The Peach

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Bush Dangerously Distorting Truth On N. Korea

In an article in the January/February 2005 issue of Foreign Affairs, Selig S. Harrison, the Chairmain of the Task Force on U.S. Korea Policy, has made this shocking discovery:
Relying on sketchy data, the Bush administration presented a worst-case scenario as an incontrovertible truth and distorted its intelligence on North Korea (much as it did on Iraq), seriously exaggerating the danger that Pyongyang is secretly making uranium-based nuclear weapons. This failure to distinguish between civilian and military uranium-enrichment capabilities has greatly complicated what would, in any case, have been difficult negotiations to end all existing North Korean nuclear weapons programs and to prevent any future efforts through rigorous inspection.
One of the weapons-of-mass-distortion pointed out in the article was a November 2002 CIA report that misrepresented the nature of North Korea's nuclear capabilities:
Although the document alludes to "clear evidence" that North Korea had "recently" begun constructing a centrifuge facility (centrifuges are machines used to enrich uranium), the CIA did not explain the nature of this evidence beyond mentioning, in general terms, that Pyongyang had acquired "centrifuge-related materials in large quantities." No specific evidence was presented to support the report's conclusion that North Korea was "constructing a plant that could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two or more weapons per year when fully operational, which could be as soon as mid-decade."
Apparently, part of the argument posed by Mr. Harrison is that the Bush administration opposed the conciliatory approach that Seoul and Tokyo had been taking toward Pyongyang. By using their strikingly familiar "North Korea poses an imminent threat" posture the White House hoped to scare Japan and South Korea into reversing their policy.

The Peach's immediate concern is that this could be a precursor to rationalize the"pre-emptive strike" threat, ala Iraq. Maybe this explains the rush for that missile defense system?


At 11:50 AM, Blogger taters said...

This reminds me of Rumsfeld's recent blaming of the Clinton administration for the state of the US Military. ( Funny how it was Rumsfeld himself who felt we did not need as many troops in Iraq as advised by the majority of experts. )He was acting like a kid in a candy store during the "Shock and Awe" phase, though. We have significantly decreased funding for the US Navy. (Substantially below the levels of the Clinton administration.) Nowhere in the world is it more important to have a strong, modern naval presence than in this area. Right wingers should take a look at a map, better yet, a globe. N Korea wants a seat at the table of other countries (Japan, China, Russia, S Korea, etc) in this region. We actually have the ball on this one. However, the lack of diplomacy on the part of the US to re-establish the groundwork for serious inspection again is an indictment of their hatred of all things Clinton and threatens us again with blind ideology, unhindered by facts. ( Sound familiar?)The US has yet to present evidence that to the world or region and China in particular that N Korea is doing anything illegal. The plutonium program is LEGAL.( Not that they aren't, and this Peach reader is not unaware of the possibilty of danger from N Korea.) However, this admin's contempt of all things Clinton circumvents its ability to function rationally. I definitely don't see Dr Rice ( Dick Armitage, though he is certainly to the right of me is inherently qualified for the job) as the person to make a breakthrough on this. I see Condi as a candidate for the president of the National Endowment of the Arts, an honorable job, but another post, another time. We no longer seem interested in building a case built upon evidence. I agree that N Korea is being touted as an example for "Missile Defense".....despite the fact that the US Navy has a proven ability to deter missiles.

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