December 23, 2005


US monitored Muslim sites for radiation: report (Reuters, 12/23/05)

U.S. officials have secretly monitored radiation levels at Muslim sites, including mosques and private homes, since September 11, 2001 as part of a top secret program searching for nuclear bombs, U.S. News and World Report said on Friday.

The news magazine said in its online edition that the far-reaching program covered more than a hundred sites in the Washington, D.C., area and at least five other cities.

What about all of us who may have handled radioactive material for reasons unrelated to Islamic extremism but might have been caught accidentally by this surveillance?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2005 3:10 PM

A few months ago I had occasion to go through a security check after having spent a couple of hours on an indoor rifle range.

The bomb-sniffing dog in attendance was a pleasant, medium-sized, short-haired thing, of a breed which escapes me--some kind of European hunting dog supposed to be ideal for this duty.

Well, Fido got to me, sat right down and stared at me like the dog in the old RCA logo. It turns out that the smokeless powder and primer residue which had permeated my clothing was the main scent a bomb dog is trained to alert on.

A reasonable precaution, a minor inconvenience--something a mature person should tolerate.

Posted by: Lou Gots at December 23, 2005 3:33 PM


Posted by: oj at December 23, 2005 3:42 PM

are you saying the Government shouldnt be doing this?

Posted by: busybody at December 23, 2005 3:45 PM

I am seriously relieved to know the govt is actually looking for problems proactively. There is so much PC talk, I worry that nothing gets done because of it.

Posted by: Kay in CA [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 23, 2005 3:47 PM

First they came for the dirty bombers....

Posted by: oj at December 23, 2005 3:48 PM

My God, that facist Chimpy McBushitlerburton is going after Peter Parker!

Posted by: John at December 23, 2005 3:50 PM

It seems we're smarter than we thought we were.

Hope the leftists go after this one.

If it comes to it we could have each city hold a referendum on its desireability and let them decide locally.

Learning this, I'm sure the Muslim community will grant fulltime inspection access to every center of activity, for their own protection. It would make sense to me.

Posted by: Genecis at December 23, 2005 4:19 PM

What about all of us who may have handled radioactive material ... You're not making bombs, you have nothing to worry about.

Thank God for President Bush.

Posted by: erp at December 23, 2005 5:16 PM

These "shocking" revelations are so good for Bush and the GOP that, if I didn't doubt their loyalty, I'd swear the leaks were coming from Rove and other Administration officials.

Posted by: mike at December 23, 2005 5:48 PM

I am amazed that Reuter's does not realize that all the things they think are terrible that W does are the very reasons he won the elections. They keep coming up with these little gems they think will bring him down and his numbers go up. you would think they would notice that but they don't seem to.

Posted by: dick at December 23, 2005 6:36 PM

It is a well-known fact that mosques are used as arsenals ibn the Mid-East. Of course we should be checking them out here as well!

You think they'll be hiding nuclear devices in the trunks of their cars? Maybe initially, but not for long.

Posted by: obc at December 23, 2005 6:48 PM

obc - Nuclear devices won't fit in the trunks of cars. They need at least the back of a van, more likely a 12' truck - or, one room of a home.

Posted by: pj at December 23, 2005 7:33 PM

PJ is right - a 'suitcase nuke' that actually works is unlikely to be possessed by terrorists (way too much maintenance involved to keep the fissile material uncontaminated & electronics unfried) and in any case are several hundred pounds.

A 'regular' nuke (5 -20 kt) would probably be carried by something about the size of a UPS delivery van.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at December 23, 2005 7:40 PM

OJ: perfect pitch

Posted by: Palmcroft at December 23, 2005 7:53 PM

dick, Good point. Contrary to what OJ said the other day, you do know your name.

Posted by: jdkelly at December 23, 2005 8:00 PM

I will have to look back to see what OJ said the other day. I was not aware that I did not know my name although it is such a common name that I could get confused for someone else.

When I lived in Oxen Hill, Md many years ago there were 4 of us with the same first, middle and last names all living on the same mail route. The mail mixups were hilarious.

I noticed on the Chicagoboyz website that there is a comment from someone with my name. I went back and looked at it and the political leanings were diametrically opposed to my leanings.

I still say that AP, NY Times, Reuters, AFP, WaPo, and LA Times and Boston Globe pull these stunts on the president thinking they will pull him down and they keep backfiring on them over and over. Don't they pay any attention to the results of what they are pushing? After losing the election one would think they would but they don't seem to. All W has to do is respond when it gets too bad and otherwise let them beat up on themselves.

Posted by: dick at December 23, 2005 10:20 PM

Did they say top secret? Why yes, yes they did.
It is an old point that has been made many times, but "top secret" does not seem to mean what it once did.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at December 23, 2005 10:43 PM

As an aside, the 'discovery' of radon as an environmental hazard was made when workers at the Limerick Nuclear Plant (outside Phila.) began setting off alarms as they exited the plant. Once the company realized that many of these guys hadn't been anywhere near any radioactive material that day, it became apparent they had picked up traces from somewhere else. It didn't take long to find the answer.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 23, 2005 11:45 PM
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