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Monthly Archives: January 2015

US And Seven Wrong Strategies In Diplomacy With Iran

Eurasia Review | Op-Ed | Seyed Hossein Mousavian* | January 31, 2015

Former deputy head of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council for foreign policy has recently taken part in a meeting of American elites in the northeastern state of Maine to discuss reasons behind the failure of the United States diplomacy toward Iran during the past 35 years.

The meeting was organized by Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations and was attended by a large group of American elites.

During his speech, Mousavian mentioned the following reasons as the main factors behind the failure of diplomatic efforts taken by Washington to improve ties with Tehran:

1. US strategy of only trusting allies: The basis of the US strategy in the Middle East is the notion that countries in this region are either with the United States or against it. Therefore, any country that is not a US ally, or in better words, is not under the influence of the United States, is considered enemy and should be done away with. The past regime of Iran was an ally of the United States and was toppled through the Islamic Revolution. Since that time, the United States adopted a hostile approach to Iran, which it has continued up to the present time. This strategy has been wrong from the beginning because most regional allies of the United States have been either toppled during the past few years, or their governments are in an unstable and shaky position.

2. Israel, a priority for US policy in Middle East: The interests of Israel form the main axis around which the United States’ foreign policy in the Middle East pivots. This issue has made Iranians believe that Washington prefers the interests of Tel Aviv even over its own interests. The recent move by the US Congress to invite the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make a speech despite strong opposition from the US President Barack Obama clearly proved that in the eyes of most members of the US Congress, the prime minister of Israel is more respected, reliable, and trustworthy than their own president.

3. Strategy of pressure and threat: This strategy has been an unwavering component of the United States treatment of Iran during the past 35 years. The White House and the US Congress have constantly believed that they can topple the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran through pressure or threat, or at least, weaken it or make it isolated. Today, however, following 35 years of pressure and threat, they have reached a different conclusion and have come to grips with the reality of an Iran which is more powerful, more stable, and more influential than any time before.

4. Using language of humiliation and insult: Positions taken on and the language used to address Iran by the majority of American politicians has been one of humiliation and insult. Using such labels against the Islamic Republic as sponsor of “state terrorism,” “rogue state,” or part of the “axis of evil,” are major instances attesting to the fact that the United States has been always talking to Iran using a language of insult and humiliation. Washington has apparently forgotten that Iranians are a nation with their own civilization and culture, which dates backed several thousands of years. Therefore, they are a proud nation and cannot tolerate this sort of humiliating discourse.

5. Inattention to rules of international law: Although the United States claims to be an advocate of the norms of international law, in practice, it doesn’t abide by those norms. A salient example of this can be seen during the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran in which, Iran has been insisting on an agreement within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), while the United States has been making demands which are far beyond the limits of the NPT.

6. Focus on differences: Iran and the United States have both differences and important common interests. The diplomatic approach taken by Washington toward Tehran during the past 35 years has been putting the highest emphasis on those differences, while it would have been better for the United States to work with Iran on common interests while engaging in dialogue on points of difference.

7. Mutual distrust: Washington always believes that it has every right not to trust Tehran and has been raising claims against Iran. At the same time, that distrust has been mutual and Iran has had its own legitimate and documented reasons why it should not trust the United States. Therefore, to overcome this distrust, both countries should strive to understand this reality and take reciprocal steps to build trust.

*Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian is a research scholar at Princeton University and a former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiations. His latest book, Iran and the United States: An Insider’s view on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace, was published in May.

Source: Tasnim News Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

Nuclear deal no cause for celebration

The Hindu | Opinion | Suvrat Raju / M.V. Ramana | January 31, 2015


OVERSIGHT: “Although the design defects in reactor GE Mark I was first noted about 40 years ago, the nuclear industry resisted regulatory changes that could have ameliorated the Fukushima disaster.” Picture shows tanks containing radioactive water in Okuma, Fukushima, where the disaster occurred.     AP

Any understanding between Narendra Modi and Barack Obama on circumventing the Indian nuclear liability law to protect American reactor suppliers should be a matter of concern

At their recent meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama discussed methods of circumventing the Indian nuclear liability law to protect American reactor suppliers from the consequences of accidents caused by design defects. Although public details are scarce, if they have indeed reached an understanding on the issue, then this is not a cause for celebration; it should be a matter of deep concern.

