May 19, 2003
The Bush Administration, which has been pushing to develop "usable" nuclear weapons, scored a recent breakthrough when the Senate Armed Services Committee gave it a thumbs-up.
Of the wisdom of the Administration's moves, Richard Garfield (the notorious former head of UNSCOM), in an interview for Australian teevee, opined, "There's none. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but it's just profound nonsense." The Senate apparently agrees to disagree.
A May 13 article in the Los Angeles Times noted that, while the Senate committee had voted to repeal the Spratt-Purse amendment banning development of "mini-nukes", "officials insist that they have no present plans to build such bombs, recent steps make it clear that they want to fully explore their options."
Fast-forward to May 14, and the appearance in the New York Times of an article headlined, "Panel Rejects Nuclear Arms Of Small Yield". The House Armed Services Committee has "rejected" the same bill that its Senate doppleganger had passed, causing the bill's original co-author, John Spratt to rejoice that, "The action in the House sends an important message: that the United States is not backsliding towards development of new battlefield nuclear weapons."
Yay for our team, right? Alas, the ban was "upheld" only after a compromise "approved a measure to allow research into low-yield nuclear weapons." So the Bush Administration is now allowed to do exactly what it had wanted to do: "fully explore" its "options".
If that's not "backsliding", what would be? Does anybody seriously doubt that once the Administration's finished "exploring", and decided what it wants, then Spratt-Purse will be repealed outright?
Posted by Eddie Tews at May 19, 2003 05:43 PM