Part 1 – What went missing on President George H.W. Bush’s Watch?
UK, March 1, 2010 (Pal Telegraph) -When one reads about the pressure that the US and UK Governments put on such countries as Iran and North Korea I find it hard to believe that they themselves are so negligent in taking care of their own weapons. I also find it so hard to believe that they have such high moral standards when trying to stop Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) but are prepared to use such evil weapons themselves.
Readers may find it incredible to know that as a result of their gross neglect three US nuclear missiles went missing without trace and have now ended up in the hands of someone else which now adds concern as to how such an event could ever happen.
The story doesn't stop there because three nuclear weapons that should have gone to the US for decommissioning were purchased in a very shady way by the British Government and they also went missing without trace and have also ended up in the hands of someone else.
You might ask how come we never knew about these two incidents and why was it kept so secret? I can also tell you that much more went on and the United Nations were never informed. So who was involved in this pathetic fiasco and why was it kept so secret? Could it be that shonky deals went on under the table and some political parties or individuals had their palms brushed with gold?
I am sure that by now your eyes are glued to this article just waiting to hear how such an event could every happen, who was implicated and who benefited from this sordid deal. One thing I can say is that you can be rest assured that no one really knows where they are now or who could use them and because of this any action taken by the west without due consideration could prove to be a catastrophic mistake.
Let's go back in time during the period when SRAM Nuclear Missiles were fully developed and ready to be used. This missile in actual fact became fairly unstable under certain conditions and eventually were pulled out of service (or so we thought). So let's take a look at this terrible weapon and fully understand it background and how many of these could be carried aboard a B52 Bomber.
The SRAM (short range attack missile, AGM 69A). The air-surface missile at the time of going missing contained a Plutonium Warhead W69M (200KT thermo-nuclear). The AGM69A missile was first manufactured in 1971 - 1976 and around 1,500 were produced. There were retired over a period of time between 1991 - 1994 although there were initially removed from active service in 1990 due to fire safety concerns. This concern however did not stop the continued operational usage.
Unknown to the United Nations and many other countries the US were playing a cat and mouse game with Iraq during Gulf War 1 and it was on President George H.W. Bush's watch that things went terribly wrong during one of his major bluffs!
He had authorized a B52 Bomber to depart its Saudi Arabian Air Base loaded with SRAM Nuclear Missiles and position overhead Baghdad. We were led to believe that this aircraft only had three missiles onboard; despite the fact it could carry twenty missiles. The idea Bush had in mind was to threaten Saddam with these nuclear weapons unless he toed the line.
The B52 with a registration number of 59-2593 suddenly encountered a major electrical problem which could have been catastrophic. The aircraft commander was instructed to head south as he continued to attempt to sort out the problem.
The aircraft eventually was instructed to head for Diego Garcia in the north of the Indian Ocean. Well into this flight things started to become more critical and the crew were very much aware of their cargo of potentially unstable weapons.
The decision was made to jettison the weapons off the coast of Somalia in relative shallow water (one would assume for possible later recovery), and then proceeded on to land at Diego Garcia. The onboard electrical system had obviously become extremely critical resulting in the aircraft loosing power to its eight engines as it attempted to get back to Diego Garcia. The aircraft started to loose height and prior to arriving at the field some crew members ejected. The aircraft by this time had dropped to below its safe ejection height and the remainder of the crew ejected but failed to deploy their chutes and consequently died. The aircraft crashed into the sea 15 nautical miles north of the field on the 3rd of February 1991.
Dick Cheney was US Secretary of Defense and did not take any immediate action to recover these weapons from off the coast of Somalia at the time and consequently they were recovered by another shonky organization in May 19991 who were supposed to be a deep sea diving/ treasure salvage team who were working in the offshore Somalia area. This diving company was operating out of the Seychelles and apparently was a cover up for a South African arms smuggling operation into Somalia. The apartheid-era South African military were sending packages of conventional arms destined for groups in Somalia, and dropping them in shallow water. The divers couldn't find these packages and had to broaden their search and accidently then came across the SRAMs. They allegedly relayed their serial numbers via the UK to a retired senior officer in the USAF to find out what they were. The news from the senior officer was that these were nuclear munitions from the B-52. I should point out at this stage that the South African arms dealer was also involved in the missing UK nuclear weapons which we shall address in Part 2 of this series.
The group communicated with South Africa's defense minister, Magnus Malan who was notoriously known for his under the table arms dealings. He met the group in South Africa but told them that the deal was off as he had just been fired by De Klerk. The trail of these weapons then faded into obscurity and no one really knows there final destination. There was talk of North Korea, Iran, Syria and Iraq but we may never know. What is fact is that at one stage some nuclear weapons did end up in Iraq(US or British)but were then relocated. I feel that in actual fact one did make it to North Korea and was detonated in one of their first tests. The second test in North Korea was totally different and could have been one of the UK's missing weapons. Should this be the case then we still have two US missiles missing and possibly two UK bombs but that's another story.
There is one thing for sure that almost certainly happened and that is that the South African arms dealer ended up with much gold in his vault and other persons in the US and UK would have also had their palms brushed. Certainly in the UK senior and junior political figures became involved in both the Conservation and Labour Parties and much money to this day has not been accounted for. The greatest concern out of all of this gross neglect by the US and UK governments is one simple question.......who has got these weapons now? That is why the US, UK and dear old Israel had better watch their step when making bold threats to other countries as they may well get a very nice surprise!!......oh and please be careful when you place your vote this year as two of the two current leaders have an awful lot of secrets they don't want you to know......especially in their very secretive donations file! keep watching this space for more riveting news!
Peter Eyre - Middle East Consultant - 28/2/2010