GEORGE BUSH AND THE MUSHROOM CONGRESS….When I first read Monday’s story about Pakistan building a new plutonium reactor, my first thought was that surely this wasn’t news to the U.S. government. And I was right. Today’s followup confirms that the Bush administration has “long known” about Pakistan’s plans.

Of course, the fact that the Bush administration knew about it doesn’t mean anyone else did:

Henry D. Sokolski, the Defense Department’s top nonproliferation official during the George H.W. Bush administration, said he was most surprised by the way news of the reactor in Pakistan became known.

“What is baffling is that this information ? which was surely information that our own intelligence agencies had ? was kept from Congress,” said Sokolski, now director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center. “We lack imagination if we think that this is no big deal.”

Indeed we do. We now have a president whose standard operating procedure is to keep Congress in the dark about anything that might cause him even the mildest inconvenience. Even if it’s something that Congress really ought to know about in order to do its job.

But that’s the whole point, isn’t it? If Congress ever started to do its job, George Bush would be in serious trouble.

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