The Ultimate Sum of Fears, the Path not Taken.
Reader comment on item: Iraq's Weapons & The Road to War
Submitted by tom watson (United States), Jun 4, 2003 at 13:34My name is Tom Watson. I have put together this page to discuss my analysis of the Tractor Trailers found in Iraq. And suggest a scenario or tale of true terror. I am a systems engineer with over 30 years experience in science and engineering design, analysis, creation, installation and long term support of very complex and simpler mass markets products. I have also worked on the skunk work creation of systems for the field testing of major networked systems. The products have been software, hardware and complete systems. A sample. And in the past my abilities to create and install a complex set of systems in a few weeks has been recognized by major technology companies. Northgrup Grumman Aerospace Systems Outstanding Achievement
From feedback I received on this page it became clear to me that some people just could not see the context of what I guess I would call the natural flow of events of the alternative path. So I now preface my analysis with the idea that one consider what if the decision not to act had been made. If Saddam Hussien had not been removed from power, are the scenarios presented below very plausible if not inevitable. Why do we say Saddam Hussien and his son's and many if not all in the Baathist party are sick vile psychopaths. This image should make it obvious. This is one of tens if not hundreds of thousands found and still buried.
I have read and heard pundits wax on and on about the mobile lab trailers in particular and the more general discussion I call "Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction" With fairly simple and straight forward analysis it seems crystal clear that the mobile labs found in Iraq have only one rational explanation for existence. The reason is to manufacture biotoxins. That conclusion being true, the following is also true. The mobile lab is a weapon of mass destruction in itself. The trailers are a delivery system of Weapons of Mass Destructions(WMD). They are also functionally the missiles and they can create and distribute the bullets or warheads. The mobile labs are a in fact a complete Weapon System of Mass Destruction (WSMD)
I base my conclusion of the unique weapon purpose of the labs by using a self evident common sense statement of questions and the obvious conclusions from the implications of the only possible answers.
A simple rule. Folks don't create complex and difficult solutions when a simple cheaper more obvious solution will do.
For any other suggested purpose for the mobile labs. The purpose of manufacturing some product at a remote location, I ask simple questions.
For a particular product why would I go to the design, fabrication expense of remote manufacturing capability? Why would I create additional logistic support problems required in any portable manufacturing process to support remote operations?
If I want some product in a remote location do I bring it with me or make it there?
How do I justify creating a portable manufacturing capability to support remote operations. 1. I must need a lot of it and. 2. It must be difficult to simply transport. 3. It must be so dangerous that it is a danger to transport. 4. It must be so dangerous that it presents a danger to the location where it is made. 5. It must be a highly sensitive special product and made in secret. 6. It must be illegal and made in secret.
If a product does not satisfy one of the above then no rational person would believe a suggestion that a mobile manufacturing facility adding all the costs associated would be created for that product.
Additional associated costs required for a remote facility. Cost of providing fuel and energy to a remote location. Cost of transporting raw materials to a remote location. Cost of providing housing and living infrastructure resources for those in manufacture and transportation.
Conclusion: The only rational purpose of the mobile labs was to create biotoxins because making biotoxins had to be done in secret.
But I then suggest far far more dangerous possibilities that make creating mobile labs an ingenious solution in creating a very effective weapon system of mass destruction with very specific benefits for devastating terrorist attacks.
The making of a complete Weapon's of Mass Destruction System has several tactical considerations. Beyond just the creation of biotoxins, a method of delivery and dispersion is required. What purpose would biotoxins serve Saddam Hussien in Iraq? Do they have any reasonable use within Iraq. They are only weapons of terror, blackmail, extortion or revenge.
A biotoxin weapon could be used against Israel to generate some unification of Arab support. A biotoxin weapon could be used against another Western country for the support reason above or the standard terror, blackmail, extortion or revenge.
A biotoxin weapon could also be given to terrorist's to use. This could be for money or many political reasons. And a mobile lab designed to be moved as a common tractor trailer could be hijacked by terrorist.
Back to that original question, if I want something in a remote location, do I make at the remote location or make it locally and transport it.
Consider the problem of making a biotoxin attack. Consider the size of the 911 attack. How do I make a bioterror attack that tops 911? We know what a small attack with a couple of envelops of anthrax cost in lives, dollars and fear. How could a biotoxin attack be made that would top 911 and the anthrax attack.
