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Clinton Administration Celebrates 4th of July with Nuclear Explosion

JULY 3, 1997

WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) today responded to the explosion of subcritical nuclear tests at the Nevada Test Site. It is deplorable that in 1997 the United States is engaged in exploding nuclear materials. Worse is the arrogance that somehow it is morally acceptable to explode potential weapons of mass destruction in the womb of our Mother Earth.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy (DOE) conducted its first round of underground nuclear weapons tests. They are proposing one more test this year and four more in 1998. Last year, the Clinton Administration signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) thereby sending the United States on a path of prohibiting these kinds of tests. These subcritical nuclear weapons tests are clearly undercutting the treaty.

However, DOE claims that, in the absence of testing, it has to step up efforts to study nuclear weapons in order to detect age-related changes. Additionally, the Clinton Administration states that these tests are necessary for a world free of nuclear tests. Congresswoman McKinney and 43 of her colleagues argued that these tests are unnecessary. In a strongly worded letter to President Clinton, they stated that łthe DOE has never conducted a formal evaluation of the nuclear arms control and non-proliferation impacts of conducting such tests.

When pressed further, the outspoken Congresswoman suggested that the rationale behind the policy was due to little boys in the Clinton Administration who don't have the opportunity to play war have settled for these deadly tests. This stunt is more appropriate in a schoolyard, not as part of our public policy.

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