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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:00 PM

Another View: Nuclear treaties need Grassley's help

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20121118/OPINION01/311180031/-1/debatedemafter/Another-View-Nuclear-treaties-need-Grassley-s-help

Another View: Nuclear treaties need Grassley's help

Nov 17, 2012
Written by Greg Thielmann

As the Congress gathers in Washington for its final session of the year, bipartisan cooperation is going to be needed more than ever to address the urgent issues facing the nation. One of its critical priorities should be approving two treaties that help construct barriers to nuclear terrorism.

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For too long, two anti-terrorism treaties have been waiting for congressional approval. These treaties, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, and the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials, are common sense measures that enhance the world’s ability to prevent incidents of nuclear terrorism and punish those responsible.

<snip>

After strong backing for the treaties from the president and his predecessor, the House of Representatives finally passed compromise legislation earlier this year with broad bipartisan support. However, rather than facilitating swift Senate action on the treaties, Senator Grassley slowed the process by seeking amendments on issues his Republican colleagues in the House had already set aside.

The Grassley amendments are peripheral to the goal of spurring international action against nuclear terrorism. His insistence on imposing the death sentence for terrorism cases is quixotic and counterproductive given its absence in most of the world’s democracies and especially odd from a senator whose own state eliminated capital punishment from its laws in 1965.

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About the author:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Thielmann

Greg Thielmann served as a top intelligence official at the U.S. State Department until resigning shortly before the war with Iraq and charging the George W. Bush administration with cooking its intelligence.

A graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, worked for U.S. Congressman John Culver before entering the United States Foreign Service where he has served for more than 25 years, working in arms control and security issues. He was acting director of the Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs Office in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department at the time of his retirement.

At the State Department, Thielmann was assigned the task of giving John R. Bolton his daily intelligence briefing. Thielmann has since accused Bolton of cooking the intelligence and refusing to hear intelligence that contradicted his pre-established opinions.

He is now a senior fellow of the Arms Control Association.

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