The importance of supplier liability is illustrated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. When the reactors were hit by the tsunami that year, the weakness of the General Electric (GE) Mark I design was cruelly exposed. The reactors’ inadequate containment was unable to prevent the spread of radioactivity when the cooling systems failed and pressure built up inside the reactors. Although this design defect was first noted about 40 years ago, just as the Fukushima reactors were commissioned, the industry resisted regulatory changes that could have ameliorated the disaster.

Framework of impunity

The Japan Center for Economic Research estimated that the cost of cleanup at Fukushima may reach $200 billion. A 2013 expert study “Accounting for long-term doses in worldwide health effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident” published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science estimated that the disaster may lead to about a thousand excess deaths due to cancer. However, it is unlikely that GE will ever be held accountable for its poor design choice. Under Japanese law, the supplier is indemnified from liability for an accident. This is the framework of impunity under which nuclear suppliers like to operate.

Legal indemnity for suppliers creates a “moral hazard”— encouraging suppliers to take excessive risks since they don’t have to pay for the consequences. The case of GE not strengthening the Mark I containment is not an exception. The Presidential commission appointed to study the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster, which saw a partial nuclear meltdown, pointed out that the supplier, Babcock and Wilcox, was already aware of design defects that contributed to the accident, but never bothered to resolve them.

Nevertheless, suppliers have ferociously defended their privilege of being free of liability, and they exerted tremendous pressure on the Indian government when the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act was framed in 2010. Contrary to the industry’s propaganda, this is not a “tough” law. Indeed, several clauses in the law were directly lifted from an annex to the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation,” created by the U.S. government to benefit its nuclear industry.

The law channels primary liability for an accident to the operator — the public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India — and caps it at Rs. 1,500 crore. This overrides the absolute liability judgment of the Supreme Court, passed after the Bhopal gas leak disaster, which had no such limit. The cap is about a thousand times smaller than estimates of the damage that a serious nuclear accident could cause. Therefore, the law is designed to protect the financial interests of the operators and the supplier; victims or the taxpayers will simply have to bear costs beyond this cap.

Multinational suppliers are unhappy because a relatively minor clause allows the operator to recoup this compensation. By the scales of nuclear commerce, the amount of money involved is minuscule. A single reactor may cost up to an estimated Rs. 60,000 crore — 40 times the maximum amount the supplier could be liable for. The figures of each unit have been arrived at from studying plants under construction in Finland and France. If imposing liability on suppliers leads to cost increases, it can only mean that they are using the law as an excuse to escalate prices.

A close reading of the statements made by advocates of their interests reveals what suppliers are really concerned about: the Indian law could set a precedent that could undermine the iniquitous international system of impunity that they enjoy. “If litigants were able to file suit against suppliers, essentially it could destroy the whole industry,” declared Ashley Tellis, an American negotiator for the nuclear deal.

The United Progressive Alliance government repeatedly tried to subvert the law, earning a sharp rebuke from Arun Jaitley who wrote in 2013 that “a leopard never changes its spots. The government’s intention to dilute the right of recourse … [has] continued.” He should explain why his own government is pursuing a similar policy. The current proposal of using a “legal memorandum” to reinterpret the law is similar to the UPA’s attempt to sign away its “right of recourse” on various pretexts.

No tangible benefits

The most baffling feature of the current agreement is that it holds no tangible benefits for India. The United States has offered to sell two reactor designs — both of which are expensive and untested. The Westinghouse AP1000, which has been chosen for Mithi Virdi (Gujarat) is not in commercial operation anywhere and has encountered difficulties wherever it is being built. At Plant Vogtle, in the U.S. state of Georgia, Westinghouse and its partner Georgia Power have sued each other for a billion dollars over cost increases and delays. Even in China, the AP1000 has been delayed by about two years because of problems with reactor coolant pumps.

Even less can be said for GE’s Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR), selected for Kovvada (Andhra Pradesh). After years of questions about ESBWR’s steam dryer, the design obtained regulatory approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission — the first step before construction can commence — only in September 2014. There are no firm orders for the ESBWR.

