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CIA to put kibosh on faith-based North Korea nuclear policy?

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By See-Dubya  •  April 23, 2008 12:49 PM

In laying out the case against Bush’s faith-based North Korean nuclear policy, I asked this question:

The story about the Israeli strike was that North Korea had given Syria nuclear technology. If they didn’t, who did?

Well, the LA Times says the CIA is going to brief Congress (keeping the details classified) on the fact that it really was North Korea giving plutonium technology to Syria:

CIA officials also will say that though U.S. officials have had concerns for years about ties between North Korea and Syria, it was not until last year that new intelligence convinced them that the suspicious facility under construction in a remote area of Syria was a nuclear reactor, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity when discussing plans for the briefing.

By holding closed, classified briefings for members of several congressional committees, the administration will break a long silence on North Korean-Syrian nuclear cooperation and on what it knows about last year’s destruction of the Syrian facility. …

It was not clear Tuesday how recently North Korea may have been aiding Syria. But disclosure of the relationship to the committees is likely to bring criticism from conservative lawmakers who already believe that U.S. overtures to North Korea have offered the government in Pyongyang too many benefits without assurances that it will disclose the extent of its nuclear arms effort or ultimately surrender its weapons.

Apparently we’re just supposed to ignore this in order to get a deal with the DPRK–a deal that North Korea obviously can’t be trusted to honor. It’s like hiring a violent, convicted meth addict as a babysitter–would you really feel peace of mind because, hey, they’d signed a contract?

Some administration officials are believed to be unhappy with the latest developments in talks with North Korea. But several analysts were skeptical of speculation that the briefing might have been initiated by internal opponents who hope to set off an outcry that would scuttle any deal with Pyongyang.

“You’ll have some outcry, but I doubt there are enough people on Capitol Hill even paying attention to oppose it,” said Gordon Flake, who follows the issue as executive director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and is a critic of such a pact.

Well, their attention can be focused. And when the Bush administration is ignoring North Korea’s attempt to set up a plutonium plant in Syria, it ought to be focused.

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Capitol Hill switchboard, (202)224-3121.
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Look, I’ll be the first to admit there’s probably a lot going on in the nuclear proliferation demimonde that we civilians don’t understand. There may be some good reasons for the administration to do what it’s doing. Those may include threats and intelligence that the public doesn’t need to know. I’m fine with that.

But Congress? Congress supposedly has an oversight role. They ought to be focused in on North Korean plutonium transfers to Syria and God-knows-where-else like an anal-retentive laser.

So should the press.

P.S. Where’s the Sea Prince?

{Post by See-Dubya.}

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