materials and technical skills out of Russia. Desperate people will do desperate things to eat or save their families. The report concludes by describing the pathetic efforts being made to deal with this problem.
We have heard much of this before, but still, the politicians would rather spend money on weapons that don't work as defenses against threats that don't exist. This horror story bears repeating, because loose nukes infiltrated into the US, be they in the form of simple radiological bombs (plutonium dust distributed by conventional explosive) or primitive uranium bombs, clearer and more present danger to United States than a limited ballistic missile attack.
Refer to the end of Comment #216 for an outline of a political strategy for dealing with this problem.
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-------------------[ Attachment #1]------------------ Philadelphia Inquirer January 11, 1999
NUKES ON THE LOOSE
Russia's Dejected Scientists See Bomb Skills As Ticket Out
Second of four parts
By Steve Goldstein, Inquirer Staff Writer