The Vogtle plants were initially estimated to cost about $7 billion apiece. Even accounting for lower construction costs in India we showed — in a detailed study “Cost of Electricity from the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant” published in the Economic and Political Weekly — could translate into electricity tariffs that are as high as Rs. 15 per unit. If the government is looking for cheap electricity to promote development, importing American reactors hardly seems like a smart choice.

Last week, the residents of Mithi Virdi wrote an open letter to Mr. Obama and Mr. Modi reminding them that the “gram panchayats of four most-affected villages … [have] passed a resolution declaring the entire … region as [a] nuclear free zone.” The leaders of the “world’s largest democracies” face a clear choice. They can channel billions of dollars into nuclear corporations by sacrificing safety and economic prudence. Or they can heed the democratic voices from Mithi Virdi and cancel these unnecessary deals.

(Suvrat Raju and M.V. Ramana are physicists with the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace)

US firm Westinghouse Electric may bypass Toshiba for Gujarat plant

The Economic Times | Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury | Jan 29, 2015

NEW DELHI: United States-based nuclear plant maker Westinghouse Electric Corporation, which is keen to fast-track supply of reactors for the proposed plant in Gujarat after the breakthrough in Liability Act that held up operationalisation of the deal between the two countries, may explore sourcing of components bypassing its Japanese holding company Toshiba that cannot be party to deal in absence of India-Japan civil nuclear deal.

Westinghouse proposes to build six reactors for the 6,000 mw project at Chhaya Mithi Virdi in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.

Besides concessions on the Liability Act, civil nuclear deal between India and Japan was perceived to be a prerequisite for US firms, particularly for Westinghouse and General Electric (GE), which have parent companies – Toshiba and Hitachi respectively – based in Japan. In the GE-Hitachi partnership, the Japanese firm conducts nuclear business globally. The absence of India-Japan civil nuclear deal posed a legal hurdle for US firms to sell India nuclear technologies and equipment with components originating in Japan.

Officials, however, indicated that Westinghouse has already initiated the project with the assistance of operator Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and it could explore sourcing of equipment for the Gujarat plant from other countries.

“With regard to Westinghouse and GE, there are alternatives available and we do not think that the absence of an agreement with Japan is an obstacle to taking forward civil nuclear cooperation with the US,” said Amandeep Singh Gill, joint secretary in charge of disarmament and international security in the external affairs ministry. Gill spoke to media shortly after Modi announced a breakthrough in implementation of the civil nuclear deal.

Daniel Roderick, president and CEO of Toshiba-backed Westinghouse Electric Co, also said that a breakthrough has been achieved and logjam broken. Westinghouse is keen to launch its AP1000 reactor in the country and has partnered Larsen & Toubro for the purpose.

The parties concerned have not moved beyond a $10 million feasibility study and a pre-early works agreement between NPCIL and Westinghouse when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited USA in 2013.

Washington-based officials indicated that with a breakthrough in the major hurdle, the US may convince its ally Japan to conclude the nuclear deal with India at the earliest to benefit all three sides. Officials exuded optimism that India-Japan nuclear deal will be in place by the time the Gujarat plant takes concrete shape.

India and Japan had started talks in June 2010, but the dialogue was suspended after the mishap at Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant on March 11, 2011. Talks resumed on September 3, 2013, but the two countries could not clinch the deal as Japan insisted on a clause that would provide for immediate termination of all bilateral cooperation in the event of a nuclear weapon test by India.

Westinghouse Accompanies Historic U.S. Delegation to India

PITTSBURGH – Jan. 26, 2015 – Westinghouse Electric Company President and CEO Danny Roderick was among a select group of CEOs representing U.S. businesses who met with the U.S. delegation to India. The delegation was led by President Barack Obama and a group of India CEOs, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Roderick expressed his strong support for the efforts of the governments of the U. S. and India as they work to resolve issues that will enable Westinghouse and other U.S. companies to participate in India’s fast-growing nuclear energy market.

Mr. Roderick, along with other U.S. business leaders, is in India to participate in a wide range of business discussions led by President Barack Obama and U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

“The nuclear energy market in India is among the largest in the world, and Westinghouse looks forward to supporting it with our AP1000® nuclear plant, rightly regarded as the safest and most efficient in the world,” Mr. Roderick said.  “We are already in discussions with potential partners within India as part of our effort to provide nuclear energy plants in a manner that is mutually beneficial, creating jobs and building infrastructure in the United States and in the countries and regions in which we do business.

