70 Percent Chance of Attack…

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Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-IN) office has just released a new report on proliferation that makes some massively important points. The most eye-opening stat here is that a survey of proliferation experts suggested that the chances of a WMD attack on a city somewhere in the world—radiological, nuclear, biological, chemical—could be as much as 70 percent over the next ten years. Obviously the plural of opinion isn’t fact, but 70 percent is pretty appallingly high, no? Meanwhile, those same experts say we can expect about two to five countries to join the nuclear weapons club over the next ten years—they don’t say which countries, but it’s safe to assume that the Bush administration won’t stop Iran and North Korea from arming, and I’ve got a hunch that we might well see Saudi Arabia, Japan, and possibly even Taiwan in that club.

Meanwhile, those proliferation experts are more or less in consensus on what is to be done here: strengthen arms control treaties, boost funding for the Nunn-Lugar initiative to destroy “loose” Russian nukes, placing controls on nuclear fuel cycles, etc. etc. Most of which has not been done, although now that John Bolton’s out of the State Department there have been a few encouraging steps. Oh, and they all think it would sure be nice to try and stop Iran and North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, although the White House’s utter inability even to talk to Pyongyang makes the latter a non-starter. Now the policy recommendations here are all eye-glazing stuff, it’s truel; perhaps not nearly as exciting for Karl Rove as, say, accusing one-third of the country of treason. Still, nuclear proliferation’s almost as big a threat to our country as Dick Durbin—lest we forget, President Bush did claim it as his number one priority during the presidential debates—and as always, it would be awfully swell if someone in charge was thinking seriously about this stuff.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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