U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer says that the United States should use tactical nuclear weapons against Osama bin Laden's terrorist network in Afghanistan if it is linked to recent anthrax incidents in the United States.
The Indiana Republican said that small, specialized nuclear weapons -- not as powerful as the atom bombs that were used in World War II -- could be used on the caves where members of bin Laden's network have taken shelter.
Buyer, a Gulf War veteran, said that the use of the weapons would be a proper response if bin Laden's people are linked to the anthrax cases in Florida, Washington, New York and elsewhere in the United States.
"Don't send special forces in there to sweep," Buyer said. "We'd be very naïve to believe that biotoxins and chemical agents were not in these caves. Put a tactical nuclear device in, and close these caves for a thousand years."
Buyer said that he hadn't talked with other lawmakers or the Bush administration about the idea, and didn't know how many in the government would support it.
Buyer stresses that he doesn't advocate the use of full-power nuclear bombs, but he acknowledged that much of the world wouldn't see the difference.
"I just want the (Bush) administration to know that I think the United States needs to send a message to the world that we are prepared to do that," Buyer said.