A highly knowledgeable source writes to comment on “Not just the most liberal senator.” He writes:
It would be nice if the press would bring just one reporter back from Alaska to look into Senator Obama’s legislative claims. If you’ll bear with me, I think a few details on “signature” Lugar-Obama legislation bear fleshing out because The One is being an out-and-out fabulist.
In one of Obama’s television ads, and in countless press interviews, Obama claims that he “reach[ed] out to Senator Lugar…to help lock down loose nuclear weapons.” Not true.
A little background::
The Soviet-Nuclear Threat Reduction Act passed in 1991(!) and was signed by George H.W. Bush. It was renamed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction ACT in 1993. It was meant to secure Russia’s nuclear stockpile and to help pay for eliminating Russia’s excess strategic weapons. By the time that Obama entered the Senate the legislation had mostly accomplished its main goals (securing Soviet nuclear warheads and destroying delivery systems). In fact, Russia had long since begun building new nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
What Obama’s legislation did was extend and amend this already wildly successful legislation. But the real substance of amendment had nothing to do with nuclear weapons. Just the opposite. The new authorities in Obama’s amendment dealt only with conventional weapons.
Here are his amendments to section 11 of the State Department Authorization Act of 2006:
(a) In General- The Secretary of State is authorized to secure, remove, or eliminate stocks of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), small arms and light weapons, stockpiled munitions, abandoned ordnance, and other conventional weapons, including tactical missile systems (hereafter in this section referred to as ‘MANPADS and other conventional weapons’), as well as related equipment and facilities, located outside the United States that are determined by the Secretary to pose a proliferation threat.
And Section 12:
a) Statement of Policy – Congress declares that it should be the policy of the United States to hold foreign governments accountable for knowingly transferring MANPADS to state-sponsors of terrorism or terrorist organizations.
This amendment didn’t start any work on securing nukes, nor did it finish it. It doesn’t even mention nuclear weapons. In fact, you could argue that it diverted us from securing “loose nukes.”
And look at that Section 12 statement of policy, again. It’s vintage Obamian bunny rabbits and rainbows. Keep in mind that the largest manufacturer of MANPADS is Russia. And the country that most often transfers them to terrorists is Iran. Just how did Obama want to “hold them accountable”? Tickle them to death? Write them a very nasty letter? He doesn’t say.
This legislation that Obama claims as his own was couched in the annual State Department Authorization…he wasn’t even a cosponsor of that larger bill. His amendment had been folded into the larger authorization much earlier (yes, by unanimous consent).
But we can actually take this one step further. After the bill’s passage, the US went on a worldwide hunt to buy up MANPADs. Unable to get the MANPADs out of the hands of real enemies, we twisted the arms of allies to give up air defense stockpiles we deemed superfluous. One of the easiest targets? Georgia. We browbeat Georgia into giving us its MANPAD stockpile, which was their only air defense. We all know the rest of the story. Georgia was smart enough to go buy a few new MANPADs from places like Poland (against our loud protestations), but when Russia invaded last month they didn’t have nearly enough to protect themselves against Russia’s onslaught.
Obama shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this.
It’s too bad the big boys at the Washington Post can’t be bothered to look seriously into Obama’s tall tales of bipartisan accomplishment. You’d think this story might be up their alley. Unfortuntately, they’re busy at the moment checking up on Governor Palin’s per diem as governor of Alaska.
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