ROBERT ALVAREZ – Though the Cold War is long over, the Energy Departmentâ€™s antiquated, contractor-dominated management systemâ€”in which safety goal posts are easily moved behind closed doorsâ€”continues to endure and, in some cases, thrive. Without the meaningful oversight of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the nuclear weapons complex will predictably march back to a time, in the not-so-distant past, when public and worker safety was an afterthoughtâ€”with serious consequences.
BRIAN TERRELL – The life extension of our planet needs to be a universal goal. To speak of, let alone pour a nationâ€™s wealth into a program of â€œlife extension programs for weapon systemsâ€ is nothing short of madness. Our Russian friendsâ€™ confidence in our collective sanity and the steadiness of our leadership, especially in the wake of the recent election, is a great challenge. I am grateful to new friends for the warmth and generosity of their welcome and I hope to visit Russia again before long. As important and satisfying as these â€œcitizen diplomaticâ€ encounters are, however, we must honor these friendships through active resistance to the arrogance and exceptionalism that might lead the U.S. to a war that could destroy us all.
MEGAN FINCHER – [Dec. 30, 2013; Kansas City, MO.] Defense attorney Henry Stoever meekly approached the bench of Presiding Judge Ardie Bland Dec. 13, complaining that security had refused to let him bring certain pieces of evidence into the courthouse: a full-sized wooden door with a banner proclaiming, “Open the door to a nuclear weapons free world!”, as well as an array of picket signs. Stoever was representing eight nuclear protesters on this unlucky trial date, and Bland, who had sentenced other nuclear activists to jail just two years prior, was the inauspicious icing on the cake.
JOSEY WALES – Iran has strongly condemned the U.S. for carrying out a nuclear test in Nevada this week, saying the move threatens world peace and shows a hypocritical set of double standards set by Washington when it comes to nuclear research. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the Wednesday detonation proves that US foreign policy relies heavily on the use of nuclear weapons, disregarding UN calls for global disarmament, PressTV reports.
ANNIE SNIDER – Armed only with flashlights and bolt cutters, Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed broke through three fences and painted pacifist slogans on the Y-12 National Security Complex at Oak Ridge, Tenn., before voluntarily surrendering to a guard who had not even seen them, according to a report
JOSH ROGIN – According to top officials the administration is working hard to secure a floor vote for the New START nuclear reductions treaty with Russia during Congress’s post-election lame duck session. “We are looking to pursue a final vote on the floor before the end of the year and we think it’s very important to continue working very hard in that direction,” said Rose Gottemoeller, the treaty’s lead negotiator and Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation. “Every day that goes by is another day we do not have inspectors on the ground in the Russian Federation… We’re going to continue to do everything we can over the coming weeks to see it ratified and entered into force this year.”