What happened at Camp Falcon?

by | Nov 7, 2006 | Stress Blog | 18 comments

On October 10th, Camp Falcon, a US Army base outside of Baghdad, was attacked by Iraqis. A major fire broke out and munitions started going off – including a few fairly spectacular explosions. Video of the event was shown on CNN and has circulated around the internet.

Here is one of the better ones.

Since then, we have been getting more and more letters at Antiwar.com, asking about widespread rumors that the explosions seen in the video were American nuclear munitions detonating due to the fire.

I called our resident nuclear bomb expert, Dr. Gordon Prather, who spent his entire career making, testing and advising senators about nuclear weapons.

He dismissed the idea entirely.

All fission weapons that the US has in inventory are plutonium-239 implosion bombs. Inside the bomb there is a core of plutonium surrounded by high-explosives at dozens of detonation points. If they are not all detonated simultaneously – within microseconds of each other – supercritical density is not acheived and the nuke will not go off.

That is, if the US military, for some absolutely inconceivable reason, were storing nukes in Iraq, and one were subject to a roaring fire or shot with a gun, it would not detonate in a nuclear blast.

I say inconceivable because if in the wildest hypothetical where the Bush administration actually had a contingency to nuke Baghdad, it would be from US based bombers or an aircraft carrier or sub at sea, not from an inventory sitting around on the outskirts of town. Prather notes, “I can’t think of any advantage to it. If they do, they’re crazier than I thought.” (He already knew they were crazy.)

Dr. Prather also says that conventional high explosives would be plenty to explain the mushroom shaped clouds and bright flashes. (The fact that these are the types of weapons being used against the people the US supposedly “liberated” is its own separate outrage.)

The link to the photos of the aftermath at the bottom of this Wikipedia entry ought to help to put the matter to rest as well.

There also seems to be some confusion about depleted uranium. This is uranium 238 used by the US military in anti-armor rounds due to it’s strength and the fact that its structure causes it to self-sharpen as it penetrates, rather that being smashed flat.

Though incendiary, this stuff has nothing whatsoever to do with fission or fusion of any kind. Uranium must be enriched to over 93% U-235 in order to make a bomb out of it. (This is why Iran cannot make a nuke no matter what the Israeli government and its partisans claim.)

As for the idea that the explosions were due to some sort of fusion weapons, H-bombs are bigger than fusion bombs, that’s why Truman made them. A fusion bomb also requires a fission explosion to make it hot enough for the fusion. Safe to say, none of this took place at Camp Falcon. H-bombs are the city killers, not tactical nukes – which these weren’t anyway.

Update: Another bogus part of this story is that there were massive US casualties. That was a total lie made up by the fake TBR

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