Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Bullshit Detector is Beeping Like Crazy

Colombia is accusing the FARC rebels of seeking the components of a radioactive "dirty bomb" that would scatter radioactive debris over a geographic area. The charge was leveled by Colombia's vice president, Francisco Santos, at a U.N. disarmament meeting in Geneva. It upped the rhetorical ante considerably.

Santos claims that a raid against the rebel group had yielded a laptop with information that indicated the rebel terrorists were actively seeking radioactive material. "This shows that these terrorist groups, supported by the economic power provided by drug trafficking, constitute a grave threat not just to our country but to the entire Andean region and Latin America," he said in a statement that was posted in Spanish on the UN disarmament conference's Web site.

He did not indicate with whom he believed the rebels were negotiating, and offered no empirical evidence to support his claims that the rebels were seeking 50 kilograms, or 110 pounds, of uranium.

I'm not saying unequivocally that the story is entirely without merit, I'm saying the odds are about 50/50 that it is entirely without merit. Here is what is making my bullshit detector go crazy - besides the lack of supporting evidence. You don't exactly process uranium with cases of ether. It's slightly trickier than manufacturing cocaine and requires lab equipment that is a bit more sophisticated than you will find in a mobile, makeshift jungle lab.

Given the track record of lying by this administration and it's allies, the presence of American troops in Colombia and the fact that Venezuela is an OPEC member, and let's just say I need to see a hell of a lot more proof than a ranting diatribe delivered while beating frantically on the terrorist fear-drum by Colombia's vice president.

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