“I am pleased to have been a part of this effort, and I thank the governments of India and the United States for their acknowledgment that nuclear energy is essential to ongoing economic development and quality of life enhancement.  We look forward to providing India with the most advanced nuclear power plant safety features, unparalleled regulatory pedigree and delivery certainty.”

Westinghouse and Nuclear Power Company of India Limited signed an Early Works Agreement in 2013 to support construction of AP1000 nuclear power plants at the Mithivirdi site in Gujarat. The agreement represents the significant and ongoing progress toward the realization of the India – U.S. Civil Nuclear Agreement signed in 2008.

Eight AP1000 units are currently under construction worldwide: two each at the Vogtle and V.C. Summer sites in the U.S. and the Sanmen and Haiyang sites in China. In addition, shareholder agreements have been signed in the past few months for the development of AP1000 plants at the Moorside site in the United Kingdom and the Kozloduy site in Bulgaria.

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world’s pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world’s first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world’s operating nuclear plants. AP1000 is a trademark of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. All rights reserved.

Partnership on nuclear security

The United States and Russia must repair their partnership on nuclear security

The Washington Post | Opinion | Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar | January 23, 2015



(FILES) This file picture dated 1998 shows a Russian Army missile launch pad during a display of the replacement of a nuclear missile by another at the Tamanskaya division, Saratov region. (-/AFP)

Sam Nunn is co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a former U.S. senator from Georgia. Richard Lugar is president of the Lugar Center and a former U.S. senator from Indiana.

For more than two decades, the United States and Russia partnered to secure and eliminate dangerous nuclear materials — not as a favor to one another but as a common-sense commitment, born of mutual self-interest, to prevent catastrophic nuclear terrorism. The world’s two largest nuclear powers repeatedly set aside their political differences to cooperate on nuclear security to ensure that terrorists would not be able to detonate a nuclear bomb in New York, Moscow, Paris, Tel Aviv or elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this common-sense cooperation has become the latest casualty of the spiraling crisis in relations among the United States, Europe and Russia.

In December, Congress voted — for the first time in nearly a quarter-century — to defund U.S. efforts to secure vulnerable nuclear materials in the Russian Federation. Days later, Russian officials, following up on previous signals, informed their U.S. counterparts that Russia was cutting off most aspects of its nuclear security cooperation with the United States. These shortsighted actions send a dangerous message to the international community and represent a major setback in the global effort to secure nuclear materials.

Given the standoff over Ukraine, it is inevitable that many elements of the U.S.-Russian bilateral relationship will come under severe strain. However, the United States and Russia share a fundamental interest in nuclear security and, with it, a special responsibility to cooperate in this realm. Both countries have been victimized by terrorism, and both continue to be targets of terrorist organizations. A terrorist attack involving a nuclear weapon in any country would deal a devastating blow to global security, the global economy and our way of life. That is why American and Russian leaders cannot allow contention on other fronts to prevent them from pursuing mutually beneficial steps on nuclear security to avoid a disaster.

We have a strong history upon which to build. Cooperation between Washington and Moscow to secure or eliminate weapons of mass destruction dates to 1991, when the Soviet Union was collapsing and the security of its vast nuclear arsenal was in serious doubt. To prevent a nuclear catastrophe, the two of us worked with a bipartisan group of senators to pass legislation that formed the basis of what became known as the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. Under this program, the United States provided assistance to Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union to deactivate more than 7,600 nuclear warheads, eliminate more than 4,100 metric tons of chemical weapons, destroy more than 2,600 nuclear delivery vehicles and secure dozens of Soviet-era weapons facilities.

While these efforts dramatically reduced the dangers posed by the legacy of the Cold War, the work to secure Russia’s nuclear complex and to secure dangerous materials globally is far from over. Just last August, a high-level Energy Department advisory panel concluded, “Russia continues to have the world’s largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons, separated plutonium, and highly enriched uranium (HEU), in the world’s largest number of buildings and bunkers — and a variety of vulnerabilities remain that a sophisticated conspiracy could exploit.”

