alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

North Korea gets nuclear

You know by now that North Korea has most likely detonated a nuclear bomb. Two quick points before another sad Bush transcript:

Not to downplay the significance of a catastrophic weapon in the hands of a deluded asshat like Kim Jong-Il, but it's not a deliverable weapon, but a first step toward one: "according to Joseph Cirincione at the Center for American Progress, a Washington DC-based think tank. 'It can’t be put on a missile and is probably too big for a plane,' Cirincione told the BBC."

Second point. You know the drill. Focusing on Iraq, which had no weapons, or operational weapons program, Bush allowed North Korea to develop these nukes. And they did so with the help of Bush's ally, Pakistan. Via former 60 Minutes producer, Barry Lando:

That tunnel vision persisted even after June 2002, when, according to Seymour Hersh, the CIA revealed to President Bush and his key advisors that, since 1997, Pakistan had been "sharing sophisticated technology, warhead design information, and weapons-testing data with North Korea, including how to conceal their nuclear research from the U.S. and South Korea." The Bush administration sat on the CIA report; the White House didn’t want to divert the focus from Saddam Hussein, and Pakistan had become a vital ally in President Bush’s war on terrorism.
Even more damning to the man and the party whose supposed strength is national security, it looks like Bush didn't even attempt to make a nuclear program a no go. Via the WaPo:
Unlike the Clinton administration -- which suggested to North Korea that it would attack if Pyongyang moved to reprocess the plutonium -- the Bush administration never set out "red lines" that North Korea must not cross. Bush administration officials argued that doing so would only tempt North Korea to cross those lines.
And now this remarkable conversation on N. Korea from Woodward's State of Denial, via RoxPopuli:

George W. pulled Bandar aside.
"Bandar, I guess you're the best asshole who knows about the world. Explain to me one thing."
"Governor, what is it?"
"Why should I care about North Korea?"
Bandar said he didn't really know. It was one of the few countries that he did not work on for King Fahd.
"I get these briefings on all parts of the world," Bush said, "and everybody is talking to me about North Korea."
"I'll tell you what, Governor," Bandar said. "One reason should make you care about North Korea."
"All right, smart alek," Bush said, "tell me."

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.