"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
UN's Peaceful Outer Space Anniversary * U.S. Pushes Arms Race * Candidate Bradley About Peltier
I) 40th Anniversary of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), December 1999
From Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space:
It is quite clear that the US Space Command intends to carry out its stated objective of mastering space (and hence the Earth). The publicity surrounding the recent Cassini spacecraft (carrying 72lbs of plutonium and luckily missing the Earth's atmosphere on its recent fly-by) has emphasised that it is the intention of the US government (through military and civil programs) to carry on using and developing nuclear power sources to be used in space - ultimately as part of the program of domination.
The US makes no secret of the fact that it wants to "master space"
During the month of December the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space are asking groups and individuals to lobby the UNCOPUOS (or the Office of Outer Space Affairs/OOSA in Vienna) to encourage the peaceful use of space but discourage aggresive and expoitative policies by all countries.
UNCOPUS was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1959 to "review the scope of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, ... to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space" (see http://www.un.or.at/OOSA/copuos.html).
There are two important facts that they should consider:
1. No country or space agency (civil or military) has ever categorically stated that it would ensure the "ultimate disposal" of any nuclear-powered earth-orbiting or deep-space missions. All the Russian Kosmos missions with uranium reactors that are still in orbit around the Earth will eventually fall back within the next 650 years. The half-life of the uranium is 4.5 billion years. Many deep space missions will probably eventually leave the solar system altogether - their final destination is not always considered. Is it responsbile behaviour to fire off radioactive bullets in random directions? For example, what will happen to Cassini after its mission ends?
2. NASA plans to launch the Europa Orbiter mission in 2003. The Europa Orbiter will use an Advanced Radioisotope Power Source (ARPS, i.e. a new form of RTG) to produce electrical energy for the on-board instruments. According to Jackie Alan Giulino, who had been working for NASA for 20 years, NASA plans to have the spacecraft captured by Europa's gravity at the end of the mission and crash it into the icy surface of this Jupiter moon hoping to find a proof for water on the moon. In an article (http://www.ens.lycos.com/ens/jul99/1999L-07-26g.html) he asks:
"But what will become of the spacecraft's 9.6 kg of plutonium? No one really knows - or cares - at NASA. One scenario is that the ARPS canisters could melt through the ice, falling into the moon's ocean".
So let's get this straight: the Europa Orbiter spacecraft will be exploring Europa from orbit, paving the way for future robotic explorers that might actually search for life. Yet the plutonium it carries will be thoughtlessly dumped into the very oceans that could contain pre-biotic life?"
You can therefore contact UNCOPUOS by e-mail, fax, or letter at:
Office for Outer Space Affairs
Vienna International Centre
P.O. Box 500,
Room E-0946 A
Phone: (43-1) 26060 4270
Fax: (43-1) 26060 5830
Please Note: More information can be found on UNCOPUOS at the GlobeNet Website
http://www.globenet.free-online.co.uk/ Latest News - Lobby UNCOPUOS - Dec 1999
II. U.S. Push for the Arms Race in Space
The following is from an article in the New York Times. This push for the arms race in space and the breaking of the ABM and Peaceful Use of Space Treaties is perhaps the greatest threat for life on Earth. The money being spent on these policies reduce the U.S. chances to maintain peace with North Korea, Russia, China and other countries. The pollution and fall-out from such a program endangers the survival of the human species in the coming decades. If we don't stop this next step of the arms race, we are really in big trouble, all of us.
Please see http://www.nonviolence.org/noflyby/ref/bonk.htm
for a critical article on the Star Wars Threat by Molly Ivins.
December 2, 1999
Cohen Warns Allies About Missiles
By CRAIG R. WHITNEY
BRUSSELS -- Ten years after the end of the cold war, the United States, unchallenged as a superpower, faces a different challenge within NATO: its allies' insistence on seeing the world from their own perspectives and setting their own defense priorities instead of following Washington's.
So it was at the alliance's headquarters here on Thursday when Defense Secretary William S. Cohen tried to convince skeptical Europeans that not only the United States but Europe, too, would face a real threat to security if North Korea, Iran or other "rogue states" continued developing or acquiring intercontinental nuclear missiles.
"I think it's important for allied countries to understand that the threat is real, and that in all likelihood it will increase in coming years," Cohen said later.
The United States would have to have the support of its allies even if it decided to build an effective missile defense system to defend itself alone., he said. But, he concluded: "There is by no means a consensus within the alliance. It's something they will look at and we will discuss over the coming year." There was an element of shadow-boxing here, too, in allies' assurances to Cohen that their ambition to create an autonomous, all-European military force with the ability to send 50,000 troops to the far reaches of the continent the next time trouble broke out would not diminish their military commitments to the American-led alliance.
NATO's secretary general, Lord Robertson, said, "There are around two million people in European armies in uniform today, and yet the European allies had to struggle hard to get 40,000 to go and serve in Kosovo."
But reorganizing and cooperating more closely with each other, the Europeans said, could give both the European Union and NATO the stronger European defense pillar the United States has been urging for decades. As long as the new European Union defense structure did not duplicate NATO's unnecessarily, Cohen agreed with his fellow ministers, "a stronger Europe means a stronger alliance."
