Snowe and the posting of "How to Make a Nuclear Bomb"
Press Conference, Democratic Party Campaign Headquarters
Schoolhouse Building, Harlow Street, Bangor, Maine
November 4, 2006
Once again, it happened on Olympia Snowe's watch.
We learned yesterday from the New York Times that the Senate
Intelligence Committee, on which Sen. Olympia Snowe sits, is responsible
for the posting on the internet of "detailed information on how to
build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as
the radioactive cores of atom bombs."
According to Friday's
New York Times, the U.S. government posted:
"a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war…. The site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb. The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums."
Within months of this posting last Spring, North Korea conducted its first underground nuclear test. I have to ask -- is that just a coincidence?
The New York Times story says the Bush administration ordered
the posting under pressure from Congressional Republicans, led by
the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Congressman Peter
Hoekstra of Michigan, and his Senate counterpart, Pat Roberts of Kansas.
The documents were pulled off the site Friday after the New York Times
As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, did Sen. Snowe know about her committee chair's insistence on this internet posting? If so, did she approve of it? If she did not know, why not? Was the 28-year senior senator from Maine kept out of the loop? Or was she just not paying attention?
This serious threat to our nation's security happened on Olympia Snowe's watch, orchestrated by the Senate Intelligence Committee on which she sits. It is just the latest in a long list of bad decisions, made by Sen. Snowe, made with her support, or on her watch.
That's why, despite what you may see in Sen. Snowe's TV ads, the Maine media this year has expressed strong reservations about returning Sen. Snowe to office for another six years.
The Bangor Daily News pointed to Sen. Snowe's willingness
to suspend habeas corpus rights for some detainees in the war on terrorism,
and to her support for allowing the president to define what constitutes
torture, or "acceptable treatment," for prisoners, calling those decisions
"troubling concessions that are likely to be challenged in court."
The Brunswick Times Record pointed out that Snowe:
"has voted to strengthen the president's power, thereby weakening the role of Congress. Specifically, through her support of the Iraq resolution that gave President Bush virtually a blank check to wage war, and the Military Commissions Act that suspends the right of habeas corpus for anyone deemed an 'enemy combatant.'"
Also, the Times Record continued, Snowe is:
"co-sponsoring the Terrorist Surveillance Act (S 2455). Not yet passed, this bill would make the Bush administration's secret, warrant-less, domestic wiretapping program legal after the fact. It seems to us a pre-emptive strike to put the matter to rest before there's been a successful investigation into the National Security Agency program.
In a very powerful choice of words, the Times Record stated
that Sen. Snowe has enabled the Bush agenda "in ways that are detrimental
to a free people. When defending the U.S. Constitution, moderation
can become capitulation."
The Camden Herald flat-out
told its readers: Do Not Support War Politicians. This is what
they wrote in Thursday's paper:
"Sen. Olympia Snowe has served Maine honorably and moderately
for many years. Then, setting aside all reason and moderation,
she voted to allow President Bush to invade and occupy Iraq, and
has backed him ever since.
The Rockland Courier-Gazette:
"We are all allowed a mistake every now and then, but this is not one of them. As a result of her backing for this contrived war, thousands of innocent human beings now lie in their graves, many with American flags flying over them. Snowe only risks losing her job. She is fortunate."
"There is no larger issue facing the country than the Iraq War debacle that has dragged on for more than three years. The war has cost the lives of nearly 3,000 U.S. military personnel and caused life-altering injuries to many thousand more.
The Courier-Gazette concluded its editorial by endorsing my candidacy
in this race.
The cost has also been outrageous in terms of the money that has been drained from domestic needs to fund this war. And then there is the damage it has done to the reputation of the country, fueling anti-U.S. sentiments in the Arab and non-Arab world.
Congress has thus far given President George W. Bush carte blanche in launching this war and waging it. Congress needs to be held accountable.
U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe is among the members of Congress who allowed the president to launch this war. She voted for it and even after all that has transpired since March 2003, has yet to call for an immediate withdrawal of the troops. She has announced this year that a new direction must be taken, but this is more than three years and billions of dollars too late.
To her credit, Snowe has parted company with the president on some issues, but the war in Iraq supersedes all other issues. Snowe has failed this test."
So, there you have it. Sen. Snowe's troubling concessions, a blank check to wage war, suspension of habeas corpus rights, weakening the role of Congress, enabling the Bush agenda in ways that are detrimental to a free people. And now, the issue of nuclear bomb making instructions, put on the internet at the insistence of the Senate Intelligence Committee on which she sits.
If this is what has happened on Olympia Snowe's watch only in the past six years of the Bush administration, what will the next six years on her watch get us? Can we afford to find out?
May I suggest that after 28 years in Congress, four years longer than Margaret Chase Smith, it is time for Sen. Snowe to go.
I urge all Maine voters who are as concerned as I am about the direction this country has taken to vote for me, Jean Hay Bright, on Nov. 7. Vote for the America you want to live in. Thank you.