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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Think Progress » McCain Blames Clinton For North Korean Nuke Test

Today at a news conference, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) blamed the currentredicament with North Korea on the Clinton administration.

The 1994 Agreed Framework wasn’t perfect and North Korea was not in 100% compliance. But it was the only thing that stopped North Korea from producing nuclear weapons and separating plutonium. During the Clinton administration, North Korea didn’t make any nuclear bombs. Today, the country possesses material for as many as 13 nuclear weapons. The vast majority of that material was created during the George W. Bush administration. (All the rest was created during his father’s adminstration.)

The difference between the Clinton administration’s North Korea policy and the Bush administration’s North Korea policy is the difference between success and failure.

see it all:
Think Progress » VIDEO: McCain Blames Clinton For North Korean Nuke Test
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Bush In 2003: ‘We Will Not Tolerate Nuclear Weapons in North Korea’ »

In May 2003, President Bush said the United States would “not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea” and “will not settle for anything less than the complete, verifiable, and irreversible elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.”

Three years later, North Korea has offered the first “manifest proof” of its nuclear capabilities, and Bush has moved the goal posts. Yesterday, Bush said the US “would hold North Korea fully accountable” if they transferred nuclear material to other states or “non-state entities.” Watch it:

The difference is striking. Back in 2003, the administration was riding high after declaring “mission accomplished” in Iraq. Today, the Iraq war rages on, sapping resources and energy away from other crises around the world.

For six years, the Bush administration has refused to engage in direct talks with North Korea. The country now may possess enough weapons-grade plutonium for as many as 13 nuclear weapons.

see it all:

Bush on No. Korea - 2003

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Snow Says It’s ‘Silly’ And ‘Gratuitous’ To Ask If Bush Made Any Mistakes On North Korea »

[But Clinton, of course, is fair game. --pseudolus]

The Washington Post reported that North Korea’s apparent nuclear test “may well be regarded as a failure of the Bush administration’s nuclear nonproliferation policy.”

Today, a reporter asked if President Bush believes he has made any mistakes with respect to North Korea. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow responded, “Oh, my goodness…it’s a silly question.” Later, he called the question “gratuitious.” Snow explained that “you need to give presidents the benefit of the doubt when national security is involved.” Watch it:

To learn about Bush’s record on North Korea, see our timeline.

see it all here:

Snow says: "Don't be silly."

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FLASHBACK: Rumsfeld Sat On Board Of Company That Sold Nuclear Reactors To North Korea

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell lauded what is known as the Agreed Framework that the Clinton Administration signed with North Korea. “Lots of nuclear weapons were not made because of the Agreed Framework and the work of President Clinton and his team,” Powell said. Now, conservatives are faulting President Clinton for selling light water reactors to North Korea under the agreement, but in doing so, they overlook Donald Rumsfeld’s role in the deal.

Rumsfeld was the only American to sit on the board of a company which six years ago sold two light water reactors to North Korea. The Guardian reported in May 2003:

Rumsfeld was a non-executive director of ABB, a European engineering giant based in Zurich, when it won a $200m contract to provide the design and key components for the reactors. The current defense secretary sat on the board from 1990 to 2001, earning $190,000 a year.

Rumsfeld has never acknowledged that he knew the company was competing for the nuclear contract. In response to questions about his role in the reactor deal, former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told Newsweek in February 2003 that “there was no vote on this” and that her boss “does not recall it being brought before the board at any time.” But an investigation by Fortune magazine revealed that Rumsfeld probably did know:

ABB spokesman Bjoern Edlund told Fortune magazine at the time that “board members were informed about this project.” … “This was a major thing for ABB,” the former director [who sat on the board with Rumsfeld] said, “and extensive political lobbying was done.” The director recalls being told that Rumsfeld was asked “to lobby in Washington” on ABB’s behalf. … Although he couldn’t provide details, Goran Lundberg, who ran ABB’s power-generation business until 1995, says he’s “pretty sure that at some point Don was involved,” since it was not unusual to seek help from board members “when we needed contacts with the U.S. government.”

Rumsfeld has since refused media requests to talk about his role in the light water reactor deal and has instead criticized it.

see it all:

"Rummy sold nuke hardware to No. Korea"

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