The Action Site to Stop Cassini Earth Flyby
P.O. Box 1999, Wendell Depot, MA 01380
WASHINGTON - The Senate voted overwhelmingly 17 March 1999 to approve a bill calling for
a nationwide defense against a limited ballistic missile attack. The legislation won approval only
after President Clinton and most Senate Democrats dropped their long-standing opposition to it
Tuesday. On a 97-3 vote, the Senate adopted the bill committing the military to deploy a national
missile as soon as ''technologically possible.'' The House passed its own version of a
missile-defense bill on 18 March 1999.
Story in St. Petersburg Times and Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Opponents have said the measures violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, are a waste of billions of tax dollars, and threaten the environment with more Plutonium contamination. The only way these bills can be stopped is by President Clinton's veto.
President Clinton can be contacted by mail:
The White House;
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.;
Washington, D.C. 20500
by Phone: (202) 456-1414 Fax: (202) 456-2461
or you can send a fax by sending an Email with your message to: <remote-printer.President_Bill_Clinton/White_House@12024562461.iddd.tpc.int>
and by E-mail to <email@example.com>
The following is a condensed version of a speech given by Karl Grossman at a seminar on "Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space" organized by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom held at the United Nations Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on March 10 and at the Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany at a conference on "Space Use and Ethics" on March 4. Complete speech
Professor Grossman of the State University/College at Old Westbury is a member of the Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace of the United Nations and the International Association of University Presidents, and author of "The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet" and writer and narrator of the TV documentaries "Nukes in Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens" and the just-released "Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks."
The U.S. military is seeking to "control space" and the Earth below, to base weapons in space--and we must all join to stop this. Here's the plan: the United States Space Command's "Vision For 2020" report, issued last year. Look at the cover of the report: laser weapons shooting their beams down from space zapping targets below. And, the report goes on, in wording laid out like in the start of the Star Wars movies: "US Space Command--dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict." This was not written in Hollywood; it's an official U.S. military publication. Here's the plan: General Joseph Ashy, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Command--its motto "Master of Space"--speaking in "Aviation Week and Space Technology" in an article headlined: "USSC [U.S. Space Command] Prepares for Future Combat Missions in Space." General Ashy talks of "space control," the U.S. term for control of space, and "space force application," the U.S. military's definition of control of Earth from space. Says General Ashy: "We'll expand into these two missions because they will become increasingly important. We will engage terrestial targets someday--ships, airplanes, land targets--from space. We will engage targets in space, from space." It's politically sensitive, but it's going to happen," says the general. "Some people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't in vogue, but--absolutely--we're going to fight in space. We're going to fight from space and we're going to fight into space. That's why the U.S. has development programs in directed energy and hit-to-kill mechanisms."
Here's the plan: "Space-Based Laser Readiness Demonstrator" are the words on top on this poster of a laser weapon in space, with a U.S. flag waving in space above it. (I didn't know U.S. flags were able to wave in space.) "Preparing Today To Protect Tomorrow," say the words below, next to a seal of the "team" involved in the project, a contract for which was signed last year: TRW, Boeing, the U.S. Air Force and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the new name for the U.S. Star Wars operation.
Here's the plan: Guardians of the High Frontier, the publication of the Air Force Space Command, proclaiming: "Air Force Space Command Vision: Defending America through the control and exploitation of space." Here's the plan: Phillips Laboratory, the Air Force research and development facility, describing itself: "Phillips Laboratory supports the war fighterPhillips Laboratory is helping control space for the United States." Here's the plan: Asst. Secretary of the Air Force for Space Keith Hall, who's also director of the National Reconnaissance Office (which has a $6.8 billion annual budget, nearly three times the CIA's), declaring: "With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it, and we're going to keep it." Here's the plan: in "Time" magazine last month. The headline: "Star Wars: The Sequel, Hey, what ever happened to arms control? Well, here comes the new Bill Clinton, Star Warrior." The article began: "Disregard previous orders. It's back to the future after Clinton this month sent Congress a military budget proposing to pump $6.6 billion into development of a national missile-defense shield by 2005 Missile defense? Examining the new Clinton Son of Star Wars drive in context, it sure appears that what's up the sleeves of the U.S. military is in large part not defense but offense. Here's the plan: "The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century" is the name of the book. It is written by U.S."defense experts" and consultants, George and Meredith Friedman. The book's thrust: "Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space," the Friedmans write. "Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space and to the planets," they say. "Just as Europe shaped the world for a half a millennium"--by the Britain, France and Spain dominating the oceans with their fleets--"so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time." "The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century"--as do various government reports--see as critical to the new weapons the U.S. seeks to deploy in space, nuclear power in space.
