Pletka Poses North Korea Nuke Nonsense

June 5, 2009

pletka200In case anyone out there still wonders how it could be that those considered to be knowledgeable by the insular Beltway punditocracy can be granted a forum to spout their drivel over and over even though they have been shown up as consistently wrong at every turn, I offer up the case of the AEI’s Danielle Pletka.

In today’s Washington Post, she tells us the following (from here, in an opinion piece with the charming title of “Negotiating For The Other Side”)…

…the Clinton administration and that of George W. Bush fell into the same negotiating trap with North Korea. The Clinton team was so wedded to the prospect of a nuclear-free North Korea that the president and secretary of state were willing to ignore intelligence indicating that Pyongyang was cheating on its agreement. When evidence surfaced that North Korea was diverting fuel-oil shipments to military industries in contravention of the Agreed Framework, Robert Gallucci, the agreement’s negotiator, blamed the Pentagon for having insisted on such restrictions. The Bush administration was little better. Indeed, Bush’s North Korea envoy, Christopher Hill, came to personify negotiator’s Stockholm syndrome, reportedly demanding that intelligence regarding North Korean noncompliance with its denuclearization commitments be vetted through him and cutting off the flow of information to diplomats with contrarian views on the wisdom of his approach to Pyongyang.

I wish I could verify what Pletka said about Gallucci, but despite much Googling, I cannot. However, regarding the matter of cheating on the Agreed Framework, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tells us the following (from here, and corroborated by Gallucci here in the 14th comment)…

It is true that North Korea MAY HAVE cheated by trying to set up a second path toward nuclear weapons, involving enriching uranium. We know that North Korea imported some equipment that would have been used for enriching uranium, and when confronted in the fall of 2002, North Korea seemed to admit that it had something going on. But we don’t know if there was ever a formal program launched, and there’s zero evidence that a weapon was actually made. The intelligence community believes it wasn’t. So, yes, North Korea probably cheated on the agreement, but not in a serious way that produced a weapon (and the U.S. didn’t fully implement the agreement, either).

But the George W. Bush administration abandoned the Agreed Framework, and North Korea then pulled out its plutonium fuel rods and made about six bombs. If there was a uranium program, it still hasn’t produced any weapons.

So the upshot was that North Korea produced 1-2 weapons in the George H.W. Bush administration, 0 in the eight years of Clinton, and about 6 in the eight years of George W. Bush. That makes the Clinton policy of negotiation with North Korea look pretty successful, and the hard-line policies of Bush 43 horrific.

And by the way, on the matter of Hill “demanding that intelligence regarding North Korean noncompliance with its denuclearization commitments be vetted through him and cutting off the flow of information to diplomats with contrarian views” (assuming this is not merely Pletka’s spin and it can actually be believed), I think it should be noted that Hill was continually undercut by “Deadeye Dick” Cheney, as noted here, and was probably trying to head off his interference in particular.

Pletka continues…

Too often U.S. negotiators are diplomatic gamblers who, in a quest for progress or a place in the history books, weaken American national security in the hope that their next throw of the dice will bring success. Some negotiators have shown themselves willing to shade the truth to Congress; others have politicized intelligence. Proponents of the negotiations game argue that entangling adversaries in a process buys time and security. But as North Korea’s most recent nuclear test proves, the time that negotiations buy helps only our adversaries.

So far beyond a joke to hear Pletka say that “negotiators” have been known to “shade the truth” to Congress and have “politicized intelligence,” since she, for the most part, was a cheerleader for a presidential regime who did these dark deeds like no other.

But this is typical for Pletka, a hard-core neocon who fronted for Iraqi National Congress con man Ahmed Chalabi, cut her “teeth,” as it were, working for Jesse Helms (as noted here), and has been a torture cheerleader, among her various other misdeeds (with more of her delusional behavior on display here).

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