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The Dead Hand Journal

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15

03/05/07 1505 EDT: Lauren Stone Show
Ottawa, Canada – LIVE FM 88.5

Discussed global warming and its ramifications. Looked at exceptions to the "predictions" from Gore and friends.

Click here to listen to this and other
Chicken Little Agenda interviews!

Lauren Stone

On the line right now, Dr. Robert Williscroft, and we have had you on a few times. How are you doing today?

Dr. Williscroft

I am doing just fine, thank you.

Lauren Stone

That's good. Now before we start there have some listeners asking how you know so much about everything from the environment to nuclear war to government. So I directed them to your bio but they want to hear it from you.

Dr. Williscroft

Well, I think that is a pretty fair question. I would be asking the same thing myself!

My background includes having been a nuclear submariner for a full career in the Navy. I was the nuclear weapons officer aboard a nuclear submarine, and as such was involved on a daily basis with nuclear weapons, knew them intimately. Even today in my dreams, I could walk my way through the warheads, the multiple re-entry vehicle warheads that we had on those submarines. That is the nuclear side of it, and of course the nuclear propulsion of the submarine itself is something that all of the officers are thoroughly trained in, so I had the background in that.

After I left the submarine service, I joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and spent three years in the arctic doing research establishing a baseline, a biological baseline, for the whole arctic region. I spent a year on the equator researching Manganese nodules and whether or not there was any commercial viability in their production and mining, and then I spent a year at the South Pole in charge of the National Science Foundation atmospheric research at the South Pole.

And when I wasn't doing those things, I was involved in diving research on both coasts for the balance of my career.

Lauren Stone

Wow, so you have seen a lot of things, I must say.

Dr. Williscroft

As they say, I've been there and done that. [Laughs]

Lauren Stone

Okay, so let's just get right to the nitty-gritty where we left off last time. We were right about at the point of talking about nuclear war, and whether this is actually a possibility.

Dr. Williscroft

When you say nuclear war, of course it is because if somebody launches a nuclear weapon, or we are in a war that has nuclear weapons, then that is a nuclear war. But I think the real fear that people have today is not so much that a legitimate nation is going to do this as that, perhaps, some of the terrorists can get hold of a nuclear weapon and cause serious damage to our nation, or your nation, or one of the other nations in Europe where something like this would really be horrific. 

Lauren Stone

Yes. So should we be worried about this? Is it possible?

Dr. Williscroft

Well, let's approach it like this: Is it possible? I suppose a qualified yes, it is possible, however, and this is a great big however, the fellows who are out there trying to hurt us so badly have no capabilities whatsoever in nuclear engineering. In fact, I"m not sure they could build a viable bicycle so I am really not concerned about their developing and building a nuclear bomb. So that means where are they going to get one from, because they are going to have to get it.

And we have ours completely under control, especially our little, our small backpack nukes they are called, and there is no chance at all that they are going to get one of these. The only real source comes down to what the old Soviet Union had years ago, and while it is possible that they might get their hands on one of the backpack nukes, or even one of the larger multiple re-entry type warheads that they had on their intercontinental ballistic missiles, there is a real problem there. These bombs are designed so that they have a sphere that is made up of plutonium, and inside the sphere is a gas called tritium. The sphere has layered shaped charges on it and they all go off in such a way that the pieces of plutonium arrive at the center of the sphere simultaneously which causes a nuclear explosion which ignites the tritium and causes a hydrogen bomb explosion.

But tritium is a very, very sneaky gas. It constantly has to be recharged in the weapons that we, and the British, and the French and others have, and there is absolutely no way for a group of terrorists to get their hands on tritium. You just can't do it, it is not available. It takes a huge government and major resources; even Osama bin Laden with his financial resources cannot get enough tritium to charge even one of these. So if they can't recharge them, there is no way they can explode them and you end up with really something that would just be a bang and a fizzle and would not give you a nuclear explosion.

Lauren Stone

Okay, speaking with Dr. Robert Williscroft, check out his web site chickenlittleagenda.com. Now what about countries like Iran that are starting their enrichment programs?

Dr. Williscroft

I think that's a fair question. Iran has been telling us all along that they are not building nuclear weapons. I don't think any of us seriously believe that statement, but they are still quite a ways from doing it themselves. The enrichment centrifuges that they have been talking about gives them material that is sufficiently pure so that they can then put it into the devices, like what I was just describing, making the plutonium ball, or it could be done with certain isotopes of uranium as well. So that in principle they could do that, they still have the problem of where are they going to get the tritium? They have to buy it from somewhere, or it is possible to refine it from the atmosphere, but it is just a huge, huge problem and it takes resources beyond that the Iranians have right now.

So are they building one? I think they are working very hard to do it. Will they have one at some point? Probably. Will it be a threat to us? Well it costs them so much to make, I do not see them giving it to terrorists, and I do not really see them taking the risk of selling it to terrorists either, and if they did it is going to be big. It is not something that can be carried on a small plane, it is not something that could be carried in a backpack. It would have to be carried on a ship or in a large container so that the problem is not, even the worst case scenario is not, one where suddenly we have a nuclear bomb going off in the middle of Manhattan. Worst case scenario would be, perhaps, something going off in Long Beach Harbor or something of that nature which, of course, is horrific, but it is very different from what is being talked about in the news.

Lauren Stone

So do you think we should be afraid of Iran, and possibly if they actually make a nuclear bomb would they use it?

Dr. Williscroft

I think we should be afraid of Iran not because they are going to use it against us, they can't get it to us. I think we should be afraid because of the saber-rattling they have done against Israel, and the very real possibility that if saner heads don't take control over there that they might very well try to launch something like that against Israel. And I am certain that the Israeli's are very, very concerned about that, and actually I have no doubt that before it gets to that point, they'll have to do something about it.

Lauren Stone

Absolutely. So what she would we – I do not want to say, "What should we most fear about terrorists?" – but what is the biggest threat when it comes to terrorism?

Dr. Williscroft

You know I think the biggest threat is fear. The whole point of terrorism is to try and frighten people, to make people stop living their lives in a normal fashion, to tie up a country, to tie up transportation, hospital facilities and so on.

And I think the biggest thing that we can do to thwart what they are trying to do, and I look to the Israelis again because they are doing it. The Israelis live with the daily threat of suicide bombers, but they live their lives in a normal fashion. They don't let it destroy their ability to live a good life. And that is what we have to do, we have to focus on that instead of focusing on the fear factor.

Lauren Stone

Alright, we are almost out of time, but do you think the media is a big proponent in causing fear in our minds, or do you think we are being scared unnecessarily?

Dr. Williscroft

I think the media, I am not pointing fingers in a way saying that they are doing this maliciously, but my goodness, a story about a bomb exploding is much more exciting than a story about "Hey folks, don't be afraid."

Lauren Stone

So you think there really is, I mean we have been hearing here in Canada that we are next on the list to have a terrorist attack, and we should be bracing ourselves because it is going to happen any day now. Do you think people should buy into that, or should we just keep living our lives and not fear that?

Dr. Williscroft

I say to my good friends up north, "Live your lives, be vigilant." If you see something that really looks weird, you tell a person in authority about it, but don"t let them make you cower under your desks or hide in your basement because then they are accomplishing what they want without having done anything at all.

Lauren Stone

Alright, well we are just out of time. If you want to check out Dr. Robert Williscroft's web site, chickenlittleagenda.com, and we would love to have you on to talk about more issues and Chicken Little stories that you have in your book.

Dr. Williscroft

I would be delighted.

Lauren Stone

Thank you so much for your time.

Dr. Williscroft

You're welcome.

Lauren Stone

Bye.

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