Obama administration resurrects his ban-the-bomb stance from his student days

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of State John Kerry talk about banning the bomb (Getty Images)

You may say he is a dreamer, but he’s not the only one.

Out of the blue the Obama administration’s Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz are calling for a new round of talks in an attempt to revive the nuclear test ban treaty that the Senate nixed in 1999.

After giving Iran the green light to develop its own nuclear weapons at some time in the vague future — after Obama is out of office presumably — now seems like an odd time to resurrect Obama’s youthful, naifish dream of a nuke free world.

“I don’t think I was that unique at that time,” Obama has since said of his 1983 article in a Columbia University publication calling for for nuke-free world, “and I don’t think I’m that unique today in thinking that if we could put the genie back in the bottle, in some sense, that there would be less danger — not just to the United States but to people around the world.”

Nevada Test Site bomb test (Nevada State Museum)

There hasn’t been a full-blown, so to speak, nuclear weapon test at the Nevada Test Site since 1992, according to a Review-Journal article by Keith Rogers.

“From 1951 through 1992, the test site’s role focused on full-scale tests of nuclear weapons. During that time, 100 were conducted in the atmosphere until the Limited Test Ban Treaty took effect in 1963. That was followed by 828 that rumbled through the desert after they were set off below ground in shafts and tunnels,” Rogers writes. “The last one, Divider, was conducted on Sept. 23, 1992. What followed was a moratorium that has been extended indefinitely.”

But what has followed are underground subcritical tests. There have been at least two dozen of those.

But those apparently would not violate a nuclear test ban treaty. According to Lawrence Livermore scientists, in these experiments chemical high explosives are detonated next to samples of weapons-grade plutonium to obtain information about what happens to the plutonium in a matter of microseconds. No critical mass is formed — no self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction or detonation.

Earlier this summer the Air Force did drop a dummy nuke bomb at the Tonopah Test Range. The tests are designed to assure the continued reliability of the weapon’s parts.

According to Politico, shortly after Kerry and Moniz started talking about a test ban treaty, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican called the effort “almost comical.”

“It wasn’t in our national security interests then, it’s not in our interests now, and it won’t be in the future,” Cotton was quoted as saying in a statement. “If the Obama administration intends to ‘reopen’ the discussion over Senate ratification of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty) then I intend to ‘reopen’ the fight against it.”

How confident are we that our current nuclear weapons still work as intended after all these decades? Just asking.

 

If you disagree with Obama, you are a fool or a knave

The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens has aptly summed up Obama’s petulant speech defending his Iran nuclear deal: If you oppose it you are either a fool or a knave, no possibility of a rational alternative point of view.

“And so before the ink was even dry on this deal — before Congress even read it — a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition,” Obama said. ” Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists, disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary (of Energy Ernest) Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple — and sometimes contradictory — arguments about why Congress should reject this deal.”

His expert Moniz is the same fellow who praised the EPA’s futile and job-killing Clean Power Plan.

Stephens questions the certitude of someone with Obama’s track record. Al Qaeda is not on the run. Assad’s days are not numbered. You could not keep your doctor or your insurance. There is no reset with Russia. And Yemen was not an anti-terrorism success story.

This was the speech in which Obama compared Republicans to Iranian hardliners, you know, the people he just negotiated the deal with.

“In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo.  It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal,” Obama said. ” They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” The White House transcript indicates this was met with laughter and applause. Nice.

But now there are reports that the U.S. secretly agreed to a nuclear Iran back in 2011.

According to Israel Hayom:

The U.S. government began secret nuclear talks with the Iranian regime in 2011, when Holocaust-denying firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still president, rather than after supposed “moderate” Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013, as the Obama administration has claimed. This revelation was made public by Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a speech delivered on June 23.

Reportedly, Secretary of State John Kerry had relayed a letter to the Iranian regime recognizing Iran’s enrichment rights.

Who is comparing whom to hardliners?

Obama playing golf Monday (AP photo)