** US already using tactical nukes **


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

³Nuclear, nuclear, nuclear. The word has been around for
decades, and for the longest time, was at the center of
American foreign policy and the deepest fears of the
American people. Nuclear brinkmanship. Nuclear winter.
Nuclear holocaust. Etc. It's a great, big, fat, important,
and serious word. Its very existence has changed the face of
the planet.² -William Rivers Pitt [truthout.com May 5/06]

William Thomas

willthomasonline.net exclusive



Despite a just-released U.S. national intelligence consensus that Iran is not 
developing nuclear weapons, apocalyptic fundamentalists George Bush and Dick 
Cheney remain intent on ordering an all-out attack against one of the world's 
oldest (and best armed) civilizations. As governments and citizenry protest this
folly, an overriding question torments many minds: Will the architects of more 
than one-million civilian corpses in Iraq choose to go ³go nuclear² against 

Many believe they will not dare. If the inhibition against killing is one of the
strongest human impulses (just ask a returning veteran), the ethical revulsion 
and international prohibitions against using nuclear weapons seem strong enough 
to rule out their first aggressive use since America's atomic attack on 

But what if the post-WWII nuclear Rubicon has already been crossed? According to
a U.S. Army veteran with extensive boots-on-the-ground connections, the United 
States Government has dropped five nuclear weapons on Afghanistan and Iraq.

And gotten away with it.


Shortly after the terror attacks of 9/11, Lt. Colonel Eric Sepp of the USAF Air 
War College lamented that going after Osama bin Laden's granite redoubts in the 
Tora Bora region of Afghanistan presented ³one of the more difficult operational
challenges to confront U.S. military forces.²

While precision-guided weapons doom above-ground buildings (and any civilians 
inside or nearby), deeply buried bunkers can be used as ³an effective 
sanctuary,² declared the USAF Air War College, ³to manufacture and store weapons
of mass destruction.² As the Air Force Times pointed out, Osama's ³difficult to 
locate² mountain bunkers ³are often beyond the reach of most conventional 
weapons unable to survive passing through tens of meters of rock and concrete.² 
[Deeply Buried Facilities Implications for Military Operations USAF Center for 
Strategy and Technology Air War College May 2000; Air Force Times Apr 14/97]

But it wasn't for lack of trying. In 1972, Melvin Cook, a professor of 
metallurgy at the University of Utah and an author of works on explosives and 
Creationism, had sought to undo God's handiwork by developing the ultimate 
chemical bomb. Professor Cook borrowed aluminized slurries used in mining to 
fracture, heat and pulverize extremely hard rock. [workingforchange.com Nov 
8/01; globalsecurity.org]

Extensively field tested during the Vietnam War, where they raised havoc with 
the peoples and ecology of Vietnam and Cambodia - and later deployed against 
terrified Iraqi conscripts and cast-off Soviet armor during the 1991 Gulf war - 
giant 15,000 pound BLU-82 bombs dubbed ³Daisy-Cutters² were next dropped in 
pallets rolled out the back of C-130 transport planes to seal cave entrances in 
Tora Bora.

London Daily Mail reporter David Williams witnessed one of those "Daisy Cutter" 
attacks: "The sound split the air. It was like a thunder clap directly overhead 
at the height of a ferocious storm. I could see the massive oily black cloud of 
the explosion as it rolled across the hillside, a mixture of thick smoke, chunks
of earth and debris." [www.workingforchange.com Nov 8/01; www.commondreams.org]

³The effect of the BLU-82 is astonishing, and rare film shows a detonation, 
shock wave and subsequent mushroom cloud very similar to a small nuclear 
weapon,² writes Paul Rogers in The Mother Of All Bombs. ³Journalists who visited
areas where the bomb had been dropped reported scenes of extraordinary 
devastation² from a firestorm that sucked all the oxygen from the air, crushed 
human organs and incinerated an area the size of five football fields in a 
single mighty blast. [openDemocracy.net Mar 7/03]

