The Bomb in My Garden: The Secrets of Saddams Nuclear Mastermind

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'The Bomb in My Garden': Science Fiction - The New York Times

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THE BOMB IN MY GARDEN: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind

Obeidi regrouped and focused on building a state-of-the-art magnetic centrifuge. The Reagan administration, then cozying up to Hussein as he battled Iran, turned a blind, or at least a sleepy, eye toward his nuclear ambitions. Obeidi went on a shopping spree, using a mixture of front companies, bribes and sheer charm, to procure the necessary parts, information and, above all, technical support. Within 18 months, Obeidi had created what he calls "very likely the most efficient covert enrichment program in history.

Mahdi is a very humble man who hates to boast. He believes that results will be shown within the next few months. You should be more afraid to disappoint him now than to disappoint him later!

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View all New York Times newsletters. Hussein's invasion of Kuwait finished off his nuclear program. As Iraq was relentlessly bombed, Obeidi, intent on saving the remnants of his work, was reduced to burying a copy of centrifuge designs and four components in his backyard near his favorite lotus tree.

President with his military advisors

It was an abrupt end to a program supposed to help restore Iraq to its past greatness. As United Nations inspectors swarmed across the country, Hussein went to great lengths to destroy his stocks of illegal weaponry and hide his projects. Once the United Nations established the oil-for-food program, Hussein was reluctant to jeopardize his black- market contracts by reviving his weapons programs and instead lived in a complete fantasy world about his military capabilities: even as war loomed, Obeidi says, "the sense of denial was so great that as late as December, I was overseeing a year development plan.

Though Obeidi vividly portrays this phantasmagoric world, it's unclear how much credence we should place in his assertions that he proceeded only in the spirit of scientific inquiry and out of fear for his family's safety. Like almost everyone in Iraq, he presents himself as a victim of the regime, and his reflections about his complicity with it are at best perfunctory. Still, it would be a mistake to inquire too closely into his motives.

Hussein's threats were hardly idle, and after the second gulf war, Obeidi voluntarily handed over the documents and parts he had secreted in his backyard to United States intelligence. His small hoard revealed how little importance Hussein had come to attach to a program he once saw as the key to greatness. Khan, celebrated as a national hero for fashioning a nuclear bomb. Please select a Wishlist:. Your Price per book :. Total for 25 copies: Save. Found a lower price on another site?


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ISBN 13: 9780471741275

Retail Price:. Overview Acclaim for the Bomb in My Garden ""This one book will tell you more about Iraq's quest for weapons of mass destruction than all U. It is a fascinating and rare glimpse inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq-and inside a tyrant's mind. The old clich? Mahdi Obeidi's story makes clear how hard Saddam Hussein tried to develop a nuclear weapon, and the reasons he fell short. It is also unforgettable as a picture of how honorable people tried to cope with a despot's demands.


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I enthusiastically recommend this book. Apart from its insight into the workings of the Saddam nuclear project, it provides a haunting account of the atmosphere of sheer evil that permeated every crevice of Iraqi life under the old regime. Product Details Series:. Orders that do not qualify for free shipping will be verified prior to order processing.