McCain, speaking during a press availability in Louisiana yesterday:
“Those who say that we only need to meet unconditionally with Kim Jong Il rather than apply meaningful multilateral pressure should explain to the American people how talking unconditionally to dictators like Kim Jong Il in the aftermath of recent disclosures advances American interests.”
By recent disclosures, McCain is referring to:
“Let me say that what we’re going to discuss is a nuclear reactor,’’ a senior intelligence official said in a background briefing. “It was constructed by the Syrians in the eastern desert of Syria along the Euphrates River on the east side. The Syrians constructed this reactor for the production of plutonium with the assistance of the North Koreans.
“Our evidence goes back an extended period of time,’’ this official said, speaking under the cloak of administration anonymity that comes with much of what passes as insight here. “We have had insights to what was going on since very late ’90s, early 2000, 2001 that something was happening.
“Our issue was pinning it down and being more precise. We had increasing appreciation for what was happening in the 2003, 2006 timeframe. But we still couldn’t quite pin it down, as will become apparent to you when we show you more of the physical evidence that you’ll see in just a moment.’’
The thing is, we know what high-level diplomatic outreach to regimes like this looks like.
The story then: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi challenged the White House on Middle East policy yesterday, meeting with Syria’s leader and insisting “the road to Damascus is a road to peace.”
While that picture of Pelosi and Assad was taken, the Syrians were secretly working with the North Koreans on that nuclear reactor.