“You have to carry out operation of this type with stealth,” says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. “The object is to prevent dangerous nuclear materials from falling into the wrong hands. If there is anyone trying to get their hands on it, they’re going to try and beat you to it.” The likely candidates? “It’s less likely to be terrorist groups but rather governments that already have the means to build a nuclear weapon but lack only the fissionable material.” Hopefully none of those have a New York Times subscription.
In a “top secret” mission reported by today’s New York Times, U.S. personnel are currently in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, packing up nuclear material that could be upgraded for use in weapons. Britain has agreed to accept the material. While Georgian government officials confirmed the Times report, it was denied by the director of the nuclear facility concerned -- but then again, he may simply be maintaining the charade of secrecy.