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The Niger uranium forgeries are forged documents initially revealed by Italian Military intelligence. These documents purport to depict an attempt by the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq to purchase "yellowcake" uranium powder from Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis.
On the basis of these documents and other indicators, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom asserted that Iraq had attempted to procure nuclear material for the purpose of creating what they called weapons of mass destruction, referred to as WMD, in defiance of the United Nations Iraq sanctions.
Wednesday’s revelation that a US Air Force B-52 bomber flew over the length of the United States armed with six cruise missiles carrying nuclear warheads has attracted amazingly little media attention.
The story, first broken by the Military Times web site based on tips from military officers, was relegated to the bottom of page 16 in Thursday’s New York Times and to page 10 of the Washington Post.
Featured prominently in both newspapers and generally in media coverage were reassurances from a spokesman for the Air Force that it represented “an isolated mistake” and that “at no time was there a threat to public safety.”
This incident, however, has immense and ominous significance. Describing it as an “isolated mistake” begs the obvious questions of how a nuclear-armed B-52 was allowed to become airborne—ostensibly without the approval of senior officials—and who ordered this extraordinary flight, and why.