Unfortunately, the United States is no stranger to nuclear security vulnerabilities. We have experienced a number of security breaches at our nuclear sites, including an incident two years ago, when an 82-year-old nun and two others staging a protest managed to break into one of the world’s most secure nuclear facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn. If an unarmed nun is capable of breaking into America’s nuclear Fort Knox, we must entertain the possibility that terrorists could do the same, with much more serious consequences. Indeed, incidents like these underscore the need for global cooperation to enhance the security of nuclear material, much of which is housed in far less secure locations than Oak Ridge.

This effort must be global because the threat is global. In 1992, 50 countries possessed weapons-usable nuclear materials. Today, that number has been halved, thanks in no small part to bilateral cooperation between the United States and Russia.

Cooperation, however, need not be dominated by unilateral U.S. assistance. We need a new approach — a real nuclear security partnership guided by the principles of reciprocity and mutual interest, to which both countries contribute their own funding and technical resources.

Such a partnership should include: accelerating efforts to repatriate and eliminate U.S. and Russian-origin highly enriched uranium from other countries; collaborating on research and development of innovative nuclear security technologies; expanding nuclear security best-practice exchanges; and utilizing the extensive U.S. and Russian technical expertise to help support nuclear security improvements in other countries with nuclear materials.

These steps and others could be achieved on the basis of mutual interest without major concessions from either side. This will be impossible, however, if cooperation to prevent catastrophic terrorism is regarded as a geopolitical bargaining chip. Failing to cooperate in this area is a “lose-lose” proposition that would damage the vital interests of both nations and vastly increase the risk of nuclear terrorism. The United States and Russia must recognize the imperative to provide global leadership. The consequences of inaction are simply too great.



U.S. military eyed nuclear option for Japan in 1950s: documents

Kyodo News | Masakatsu Ota | Tokyo, Jan. 23, 2015

Top U.S. military officials considered giving the Japanese Self-Defense Forces atomic weapons in the 1950s under an arrangement similar to NATO’s “nuclear-sharing” deal, declassified U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff documents revealed on Friday.

In February 1958, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided its “position,” saying “The United States would prefer that Japan integrate appropriate atomic weapons into the Japanese self-defense forces.” The decision came five months after the U.S. military and the SDF conducted a joint map exercise assuming use of nuclear weapons, according to the JCS documents.

The nuclear map exercise, conducted in September 1957, had never been revealed to the public until a joint investigation by Kyodo News and Akira Kurosaki, associate professor of Fukushima University, uncovered the documents recently at the U.S. National Archives in Maryland.

As Cold War tensions rose in the 1950s with the Soviet Union’s successful nuclear tests and its development of hydrogen bombs, the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower dramatically increased its dependence on nuclear arms under its “New Look” policy that equated them with conventional weaponry.

The JCS decision on a potential nuclear option for Japan, which had come under nuclear attack the previous decade, suggests the U.S. Cold War mentality relied on nuclear arsenals as a countermeasure against the massive conventional capability of the Soviet bloc.

A JCS document dated Feb. 17, 1958 said “a combined U.S.-Japan Map Exercise FUJI was conducted in Japan during the period 24-28 September 1957,” in which the use of nuclear weapons was simulated.

The document does not mention the specific venue of the exercise. But an oral record left by late former senior Ground Self-Defense Force official, Gen. Ryuhei Nakamura at National Institute of Defense Studies, a research branch of Japan’s Defense Ministry, indicated that “FUJI” was held at the U.S. Camp Drake located in areas straddling Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture.

According to this oral record, the Japanese participants wanted to know how the U.S. military would use tactical nuclear weapons in Japan. However, the U.S. side did not provide precise information.

Still, the JCS documents detailed questions raised by the Japanese “Co-Director” during the joint map exercise.

“Would the United States hold all the nuclear weapons for use by her own delivery systems or would the United States release some weapons for use by Japan?” the JCS document paraphrased the questions posed by the Co-Director.

He also presented other questions such as; “Would the United States prefer Japan to have conventional weapons only?” “If Japan were to decide to arm herself with nuclear weapons, could she depend upon U.S. support for such a plan?”

A memorandum by the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Arleigh Burke, dated Nov. 20, 1957, said “the significance of the questions posed by the Japanese Co-Director…warrants the early consideration of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.” “These questions express the concern of the only country in the world that ever experienced a nuclear attack…” the memorandum added.

In response to Burke’s suggestion, the Joint Chief of Staff finally decided its positions at a meeting on Feb. 12, 1958.

