On June 19, 2006, fifteen Democratic Members of Congress wrote a letter to President Bush urging him to not use nuclear weapons to resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis. The letter was spearheaded by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and was signed by Representatives Howard L. Berman (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jr., Pete Stark (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Diane E. Watson (D-CA), Rush D. Holt (D-NJ), Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY), Sam Farr (D-CA) and Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL).
The letter to President Bush states, “As you will recall, on April 18, 2006, you were asked ‘Sir, when you talk about
On July 31, 2006, State Department Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Jeffrey T. Bergner responded to the Representatives’ inquiry. Bergner writes in his response that the White House had asked the State Department to respond on its behalf.
According to the letter, “
The letter, however, does not directly answer the primary question raised by the 15 Democratic Representatives; that is whether or not the nuclear option is on the table. While the letter does not repeat what President Bush said on April 18, 2006, that “all options are on the table,” the letter also does not explicitly address the nuclear option, or the full spectrum of options being pursued by the