The Triumph of Feinstein's Duty

In the Wall Street Journal, ACLU-stalwart Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) balances her concerns over rights with her duty as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and this time duty wins out. Following in the footsteps of Charles Krauthammer and Paul Pillar, she is all for prosecuting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act. After all, free speech is "not a license to jeopardize national security." On a related note, columnist Bret Stephens and the paper's editorial staff say the leaks prove that China is aiding and abetting North Korea's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. They think it's time to stop negotiating with Beijing and Pyongyang, and the editorial urges President Obama to cancel PRC President Hu Jintao's state-visit invitation slated for early 2011. (For Doug Bandows take here at TNI online, click here.)

And you can add one more Republican former–secretary of state to the list of those that have written op-eds in favor of ratifying the New START arms-control pact with Russia. Condoleezza Rice weighs in on the Wall Street Journal's opinion page to say that it's a nice extension of her former–boss George W. Bush's initiative, the Moscow Treaty of 2002. But, she also thinks "the Russians need to understand" that the Americans retains its full missile-defense capabilities and "should be reassured" by the fact that their nuclear arsenal can overwhelm missile-defense systems, anyway. (Well, then, I guess they will.) In addition, Rice disagrees with a number of proponents who have tried to sell the agreement as an important part of gaining Moscow's cooperation in other areas, notably sanctions on Iran. Noting that Russia is in the same "neighborhoods" as Iran and North Korea, she says it will cooperate in containing those threats because it's in their interest to do so. Regardless, however, New START "deserves bipartisan support."

Coming from a (likely) completely different atomic outlook, members of the Global Zero organization, in favor of one day ridding the world of The Bomb, have an op-ed in the New York Times also advocating ratification. They call the treaty "exactly the arms control agreement we need today because it will hopefully be a stepping stone to the "elimination of all nuclear weapons." Doubtful that they're trying to convince obstinate Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), however, who's holding up the treaty's passage and whose demand for modernization funding, they say, "makes no sense."