Sam Nunn, former Democratic senator and chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, says the threat of nuclear terrorism is real and must be addressed.
Nunn is on a personal mission to point out how easy it would be for organized criminals to bribe or shoot their way into storerooms containing nuclear weapons in the former Soviet Union. He points out how simple it would be for those organized crime elements to sell the weapons to terrorists who could smuggle them into the U.S. – a possibility more intelligence sources say has already happened.
Now Nunn’s nightmare is being shared nationwide through a new documentary produced by the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Called “Last Best Chance,” the docudrama is free to anyone who requests one at the film’s website.
“The threat of nuclear terrorism is real,” Nunn said in a phone call played on speakerphone to about 300 people gathered for a screening of the film at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta on a recent rainy weeknight. “We really want to raise public awareness.”
The executive director of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Nunn noted that about 40 nations have enough material to make a nuclear weapon. Since the end of the Cold War, he said, the United States has helped secure about half the available weapons grade nuclear material, mostly in the former Soviet Union. That leaves a lot of potentially loose warheads, he said, pointing out that the 9/11 Commission concluded that al-Qaida has been trying to obtain a nuclear weapon for 10 years.
“We’re in a race around the world between cooperation and catastrophe,” he said.
The docudrama’s producers have offered a free DVD version of the film to anyone who asks in hopes that people will educate themselves and take action.
Nunn and his colleagues are talking with television networks about the possibility of them airing “Last Best Chance,” which features Fred Thompson, the former U.S. senator and actor known to viewers of “Law & Order” as the Manhattan district attorney.
Both presidential candidates said during the recent election that the threat of nuclear terrorism constituted the most significant threat the United States faces.