Dutch peace group opens book on NATO secrets
Brussels — Headed straight for the best-seller list in the Netherlands these days is a new book with no sex, no violence, no crime. It doesn't even have a plot.
What it does have is military secrets - lots of them. Where the Dutch government stores its nuclear weapons. Diagrams of NATO nuclear maintenance units. A map detailing air corridors to be used by NATO nuclear bombers.
It's chock-full, in fact, of the kind of stuff the Soviet Union would love to have, and now does.
The Dutch antinuclear church group, the Interchurch Peace Council, which published the 72-page book, costing about $2.55, isn't saying where it got the information contained in this scoop-of-the-month. But officials at NATO headquarters here in Brussels are hopping mad.
NATO experts have started sifting through the book (published in Dutch only) to see how much secret information has, in fact, been disclosed to the world.
Some NATO officials say that much of the material was already available in United States Defense Department reports, congressional hearings, and other sources.
Whatever the conclusion, the case raises some important questions.
The Interchurch Peace Council argues that the public has a right to know - to know everything. It also argues that the American public has always known more about US nuclear installations than the European public has ever known about theirs, and that the subject has been off-limits in Western Europe for too long.
For their part, the brass at NATO contend that the public's right to know shouldn't be allowed to extend to military secrets, or to the Kremlin. An informed public, they argue, isn't necessarily one knowing things the enemy could use to destroy them.