Thursday, April 29, 2010

An Enigma Wrapped in a Riddle Shrouded in Mystery

It is a sad day when you conclude you can count on the Russians being more accurate than our own government.

But that's exactly what I predicted when I addressed the issue of limiting our missile defenses in the new nuclear arms control agreement penned recently. The Russians said we are limited. The administration dismissed the Russian claim. Oh, who to believe?

This appears to be shameful spinning by the administration. If our administration is so proud of their achievement, why not just spell it out? I hope I'm wrong. I doubt I am.

Well, the Russians seem to be winning the transparency award on this issue:

President Obama signed an arms-reduction treaty with Russia. He urges swift ratification of the accord even though, as former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton observes, important provisions are still being negotiated. In the spirit of the times, though, the pact would become the law of the land before those details are finalized, while its authors either don’t know what it says or are lying about it. Administration officials told Arizona Republican senators Jon Kyl and John McCain — who will be central to the Senate’s ratification debate — that the treaty referred to missile defense only in the hortatory, non-binding preamble. Yet when the senators looked at the treaty’s binding terms, they found, right there in black and white, a provision (Art. V, para. 3) that would require the United States to refrain from placing “defense interceptors” in existing missile launchers — a severe compromise of American national security.

Fancy that. The Russians gave us a more accurate picture of the treaty provisions regarding missile defense than our own government. Now, this is a big effing deal, as Biden might put it--even if we have to ratify the treaty to find out what's in it.

I'll ask again, if this treaty is so great for America, why doesn't the administration accurately spell out what the agreement has in it?