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Michael Douglas Goes (Anti) Nuclear

Michael Douglas (AP Photo/Peter Kramer)

Does it make sense to have Michael Douglas -- movie star, Oscar winner, Mr. Catherine Zeta-Jones -- moderating a panel on global nuclear policy? Well, would we be there if he weren't?

Settled, then. And truth is, much like rocker Billy Corgan talking intellectual property on Capitol Hill, Douglas blended in effortlessly at the Italian Embassy symposium Wednesday. Steel-gray hair, dark suit, cuff links, smart vocabulary -- could have been any think-tank lion sitting up there between former senator Chuck Hagel and Georgetown foreign-service dean Bob Gallucci. No one asked about the "Wall Street" sequel.

Douglas later told us he joined the board of Ploughshares -- the arms-control advocacy group that hosted the forum -- after he kept encountering the organization via his work as a "messenger of peace" for the U.N. "I liked what they were doing with different NGOs around the world." But first: an hour-long chat about the North Korean and Iranian threats, about "CTBT" and "vertical proliferation" and "unsecured fissile materials" -- terrifying stuff if you knew what it meant. Said the evening's special guest star, former senator Sam Nunn, "We've got to come up with a vocabulary that people understand."

By The Reliable Source  |  May 22, 2009; 1:01 AM ET
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