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Fox News: Bush Won't Use Nuclear Weapons Unless We're At War

Reported by Judy - April 10, 2006

Fox News is busy on Monday (April 10, 2006) trying to beat down public concern that the Bush administration might contemplate using nuclear weapons against Iran, but the disclaimer offered by one Fox News guest was far from comforting, as the News Hounds video shows.

Dayside co-hosts Mike Jerrick and Gretchen Carlson interviewed Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution about the report in The New Yorker written by Seymour Hersh which said that the Bush administration has plans to attack Iran and destroy its nuclear facilities. One of six plans under consideration includes use of tactical nuclear weapons to take out targets buried 75 feet below ground. The Bush administration has been denying the report all day, and Fox did its best to help out by selecting guests whom it could count on to also discredit the suggestion.

O'Hanlon told Fox News viewers that he did not believe "that there’s any active consideration" of nuclear weapon use against Iran, but not because of anything he personally knows. "It doesn’t comport with reality or history or anything I know about the Bush administration. I can’t disprove it. My guess is at most somebody at one meeting might have said, what could a nuclear weapon do against this target. I doubt very much that it was taken seriously by anybody high up, especially not the president, in any kind of consideration of military options. I sort of wish that that particular part of the article had been caveated a little more because we don’t need to create this notion around the world that we’re somehow getting ready to use nuclear weapons. I just don't buy it," he said.

So what exactly does he not buy? Not that the Bush administration has NO plans to use nuclear weapons against Iran. But only that the administration has no plans to use them “unless we’re at war with Iran and we think that they’re on the verge of getting a nuclear weapon and using it against us." To which Carlson replied, "Right, that's a completely different story."

Completely different from what? From thinking that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction that it is planning to use against us?

O'Hanlon's comment was a Nixonian non-denial denial. It fits into the White House plan of trying to keep beating the drums for war against Iran while seeming to negotiate with Iran. The Bush administration must come down hard on Hersh's revelations because otherwise Iran's desire for nuclear power seems reasonable. If Bush is planning to launch nuclear weapons at a country, why shouldn't that country want to have some nuclear weapons of its own? After all, mutually assured mass destruction helped keep the U.S. and the former Soviet Union from blowing each other up.

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