Eric Alterman may still be full of “joy” over the US and/or Israeli deployment of the Stuxnet computer worm to disable or upset Iran’s nuclear program. But an intelligence report obtained by AP says that the worm could have had catastrophic consequences. Reports AP:

The control systems of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant have been penetrated by a computer worm unleashed last year, according to a foreign intelligence report that warns of a possible Chernobyl-like disaster once the site becomes fully operational.

With control systems disabled by the virus, the reactor would have the force of a “small nuclear bomb,” it said.

“The minimum possible damage would be a meltdown of the reactor,” it says. “However, external damage and massive environmental destruction could also occur…similar to the Chernobyl disaster.”

Meanwhile, the British secretary of defense—they call it “defence” in England—has warned hyperbolically that Iran might have a bomb by 2012, i.e., next year, even though the Israelis themselves are saying that it will be 2015 at the earliest. The secretary, Liam Fox, criticized Meir Dagan, then the retiring head of the Mossad, who he said erred by suggesting that Iran is not that close to building a bomb. “We should therefore be very clear that it is entirely possible that Iran may be on the 2012 end of that spectrum and act in accordance with that warning,” said Liam Fox, who is no fox at all.

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