The Real Threat From John Bolton

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To: Chairman Richard Lugar, Senate Foreign Relations
cc: Senator Joseph Biden, ranking Democrat
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: The Plan to Scrap the Non-Proliferation Treaty

You have obviously told the White House that you will hold your
nose and try to get John Bolton through the committee this week
and confirmed by the Senate asap. It's no secret that when the neo-cons
who run foreign policy in this administration via control of Vice
President Cheney tried to get Bolton the No. 2 slot at State
under Condi Rice, you balked and said he could not be confirmed
for that job. My guess, Senator, is that you figure he could not
do as much damage at Turtle Bay as he could at Foggy Bottom. There
is no way he could dismantle the United Nations, and in the hearings
today before your committee he made all kinds of sweet sounds about
wanting the u201Cstrengthen the U.N.u201D His real mission, though, is nothing
less than to undermine the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
and once he is installed, he will be in a position to take his orders
from the Perle Cabal to do so.

In case you had forgotten, countries that are party to the Treaty
will gather in New York City next month for the 1970 Treaty’s Seventh
Review Conference. The members, practically every nation on earth,
meet every five years to assess how things are going. Actually,
things have been going very well, as evidenced by the fact that
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been proven correct
in its assessment that Saddam Hussein had no nuke program and would
be incapable of building one — an assessment made before the President
decided we had to go to war anyway, just to make sure. Yes, there
are problems with Iran and North Korea that will be discussed at
the Review Conference, but you should know that there would be no
problems with either country if it were not for the mess Bolton
made in the first Bush administration in wrecking the diplomatic
efforts Secretary of State Colin Powell was trying to pursue.

What is already happening is that Jackie Wolcott Sanders, the U.S.
Special Representative for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and a Bolton
underling while he held the top non-proliferation post at State,
has given every indication that the United States will be asking
the Conference to u201Cfixu201D the Treaty on the grounds that it has become
outmoded. You can check this out at the
State Department's home page
where Ms. Sanders statement on
NPT policy immediately precedes you statement on legislative perspectives
on nukes. Also note the President's statement of NPT support on
that same page: u201CParties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
of Nuclear Weapons must take strong action to confront the threat
of noncompliance with the NPT in order to preserve and strengthen
the treaty's nonproliferation undertakings.u201D

The reason the Treaty is outmoded, she says repeatedly, is because
it has become too easy for NPT members to violate the terms of the
Treaty and get away with it. As Dr. Gordon Prather, who I believe
you know, put it in an e-mail last week: u201CShe has – as Bolton did
before her – deliberately confused u2018failure to fully comply with
an IAEA Safeguards Agreement' with ‘violations' of the NPT… So far
as the IAEA has been able to determine, no country subject to the
NPT-IAEA-Safeguards regime [except Iraq, of course] has ‘violated’
the NPT. It is outrageous that Bolton and Sanders deliberately obfuscate
the difference between ‘failure to fully comply with an IAEA Agreement’
with ‘violations of the NPT’ or of the even more deliberate obfuscation
‘failure to comply with its NPT obligations.”

What Prather is saying is that many countries [including the United
States], have not fully complied with the Safeguards regime, which
actually preceded the NPT, and which simply means that they were
found to have done something that they were obliged to report to
the IAEA and failed to do so, for example moving material from Building
A to Building B. Most recently, both Egypt and South Korea were
found to have u201Cnot fully compliedu201D with Safeguard, but there is
no evidence that they…. or Iran or North Korea ever violated the
terms of the NPT. Iraq did, but what Bolton and Sanders hate to
point out is that the NPT was strengthened when that clandestine
effort was discovered after the Gulf War. The new protocols, to
which Iran has agreed, permit intrusive, perpetual inspections,
not by IAEA snoops coming in now and then, but with on-site cameras
and sensing devices that would permit Director General Mohammed
al-Baradei's team in Vienna to monitor Iran's program night and

The real intent of the neo-cons who cooked up the war in Iraq is
to smoke another one past you and the Foreign Relations Committee
and ultimately against the President. They will surely propose an
amendment u201Cstrengtheningu201D the Treaty that will remove the u201Cinalienable
rightu201D of NPT members to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes (under
perpetual monitoring). North Korea was quite prepared to do this
several years ago, until it observed Iraq — a fellow u201Crogue stateu201D
according to the President – in full compliance with the NPT and
getting bombed and occupied anyway.

There is probably no way the NPT Conference would agree to amending
the Treaty, as it would have to be agreed to by Russian and China,
who clearly see what's going on here: One of the moves in the neo-con
chess game to bring about u201Cregime changeu201D in Tehran, by hook or
by crook, in order to satisfy the Likudniks in Tel Aviv that only
Israel will have nukes in the Middle East. Dr. Prather points out
that every school kid knows Israel has a nuclear arsenal, yet each
year the American President certifies in his request for financial
aid to Israel that he has no evidence of Israeli nukes.

Well okay, but Iran is not going to sit still if push comes to shove
on this issue and the U.S. threatens military action, i.e., the
bombing of sites that might someday be converted into nuke sites.
What worries Dr. Prather, and frankly me, is that Iran would respond
with conventional sea power in the Persian Gulf and with modern
sea-skimmers it has acquired from China blow up a bunch of ships,
U.S. warships and oil tankers. Pretty soon things could get serious.
Don't you think?

Anyway, if you have a chance, Senator, you might look into all this.
Even if you only have a chance to clear up this fuzziness between
the Safeguard Regime and the NPT. This is the kind of cloudiness
over intelligence that got us in the soup in Iraq. It would be far
soupier if we found ourselves on a slippery slope with Tehran. Don't
you think?

12, 2005

Wanniski [send him mail]
runs the financial/political advisory service

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