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Insight Magazine
Vol. 15, No. 34 -- September 13, 1999

Letters to the Editor

Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania dishonors himself and Insight by falsely accusing former energy secretary Hazel O'Leary of leaking a classified diagram of the W-87 warhead ["It Was O'Leary!", August 23].

The diagram in question is an artist's rendering that was published in U.S. News and World Report in 1995 and later reprinted in the report of the Cox Committee on Chinese espionage. In both cases, the source of the information in the diagram is clearly identified as the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC, an environmental organization. NRDC officials have publicly confirmed that they provided the information to the magazine's graphic artist.

The U.S. News diagram reveals nothing that hasn't previously appeared in the public domain and omits crucial design features of the W-87 warhead. Furthermore, it includes at least one error. The notion that a government official would "leak" an erroneous and misleading diagram of a nuclear warhead is highly improbable, to say the least.

In light of these facts, Weldon's accusations and his repeated references to O'Leary as a "culprit" are contemptible. He owes O'Leary and your readers an apology.

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