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Saturday, September 15, 2007

More Nonsense from TPM

Josh Marshall seems to have decided that Talking Points Memo is a bit too excellent so he needs to water down original TPM reporting with crap from lower quality operations.

The section "More News from TPM" has had this link entitled "Korea-Syria Nuke Link" for some time. I just clicked it and learned from Yossi Melman at Haaretz that

During the '90s and following a deal signed with the Clinton administration, Pyongyang agreed not to further develop its nuclear program for military purposes, and received in return a joint pledge by the U.S., Japan and South Korea to provide it with fuel until electricity-generating power plants funded by the three were built.

The accord, however, did not last and a new crisis developed in 2000 when it was revealed that North Korea had continued to secretly produce plutonium.

Odd. I thought the new crisis developed in 2002 when North Korean negotiators allegedly confirmed that North Korea had a Uranium enrichment program. They later said that it was a misunderstanding and they didn't mean to confess (North Korean negotiators are like that).

In any case 2002 not 2000 (that is while Bush was President not Clinton) and Uranium not Plutonium, that is, a technolgically difficult operation which they have not yet managed not something that they had done already.

The Bush administration decided that the alleged Uranium enrichment program meant that the agreed framework was unacceptable and withdrew. Then, and only then, did North Korea start extracting Plutonium again (this is universally agreed to be true as the Yongbon reactor had been turned off and the spent fuel rods were under observation).

Last year the Bush administration got new intelligence (yeah right) that the Uranium program was no big deal and went back to the agreed framework. This is to this day their biggest foreign policy success (Clinton plus a few North Korean atomic bombs).

The fact that Melman's "analysis" contradicts the public record on these points convinces me that it does not deserve a link from TPM.

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