My letter to BuzzFlash got printed today, a brief, not too articulate post about a debate on North Korea seen on MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. This was pretty shocking stuff, as you’ll see.
BuzzFlash Mailbag – January 13, 2003
Uh, United States…your slip is showing.
Hi there folks,
If anyone watched last night’s (Friday’s) MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour on PBS there was this slightly whitebread discussion on North Korea hosted by Ray Suarez, talking to Joel Wit (ex-State Department) and Henry Sokolski (ex-first Bush administration, and senior military legislative aide to Sen. Dan Quayle).
It was the usual stuff, but then Sokolski answered this question and stumbled. His face showed that he had got into the sentence halfway and then realized he was giving the game away. The sentence is here in the last paragraph below:
> RAY SUAREZ: Well, the Senate is going to be out of session for a little while,
> but the two senators from Arizona, John Kyle and John McCain, are proposing a
> bill now that would impose sanctions on North Korea. Is that the way to go?
> HENRY SOKOLSKI: Well, I think at a minimum — the short answer is yes. But at
> a minimum, we should at least cut off the further construction of two nuclear
> plants, each of which could make 50 bombs’ worth of weapons grade material in
> the first two months of operation.
> RAY SUAREZ: Cut off how, though?
> HENRY SOKOLSKI: End it. And particularly the United States is critical in the
> completion of those reactors. Only U.S. parts are — U.S. parts — excuse me
> — are critical to complete the plant. We should simply say that we are not
> going to send those to a known violator of the NPT.
Suarez just let him continue as if the guy hadn’t admitted we could stop the whole North Korea reactor crises if WE DIDN’T GIVE THEM THE PARTS!!! So who makes the parts? What parts? Is the government still going to send them to N. Korea? It was a breathtaking goof up, but Sokolski should not have worried–he was on American TV.
Oh, for a Jeremy Paxman-style interviewer.