By December 13, 2001 the U.S. Air Force had dropped at least four 17-foot-long 
"Daisy Cutter" bombs on tunnel complexes and Taliban concentrations in 
Afghanistan. [globalsecurity.org; commondreams.org]


They also began dropping two-and-a-half-ton GBU-28 "dense metal" penetrators 
from B-52s and B-1 Stealth bombers. Exploding deep underground, the bomb's 
explosive energy ³coupled² with bedrock under immense pressure from the weight 
bearing down on it. The resulting seismic shock wave could crush an underground 
bunker - or the internal organs of anyone caught in the ³overpressure² from a 
blast wave 20-times stronger than the bomb blast itself. [ucsusa.org May/05]

In order to penetrate rock and concrete, each ³Great Big Uranium² bomb is shaped
like a spear tipped with tons of radioactive Uranium-238 nearly twice as dense 
as lead. Using nuclear waste left over from making atomic bombs and reactor 
fuel, the amount of radioactive Depleted Uranium (DU) particles spread by each 
GBU ³dirty bomb² eclipsed any terrorist's fantasy - one-and-a-half metric tons 
of aerosolized particles capable of causing genetic mutations and death for the 
next four billion years! [Le Monde March 2002]

The similarities of BLU and GBU detonations to nuclear blasts was not lost on 
U.S. war planners, who realized that the blast effects and resulting radioactive
fallout from conventional bunker-busters could mask the detonation of so-called 
³low-yield² B61-11 tactical nuclear bombs.

The Bush administration's first U.S. Nuclear Posture Review had already called 
for fast-track development of new tactical nuclear weapons, a resumption of 
nuclear tests, and more "flexible, adaptable strike plans" - including "options 
for variable and reduced yields.² Submitted to Congress on December 31, 2001, 
the neocon's follow-up CONPLAN 8022 would reverse the decades-old U.S. policy 
against ³first use² of nuclear weapons by authorizing their rapid deployment to 
destroy 'time-urgent targets' anywhere in the world. [ People's Weekly World 
Newspaper Mar 16/02]

As the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists jumped the minute hand of their 
Doomsday Clock forward two minutes to seven minutes to midnight, White House 
fundamentalists eagerly sought ways to test their new ³baby nukes² against 
real-world targets. Proponents insisted, "Many buried targets could be attacked 
using a weapon with a much lower yield than would be required with a surface 
burst." [smh.com.au Sept 7/02]

Those buried nuclear targets were specifically located in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki of the Afghan DU & Recovery Fund observed, ³The 
White House and US-DOD spoke frequently about the development and use of 
fission, low-yield and non-fission, seismic bunker- and cave-busters,² ³The US 
Strategic Military Plan and US Nuclear Posture Review expresses intentions to 
use new classes of weapons in Afghanistan and other states. This program was 
known to be accelerating its weapons development and experiments in readiness 
for a possible Iraqi incursion.² [Afghan DU & Recovery Fund]


Soon after commencing aerial bombardment against Afghanistan, Secretary of 
Defence Donald Rumsfeld told the press ³he did not rule out the eventual use of 
nuclear weapons." [Houston Chronicle Oct 20/01]

Still reeling from the relentlessly televised images of September 11, the 
American public was told that only nuclear blasts could safely vaporize caches 
of chemical, nuclear or biological weapons not authorized by Washington, which 
retained its own banned stockpiles of biological weapons, along with more than 
five-thousand nuclear warheads. [AP June 11/07]

As I was told by an extremely well-connected Desert Storm veteran, whom I have 
to call ³Hank² during our 15-year collaboration, pursuing al-Qaeda and Taliban 
fighters across Afghanistan's ³wide flat open spaces² is like target shooting. 
But the ³hills that crop out of nowhere² in this desolate region ³are craggy and
rocky with holes in them that we can't detect. We know they had access to the 
Russian biologicals. They could have it in the cave. The container could be 

