Accuracy in Media

In an editorial on how the Clinton Administration seems to be moving toward some kind of anti-missile defense, the Washington Post wondered how the United States would get around a “political hurdle”—the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972, which prohibits a national missile defense by the U.S. or the Soviet Union. But the Post didn?t put it that way. It referred to an ABM treaty signed by “the Soviet Union/Russia.” This was a clever but misleading way to avoid coming to the conclusion that the treaty is dead because the Soviet Union is dead. After having distorted this issue, the Post went on to say that the treaty is still “in effect.”

By contrast, the conservative New York Post saw something the Washington Post deliberately ignored. The New York Post noted, “…the 1972 pact was negotiated with the Soviet Union—which, in case you?ve been out of touch…no longer exists. So the treaty really isn?t binding.”

On ABC?s This Week with David Brinkley, Sam Donaldson made the same mistake as the Washington Post, referring to the ABM Treaty as being with Russia. Panelist George Will corrected him. Then Donaldson said that the U.S. had nevertheless decided to continue to follow it. George Will noted that this was a matter of policy, not law, and that legally the treaty was dead.

Besides being out of touch, the Post, Sam Donaldson and other liberal media have been carefully concealing from the American people a critical fact—that Russia inherited from the Soviet Union a national missile defense that violates the treaty. In other words, the problem is not that the U.S. may violate the treaty, it is that the Russians are already doing so. This is made clear in a new book entitled “The ABM Treaty Charade: A Study in Elite Illusion and Delusion,” written by William T. Lee, a former official of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Lee was vindicated for exposing faulty CIA estimates of Soviet military strength during the Cold War. He is a former official—a whistleblower, if you will—who says government agencies and most politicians are ignoring evidence—he calls it conclusive proof—of Russian violations of the ABM treaty on a massive scale.

Lee?s book insists the U.S. intelligence community has failed to acknowledge that the Russians have violated the treaty by integrating thousands of dual purpose anti-aircraft weapons—which are also capable of shooting down ballistic missiles—with large radars that provide warnings of a missile attack. Lee says the Russians, who have just deployed a new ICBM, the Topol-M, are set to obtain a big strategic advantage if present trends continue.

Lee argues that the nuclear balance could be greatly thrown off balance if Russia continues to improve its nuclear arsenal and if we continue to adhere to the discredited ABM treaty. Such an imbalance puts Russia in the position of being able to launch a successful nuclear strike on the United States and protect much of its own territory and people with its own national missile defense. The media must give us the facts—not out-of-date theories—about this threat.

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