Picture/Poem Icon July 2001:              
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Star Wars is Back

A report by Gar Smith
Earth Island Journal

"The Bush-Cheney team has made it clear
that they consider the National Missile
Defense (NMD) "an essential part of our
strategic system."

About Earth Island Institute

"Earth Island Institute is a nonprofit conservation and education organization,
founded by David R. Brower in 1982. Among the many projects around the
world sponsored by Earth Island is the Brower Project, housing Brower's
papers and mementos of his many environmental campaigns, and Brower Youth
Awards, given to young people who conserve, protect, and restore the Earth.

Star Wars is Back

Win one for the Gipper - and Lockheed-Martin
by Gar Smith
Earth Island Journal [earthisland.org]

"The Bush-Cheney team has made it clear that they consider the National Missile
Defense (NMD) "an essential part of our strategic system.

The NMD, a failure-plagued leftover from the Reagan Era that has outraged our
allies and enemies alike, would violate international treaties and promises to ignite
a new arms race. So who stands to gain? The answer: Lockheed-Martin, Boeing,
Raytheon and TRW.

These "Big Four" weapons makers routinely win 60 percent of all US defense
contracts, worth as much as $4 billion each year." [...]

"One of Lockheed's proudest moments was the successful test of the Star Wars
intercept system in 1984 - a critical factor in validating the much-criticized "missile
shield" concept. In 1993, The New York Times revealed that the test was a fraud.

"We rigged the test," a Lockheed scientist told Times reporter Tim Weiner. "We
put a beacon with a certain frequency on the target vehicle. The hit looked beautiful,
so Congress didn't ask questions." In effect, Weiner concluded, Lockheed rigged
the target to tell the incoming missile, "Here I am, come get me."

There was one simple reason Lockheed conspired to defraud the government, the
scientist said. "We would lose hundreds of millions of dollars if we didn't perform
it successfully."

Reps. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), John Conyers (D-MI) and 51 other House members
have demanded an FBI investigation of fraud in the NMD program. Meanwhile, the
Senate rejected an amendment by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) that would have required
that all future NMD tests be conducted under "realistic conditions." [...]

Other related links

Nobel Winners Urge Halt to Missile Plan
July 6, 2000
By William J. Broad

"A group of 50 Nobel laureates has signed an open letter to President
Clinton urging him to reject a proposed $60 billion missile defense system.
The group said the plan would be wasteful and dangerous.[...]

"The system would offer little protection and would do grave harm to
this nation's core security interests," the laureates wrote before the system's
ground-based interceptor is tested on Friday. [...]

"Other dangerous states will arise," the letter said. "But what would such
a state gain by attacking the United States except its own destruction?"
The letter also said building such a system could prove dangerous, saying
Russia or China might think that a more expansive missile defense was
imminent and respond by building more nuclear weapons and readying
missiles for "launch on warning."

A spokesman for the Pentagon said the group, although prestigious, had
no access to secret information about the proposed system's feasibility
or to intelligence on global missile threats."

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