To some extent, the problems the alliance is having arise because the member countries are finally getting things they have wanted for years.
The United States has been calling for a stronger European defense contribution to NATO since John F. Kennedy was president, but now that the Europeans say they want to make one, the United States wants them to concentrate on building that stronger European security and defense identity within NATO.
The European allies thought they won the lasting peace they had yearned for when the cold war ended, and some of them cut defense spending by up to half. But two wars in the Balkans, and the Europeans' obvious defense shortcomings in this year's war in Kosovo, convinced them that they still depended far too much on the United States to deal with trouble in their own backyard.
Britain, with France, bore most of the burden and frustration of the unsuccessful United Nations peacekeeping operation in Bosnia until NATO took over and ended the fighting there in 1995.
And now, France and Britain, even with President Clinton's closest soulmate in Europe, Tony Blair, as prime minister, are at the core of the European defense structure that is expected to be decided next week at a European Union summit meeting in Helsinki.
The countries that would provide the bulk of any European force agree that it would only act on its own if NATO as a whole -- in effect the United States -- decided not to get involved.
Though American officials have trouble imagining a European crisis the United States could stay out of, Europeans no longer do. "American politicians, not only in the Senate but in public discussion generally, have to make big efforts to explain to the public why they should be engaged in Kosovo with billions of dollars and thousands of soldiers even though their vital interests are not in the least involved," the German defense minister, Rudolf Scharping, said today.
But how the Europeans can build the force structure they plan by 2003, let alone meet their commitments to strengthen NATO, with defense spending as low as it is now, was another question debated on Thursday.
"You cannot buy security on the cheap," Lord Robertson said.
The United States spent 3.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense this year, according to alliance figures. But Germany, with one of the largest armies in Europe, spent only 1.5 percent.
Even France and Britain, with 2.8 and 2.6 percent respectively, will not soon catch up at those rates to the United States in precision-guided weapons technology, battlefield intelligence and command-and-control systems, heavy-lift air transport and the other assets the Europeans found they lacked in Kosovo.
The North Korean missile threat got mostly shrugs here, European diplomats said, after watching a series of slides shown by Pentagon officials depicting wider and wider circles radiating from North Korea, representing the ranges of the three classes of missiles already tested or being developed there. The circles threw their shadows over parts of both Europe and the United States.
A three-stage missile, the TaepoDong 2, which North Korea is still developing but has agreed to refrain from testing in exchange for American economic aid, could devastate targets in all of the United States and most of Europe with a nuclear payload, the Pentagon officials said.
But the allies appeared unprepared to take this missile threat seriously, European officials said.
Part of the point of the American briefing on missiles was to try to convince the allies why the United States might decide to build a limited anti-missile defense system to counter the new threat, a system that would be barred by the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty unless Russia agrees to changes American negotiators have so far failed to get Moscow to accept.
"There is no reason why you cannot have a system like the one the United States is thinking about and full strategic stability at the same time," a senior American official said, explaining that if President Clinton decides to go ahead with a national missile defense, it would initially have only 100 interceptor missiles based in Alaska. That would not be enough to pose a threat to Russia's huge nuclear arsenal, but if it worked it might be able to defend against a small number of warheads from Iraq or North Korea.
But coming on top of the United States Senate's recent rejection of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, the Clinton Administration's desire to tinker with the anti-ballistic missile treaty has piqued the concern among some allies, particularly the French, that the world's only superpower is crashing around the world like a bull in a china shop.
"We must avoid any questioning of the ABM treaty that could lead to disruption of strategic equilibria and a new nuclear arms race," Chirac said a few weeks ago, as Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott was trying vainly to convince the allies that amending the treaty to meet the new missile threat from rogue states would not set off a new arms race.
French officials worry that China, for one, might decide to deploy hundreds of intercontinental missiles rather than the score or so that it has now.
They also worry that, with the Senate having rejected the test ban treaty, countries like India and Pakistan will reject pleas from Washington to stick with their decision to stop testing the nuclear weapons they both first exploded last year.
Several allies, Cohen said Thursday, raised concerns that Europe might be more exposed to possible rogue missile attacks if the United States went ahead alone with a missile defense.
NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
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III. Is the U.S. Government Spying on You?
TO: ACLU Action Network
FR: Jared Feuer, ACLU Internet Organizer
December 3, 1999
Is the secret National Security Agency, working with its counterpart agencies in England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, eavesdropping on private communications from around the world? Credible reports suggest that a global electronic surveillance system -- known by the code name of
"ECHELON" -- is indeed capturing satellite, microwave, cellular and fiber-optic communications worldwide.
Over the past few months, the U.S. House of Representatives has been investigating ECHELON and related activities. As part of these investigations, the House Select Committee on Intelligence requested documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) regarding its operating standards for intelligence systems like ECHELON that may intercept communications of Americans. In a surprising move, NSA officials invoked attorney-client privilege and refused to disclose the documents. This
action drew the ire of several members of Congress, including the committee's chairman, Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL).