For this reason, ³in caves 75 to 89 percent of the time, our guys are wearing an
NBC (Nuclear, Chemical, Biological) suit as a precaution,² he went on. ³You 
never know what these guys might have in there - Taliban and Al Qaeda. We knew 
categorically that they had captured a lot of Soviet munitions, so we knew that 
whatever these guys fielded they captured: last ditch stuff.²

But blowing up chemical-biological munitions is a really bad idea - as Hank and 
other coalition forces posted downwind of Iraq's detonated CBW stockpiles at 
Khamisiyah learned to their cost following the first Persian Gulf War. As 
Benjamin Phelan pointed out in Harper's, ³A well-designed granite bunker could 
with-stand four times the shock produced by [a conventional bunker buster]. If 
the bunker housed weapons of mass destruction, studies have shown that a 
canister of, say, mustard gas could be insulated from the heat of the blast by a
few meters of earth, and thereby escape being vaporizedŠ In the likely event 
that a canister is ruptured but not destroyed, the chemical agentŠ would be 
blasted up into the air, carried away in the fallout cloud.² [Harper's Dec 1/04]

Another risk, Hank cautioned, ³If you nuke something that's already 
[fissionable], you'll get a cook off you didn't expect.² Even doing ³a flash 
bang² over stockpiled yellow cake, or Depleted Uranium debris ³could cause those
pieces to reciprocate² by absorbing and then reflecting incoming Alpha, Beta, 
Delta, Gamma and X-rays from a supposedly low-yield detonation.

Risks are compounded when countries facing America's willingness to use nuclear 
weapons against them respond by developing their own 4th generation, low-yield 
nuclear bombs. "The concern is that countries are starting to see these weapons 
as useable, whereas during the Cold War they were seen as a deterrent," warns 
Ian Anthony, a nuclear expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research 
Institute. [AP June 11/07]

Recognizing that "low-yield nuclear weapons blur the distinction between nuclear
and conventional war,² a 1994 law banned research and development on nuclear 
weapons of less than 5-kilotons in the United States.

But Bush's 2001 Defense Authorization Bill passed by a Republican Congress 
overturned these earlier restrictions. Just as ³Little Boy² and ³Fat Man² were 
rushed to the Pacific Theater in time to be tested on the starving Japanese 
citizenry before the emperor's surrender pleas leaked to the press, the nuclear 
version of the bunker-busting GBU-28 was rushed to Afghanistan to conduct remote
field tests before the Taliban surrendered.


The nuclear version of the GBU-28 bunker buster is the B61-11. When American 
forces targeted Tora Bora in 2001, there were 150 B61-11s in the U.S. arsenal. 
Featuring nuclear warheads that could be dialed from 0.3 to 340 kilotons - 
equivalent of 300 to 340,000 tons of radioactive TNT - these new Earth 
Penetrating Weapons were, according to atomic scientists, capable of "destroying
the deepest and most hardened of underground bunkers, which the conventional 
warheads are not capable of doing." [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists May/June 
1997; Wired Oct 8/01]

³When a bunker buster burrows in, the blast is directed downward,² Hank 
explained. ³It's a lens and it's focused straight down instead of outward.²

Designed to penetrate deep into the earth before detonating, the shaped warhead 
directs a blast hotter than a thousand suns in a shock-coupled seismic shockwave
that shakes several hundred meters of bedrock. ³Even a short penetration 
distance accomplishes this goal of 'coupling' the energy of the explosion to the
ground,² notes the Union of Concerned Scientists. ²Penetration of a few meters 
increases the underground destructive effects by more than a factor of twenty.² 
[Defense News Mar 2/97; [ucsusa.org May/05]

Stripping away the numbers, Hank summarized the effects of dropping an 
earth-penetrating nuclear bomb with typical GI directness: ³Do an overpressure 
wave in a cave, everything in there is squished.²

With the resulting hard radiation supposedly sequestered underground, the 
1,200-pound B61 was enthusiastically hailed by Bush and his backers as a 
³relatively safe² atomic bomb that would not kill too many innocent bystanders. 
[Philadelphia Inquirer Oct 16/00]

Or freak out the world.


