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MD "Losing the Forest for the Trees" * Belgian Second Resolution for Peltier

5 December 2000

1) Missile Defense - "Losing the Forest for the Trees"

2) Belgian Second Resolution in the Case of Leonard Peltier


1) Missile Defense - "Losing the Forest for the Trees"

VOLUME 4, ISSUE #47 November 30, 2000

"Losing the Forest for the Trees"
Colonel Daniel Smith, USA (Ret.), Chief of Research,

Like "K" in Franz Kafka's "The Castle," we may wonder if there's someone real -- and really in charge of missile defense -- in the castle called the Pentagon.

One of the central themes of Franz Kafka's "The Castle" is the discovery that there is no reliable, solid communications link between the real world and the occupants of the Castle to which he believes he has been summoned to work as a land surveyor.

Surveying the landscape that is the U.S. missile defense program, the same aura of insubstantial whimsey seems to pervade. And even when a soul from the "real" world seems to get a line that connects to the Castle, what one finally gets is a busy signal, static, or a recording that simply recycles the caller through endless connections and reiterations of choices that lead to frustration.

A perfect example is the Pentagon's response to a letter from MIT physicist Theodore Postol. Dr. Postol presented evidence that called into question the interpretation of the results of an early national missile defense test designed to tell the difference between a real warhead and a decoy. The first response from the Pentagon was, "We wouldn't be spending a billion dollars -- billions of dollars on developing a National Missile Defense System unless we had some degree of confidence that we can make that discrimination and make it in time to be useful." The second response was to classify Dr. Postol's letter and the scientific/mathematical enclosures he submitted to buttress his position.

Even the third try was only partially successful. Philip Coyle, who as Director of the Pentagon's Office of Operational Test and Evaluation has been unafraid to criticize NMD, said in an interview with PBS' "Newshour With Jim Lehrer" that there is no evidence that tests were rigged. But he also acknowledged that while
"testing has been as realistic as we know how at this point of the program... tests to date have not been operationally realistic."

The "who's in charge" question is more evident when one surveys the multiplicity of theater missile defense systems. The Army has the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) and the Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) system. The Navy has the Theater Wide (NTW) and Area Theater Missile Defense (NAD) programs. The Air Force contribution is the Airborne Laser (ABL) and, with BMDO, the Space-Based Laser (SBL). PAC-3 and NAD are being developed to knock out shorter range, lower flying ballistic missiles such as Scuds. THAAD and NTW are designed essentially to take on longer range, higher trajectory missiles in mid-flight or even in the descent phase. The ABL and SBL are oriented against rockets still in the ascent (boost) phase.

The Navy, however, believes that it will be able to get its NTW system closer to enemy missile launch points and thus will also be able to knock down missiles during boost phase before higher speeds are achieved. In this role, NTW becomes a rival for ABL and SBL. But the Navy programs suffered a double hit in July. In a test of the NTW's Standard Missile 3, a "complication" occurred when the third stage did not separate. Projected purchases of NAD missiles reportedly will be virtually halved -- to 134 instead of last year's programmed 240 missiles -- over the Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP -- FY2001-2007). The longer range plan does provide for purchasing the planned 1,500 missiles, but this is still short of the 2,100 the Navy wants.

How much are these programs costing the taxpayer? Before answering that question, one should note that, in March of this year, General Ronald Kadish, the current head of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, said something his predecessors never did -- that more money (he advocated over half a billion dollars for Fiscal Year 2001) might speed the deployment of the Army and Navy systems.

In May the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives each passed a $310 billion authorization bill for military programs for Fiscal Year 2001. For the tactical missile defense programs mentioned above, the committees' actions pushed funding to over $2.1 billion. The Administration's request, General Kadish's recommendations, and the committees' work break out as follows (in millions):

Request BMDO Senate House
Add On Authorized Authorized
PAC-3 $446.5 $112.2 $446.5 $511.7
NAD $274.2 $103 $274.2 $274.2
THAAD $549.9 $150 $549.9 $549.9
NTW $382.7 $160 $442.7 $407.7
ABL $148.6 -- $241.0 $231.0
SBL $137.7 -- $167.7 $137.7

TOTALS $1,939.6 +$525.2 $2,122.0 $2,112.2

BMDO appropriations follow a similar pattern. The Administration request compared to the Senate-House conference committee report is (in millions):

Request Conference Report

PAC-3 $446.5 $446.5
NAD $274.2 $274.2
THAAD $549.9 $549.9
NTW $382.7 $462.7
ABL $148.6 $233.6
SBL $137.7 $147.7

TOTALS $1,939.6 $2,114.6

In addition, the FY2000 supplemental provided $125 million for PAC-3 "unfunded requirements."

