News Release

Bush’s Nuclear Proposal: Hypocrisy Charged


Burroughs is executive director of the New York-based Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy. He said this afternoon: “While Bush proposes ad hoc measures to limit the capacity of other countries to produce nuclear materials usable in reactors or bombs, his administration has yet to agree to start negotiations on a verified treaty (the Fissile Materials Cutoff Treaty) that would bar all countries, including the United States, from their production for weapons purposes. All other major countries — including China — are ready to work on establishing such a ban…. In the 2005 budget he just proposed to Congress, spending would increase on planning for a facility to produce plutonium triggers for warheads…”
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Cabasso is executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation and co-author of the report “Nuclear Weapons in a Changed World.” She said today: “The central bargain of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is indeed flawed. Under Article IV of the treaty, in exchange for giving up the right to possess nuclear weapons, the nonnuclear weapon states were promised an ‘inalienable right’ to develop nuclear technology for ‘peaceful’ purposes. In reality, that means that any country with a civilian nuclear power program has the potential to develop nuclear weapons. There are at least 44 of those countries — not three, as Mr. Bush would have us believe. Only, at the moment, most of those countries, including our World War II enemies Japan and Germany, are our friends. Even more importantly, Article VI of the NPT requires the U.S., Russia, France, China and the U.K. to negotiate in good faith the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals….”
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In 2001, the BBC broadcast an expose co-investigated by Palast which reported that Bush’s National Security Agency effectively stymied the probe of Khan Research Laboratories.
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President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Makhijani said today: “President Bush said this afternoon that he wants North Korea to completely dismantle its nuclear weapons program; that he wants governments to stop making nuclear weapons ‘under false pretenses.’ But he seeks to maintain a huge U.S. arsenal and build new weapons. The consistent assertion by the United States that it needs nuclear weapons for its security and that it retains the prerogative to use them against any country, including non-nuclear states, is in violation of commitments given to them under the Nonproliferation Treaty. These U.S. policies have been a principal part of creating the desire, the demand for nuclear weapons….”
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Cohen-Joppa is the coordinator of the U.S. Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu. She said today: “How can Bush pretend to seriously address nuclear weapons proliferation while the U.S. government continues to support the fiction that Israel does not have a massive nuclear arsenal? Israel’s nuclear weapons have driven much of the proliferation problem in the Mideast. All the facts need to be on the table. Unfortunately Mordechai Vanunu — the whistleblower who revealed the scale of Israel’s nuclear capacity in 1986 — has been silenced in an Israeli jail for 17 years, most of it in solitary confinement. He is scheduled for release on April 21, 2004, but there are moves in Israel to keep him imprisoned even longer, or to find some way of keeping him muzzled.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167