Nuclear explosions are also handy for locating buried bunkers. Ground 
Penetrating Radar can ³see² through only about 15 feet of sand. But in a process
called ³echo-ranging², oil prospectors hoping to detect underground deposits at 
depths greater than 300-feet routinely bounce shockwaves from small explosions 
to reveal underground objects and cavities. Recorded by sensors fitted with 
precise Global Positioning Satellite locators, reverberating echoes can be 
computer-plotted to create precise, three-dimensional maps of deeply buried 
features, similar to a submarine ³pinging² a target. [USAF Air War College May 

Except in this case, each ³ping² is a nuclear detonation.

³You get a 3-D map of the area,² Hank confirmed. After a nuclear blast ³rings 
the mountains like a bell, you know where the holes are; where the people are.²


But the air force was worried. In June 2001, its study on using even the 
smallest nuclear bombs concluded: ³The political repercussions of employing 
nuclear weapon may be greater than the United States would want to contemplate, 
and the environmental consequences of potentially spreading a warehouse full of 
potentially deadly biological or chemical agents would be unacceptable.² [USAF 
Air War College May 2000]

The political fallout could be as bad as the ³large area of lethal fallout" 
scientists warned would follow " the large amount of radioactive dirt thrown out
in the explosion² from a weapon as ³small² as 5-kilotons. [Philadelphia Inquirer
Oct 16/00]

This dust would be deadly. In Yugoslavia, where 30,000 radioactive uranium 
projectiles fired by NATO warplanes had released thousands of tons of easily 
inhaled or ingested microscopic particles, medical doctors were already 
reporting ³multiple unrelated cancers² in families with no previous history of 
cancer, who lived in highly contaminated areas.

A previously unknown phenomenon, these ³very rare and unusual cancers and birth 
defects have also been reported to be increasing, not only in war torn 
countries, but also in neighbouring countries from transboundary contamination,²
the European Parliament found. [ Global Research July 8/04; American Free Press 
Aug 27/04; European Parliament Verbatim Report of Proceedings Apr 9/02; 
Bundesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft Nov 8/05]

The tonnages of radioactive Uranium-238 and toxic heavy metals detonated in 
hundreds of cruise missiles fired into neighborhoods in Afghanistan and Iraq was
never tabulated. But after conducting extensive research on DU weapons, former 
Naval officer Daniel Fahey declared, ³You're talking about something that should
be stored as a radioactive waste, and [instead they're] spreading it around 
other countries. [Mother Jones June 23/99]

Just as veterans of Desert Storm came to call their mysterious maladies ³Gulf 
War Syndrome,² soldiers posted to Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s began referring
to the ³Balkans Syndrome.² By January 2001, more than a quarter of the more than
1,400 Greek troops stationed in Kosovo were demanding to depart due to the 
increased risk of cancer.

United States law and U.S. Army Regulations AR 700-48 and TB 9-1300-278 require 
the army to "Clean and Treat" all persons affected and all areas contaminated by
the radioactive uranium munitions. But Lt. Col. Mike Milord confirmed that the 
Pentagon had zero plans to clean up radioactive contamination in Kosovo - or 
anywhere else . [Vanity Fair Nov/04; Daily Telegraph Jan 15/01]

The ability of Depleted Uranium missiles and shells to burn through the densest 
concrete and armor made these weapons too useful to give up. DU attacks could 
also be used to mask the cancers and leukemia incurred downwind of a low-yield 
nuclear detonation.

If the ³Depleted Uranium explanation² somehow failed in the Tora Bora region, 
Hank told me, ³we could blame radiation on the terrorists.²

Why not? The United States of America had already dropped a nuclear bomb on 

Part II: Sleigh Of Nukes

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