Letter to WAMU Radio

drshow@wamu.org (Diane Rehm)

February 26, 2002

Dear Diane,

I was on your call-in line this morning for half an hour hoping to pose a question to Lewis Libby, Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to speak. I had a number of questions:

1. Mr. Libby mentioned the yellow packages of food dropped in Afghanistan and the Taliban propaganda that they were poisoned -- perhaps he also could explain why the military used yellow cluster bombs as well? Is it any wonder the Taliban didn't trust the food packets?

2. Is it true that this administration plans to design and build new nuclear weapons while retiring (but not eliminating) older models? Here's a better idea, HR-2503 now in U.S. Congress: see http://prop1.org/prop1/hr2503.htm, the "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act."

3. Should this administration work for a global agreement to end ALL arms sales or gifts to other countries, since (history proves) we can never tell when a friend might turn into a foe?

4. Do you know that there are frequent earthquakes at Yucca Mountain, and that the thousands of nuclear waste truck and train transports run the risk of terrorist attacks, bad weather, mechanical breakdowns, and freak accidents, thus spreading radioactivity in even more places than already exist? Shouldn't we contain nuclear waste on site (such as glassification), until transmutation is discovered?

5. It was good to hear that the administration is seriously considering renewable energy; isn't this the solution to the energy crunch, so we can retire existing nuclear power plants (instead of building more)?

6. Did the military use any depleted uranium ammunition in Afghanistan?

I'm sending these questions to you, Diane, in hopes that (a) you'll air and/or answer them, and (b) you'll forward them to Mr. Libby.

Thanks for your wonderful program.

Ellen Thomas