A reader sent me this today.  Her comment was as follows:  “Now this is truly a bad, bad, bad idea!”  -GFS





Biden Tells Rice U.K., Australia Defense Treaties Must Wait

By Edmond Lococo

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Joseph Biden, the Delaware Democrat running for vice president, told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that arms-trade treaties with the U.K. and Australia must wait until next year for approval.

Information supplied by the Bush administration to the Senate to support passage of the treaties is “insufficient to resolve Members’ concerns,” Biden, acting in his role as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Rice in letter dated Sept. 17 and released today.

“While we support the objectives of these treaties and the Administration’s efforts to enhance cooperation with these important allies, we have reluctantly concluded that there are too many unresolved questions in connection with the treaties to achieve their approval this year,” the letter said.

The proposed treaties would allow U.S. contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. to export defense equipment and technologies to the two allies without first seeking licenses under the Arms Export Control Act. At a May 21 hearing, Biden’s committee had requested more details on how the State Department would implement and enforce the agreements.

“Delays and shifting approaches to implementation have made it impossible” to review the treaties during the current session of Congress, the letter said.