Urgent Appeal – New Mexico and Nuclear Testing

At first I thought this was spam. It’s not however, and it looks like it could be a good thing. egeltje.org has some more information and contact info such.

From: mr2302@columbia.edu
Subject: Urgent Appeal – New Mexico and Nuclear Testing
Date: January 12, 2005 3:28:04 PM MST

My name is Michael Roston. I found your blog because I was looking for bloggers from New Mexico, and I wanted to write and ask for your assistance.

I produce an email newsletter, also posted at my blog, called Nuclear Test Watch. Over the last four years, Americans of conscience may not have prevented President Bush from pursuing his ill-conceived war in Iraq. But we have prevented him from starting a nuclear war. 

Even in the aftermath of the election, a bipartisan collection of members of Congress successfully blocked White House-sponsored efforts to build new nuclear weapons and accelerate the ability of the United States to test nuclear weapons. In the current international climate, Congress recognized that taking such a step would be reckless and endanger more than it would protect America.

The next four years are here, and President Bush has nominated a new Energy Secretary whose position on issues of nuclear weapons is uncertain. Worryingly, here are indications in the press that an intellectual case is now being built to resume nuclear testing. 

So what does this have to do with New Mexico?

More than you think. On Wednesday, January 19, one week from now, your Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman will lead a hearing of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. This hearing will be to confirm the nomination of Samuel Bodman to be the next Energy Secretary. The Senators will have the opportunity to say to Bodman Do you see any need to test nuclear weapons in the next four years, even if it imperils international security? Such a line of questioning will have a powerful effect as it will force Bodman to publicly stake out a position that can be debated and discussed.

The agenda for the hearing will be crowded, and the Senators may concentrate on other issues. But if they believe their constituents are concerned with the dangers of a return to nuclear testing, they are likely to bring this issue to the fore. Therefore, a telephone lobbying effort, with New Mexicans contacting the DC offices of Mr.s Domenici and Bingaman can help ensure that these issues are on the agenda. 

I am certain that bloggers have the power to bring about political change. So what I am asking you to do is post a message on your blog relating to this issue. I encourage one of these two steps:

1. Link to this posting at my blog, with a brief introductory message of your own: http://nucleartestwatch.blogspot.com/2005/01/action-alert-for-citizens-of-new.html
2. Or, post your own message, using mine as a template from which you can draw facts and contact information for the Senators offices.

Just to provide you with a little background about me, as I am writing from out of the blue I am a graduate student in international affairs at Columbia University in New York. Prior to moving up here for school, I worked in Washington, DC, as an analyst for a small non-profit organization on US-Russia nuclear nonproliferation cooperation. Nuclear Test Watch is voluntary, spare-time activism on my part to make sure someone in the world is directly concentrated on whether or not the disastrous decision might be made to resume nuclear testing. I receive no pay for the work I do. 

In the week to come, I may have an op-ed published on this subject in the Albuquerque Tribune fingers-crossed. I will also be contacting newspapers throughout New Mexico and asking them to concentrate some reporting on this issue. But I think starting with bloggers like you is most important as you have so much power to get New Mexicans thinking about this important issue.

Please feel free to write back here or call me at 212-XXX-XXXX if you have any questions.

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