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Remember how a few of the Democrats complained recently about Bush's lack of attention to nuclear material that had not been tracked after the fall of the Soviet Union? Somehow, this story won't make them very happy:
A Russo-American team of nuclear specialists backed by armed security units swooped into a shuttered Bulgarian reactor and seized 37 pounds of highly enriched uranium, in a secret operation intended to forestall nuclear terrorism, U.S. officials said Tuesday. ... It was the third time since last year that U.S. and Russian authorities have teamed up to retrieve highly enriched uranium from Soviet-era facilities.
U.S. authorities have begun stepping up such joint operations with the Russians. In August 2002, a team from the two countries retrieved 100 pounds of weapons-grade uranium from an aging reactor in Yugoslavia. The second uranium seizure took place three months ago, when 30 pounds was removed from Romania.
It seems that this statement from Howard Dean is a bit, well, wrong:
Here, incomprehensibly, the Bush Administration stands in the way of what needs to be done. ... We must redouble our efforts through the Cooperative Threat Reduction program to prevent nuclear materials from Russia and other former Soviet Republics from falling into the wrong hands.
Not only is the Bush administration taking this particular threat seriously, they are working with the Russians to recapture these materials, and have been for over a year. When Governor Dean gave this speech, the Yugoslavia retrieval had already occurred. Reasonable minds can conclude that Bush takes this threat seriously, works with allies to retrieve and control the materials, and in fact had been on top of this since the year prior to Dean launching his presidential campaign.
Does Dean have any specifics as to how he would improve the process? No. We must "redouble" our efforts. While this speech was made in February, this article on Dean's website was written last week:
Our new alliance will call upon all nations to work together to identify and control or eliminate unsafeguarded components -- or potential components -- of nuclear, chemical and biological arms around the world. These include the waste products and fuel of nuclear energy and research reactors, the pathogens developed for scientific purposes, and the chemical agents used for commercial ends. Such materials are present in dozens of countries -- and often stored with little if any security or oversight.
You have to wonder just how close to reality the Dean campaign actually gets. So far, it appears that the Bush administration takes this more seriously than the previous administration did, and it also looks like the Dean campaign could use a subscription to a newspaper. I'm sure the Star-Tribune would be happy to comp it for the Governor.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» joint russian-american team retrieves nuclear materials from Sophoristically Speaking
The Captain has an interesting post concern the activities of a joint Russian and American operation that went in and retrieved nuclear material from a Bulgarian reactor before it could fall into the wrong hands. Go forth and read (paying special atten... [Read More]
Tracked on December 23, 2003 10:55 PM
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