Hillary: Dim Bulb

As many of you have long suspected, and some of you now realize, Hillary Clinton is a dim bulb.   

She was in India last week, telling the Indians that she wanted to "look at new ways," in cooperation with them, to prevent the global and regional proliferation of nuclear weapons.   

Right people to cooperate with; wrong objective! 

Hillary’s long-awaited trip "is expected to see the first concrete move in re-starting nuclear [materials and technology] trade [prohibited by US law since the Indian tests of nuclear weapons in 1974] since the two countries signed the landmark [Bush-Cheney-Rice] bilateral agreement last year."  

With Congress obligingly gutting the Atomic Energy Act, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group making mind-boggling exceptions to its rules [and the International Atomic Energy Agency going along with those mind-boggling exceptions], India not only wasn’t required to become a signatory [either have-weapon or have-not] to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, but got to keep its nuclear-weapons arsenal, and was allowed to decide which of its nuclear programs would be made subject to IAEA Safeguards Agreements, and for how long. 

In other words, thanks to Bush-Cheney-Rice, the IAEA-NPT-NSG nuke proliferation-prevention regime has been murdered, most foul. 

And obviously, if Hillary searched high and low, she could never find a nation-state worse positioned to help her prevent – if that’s what she really wants to do — the international proliferation of nuclear weapons.  

[Well, maybe North Korea.] 

But, fortunately for Hillary, India – never an NPT signatory, but a member of the IAEA General Conference from the gitgo — is one of the most powerful and vocal advocates of repairing [if at all possible] the damage done to the IAEA by Bonkers Bolton and re-establishing the IAEA’s original mission to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world." 

Contrary to Bonkers Bolton – and apparently the incoming Director-General Yukiya Amano – the IAEA is neither an arms-control agency or a disarmament agency.  It is, above all, an Atoms for Peace agency. 

Now, the IAEA "shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at is request or under its supervision or control, is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose."   

Hence, the IAEA is authorized "to establish and administer safeguards designed to ensure that special fissionable and other materials, services, equipment, facilities … under its supervision or control are not used in such a way as to further any military purpose."   

Believe it or not, there are materials, services, equipment and facilities in this country, made subject to IAEA Safeguards by President Bill Clinton.    

[But none in Israel, which is also a member of the IAEA General Conference.]  

All of Iran’s materials, services, equipment and facilities have been subject to IAEA  Safeguards since 1974.   

As of this writing, none of Iran’s IAEA Safeguarded materials, services, equipment and facilities have ever been judged by IAEA inspectors to have been used in such a way as to further any military purpose.   


Furthermore, Iran’s Safeguards agreements remain in force so long as Iran is an NPT-signatory. 

Of course, as a result of the Bush-Cheney-Rice-India nuclear agreement, since India is not an NPT-signatory, if at some future time India decides to "divert’ some of its IAEA Safeguarded materials, services, equipment and facilities to a military purpose, India can do so, with impunity.   

And rightly so. 

Hence, it is vitally important to Iran, other members of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League and peace-loving creatures everywhere, that India becomes a powerful and vocal advocate of repairing  [if at all possible] the damage done to the IAEA by Bonkers Bolton and to re-establish [if at all possible]  the IAEA’s original mission  to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world." 

You see, as numerous spokespersons for Iran, the NAM, the OIC, the Arab League, and others repeatedly insist; it is not so much the international proliferation of nuclear weapons that concerns them. Or the deliberate gutting by Bush-Cheney-Bolton of the IAEA-NPT-NSG nuke proliferation-prevention regime. 

No. It is the refusal of those with nukes to swear on a stack of "bibles" or "dollars," or whatever they hold dear and/or sacred, that they will not only not attack and destroy IAEA properly Safeguarded facilities, sited in whatever helpless UN-member state, but that they will retaliate —  surely, swiftly and appropriately — against any aggressor nation-state that does.   

It’s not so much whether nukes are proliferated, as it is whether NPT-signatories are guaranteed those nukes will never be used against them. 

As the Vienna Chapter of the NAM put it in a statement made to the IAEA Board of Governors last month 

    NAM reaffirms the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities – operational or under construction – poses a great danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and regulations of the IAEA.

    NAM recognizes the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.  

Now, that is what the US, China, Russia, France and UK essentially agreed to at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.  

But, at the 2005 NPT Review Conference, Bush-Cheney-Rice refused to allow the minutes, findings and agreements of the 2000 NPT RevCon to even be acknowledged, much less discussed or affirmed. 

So, what Hillary needs to do for the next year or so is to work with India to repair – if at all possible – the damage done by Bush-Cheney-Bolton-Rice to the IAEA and its principal mission, to promote "atoms for peace," which essentially is unrelated to nuclear-weapon proliferation-prevention.  

In the meantime, President Obama needs to hold a press conference with Vladimir Putin, wherein they jointly make it clear that at the 2010 NPT RevCon they will ratify that agreement "initialed" at the 2000 NPT RevCon, and that in the interim, any nation-state that attacks an IAEA Safeguarded facility anywhere in the world will be subject to immediate, devastating retaliatory attacks by both the United States and Russia.  

That ought to do it, Hillary.

Author: Gordon Prather

Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.