The JCS document dated Feb. 17, 1958 elaborates its positions, saying “(t)he provision of such weapons support to Japan would be primarily dependent on the desires of Japan to be provided with atomic weapons and her development of capability to employ effectively such weapons.”

In addition to U.S. preference for integration of atomic weapons with the SDF, the JCS document said, “(the SDF) must eventually be equipped with the most modern conventional and atomic weapons.” These JCS positions were conveyed to CINCPAC, Commander in Chief Pacific Command.

Another JCS document dated Sept. 17, 1958, noted “(t)he United States is willing to support her allies with atomic weapons, after the NATO pattern, subject to the desire of Japan to acquire such weapons and to develop a capability for their effective employment.”

Such JCS positions on arming the SDF with nuclear weapons were not formally proposed to the Japanese government.

Other declassified U.S. documents obtained by Kyodo News suggested caution by U.S. policymakers who were familiar with Japan’s volatile domestic situation and growing antinuclear sentiment following the Lucky Dragon incident in March 1954, when Japanese fishery vessels were exposed to radiation fallout from the U.S. thermo-nuclear “Bravo Shot” near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

“The U.S. military considered integration of nuclear weapons into the SDF and some SDF officials showed interest in this idea,” Kurosaki said.

“There was a backdrop that the U.S. administration deepened its dependence on nuclear weapons in its national security strategy. From these contexts, then Prime Minister (Nobusuke) Kishi stated it is possible for Japan to possess nuclear weapons (for defensive purpose) even under the Constitution,” he said.

Kurosaki said he wonders if Japan would have continued to be a nonnuclear power if the Lucky Dragon incident had not taken place and antinuclear sentiment in Japan had not risen so sharply.

On the Japanese side, from mid-1950s to mid-1960s, the Staff College of the Japanese GSDF taught future top officials about nuclear tactics and doctrines which were imported from the U.S. Command and General Staff College (CGSC), former SDF top officials told Kyodo News recently.

“Which direction would nuclear fallouts move and how should we conduct military operation evading these fallouts? These were brought back to Japan by SDF official who studied (nuclear tactics) at the U.S. CGSC,” former GSDF Major Gen. Kiyoshi Maekawa said.

But, the nuclear tactical education at the Staff College in Tokyo was suspended later in 1960s due to growing antinuclear public sentiment and governmental policies culminated in the three nonnuclear principles, which were introduced by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in 1967.

“The Lucky Dragon Incident, the (national-level) ban-the-nuclear bomb movement and three nonnuclear principles created a lot of impact” on SDF’s position, former GSDF Gen. Mitsuaki Yokochi said.


CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling Convicted on All Nine Counts

Institute for Public Accuracy | January 26, 2015

This afternoon CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling was convicted of all nine of the remaining counts he was facing.

Special coverage continues from ExposeFacts – The Latest – providing in-depth news and analysis at: http://exposefacts.org/blog/the-latest

Marcy Wheeler reports: “The government engaged in a great deal of security theater during the Jeffrey Sterling trial, most notably by having some CIA witnesses — including ones whose identities weren’t, technically, secret — testify behind a big office divider so the general public couldn’t see the witness. But along the way, the government revealed a great number of secrets, including a number of secrets about how its counterproliferation programs work.”

Norman Solomon writes: “Many of the two-dozen witnesses from the Central Intelligence Agency conveyed smoldering resentment that a whistleblower or journalist might depict the institution as a bungling outfit unworthy of its middle name. Some witnesses seemed to put Sterling and journalist James Risen roughly in the same nefarious category — Sterling for allegedly leaking classified information that put the CIA in a bad light, and Risen for reporting it. . . . If Sterling goes to prison, a major reason will be that the CIA leadership is angry about being portrayed as an intelligence gang that can’t shoot straight.”

Wheeler and Solomon — who wrote about the intertwined stories of Sterling and New York Times reporter James Risen in an in-depth article for The Nation – are available for a limited number of interviews.

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at gmail.com, @emptywheel
Wheeler writes widely about the legal aspects of the “war on terror” and its effects on civil liberties. She is the “Right to Know” investigative journalist for ExposeFacts and blogs at emptywheel.net.

NORMAN SOLOMON, solomonprogressive at gmail.com
Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

ExposeFacts is a project of IPA