But there is more to the story. The Army has or is involved in a total of six anti-ballistic missile programs:

* Patriot Advanced Capability-2 (PAC-2). PAC-2, already deployed and sold to a number of U.S. allies, recently was discovered to have a major operational defect: leaving it on active alert status for long time periods causes failure in a radio frequency data link. How extensive the problem is -- and thus the cost of fixing it -- is still being assessed. Taiwan plans to test fire its PAC-2 next year to see how it performs in a subtropical climate.

* Guidance Enhanced Missile-Plus or GEM+, an upgrade to PAC-2. The Army is spending at least $47 million on GEM+ to improve the PAC-2 missile guidance system.

* PAC-3. The sixth PAC-3 test, a success, finally occurred in late July after being postponed for safety reasons. It featured a cruise missile target flying below 40,000 feet. (Cruise missiles typically fly well under 1,000 feet, but the exact test altitude is classified.) The follow-on test now set for September will pit a PAC-3 against a ballistic missile type target and a PAC-2 against a simulated cruise target. The Army has already bought 52 PAC-3 missiles, including 32 in FY2000 for just under $154 million ($4.8 million each), and was to buy 40 more in FY2001. But rising program costs -- the General Accounting Office last summer put the increase at 77% to $6.9 billion compared to the 1994 projected price tag of $3.9 billion -- may cut the FY2001 buy to 32 missiles and slice the number of launchers from 22 to six.

Originally, the Army wanted 1,200 missiles. By FY2000 this had been scaled back to 1,012. Now, according to the trade publication Defense Week, BMDO's latest budget roadmap funds a mere 240 missiles (instead of an anticipated 528) over the FYDP and a program total of only 724. Meanwhile, the head of the Army's missile program predicts that "cost reduction incentives" will lower the per missile price to roughly $2.3 million, allowing the Army to buy as many as 500 more missiles which, with the original 1,200, would have put the Army within striking distance of the number they really want -- 2,200. Taiwan wants to buy six PAC-3 batteries which, if approved, could lower costs further. When operational, the U.S. system will control both the PAC-2 interceptors targeted against aircraft and PAC-3 missiles targeted against cruise and ballistic missiles. Deployment of the first complete system is scheduled for late summer 2001.

* The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). A multinational effort, MEADS is more mobile, transportable, and versatile than PAC-3. MEADS features 360 degree radar coverage and defense against aircraft, cruise, and theater ballistic missiles. MEADS is touted as the mid-range air defense system for the Army's new medium weight combat brigade being tested at Fort Lewis, Washington. Yet only two years ago the program almost died because the U.S. was unwilling to provide its share of the money to keep development going. A technology risk-reduction contract (for $220 million) was due to be signed this autumn but at last word is still being held up over Defense and State Department clearances for Lockheed Martin to transfer technology to its European partners. For FY2001 the Administration requested $63.2 million but only $53.5 million was authorized. The target date for initial fielding using the PAC-3 missile is 2008.

* HUMRAAM (medium range air-to-air missile on a high mobility multipurpose vehicle). The HUMRAAM is also being advertised as a "new" air defense concept that complements the short range heat-seeking anti-aircraft Stinger missile and MEADS. The radar guided HUMRAAM would be used against cruise missiles, helicopters hovering beyond range of the Stinger, and unmanned aircraft, thereby freeing MEADS to counter ballistic missile threats. Interestingly, while the Army is just starting to mount a modified air-to-air missile on a ground vehicle, the Marines have been developing a similar concept and Egypt is planning to buy ground vehicles for mounting anti-missile missiles. The Army has not yet said how much it is willing to commit to start its program.

