04 March 2007


If you were reading this blog in 2004, then you know that I did a fair bit of cheerleading for John Kerry. For a long time I wasn't thrilled that he was the Democratic candidate, and I still wish it had been Howard Dean, but I was behind him because I was so frightened of another four years of the Bush administration.

Then he won my heart. I distinctly remember the moment. It was in the first debate when moderator Jim Lehrer asked him:

If you are elected president, what will you take to that office thinking is the single most serious threat to the national security to the United States?
In my opinion, there is an unequivocal right answer to this question. And Kerry said it without hesitation.
Nuclear proliferation. Nuclear proliferation.
He then delivered a perfect two minute explanation why no other issue even comes close. And later in the debate, he had an exchange with the President in which they argued about how best to handle North Korea.

Guess what I just read from Joshua Micah Marshall? The Bush administration has badly screwed up handling North Korea.

Because of a weapons program that may not even have existed (and no one ever thought was far advanced) the White House the White House got the North Koreans to restart their plutonium program and then sat by while they produced a half dozen or a dozen real nuclear weapons—not the Doug Feith/John Bolton kind, but the real thing.

It's a screw-up that staggers the mind. And you don't even need to know this new information to know that. Even if the claims were and are true, it was always clear that the uranium program was far less advanced than the plutonium one, which would be ready to produce weapons soon after it was reopened. Now we learn the whole thing may have been a phantom.

I wish I were surprised.

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