News Release

* Oil-for-Food * Mideast Nukes * Energy Bill * Hiroshima Cover-Up


Halliday is a former assistant secretary general of the United Nations and headed the UN “oil-for-food” program until resigning in protest over the continued sanctions on Iraq. He said today: “By not tackling the real UN failure — i.e., the role of the Security Council in Iraq — Volker’s new Oil for Food report merely charges a few ‘bad apples.’ … This should not damage the UN, but it likely will. Thus the Secretary General and staff of the UN are being smeared while the major member states of the Security Council are avoiding scrutiny. This will be misused by Bush’s new UN ambassador, John Bolton, who has shown contempt for the principles of the UN Charter.”
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Graham is a member of the Global Security Institute’s Bipartisan Security Group and was involved in negotiations for every major international arms control and non-proliferation agreement of the past 30 years. He said today: “Based on news reports, it appears that the Europeans offered the Iranians a good economic deal, but it was weak on security guarantees and of course didn’t include the U.S., which is the Iranians’ main concern. If that’s accurate, I don’t think it’s surprising that the Iranians didn’t accept it. According to recent reports, Iran is six to ten years away from a possible nuclear weapon, therefore there’s time to work the problem and I would counsel all sides to do that. I think the U.S. has been correct in working with the Europeans on this, but if the U.S. would overtly join the effort, that would genuinely help the process. … It appears that the Indian government recently got a better deal outside the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] than the Iranians would be getting inside the NPT; I think the arrangement with India is something that should be re-considered.”
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Vanunu, who worked at Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, revealed Israel’s nuclear weapons capacity in 1986. He said today: “If the inspectors are looking for nuclear weapons in the Mideast, they are here in Israel. The policy of lying and cheating on such weapons was introduced into the region by Israel. Even if Iran has done something improper, its facilities are open, it is abiding by the Non-Proliferation Treaty which it has signed. Israel refuses to sign the NPT, it refuses to be open to inspectors. … I had a court date last week; the Israeli authorities are still not allowing me to leave the country, trying to prohibit me from speaking to foreign media.”
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Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, Hauter said today: “The energy bill Bush just signed is a stunning display of indifference to our serious energy problems and an example of corporate welfare at its worst. It does nothing to ease prices for gasoline or electricity for consumers, does not address climate change and utterly fails to chart a course toward a more energy efficient, cleaner future for America. It hands over billions in taxpayer subsidies to mature industries that should not need -­ and certainly don’t deserve -­ government handouts; it rolls back the clock to the 1920s in terms of electric utility regulation. … In addition, the bill provides cradle-to-grave subsidies for the nuclear industry, which cannot compete without such government aid. This is bad policy because it creates more nuclear waste and increases the risk of nuclear proliferation while retarding the development of the alternative, renewable energy sources of the future. The legislation will exempt oil and gas companies from important environmental protection laws and subsidize further oil production at a time when oil companies are earning record profits.”
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On this 60th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Goodman (host of the national radio and TV show “Democracy Now!”) is filing an official request with the Pulitzer board to strip the New York Times of its Pulitzer Prize for its 1946 coverage of the atomic bomb. She recently wrote an op-ed in The Baltimore Sun titled “The Hiroshima Coverup.” Goodman said today: “William Laurence, the Times‘ science correspondent and a paid U.S. government propagandist, and the New York Times won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the atomic bomb. His parroting of the government line was crucial in launching a half-century of silence about the deadly lingering effects of the bomb. It is time for the Pulitzer board to strip Hiroshima’s apologist and his newspaper of this undeserved prize.”
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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