Lou Dobbs Rails At White House Incompetence For Funding Nuclear Technology That May End Up In The Hands Of Iran

[media id=4198] [media id=4199] (h/t Heather) Lou Dobbs is outraged, outraged, I tell you!, at yet another example of lip service by the Bush Admin

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Lou Dobbs is outraged, outraged, I tell you!, at yet another example of lip service by the Bush Administration of caring about national security while doing something entirely opposite. No offense, Lou, but get in line.

Apparently, our tax dollars are going to fund a Russian nuclear lab (why?) that is in turn, working with the Iranians. The subtext is that the Russians are helping the Iranians develop a nuclear weapons program, NIE Report be damned. However, it would be interesting to know why the US continues to fund nuclear technology development in Russia.

PILGRIM: The rationale for the Department of Energy program was to pay the salaries of Russian scientists who were left without incomes after the Cold War. The thinking was to keep them on the payroll so they wouldn't peddle their nuclear expertise to rogue nations like Iran. [..]

DOBBS: This administration, everyone keeps talking about the legacy of this administration, well their legacy is mind-boggling, unbelievable, breathtaking, incompetence and stupidity. That is going to be the legacy of the Bush administration. Thank god that Congressman Dingell and Stupak are leading the way on this issue. I mean my -- how in the heck can a secretary of the Department of Energy, Samuel Bodman, even get up in the morning and think he has done anything but waste some of God's protoplasm if he can't run that department better than he is.

Transcript of this segment below. Full show transcripts available here.

DOBBS: I suspect you're not going to believe at the outset a startling new twist in Iran's ambition to develop nuclear power and weaponry. Unbelievably, the U.S. government has been funding a Russian institute that is working with Iran on nuclear projects. Another clear failure of the American government to protect our national security and it's absolutely another statement as to the incompetence of our State Department and our foreign policy. Kitty Pilgrim has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The U.S. Department of Energy is funding two Russian institutes with about $4 million and those institutes help Iran with their nuclear program in Bushehr. Evidence is found in Russian documents obtained by the General Accountability Office. Page after page shows various projects and one page reads "integration of plant-shared equipment at Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant is in progress". An Energy Department official at the House Energy Committee hearing today had no answers.


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SAMUEL BODMAN, ENERGY SECRETARY: I have not had time to fully investigate but I have directed the principle deputy of the NNSA, Bill Ostendorf to look into those questions and to report back to me.

PILGRIM: He also added Bushehr is a commercial nuclear power plant not military.

REP. JOHN DINGELL (D), ENERGY & COMMERCE CHMN.: How, Mr. Secretary, do you then rhyme that statement with what the State Department said when they said this. Iran uses Bushehr as a cover and a protection for obtaining sensitive technology to advance its nuclear weapons program.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With respect to the Bushehr reactor, my understanding is that this is something we -- that the president has spoken to President Putin about, that the proliferation issues have been discussed and that reactor remains under IAEA safeguards.

PILGRIM: Nuclear nonproliferation experts say Russian help with Bushehr can be used in other projects.

HENRY SOKOLSKI, NONPROLIFERATION POLICY ED. CTR.: What the Russians are actually helping to do is to bring a large reactor online which can make scores of bombs worth of plutonium per year and we're hoping that the Iranians won't divert any of this material.

PILGRIM: The rationale for the Department of Energy program was to pay the salaries of Russian scientists who were left without incomes after the Cold War. The thinking was to keep them on the payroll so they wouldn't peddle their nuclear expertise to rogue nations like Iran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Now the House Energy Committee can't believe that writing on the Web site only this administration would complain about proliferation in Iran as part of the President Bush's axis of evil and then finance it with American taxpayer dollars -- Lou.

DOBBS: This administration, everyone keeps talking about the legacy of this administration, well their legacy is mind-boggling, unbelievable, breathtaking, incompetence and stupidity. That is going to be the legacy of the Bush administration. Thank god that Congressman Dingell and Stupak are leading the way on this issue. I mean my -- how in the heck can a secretary of the Department of Energy, Samuel Bodman, even get up in the morning and think he has done anything but waste some of God's protoplasm if he can't run that department better than he is.

PILGRIM: Well, you know, just the answers today were astonishing. I don't know, we'll check.

DOBBS: Unbelievable. The arrogant, indifference and utter incompetence of this administration at every level. It is pervasive, it is shameful and the fact that the American people have had to put up with this and continue to do so, it's -- it's just incredible. That is just an unbelievable story.

PILGRIM: Yes, it is unbelievable. There will be more -- new developments, I'm sure, on this.

DOBBS: Any thought to, perhaps, changing the direction of policy at the Energy Department?

PILGRIM: They were defending the policy. They say that Russian institutes that participate in Bushehr are not disqualified from these funds. They were actually defending this policy today.

DOBBS: It -- when I suggested there was a change of policy, I didn't for a moment go into some sort of Polly-Anna lapse and assume that the -- anyone in the Bush administration be intelligent or sensitive enough to think about a change. But Congressmen Dangle, Congressman Stupak showing some considerable presence and, frankly, some forward looking consideration. Are they demanding they change?

PILGRIM: Yes, they are.

DOBBS: Kitty Pilgrim, again, terrific reporting, really a lousy story for those who care about this country. Thank you

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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