Democratic Leaders Address the Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction; Reid andPelosi Receive Report from National Security Advisory Group
WASHINGTON, July 20 /U.S. Newswire/ — The failure of action by the Bush Administration to fully protect Americans from the terrorist threat of weapons of mass destruction was addressed today by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who stood with members of the National Security Advisory Group, chaired by former Defense Secretary William J. Perry. Perry delivered a report to the leaders titled, “Worst Weapons in Worst Hands: U.S. Inaction on the Nuclear Terror Threat Since 9/11, And A Path Of Action,” which details the significant shortcomings by the Bush Administration to contain these weapons and materials and offers key recommendations that will help to protect Americans from this threat.
“The most important threat we face is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, yet this Administration’s missteps in Iraq have made tackling that threat so much harder,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. “This report shows we must keep our eye on the ball.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said: “The report concludes that the U.S. is fighting a global war on terrorism, but not a global war on weapons of mass destruction. The Administration has failed policies on weapons programs in North Korea and Iran, on securing loose nuclear material in Russia and elsewhere, and on strengthening the world’s nuclear nonproliferation system,” “The lack of leadership by the Bush Administration in these areas has made the American people less safe than they should be.”
The Democratic Leaders discussed their resolve to do everything possible to protect Americans from terrorism both here and abroad. As the report outlines, the Bush Administration’s failure to remain focused on the nuclear threat posed by both North Korea and Iran has significantly increased the risk that weapons of mass destruction will fall into the hands of terrorists and greatly increase instability in two already unstable regions. The Democratic Leaders embraced the key recommendations to reverse the setbacks suffered with both of these regimes; expedite the process to secure all loose nuclear material, and strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
“I urge the President and his advisors to consider carefully the plan for action described by Secretary Perry, Secretary Albright, and the National Security Advisory Group in this excellent report,” Pelosi said. “Protecting the American people is a bipartisan responsibility, and Democrats stand ready to work with Republicans to protect Americans from terrorism.”
Reid said: “It’s time we did everything we can to protect Americans and focus in on the threats we face,” Reid said. “This report makes very serious recommendations, and Democrats intend to use them to put this country back on the right path. I hope my Republican colleagues will join us in taking up these recommendations and keeping Americans safe.”