Many observers, from the ACLU to conservative Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA), are calling Congress to conduct further inquiries into the workings of this global surveillance system. You can read more about ECHELON and send a letter to Congress supporting further investigations into its activities at
our action alert:
In addition, the ACLU has launched a special website detailing the possible threats of ECHELON and other research on the program. The website can be found at:
IV. Leonard Peltier Update -
From: Leonard Peltier Support Group / Greater New England (LPSG/GNE)
P.O. Box 1999
Wendell Depot, MA 01380 USA
Tuesday November 30 was a powerful day, besides the healthy signs of resistance in Seattle raising concerns of the WTO threat to the Environment and social justice, Bill Bradley finally made a statement in response to a question about Leonard's Clemency at his press conference at Keene State College.
The New Hampshire LPSG "Speak Up For Leonard" Bill Bradley event began at noon. A group of about twenty to thirty supporters of Leonard greeted Bill Bradley at the town green in Keene, NH with banners encouraging Bill Bradley to make a statement on the Clemency issue. He received our 10x13 clasp envelope, which was with a cover letter and enclosures* that was also given to media representatives. Bill Bradley replied when asked if he was interested in a copy of Leonard's book, yes, so we gave him a copy of Prison Writings.
Supporters of Leonard Peltier traveled with the Bill Bradley campaign to local stores and at the diner Russell Peters and Paul Tohlakai offered the beat of a drum and song connecting all in touch with their own heartbeat. Afterwards the lpsg group gathered at Keene State college to again greet the Bradley contingent. I caught up with Bill Bradley upon entering the college building and mentioned of the possibility of a campaign to write-in Leonard Peltier for President, unless we receive justice or support from a candidate on the Clemency issue this December. I told him that is the most effective time to help influence President Clinton to act responsibly.
Bill Bradley's speech to the audience of Keene State College was likeable. He shared stories of his background, including some b-ball tales, qualities of himself that he finds important, humility and confidence, and he spoke of his perception of the general goodness of people. He fielded questions comfortably in the tradition of a careful liberal, none of the questions asked about his thoughts of clemency for Leonard.
After the presentation to the public, we listened to his press conference. When it seemed like the last question was asked, I popped out of my seat and asked by giving the background of the '92 Clinton promise and six-year silence since the clemency petition was filed. The normal response time is usually six or nine months. When asked about his stance on the Clemency issue for Leonard, he stated that he believed that granting executive clemency is a very important issue for a President and without all the information, he could not respond. I followed quickly with 'but don't you think that six years is too long a time for President Clinton to respond?' Bill Bradley responded, "yes, it is."
Enclosures to Bill Bradley and press representatives included:
1) Cover Letter (follows)
2) The New Hampshire LPSG Statement ( FreedomCampaign@aol.com )
3) Amnesty International Appeal: http://www.lisn.net/peltier12.htm#top
4) Jonathan Mark 10/30 letter to Bill Bradley ( email@example.com )
5) Gfld Recorder article about Captain "Free Peltier" Turner commemoration and 11/19 letter to editor
6) Letter 11/25 to Board of Selectman, Gill, MA
7 Declaration in support of Executive Clemency
8) Statement by State Rep. Benjamin J. Swan (D-Springfield) to October 12, 1999 LPSG/GNE Rally
9) Standing Deer Defense Committee http://standingdeer.homepage.com/
10)10/4/99 letter to office of nuclear energy (DOE) about (uranium) proposal to review plans to expand plutonium-238 production
11)CNN Report - Critique and Response http://www.lisn.net/peltier5.htm#cnn-critique
Senator Bill Bradley
395 Pleasant Valley Way,
West Orange, NJ 07052
Re: Your Presentation at Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire
November 30, 1999
Dear Senator Bradley:
Thank you for your campaigning in Keene.
The enclosures, including a statement by Amnesty International are to give you information on the innocence of Leonard Peltier and evidence of FBI misconduct. Please make a statement during Peltier Freedom month, which ends today, or by early December when you can help influence President Clinton to provide an executive clemency pardon. Six years of waiting for a response is outrageous! President Clinton gave an empty campaign promise in 1992. We hope you have the courage to speak up for Leonard and be an alternative voice for justice, health and prosperity for all.
Please Note: On the day or the day before the shoot out incident on the Pine Ridge Reservation, 1/8 of the Reservation was "handed-over" to the U.S. government for uranium and the mining of gold.
"Amnesty International considers Leonard Peltier to be a political prisoner whose avenues of redress have long been exhausted....Amnesty International recognizes that a retrial is no longer a feasible option and believes that Leonard Peltier should be immediately and unconditionally released.
---Amnesty International, April 6, 1999
"I have been reading in Leonard Peltier's book, and about an hour ago I spoke with him....He is a remarkable person and the depth of his spirituality shows....I would hope that the campaign to have him freed will succeed. I certainly support it very passionately....Because it is a blot on the judicial system of this country that ought to be corrected as quickly as possible.
---Archbishop Desmond Tutu, April 18, 1999
Regarding FBI use of falsified testimony)...."I have nothing on my conscience at all."
---U.S. Prosecutor Lynn Crooks