NYT Ignores New START’s Missile Defense Limit Facts
Reporting on the Senate’s first hearing on the New START agreement, The New York Times Peter Baker reports on May 18th:
The Obama team deflected the criticism, insisting that nothing in the treaty would inhibit missile defense plans.
Specifically, here is what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified:
The treaty does not constrain our missile defense efforts. … Nothing in the New START Treaty constrains our missile defense efforts.
This language mirrors the original White House fact sheet on New Start which read:
The New START Treaty does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs or current or planned United States long-range conventional strike capabilities.
But this is just not true besides the preamble of the treaty which very clearly links missile reductions to missile defense, President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor James Jones admitted in a letter to The Wall Street Journal that Article V of the treaty itself does specifically restrict U.S. missile defense capabilities.
Then on April 21st the State Department released a second fact sheet with this language:
The New START Treaty does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses possible, nor does it add any additional cost or inconvenience.
So which is it? Does “nothing” in New START constrain U.S. missile defense efforts? Or are only “effective missile defenses” not constrained? And who decides what is an effective missile defense? Russia? White House missile defense aide nominee and establish missile defense critic Philip Coyle?
New York Times readers deserve answers to these questions.