News



DATE=5/12/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232096
TITLE=SENATE-INDIA (L)
BYLINE=DAVID SWAN
DATELINE=CAPITOL HILL
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  INDIA'S UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR TESTS HAVE TOUCHED OFF AN 
ANGRY RESPONSE IN WASHINGTON, RAISING THE PROSPECT OF TOUGH 
SANCTIONS AGAINST THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT. V-O-A'S DAVID SWAN 
REPORTS, SOME OF THE OUTRAGE IS AIMED AT THE U-S INTELLIGENCE 
COMMUNITY, WHICH APPARENTLY FAILED TO GIVE WARNING OF THE BLASTS.

TEXT:  REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY, WHO CHAIRS THE SENATE 
INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, SAYS THE NATION'S HUMAN AND ELECTRONIC 
SPIES WERE CAUGHT COMPLETELY OFF GUARD.  HE CHARGES THEY FAILED 
TO PICK UP SIGNS OF INDIA'S TEST PREPARATIONS, IN WHAT MAY BE THE
BIGGEST INTELLIGENCE BREAKDOWN OF THE DECADE.

                       /// SHELBY ACT ///

         THE FAILURE OF OUR INTELLIGENCE-GATHERING CAPABILITY 
         DEALING WITH THE THREE DETONATIONS OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN
         INDIA WAS A COLOSSAL FAILURE ON THE PART OF OUR 
         INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES.  MAKE  NO  MISTAKE ABOUT IT. THIS
         IS A HUGE ITEM.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE C-I-A HAD NO IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THE ACCUSATIONS.  MR. 
SHELBY HAS CALLED THE AGENCY'S DIRECTOR (GEORGE TENET) AND OTHER 
OFFICIALS TO A CLOSED HEARING THURSDAY.

MEANWHILE, OTHER SENATORS ARE URGING PRESIDENT CLINTON TO SLAP 
SANCTIONS ON INDIA, AS U-S LAW DEMANDS IN SUCH CASES.  THIS COULD
INCLUDE A CUT-OFF IN MILITARY AID AND A HALT TO CREDITS OR LOAN 
GUARANTEES.  DEMOCRAT JOSEPH BIDEN SAYS MR. CLINTON HAS  NO  
CHOICE.

                        /// BIDEN ACT ///

         THERE'S NO OPTION UNDER THE LAW BUT TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS 
         IN MY VIEW.  AND I THINK AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, HOW DO 
         WE DISSUADE PAKISTAN FROM ENGAGING IN SIMILAR CONDUCT, 
         OR ANYONE ELSE IN THE REGION, UNLESS WE IMPOSE 
         SANCTIONS?

                         /// END ACT ///

MR. BIDEN PREDICTS THE TESTS WILL GIVE NEW MOMENTUM TO THE GLOBAL
NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY.  HOWEVER, REPUBLICANS SAY THE INCIDENT 
PROVES A DIFFERENT POINT - THE NEED FOR A NATIONWIDE MISSILE 
DEFENSE NETWORK.  MAJORITY LEADER TRENT LOTT ARGUES THE UNITED 
STATES IS EXPOSED TO MISSILE ATTACKS.

                        /// LOTT ACT ///

         ITS STILL A VERY DANGEROUS WORLD.  THE UNITED STATES 
         DOES NOT HAVE AN ADEQUATE NATIONAL DEFENSE.

                         /// END ACT ///

THE SENATE VOTES WEDNESDAY ON A MISSILE DEFENSE BILL.  THE 
LAWMAKERS' ANGER AND DISMAY ABOUT THE TESTS MAY CONTINUE LONG 
AFTER THAT. (SIGNED)

NEB/DS/WDC/JO

12-May-98 4:36 PM EDT (2036 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.