News Release

Weapons Inspectors Going to Work in America

A group of Canadian, British, American, Italian and Danish parliamentarians, scientists, academics, and religious and union leaders have informed the Pentagon that they intend to inspect the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland this Sunday. Among the parliamentary members in the delegation are: Alan Simpson from the U.K., Libby Davies from Canada, Senator Francesco Martone and parliament member Graziella Mascia from Italy, and Pernille Rosenkrantz from Denmark.

In a letter delivered to Donald Rumsfeld earlier this week, Christy Ferguson of the Canadian group Rooting Out Evil, which is organizing the inspector delegation, wrote: “As a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on April 29, 1997, the United States has agreed not to develop or use chemical weapons and to destroy its chemical weapons stockpiles. As a party to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, entered into force on March 26, 1975, the United States has agreed to prohibit the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and bacteriological methods of warfare…. [We are] focusing our inspection on the Edgewood site because our research reveals that the facility may be developing and stockpiling weapons that contravene the above stated conventions.”

The delegation can be reached through: Elizabeth Dove, communications director of Rooting Out Evil, treleaven@socialjustice.org, www.rootingoutevil.org

ED HAMMOND
Hammond, director of the Sunshine Project in Austin, Texas, is a biochemical weapons expert and will be participating in the delegation. He said today: “All countries that research weapons of mass destruction need to submit to an inspection regime. This symbolic action is particularly poignant because last year in Geneva the Bush administration destroyed a six-year effort involving 140 countries to create a global inspection regime for biological weapons agents. It didn’t just pull out, it actually stayed in the process with the explicit purpose of insuring there was no agreement.”
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JACQUELINE CABASSO
Executive director of Western States Legal Foundation, a nuclear disarmament advocacy organization, Cabasso recently led a “Citizen Weapons Inspection Team” to the gates of the U.S. nuclear weapons laboratory in Livermore, California. She is co-author of the recent article “The End of Disarmament and the Arms Races to Come.” Cabasso said today: “While U.S. officials try to cast the worst light on the UN weapons inspectors’ generally favorable reports, they have prepared contingency plans to use nuclear weapons in Iraq. This manifests the Bush administration’s increasingly aggressive and unilateral ‘national security’ policy which tears down the wall between nuclear and conventional weapons, and contemplates nuclear weapons use ‘against … emerging threats before they are fully formed.’ While focusing on a speculative and questionable Iraqi ‘threat,’ the U.S. is actively pursuing ‘more useable’ nuclear weapons for use against seven named countries, in blatant violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Which country poses a greater threat to global security? Why aren’t international weapons inspectors in the U.S.? Who will disarm America?”

There will be a public forum with the inspectors on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, 945 G St. NW, Washington, D.C.

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167