In 1994, a kilogram of enriched, weapons grade Uranium had a black market price of $1m - $60m. Plutonium was much cheaper, ranging in price between $300,000 and $4m per kilogram.
How do we know these numbers? Well, incidentally, because our governments created
the black market in question, and because our governments set the prices
. In praticular, the German government's intelligence services, the BUndesnachrichtendienst(BND). It's a fairly old story
. Some time in 1994, a couple of criminals were caught smuggling Plutonium into Germany. It was a story that made big news in Germany at the time - suddenly, nuclear terrorism seemed to be just around the corner. Later, it turned out that the men were set up by the BND. They had met with a supposed buyer - an undercover agent - to discuss the sale of conventional weapons. The agent, however, convinced them to promise the delivery of weapons grade nuclear material instead. The price offered was so high that the weapons dealers in question went out to obtain the material. In other words, the BND single-handedly created a black market for nuclear materials. Because of their financial offer, people found a way to steal and smuggle nuclear materials - and they were caught only because the recipients knew exactly where and when they'd arrive, and collected them from the airport. The smuggling and abuse of nuclear materials turned from a worrying hypothesis and fiction into reality - because of government actions encouraging it to happen.
Other governments are even worse
in their desire to appear as if they're successfully stopping crime and terror from happening. Not content with staging and fabricating a crime, Macedonia simply drove a couple of illegal immigrants into a forest, surrounded them, executed them, and claimed they were terrorists who had shot first.
With this in mind, I can't say that the list of terrorist attacks
America has heroically, single-handedly, prevented, according to George Bush, impresses me. First of all, if they were prevented attacks, why is no one on trial for them? Second, do they actually aound credible?
White House list of disrupted plots:
West Coast airliner
In mid-2002 the US disrupted a plot to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States using hijacked aeroplanes. The plotters included at least one major operational planner involved in planning the events of 11 September 2001.
East Coast airliner
In mid-2003 the US and a partner disrupted a plot to attack targets on the East Coast of the United States using hijacked commercial aeroplanes.
In May 2002, the US disrupted a plot that involved blowing up apartment buildings in the United States. One of the plotters, Jose Padilla, also discussed the possibility of using a dirty bomb in the US.
2004 UK urban targets
In 2004, the US and partners disrupted a plot that involved urban targets in the United Kingdom. These plots involved using explosives against a variety of sites.
In the spring of 2003, the US and a partner disrupted a plot to attack Westerners at several targets in Karachi, Pakistan.
London Heathrow Airport
In 2003, the US and several partners disrupted a plot to attack Heathrow Airport using hijacked commercial airliners. The planning for this attack was undertaken by a major 11 September operational figure.
In 2004, the US and partners, using a combination of law enforcement and intelligence resources, disrupted a plot to conduct bombings in the UK.
2002 Gulf shipping
In late 2002 and 2003, the US and a partner nation disrupted a plot by al-Qaeda operatives to attack ships in the Gulf.
2002 Straits of Hormuz
In 2002, the US and partners disrupted a plot to attack ships transiting the Straits of Hormuz.
2003 tourist site
In 2003 the US and a partner nation disrupted a plot to attack a tourist site outside the United States.
Looking at the list, I find myself thinking the following:
1) East Coast and West Coast airliners:
Yeah, right. Security is stepped up, reinforced doors are installed, the "cooperate and pray" approach to hijacking is replaced by "fight tooth and nail" among the flying public, and terrorists have nothing better to do than to plan to try an old trick again.
2) 2004 UK
Well, another rather wide and general claim. In 2004, the UK urban areas were saved from terrorism. All of them. Really. Show me the suspect and the trial and I'll listen.
I remember that foiled plot. Mostly, it involved a couple of tanks driving around Heathrow, just before the invasion of Iraq, and leaving again two days later. Obviously terrorists decided that they could not just do their evil deeds another day. Obviously this was not an exercise in spin, aimed to frighten the UK public into fearing the evil terrorist boogeymen ahead of an unpopular war. Oh no, of course not.
Hooray, all the little boats have been saved! Not that anyone is in prison, facing charges.
5) Tourist site
Get this: The US stopped an attack on a tourist site outside America. Wow. Thank you. So the entire world should be grateful, right? After all, every nation on the planet has tourist sites, and if the US saved one of them, how can we be certain it's not ours?
What a pile of bullshit. "We've saved your asses so many times in so many places, but we can't tell you about it in any detail"
Feed the public propaganda, not information, and hope they're not listening closely.
The US - a modern dystopia.