UK, March 5, 2010 (Pal Telegraph; commentary by Peter Eyre) - The US and UK lost three nuclear weapons each (Part 3):What went missing on Prime Minister Thatcher's watch?
As discussed in Part 2 of this series, many countries have been involved in extremely disturbing activities, spearheaded by certain leaders and their senior staff members. They left a trail of unbelievable corruption and gross neglect, without any apparent concern for the consequences of their actions.
Let's revisit the circumstances surrounding the deal between the UK government under Maggie Thatcher, David Cameron (leader of the UK's Conservative Party) and his entourage, the South African government and the ruthless arms dealers. I would also like you to keep in mind the connection between the missing U.S. nuclear missiles and the same questionable dealers.
As a reminder, there were originally 10 nuclear weapons; out of this batch, one was tested, leaving nine weapons in total. David Cameron went to South Africa in 1989 to investigate many aspects of the WMD program. At the same time, Dr. David Kelly (British UN weapons inspector) was very much involved in looking for chemical and biological weapons, having made several visits to his South African counterparts. He was also knowledgeable about the weapons smuggling loop that existed in Africa at the time. This also gave him access to the nuclear weapons proliferation program in South Africa, especially nuclear bombs assembled with the help of Israeli nuclear scientists at the covert South African nuclear weapons facility at Pelindaba, near Pretoria. Later in this article, it will be documented how Dr. Kelly became involved in the nuke transfer deal.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors visited Pelindaba and the Advena nuclear facility, built by the state-owned Armaments Corporation of South Africa (ARMSCOR), in 1990 and 1991. They were tricked into believing that South Africa's nuclear weapons had all been dismantled by the outgoing apartheid regime. However, what they didn't know is that after they had left South Africa, activities continued as usual. I repeat that both the U.S. and UK governments were very much aware of the existence of these weapons, with Maggie Thatcher rubbing her hands together in glee at the thought of receiving a significant contribution to party funds........David Cameron and his sidekicks also were very much part of these shady goings on!
ARMSCORNow we come to issue of how the weapons were transported out of South Africa and where they ended up. Let me remind you that we are talking about three armed, ready-to-use nuclear bombs, courtesy of Israeli technicians. We can then discuss who was involved, how the payments were made and the disappearance of the guilty parties.
The plan was originally to re-locate these weapons to some remote railway sidings and then load them into three standard, 20-foot ISO containers (one bomb per container) and export them with a false manifest listing them as metal cylinders. The main players were a British company called Astra and a South African company named ARMSCOR. At the government level, they dealt primarily with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), funded by the Ministry of Defense. This alone gives some indication as to why this deal became so very special and confidential. One must also consider the middleman in the deal, who brought all the parties together to get the job done. To name names, obviously the "Iron Lady" was right in there, and also her son Mark Thatcher. Then we have David Cameron and that illustrious man with the initials KW who accompanied him to South Africa. The middleman and notorious arms dealer was John Bredenkemp. We also have to add John Major into the story, since he also became part of the deal.
In order to keep the deal out of Parliament and out of the public domain, Maggie Thatcher was asked to sign off on the purchase of these weapons under an Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) in which they were listed as metal cylinders, not nuclear bombs. This was done completely under the table, unknown to anyone else outside the inner circle. This document was signed before she left office in late 1990.
Once the weapons left South African soil, the British government reimbursed ARMSCOR (the South African arms trading company), Astra (the British arms company) and the middleman (John Bredenkemp), compliments of the British taxpayer.
It should be noted that ARMSCOR has now split and the arms side has now become a company called Denel (Pty) Ltd. However, they work together. ARMSCOR advertises itself as the "Gateway to Defense Solutions," and Denel has branched out into a diverse empire including aviation, weapons systems, etc.
BredenkampSo to recap: There were nine nuclear weapons in transit to Chicago, and three of those were to be used as a standby weapon for the Gulf War, These three were sent for storage to Oman, where Dr. Kelly planned to conduct an inspection. Upon completion of the deal, the money would be paid to all those involved.
You must understand that this deal was processed via the private sector, which is difficult to believe once you fully understand the implications of buying, selling and shipping ready-to-use nuclear weapons! In this case, three South African nuclear weapons were sold to "private investors."
These containers were specially adapted to carry the highly mobile weapons to a private storage facility in Oman for safekeeping. The containers had a special seal on the lock of the rear door of each container, along with a temperature gauge in the front that was connected to the core of the bombs to prevent them from overheating.
The nuclear smuggling operations involved top members of the British Conservative Party, including individuals close to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, her son Mark and -- at a later date -- other members of the Labour Party. Both parties received an increase in funds, with the Conservatives taking a massive share. Keep in mind that their presence in South Africa was totally in violation of the embargo and the Nuclear Explosions Act.
As for John Bredenkemp, one cannot even attempt to calculate how much money he made. However, as would be expected, this money was very quickly converted to gold bullion, totaling many kilos.
I will next look at what happened to these weapons once they were stored in Oman, and how the British taxpayer donated money for a very unprofessional operation that was a failure from the outset. Needless to say, the nukes all disappeared and one can clearly see that indirectly, taxpayers' money ended up in the political funds of both the Labour Party and Conservative parties.
Many investigations have taken place since this event, all of which involved Jonathan Aitken, a Tory Party defense minister; Gerald Bull, a Canadian who worked with Saddam Hussein; Gerald James, chairman of Astra; and others. It became apparent just how sensitive the situation was when Alan Clark, DTI minister, became involved, as did Sir Ken Warren, chairman of Trade and Industry. The spider web certainly caught Tony Blair, with his connections to Bernie Eccelstone, who contributed £1 million to the Labour Party disguised as a donation from the tobacco industry (in fact, it was clearly from the gun-running episode).
BlairUpon becoming Prime Minister in 1997, Tony Blair tried unsuccessfully to return the money to Ecclestone. However, his donation was only a fraction of what the Tory Party received. All in all, taxpayers' money was fuelling the arms trade to both Iraq and Iran with the British government the primary engine. It is clear that both parties were playing the same game and the end result was that these weapons were used against our own forces. This same situation occurs frequently around the world.
This week we will see the commencement of the Iraq inquiry: another waste of taxpayers' money. Will it bear fruit? I don't think so!
What we have to remember is that both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown summoned Maggie Thatcher to a meeting after taking office, and one can assume that the missing nuke played a major role. That is why this new inquiry most likely failed before it even started, like all the others. The period of investigation does not go back far enough for it to be reveal the real truth.
To date, there have been two assassinations: that of Gerald Bull, who was killed by Mossad in Brussels in 1990, and that of our own dear Dr. David Kelly. Alan Clarke died of a brain tumor in 1999, leaving only Gerald James. The latter had a brush with death at the end of last year, when one of his relatives was killed instead (purely by accident). When one looks at such incidents as the Matrix Churchill arms smuggling scandal, you can clearly see how such inquiries fail. It is interesting to see such people as Ken Macdonald - who also happens to be a partner with Cheryl Blair -- become involved in the Matrix Chambers scandal. We will have to see what Brown churns up tomorrow. This could be a make-or-break opportunity for him. But don't hold your breath!
Stay tuned for the final installment (Part 4) of this series.
Peter Eyre - Middle East Corresponden