As "New World Vistas: Air And Space Power For The 2lst Century," a U.S. Air Force board report, states: "In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflictThese advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills." But, notes the report, "power limitations impose restrictions" on such-based weapons systems making them "relatively unfeasible.A natural technology to enable high power," it goes on, "is nuclear power in space." "Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space," it goes on. Weapons in space. Nukes in space.
What about the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, the "basic framework on international space law?" --as notes the United Nations in describing the landmark treaty now signed by 91 nations. The U.S., the United Kingdom and former Soviet Union were its initiators. What about the declaration of the Outer Space Treaty that space shall be used "for peaceful purposesThe exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interest of all countries?" What about the provision of the Outer Space Treaty that nations shallnot "place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction?" Meanwhile, the U.S. is speaking about, "in the next two decadesthe fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness," as "New World Vistas" states. Already the U.S. is in outright violation of the Outer Space Treaty's provision that "states shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects."
In 1991, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy entered into a Space Nuclear Power Agreement to cover its nuclear space flights including the current Cassini plutonium-fueled space probe mission -- with the Price-Anderson Act. This is a U.S. law which limits liability in the event of a nuclear to $8.9 billion for U.S. domestic damage and just $100 million for damage to all foreign nations. Thus if the "inadverent reentry" of Cassini back into the Earth's atmosphere which NASA is concerned could occur on Cassini's planned August 1999 Earth "flyby" does happen, and a part of Europe or Africa or Asia or Latin America is impacted, all the nations and all the people affected could collect in damages--despite the amount of land left contaminated, the number of people left with cancer--would be $100 million. And we're speaking of potentially huge damage. NASA intends to send the Cassini space probe and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide fuel hurtling at Earth at 42,300 miles per hour for a "gravity assist" or "slingshot" maneuver--to give it additional velocity so it can reach its final destination of Saturn. It's supposed to buzz the Earth at 496 miles high this coming August 18. But, says NASA its "Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission," if the probe does not come in at 496 miles high, if it dips down after hundreds of millions of miles in space into the Earth's 75-mile high atmosphere--and makes an "inadverent reentry"--it will break up, the "Final Environmental Impact Statement" concedes. Plutonium will be released. And, says the "Final Environmental Impact Statement, "approximately 5 billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the timecould receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure." .And even if the Cassini Earth "flyby" is not scuttled and Cassini not redirected in coming months as it can and should--to fly into the sun and be consumed, but goes ahead and works, NASA is planning eight more plutonium space probe shots in coming years, according to a report issued last year by the U.S. General Accounting Office. With a 12% failure rate already in the use by the U.S. (and also the Soviet Union and now Russia) of nuclear power in space, accidents--and disaster--are inevitable. And U.S. liability will be shielded under the Price Anderson Act, in violation of the Outer Space Treaty. What the government of my country, the United States of America, is involved in in space is in violation of international law. It gravely endangers life on this planet. It pushes us toward nuclear catastrophe.
The military use of space being planned by the U.S. is in total contradiction of the principles of peaceful international cooperation that the U.S. likes to espouse. The aim is to develop a world in which it would literally be USA uber alles. This flies in the face of the spirit, the ideals of the United States of America. It denigrates those courageous men and women who came to this continent and fought the horrific evil of fascism in World War II.
It pushes us--all of us--toward war in the heavens. George Friedman, co-author of "The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century," claims that the U.S. can dominate the Earth for centuries ahead because of its technological prowess. He says other nations--he names Russia, Japan and China--are just "passing blipsto compete with the U.S." I've been to Russia; I've been to Japan; I've been to China. They are no passing technological "blips." And if the United States moves to arm the heavens, to utilize space as what one high U.S. military officer calls the "ultimate high ground," other nations will follow -- leading to a new arms race -- and ultimately war -- in space. This all must be stopped before it gets completely out of hand. Stoppedand now!
The dangers of the Cassini space probe is only the tip of a real threat to humankind. The time is
now to rise up and demand the banning of all weapons in space and dangerous technologies that
threaten the mass destruction of life.
There is only 97 days left to redirect NASA's plans to accelerate the Cassini space craft toward
Earth from Venus.
There is only 97 days left to redirect NASA's plans to accelerate the Cassini space craft toward Earth from Venus.
Previous NoFlyby Alert
Russia, China warn of new arms race over U.S. missile defense plans
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This page was posted 3/23/99
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