After voting for the Iraq war to only claim later she was misled by the Bush administration's allegations Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD), one would think former California congresswoman and current Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher would be a bit more careful throwing around inflammatory charges about other countries developing WMDs. At the very least, one would think the State Department's top official dedicated to nonproliferation matters would go to great lengths to ensure that said inflammatory statements comport with the most up-to-date assessment of the U.S. intelligence community, no? Please.
Quite the contrary, at a July 8th hearing of the House Foreign Relations Committee on a proposed deal to share nuclear technology with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Tauscher -- taking her cue from President Obama -- assured lawmakers that the "UAE's expressed commitment not to pursue enrichment and reprocessing capabilities represents a marked contrast to Iran, which has failed to comply with its international obligations and seeks indigenous nuclear capabilities unnecessary for civil nuclear power, but critical for the development of nuclear weapons."
Further, Tauscher noted the supposed concern of some countries in the region "about transfers from or through the UAE of items to Iran that could support its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, the means of their delivery or terrorism-related activity."
Again, for those paying attention at home: the highest ranking intelligence official in the U.S. government, Admiral Dennis Blair, testified under oath to the Senate Armed Services Committee just a few months ago that the U.S. intelligence community does not believe Iran has made the decision to pursue nuclear weapons. The new head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) likewise says he has not seen "any evidence" Iran is violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by pursuing nukes. Yet not a day seems to go by that the Obama administration ignores this information in favor of inaccurate claims Iran is developing such weapons. And to this day, not one major media organization -- nor one major liberal group, for that matter -- have raised concerns about this administration's blatant and deliberate distortions of intelligence. Who says elections don't change anything?
Meanwhile, on a more positive note, Eni Faleomaveaga, the (non-voting) representative for American Samoa, at the hearing had the temerity to point out the hypocritical spectacle of the five nuclear powers on the UN Security Council -- who he noted regularly flout the requirements of the NPT and other related treaties, citing France's breaking of a moratorium on nuclear testing in 1995 -- in lecturing other countries on the evils of nuclear weapons that they themselves show no signs of giving up.
"How serious are we really in saying that nuclear weapons altogether is something that we ought to get rid of, and yet the five permanent members of the Security Council continue to have these weapons?" Faleomaveaga asked. "Is it any reason why India said, 'Hey, if China has it, why can't I? It's on my borders.' And if India has it, Pakistan raises the issue, 'Why can't I have nuclear weapons?' So this madness continues."