Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usISN, the Swiss news agency, reports that
“the US has agreed to supply Israel with 5,000 ‘smart bombs’ in a US$319 million weapons deal announced on Wednesday,” immediately prompting speculation “that the bombs may be used to hit Iranian nuclear facilities.”

The bombs include 500 one-ton “bunker-busters” [PHOTO], along with 2,500 other one-ton bombs, 1,000 half-ton bombs, and 500 quarter-ton bombs.

Congress has 30 days to decide whether to allow the sale to go ahead. According to news reports Israel is seeking non-nuclear bunker busters. However the nuclear version of the bunker buster is also in the news this week. A Congressionally-mandated study released Wednesday found that an earth penetrating nuclear bunker buster could cause more than a million deaths from radioactive debris. The Bush administration has asked Congress to spend over $8 million on researching the bomb. DN!

A nuclear bunker buster, reports the Washington Post this morning, could cause “from thousands to more than a million deaths in an urban area, and hundreds to hundreds of thousands in lightly populated areas with unfavorable winds …” More below:
Jerome A Paris broke this story here yesterday: “30 days to block sale of ‘bunker-buster’ bombs to Israel.”

Today’s Washington Post reports:

‘Bunker Buster’ Casualty Risk Cited

By Ann Scott Tyson, Washington Post Staff Writer

Thursday, April 28, 2005; Page A07

Earth-penetrating nuclear bombs would be capable of destroying military targets deep underground, but not without inflicting “massive casualties at ground level,” according to a congressionally mandated study released yesterday.

The study’s findings reflect a growing scientific consensus that even relatively small nuclear “bunker-buster” weapons — under study by the Bush administration but strongly opposed by some members of Congress and arms-control advocates — could not be used without a high cost in human life. Such a bomb could cause more than a million deaths, depending on the yield, the report said.

“You can use a much smaller weapon if you use an earth penetrator, maybe 20 times smaller, but you will kill a lot of people, because it puts out a huge amount of radioactive debris,” said John F. Ahearne, chairman of the Committee on the Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons of the National Research Council, which produced the report. The council, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, advises the federal government on science and technology.

The study represents an authoritative finding amid a long-standing conflict over whether it is possible to design an earth-penetrating nuclear bomb that would destroy deeply buried targets without killing people aboveground.

The report found that casualties from an earth-penetrator weapon “would be equal to that from a surface burst of the same weapon yield,” causing from thousands to more than a million deaths in an urban area, and hundreds to hundreds of thousands in lightly populated areas with unfavorable winds.

The sale to Israel is being carried in newspapers around the world.

I strongly urge that we all write and call our Representatives and Senators.

I’m dumbfounded.

“It is beyond me as to why you’re proceeding with this program when the laws of physics won’t allow a missile to be driven deeply enough to retain the fallout, which will spew in hundreds of millions of cubic feet if it’s at 100 kilotons,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a subcommittee hearing of the Appropriations Committee.

Rumsfeld replied that 70 countries are pursuing “activities underground” using technology that allows them to burrow into solid rock the length of a basketball court in a single day.

“At the present time, we don’t have a capability of dealing with that. We can’t go in there and get at things in solid rock underground,” he said. “The only thing we have is very large, very dirty, big nuclear weapons. So . . . do we want to have nothing and only a large, dirty nuclear weapon, or would we rather have something in between?” WaPo

For a complete description and history of the Guided Bomb Unit-28 (GBU-28) BLU-113 Penetrator (“bunker buster”), visit The GBU-28 is the top item in Global Security’s “Hot Topics” list on its home page. That ought to tell us something.

For a fascinating, first-person account of life in Iran — by Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans who just visited Iran — see Letter From Iran, just below, in the center column. It’s a must-read, and it’s a story that needs to get out to every American if we’re to stop this madness.

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