The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Aaron Huertas, 202-331-5458

Science, Religious, Military, and Public Health Luminaries Join Together to Call for a 'Common-Sense' Approach to Nuclear Weapons

Campaign coincides with President Obama's address to United Nations and official review of US nuclear weapons policy


Leaders from the fields of science, religion, national security
and public health have joined together to urge the Obama administration
to forge "common-sense, forward-looking policies that will increase
U.S. security and reduce the threat of nuclear catastrophe."

Organized by the Union of Concerned Scientists, their campaign
coincides with President Barack Obama's address to the U.N. General
Assembly this Wednesday, September 23, and U.N. Security Council
session the president will chair the following day. Both the
president's address and the Security Council session are expected to
focus on nuclear weapons policy. The campaign also coincides with an
ongoing administration assessment of U.S. nuclear weapons policy,
called the Nuclear Posture Review, which will determine U.S. plans for
the next several years.

Their campaign features a print ad (pdf) that
will appear in a number of Washington, D.C.-based publications,
including Congress Daily, the Hill, National Journal, Politico, Roll
Call and the Washington Times, between September 19 and September 25.
The signatories on the ad are:

-- Army Brigadier General John Adams (retired), former deputy U.S. military representative to NATO

-- Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

-- Dr. Joel C. Hunter, senior pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed

-- Leon M. Lederman, Nobel laureate in physics; professor,
Illinois Institute of Technology, director emeritus, Fermi National
Accelerator Laboratory

-- Dr. Barry S. Levy, former president, American Public Health
Association, adjunct professor of public health, Tufts University
School of Medicine

-- Charleta B. Tavares, Columbus (Ohio) City Council member; board chair, Women's Action for New Directions Education Fund

These six leaders argue that in a post-Cold-War, post-9-11 world,
nuclear weapons are a liability. Their only purpose -- to deter their
use by other countries -- can be achieved with far fewer than the more
than 20,000 weapons that exist worldwide today. They also agree that
the current "hair-trigger" status of thousands of U.S. and Russian
nuclear bombs is unacceptable and puts millions of lives at risk.

In addition to the print ads, the signatories will send a detailed letter to
President Obama. At the same time, UCS will deliver letters from some
11,000 citizens from across the country to the president and other
officials involved in the Nuclear Posture Review.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.