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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

FIRST INTERVIEW WITH ISRAELI NUCLEAR WHISTLEBLOWER 

Democracy Now! scored the first international interview with Mordechai Vanunu. Not to be missed. (Here's the transcript.) EXCERPT:

AMY GOODMAN: The Israeli government has called you a traitor. What is your response to that?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, I answer this. When I get out of the prison, I am saying many, many times that I am very glad, happy and proud to reveal its nuclear secrets to all the world and to let all the world to see the stupidity of Israel's nuclear weapons policy and the danger of a nuclear weapons policy in secret by Israel. And I was not a traitor. The real traitors are Israel's government who was behind this nuclear weapons policy for 40 years, and continues. They are betraying the Israeli citizens, and betraying the Arab community, and betraying all of humanity and the world, the human beings of all the world. They are the real traitors.

AMY GOODMAN: What are the secrets that you reveal that you think were most significant?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Excuse me, but I could not understand, hear you.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you explain, Mordechai Vanunu, the secrets you feel were most significant for the world to know? You were imprisoned 18 years ago. Can you say what you were trying to reveal to the world?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Well, it was very open and very clear: the secrets that were published by the Sunday Times in 1986. The main points were: one, the amount of Israel's nuclear weapons, how many Israel had, that no one could predict or know, including the CIA. They were thinking about a number like 10 or 15. But I came out with a number between 150 to 200. Second point is no one here could predict or know that Israel was involved or started producing the hydrogen bomb -- the most advanced and powerful atomic bomb that can kill millions of people. And that has no justification -- no need for Israel's existence. They don't need hydrogen bomb. That was my revelation that was proved, with photos, to all of the world. That was the very important news that I brought to the world.

AMY GOODMAN: And how did you know this?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I knew that because I worked in the place, in the building where my job was producing the materials for nuclear weapons. My job was to produce plutonium that was used for atomic bomb. I knew how much they produced every day, every year. So I could make out the amount and see exactly how many bombs can they do. I also was producing, working on other materials for the hydrogen bomb. They call it lithium-6 and tritium. I was working on these and the only use for lithium-6 is the hydrogen bomb. And I also take photos of hydrogen bomb, from another part of the building. It was not part of my job, but I succeeded to go and take photos of the hydrogen bomb. My revelation was Israel [had] started producing a neutron bomb. I succeed to take photograph of the model of the neutron bomb. This means Israel was ready to use nuclear weapons in the next war, in 1986 if it had war with Iraq, or Iran or Syria. It could use them against armies. That means the beginning by Israel using atomic bomb.... That was the most dangerous point in the Middle East: Israel, they could have used nuclear weapons like no other state there...

AMY GOODMAN: So, Mordechai Vanunu, you say that they had 150 to 200 atomic bombs, that they had developed them. That they were building a hydrogen bomb, and a neutron bomb?

MORDECHAI VANUNU: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: And have they done that at this point? It's 18 years later.

MORDECHAI VANUNU: I don't know what they did in 18 years. We can just assume they have much more and powerful, more advanced technology, all the new computers, everything could be much more easier and help them to build much more and many more nuclear weapons. I just assume. I don't have any new information, what happened in 18 years.

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