Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Late Night TV

Because I was so lazy this weekend I didn't even watch the Sunday chat shows, but I did catch Meet the Press during a late-night re-broadcast.

I wish I hadn't seen it, because it scared the shit out of me:

MR. RUSSERT: Not trying to alarm the American people, but to talk straight to them this morning, I'd like to go around the table. Chairman Kean, let me start with you. Based on everything you've learned during the course of your work as chairman of the September 11 Commission, do you believe it's a distinct possibility that you could witness a nuclear bomb in the United States of America in your lifetime?

MR. KEAN: I believe that, and we talked to nobody who had studied this issue who didn't think it was a real possibility. And if we don't perhaps head Lincoln's advice and, at this point, think anew and act anew, I worry very seriously.

MR. HAMILTON: Oh, yes, I think it's a distinct possibility. This technology is spreading. It's no longer confined to a few people or one or two countries. We've been fairly fortunate with the non- proliferation regime over a period of several decades now. We don't have nearly as many nuclear-power countries as might have been predicted 30 years ago. So the technology is spreading; terrorism is spreading; radical Islam is spreading. You've got an explosive mix here.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Nunn?

MR. NUNN: I agree. I think, though, that the message ought to be: It is certainly possible, but it is also preventable. There are a lot of things we can do that we have not done. I think the public can get involved by getting their leaders to put this on the front burner. Lastbestchance.org will get you a copy of the film. We believe that getting the public involved to help people like Dick Lugar, who are over there every day trying to explain to people why the Nunn-Lugar program is not foreign aid--and that goes on constantly. He and Joe Biden and others who support this program need help, so we need the American public involved, and also, we haven't gotten this formula yet. We've got to get a way to get this message to the Russian people. They've got to put pressure on their leaders, also.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator Lugar, a distinct possibility?

SEN. LUGAR: Yes, but I have the optimism that Sam has, that it's preventable. And I would just say: The need for more effective diplomacy in which we get together with the Russians so they help out our seven partners in Europe to spend this money that Lee Hamilton's talking about. Or are we--really work with great people like Jim Reed and Andy Weber and others who are there in the Pentagon now who have been instructors to us about what happens with chemical weapons, which we haven't talked a whole lot about and which may be a threat, or a dirty bomb, in which you don't have a nuclear bomb explosion but you pretty well ruin a city--these are all aspects that are preventable but more likely.

Not three hours earlier I'd caught part of the goofy Tom Clancy Ben Afflected vehicle The Sum of All Fears, in which the Baltimore Inner Harbor is blown up by a recovered Isreali bomb. It was strange to see a Sunday roundtable chat without Dems and Repubs bashing each other. They were all in agreement that we're fucking doomed to endure a nuclear attack, and probably soon.