U.S. Panel to Examine Anti-WMD Programs

The U.S. Congress last week named the members of a commission charged with examining the coordination between U.S. WMD counterproliferation programs, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, March 20).

Former Senator Bob Graham, who was tapped to lead the panel of experts, said the investigation would emphasize nuclear and biological weapons because they are likely to kill the most people in an attack.  Graham said the Defense, Energy, Homeland Security and State departments have assured him the panel would receive access to all necessary information.

"We see as our principal audience the new administration and the new Congress," Graham told AP.  The panel is scheduled to issue its report in mid-November.

Former Representative Tim Roemer, another Democrat named to sit on the panel, served as a member of the Sept. 11 commission.  Among its 41 recommendations, that group called for appointing a national intelligence czar, establishing a national counterterrorism center and improvements to counterproliferation efforts (see GSN, July 23, 2004).

"Far too many WMD components remain unsecured around the world, at a time when the threat from terrorists and extremist groups continues to grow," Roemer said in a statement on Friday.

The new commission was established by a law passed last year and spurred by the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks (Associated Press/International Herald Tribune, May 17).

May 19, 2008
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The U.S. Congress last week named the members of a commission charged with examining the coordination between U.S. WMD counterproliferation programs, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, March 20).