July 25, 2006

Bush Silence On Pakistan Reactor

Every para f this Wapo story, U.S. Says It Knew of Pakistani Reactor Plan, is basically horrifying:
The Bush administration acknowledged yesterday that it had long known about Pakistan's plans to build a large plutonium-production reactor, but it said the White House was working to dissuade Pakistan from using the plant to expand its nuclear arsenal.

"We discourage military use of the facility," White House spokesman Tony Snow said of a powerful heavy-water reactor under construction at Pakistan's Khushab nuclear site in Punjab state.

The reactor, which reportedly will be capable of producing enough plutonium for as many as 50 bombs each year, was brought to light on Sunday by independent analysts who spotted the partially completed plant in commercial-satellite photos. Snow said the administration had "known of these plans for some time."

The acknowledgment came as arms-control experts and some in Congress expressed alarm about a possible escalation of South Asia's arms race. Some also sharply criticized the administration for failing to disclose the existence of a facility that could influence an upcoming congressional debate over U.S. nuclear policy toward India and Pakistan.

"If either India or Pakistan starts increasing its nuclear arsenal, the other side will respond in kind," said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), co-chairman of a House bipartisan task force on nonproliferation. "The Bush administration's proposed nuclear deal with India is making that much more likely."
Remember, Pakistan is a military dictatorship, and also most likely the place where Bin Laden is hiding.


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