And then let us consider the sniper case. Snipers on wheels Malvo and Mohammad. The sniper's terror went on for days. Even thought shots rang out and the attack was know as soon as it occurred, until the end no one knew who the attackers were or what kind of vechicle was being used in the attacks. Until Malvo and Mohammad made calls that revealed clues of their past, no one seemed to have any real idea who was doing this. I'd suggest as long as their terror lasted, had they not been stupid and revealed information that helped identify them, their rain of terror would have lasted much longer.
Taking what I have written above I will spin a horrendous scenario.
Terrorist willing to commit suicide against the evil Satan American have a tractor trailer. A tractor trailer that looks just like all those tractor trailers we see every day on the road and parked all over.
This tractor trailer has a biotoxin lab built onboard. It also has blowers built in. This trailer can roam the highways make it's stuff and pumps it out whenever it chooses. Those driving the truck may be immune or those with the equipment have environment suites and the cab is sealed. The truck moves most likely during the night through a metro area taking into account the winds and other factors. After some minutes or hours of dispersal the truck moves off to a remote location and using disinfection equipment onboard or at a remote support location the truck is washed down. A biotoxin with a few day incubation allow the truck to move hundreds of miles before an attack is sensed. As sickness break out from the first attack another city hundreds of miles away is now under attack.
Sound far fetched?
Let's look at the Mobile Lab Trailer government photo at.
Click on image for a larger view.
Should we consider how special and unique the pictured tractor trailer is?
If you saw a truck like that would you have any idea what it was. Even if you saw what was inside. I have years and years of experience working in engineering. I worked on the design of complete manufacturing production lines. I watch like a kid ogling candy any show on TV that goes through any manufacturing process, candy, cars or plywood or...... I enjoy with fascination watching Junk Yard Wars and the Robot Wars. Regular folks often using discarded technology create robot warrior or Rube Goldberg solutions to simple problems that often demonstrate ingenious and creative solutions.
With all my training, experience and the time I spend learning about how things work, I would not have a clue about the purpose of the equipment pictured in mobile lab pictured above. None of the components visible looks like anything that looks dangerous. And a planned deception of purpose is easy to implement. One could mount the working end of a milking machine and with dummy utter suckers it would appear be a mobile milking machine. The obvious point is that such an arrangement of equipment has no apparent obvious use. How many people open the hood of their car and have no idea what's what. Such a system is in the perfect disguise.
A trailer just like the one pictured could be shipped intact directly to America. The trailer could driven across the Iraq border or placed on a ship. The ship could come directly to the US or a third country. The trailer could be brought to Canada or Mexico. It would then be easy to drive it into the US.
A little more difficult would be to ship the parts directly and or indirectly and assemble them onto a tractor trailer body.
And maybe even more simply the plans or blueprints, really only the parts list and a sketch could be sent anywhere. In America the of the shelf parts could be assembled onto a trailer.
A dispersal system could be built into the mobile lab or build into a separate vehicle. Or several dispersion vehicles. How many kinds of commercial vehicles are common in suburban neighborhoods. Ice cream trucks have onboard compressors. Many trucks have various kinds of add on motors, generator and various equipment. Disguising dispersal equipment is every easy. Dispersal of a light mist or smoke from what appears to be an exhaust of some type hides a true purpose. A dispersal at a rest area in a high traffic location could infect thousands over a day or even in a few hours. A truck moving around in New York City could infect tens of thousands. Biotoxins have a few day incubation and a moving dispersal system would make pinpointing the source virtually impossible.
Following is a list of tactical benefits in the use of a Mobile lab in mission planning. A mobile lab can be transported in disguise. A mobile lab does not have to contain any biotoxin in transport. A mobile lab can used as a roaming dispersion unit or base for other dispersion units. A mobile dispersion make locating the ground zero of an attack virtually impossible to detect.
The stealth properties of a tractor trailer in shipment and in movement in a theatre of operations make this conclusion obvious. The tractor trailer mobile lab found in Iraq is a complete Weapon System of Mass Destruction.
If only plans and not the actual trailers were found the obscene danger of Saddam Hussien would be apparent to any rational person.
Fact Saddam Hussien was creating a complete Weapon System of Mass Destruction. The system had simple and effective stealth built in to the delivery and operational phases of an attack.
Can any rational person deny that one sick Saddam Hussien, leading and with the resources of Iraq was not a clear and present danger to the United States and the entire world of civilized men.
About this page: I originally named this page The Ultimate Sum Of All Fears. This based upon the Title of a Tom Clancy novel and movie dealing with terrorists having a nuclear weapon and attacking Ameirca. "The Sum of All Fears" Another good friend Alan read this web page and observed he saw it as The Sum of All Fears meets Rainbow Six.
Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".
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