On Oct. 4, North Korea admitted a nuclear weapons program and other weapons development programs admitted to the U.S. government. On Oct. 16, the American people were told. There are two major problems with these facts.

First, the difference of almost two weeks time between the discovery of North Korea’s aims on nuclear capability and the disclosure of that information to the populace is absurd. We are not children. We want no bedtime stories, and we know that there is no Santa. We deserve the truth from our government, and concealing that fact for 12 days is a lie, pure and simple. Bush and his administration lied to us about devastating information.

This was deliberately kept from the public while the most information we got on Oct. 5 was that the North Korean talks were proving “useful” and “frank.” For the administration to keep this information hushed is a bald-faced lie in the face of the serious nature of this threat.

Our president has referred to North Korea as part of an “axis of evil.” I’m no politician or diplomat, but I even know that opening like that doesn’t pave the way for productive discourse.

The second, and more frightening problem is that on Oct. 11, another major event of importance occurred. The Senate voted to support Bush’s preemptive strike resolution to enforce U.N. policy in Iraq ? which has startling similarities to the Gulf of Tonkin resolution that gave Lyndon Johnson control over our engagement in Vietnam. This was a ploy on the part of our President. He lied to us to get his resolution passed.

The impact this information would have had on American attitudes is huge. In conventional warfare, the United States could likely defeat Iraq and North Korea. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with weapons of mass destruction ? sadly, the new buzzword ? the size of your army starts to matter less.

When nuclear devices are involved, even the U.S. should be afraid. Had we known before the senate vote that North Korea was also developing weapons of mass destruction, I’d like to think we’d re-evaluate our decision to go in with guns blazing.

This 12 day gap, which includes one of the most important Senate votes in recent history, not only indicates our government’s willingness to hide the facts from its own people, but indeed, the way that it uses sel-ective information disclosure to satisfy its own aims.

Currently, we are attempting to open a dialogue with North Korea regarding nuclear weapons. If this proves successful, then I’m sure we have nothing to fear. Unless of course, our government knows of any other nuclear threats it would like to share with us.

Powell can be reached at lpowell@campustimes.org.

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