Monday, July 10, 2006

Bush's nuclear deal with Russia is a bad idea. Congress should kill it.

It looks and sounds like another bad idea from the Bill Clinton-Strobe Talbott playbook: send our spent nuclear fuel to Russia and pay the Russians billions of dollars to store it.

And do it pre-emptively, demanding nothing in return.

That Clintonian logic is all the rage in the State Department right now, where Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns seems to be calling the shots for Russia.

Burns, the robust-looking man of steel appearing in the photo, was the Russia guy on Clinton’s National Security Council, ran aid for the former Soviet Union in the Clinton State Department, and flacked for the slavishly pro-Kremlin policies of Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott.

Sunday’s Washington Post reports that the Bush Administration wants to give Russia billions of dollars to store American and other spent nuclear fuel. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the administration isn’t demanding anything up front in return. Even worse, senior US officials are merely hoping that the prospect might incentivize Russia to stop supplying Iran’s nuclear program.

This is a preposterous idea hatched by a latter-day Alger Hiss. If the White House and Pentagon don’t kill this thing, Congress should. And quickly, before it develops a life of its own.

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