I was going to do this as a column for tomorrow, but since Shep beat me to the punch I’ll do it as a Corner post. Shep is right. The Uranium One story is crap.
Now let me say that I have no problem believing that Hillary Clinton sold influence or the appearance of influence. I have no problem believing that the Clinton Foundation sold access or the appearance of access. I have no objection to the DOJ investigating the Clintons and, if warranted, Uranium One. But I’m against a special prosecutor for the reasons Andy laid out yesterday.
My real objection is to the way people on late-night shout shows and talk radio blithely and irresponsibly throw around claims that our national security was gravely damaged, or insinuate that treason has been committed. It’s neither of those things. Sebastian Gorka’s repeated invocation of the Rosenbergs is dangerous, demagogic, and dippy.
As Shep notes, the uranium the Russians bought can only be sold . . . in America to American facilities. We weren’t giving ammunition to an enemy (an enemy usually only for the purposes of the Uranium One story, by the way) to kill us with nuclear weapons. Russia already has vastly more Uranium than we do. The U.S. has 1 percent of the global reserves of uranium. Russia has 9 percent. So when you hear radio talkers screaming about how Hillary Clinton gave the Russians TWENTY PERCENT!!!!!! of America’s precious uranium supply, they’re talking about one-fifth of one percent of a fairly common metal (Australia has 29 percent of the known uranium reserves).
In fact, one way you can tell if a commodity is rare is by looking at its price. Gold today is at a bit under $1,300 per ounce. Rhodium, mostly used in things like catalytic converters is around $1,400 per ounce. Platinum (which I always thought until this morning was more expensive than gold) is around $1,000 bucks per ounce.
Uranium? It sells for less than $25 bucks – per pound.
I get that uranium sounds scary. I’ve heard a lot of pundits say something like, “I mean the word uranium was right there! Hello! The Clintons should have known!”
Well, the pundits should know what they’re talking about, too.
Shep Smith does: