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Cabinet secretaries turned op-ed writers

By Ed O'Keefe

Four Cabinet secretaries and President Obama's top economic adviser appear on the op-ed pages of some of the nation's top newspapers Monday, discussing nuclear disarmament, airport security and broadband. We read them so you don't have to:

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates: "Why the Senate should ratify New START" (The Washington Post)

"New START will advance critical national security objectives: Reducing the number of deployed nuclear weapons while retaining a safe and effective deterrent; providing direct insight into Russia's nuclear arsenal; and creating a more stable, predictable and cooperative relationship between the world's two leading nuclear powers.
"It will put in place an effective verification regime to track each side's progress in reducing its arsenal to 1,550 strategic warheads. We will be able to count the number of deployed strategic weapons more accurately, because we will exchange more data on weapons and their movement than in the past. We will also conduct 18 short-notice inspections of Russian nuclear forces each year, including checking warheads on individual missiles."
"New START will also set the stage for future arms reductions, including negotiations on tactical nuclear weapons. It will help solidify the "reset" of U.S. relations with Russia, which has allowed us to cooperate in pursuit of our strategic interests."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano: "Scanners are safe, pat-downs discreet" (USA Today)

"As part of our layered approach, we have expedited the deployment of new Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units to help detect concealed metallic and non-metallic threats on passengers. These machines are now in use at airports nationwide, and the vast majority of travelers say they prefer this technology to alternative screening measures.
"AIT machines are safe, efficient, and protect passenger privacy. They have been independently evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, who have all affirmed their safety. And the weapons and other dangerous and prohibited items we've found during AIT screenings have illustrated their security value time and again.
"Rigorous privacy safeguards are also in place to protect the traveling public. All images generated by imaging technology are viewed in a walled-off location not visible to the public. The officer assisting the passenger never sees the image, and the officer viewing the image never interacts with the passenger. The imaging technology that we use cannot store, export, print or transmit images."

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Lawrence Summers: "America's broadband opportunity" (Wall Street Journal)

"Rarely is there an opportunity to simultaneously catalyze private-sector investment, help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and increase much needed government revenue. President Obama is seizing just such an opportunity with his commitment to nearly double the amount of available commercial wireless spectrum over the next 10 years. Today, the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the first step by announcing a plan to free up 115 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum." ...
"[T]he most promising spectrum for reallocation is currently assigned to commercial users ... Many of them are using it efficiently and, under the administration's plan, those who wish to continue will be able to do so. But the administration also is seeking legislative tools that will allow broadcasters and other spectrum holders to relinquish or share their current spectrum and participate in voluntary incentive auctions."

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By Ed O'Keefe  | November 15, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration  
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