* Arrow, a joint U.S.-Israeli project. Arrow is the first specifically designed anti-missile system to be fielded. The Arrow 2's effective range of 16 to 48 km from its launch point at altitudes between 10 to 40 km overlap the PAC-3 and THAAD. The system achieved full operational status in March, but the U.S. remains involved in system improvements. In FY2000 the U.S. allocated $82.7 million with another $53 million authorized for FY2001. Overall, some 60% of the program's $1.3 billion cost to date has been paid by the United States, which expects to use data and technology from the Arrow program for THAAD and NTW.

To all the above must be added the Army's kinetic energy anti-satellite technology program, the Space-Based Laser, and the U.S.-Israeli Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL) program to counter low flying rockets such as the Russian built 122mm Katyushas. In July, at White Sands Missile range, THEL hit a target rocket in flight for the first time. But the U.S. will not procure THEL, mainly because it is too difficult to transport -- it requires 6 vans. The United States, which has agreed to pay two-thirds of the cost, has already contributed $145 million while Israel has put in $70 million. Raytheon, the system manufacturer, is obligated to pick up 50% of any cost overruns. So far the system has cost $250 million, and Israel has added $7 million for the next test against multiple targets. The FY2000 supplemental provided $5.7 million for THEL, and the FY2001 Authorization bill provided an additional $30 million for U.S. Army High Energy Laser research.

So what does it all come to? Adding National Missile Defense (at $1.875 billion), associated sensors (Space Based InfraRed Systems -- Low and High at $810 million), and Air Force TMD and BMDO "technical operations" (at $311 million) to the theater missile defense programs detailed above, brings the total ballistic missile defense effort in the FY2001 Authorization Bill (PL 106-398) $5.112 billion.

Is anybody listening?

For more information on efforts to halt Missile Defense, contact:

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083
Gainesville, FL. 32607
(352) 337-9274


2) Belgian Second Resolution in the Case of Leonard Peltier

Fwd. from LPSG Belgium.
Ask your local newspaper to print (publish) the story!!!!

Forward a copy to:


29th June 2000


Defender of Human Rights for the North-American Indigenous Peoples
(filed by Mr.Lode Vanoost & c.s.)


Leonard Peltier, member of an American Human Rights Movement, served already 24 years of imprisonement for the murders of two FBI-agents. The petitioner believes that there are concerns about tha fairness of Leonard Peltier?s trial. In his proposal he asks the government to insist with the American President to grant presidential clemency to Leonard Peltier.

Furthermore, he request the government to support the Members of US Congress' initiative for Congressional Hearings about Mr.Peltier's case.


The Belgian House of Representatives, having regard to its previous resolution 603/6-95/96 - unanimouly adopted on March 13, 1997, requests the Members of the United States Congress to organize a hearing into the circumstances which led to Peltier's charge and conviction of two life sentences, for the murder of two FBI agents.

The trial and sentence of Leonard Peltier is the most controversial case in the postwar judicial history of the United States. Since his sentencing, Leonard Peltier has become a symbol of the way in which the government and the white majority of the U.S., deals with the indigenous population of what is known today as the United States. In most U.S. States, and also in a great number of other countries, the Leonard Peltier Defense Committe (LPDC) and Leonard Peltier Support Groups (LPSG), have been active for 24 years of continuous struggle for justice for Leonard Peltier.

In depth documentation concerning the trial can be found in the following publications:

*Churchill, Ward & Vander Wall, Jim. The Cointelpro Papers, Documents from the FBI's Secret War Against Dissent in the United States. South End, Boston, 1990. This book situates the event leading to the firefight on the Pine Ridge Reservation in the broader political context of the persecutions of civil rights organisations during the 1960s and 1970s throughout the U.S.

*Matthiessen, Peter. In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI's war on the American Indian Movement. Penguin, New York, 1991 The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) withheld the release of that book for eight years. In the end, the FBI was sentenced to pay all legal expenses. Important to note is that the theorem of the author remains without prejudice, and that in 1991 the book was republished in its original version.

*Sklar, Holly (ed). Trilateralism. The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World management. South End, Boston, 1980, Chapter IV. Inside the United States: Carter is No Hypocrite to the Trilateralists: 3. The U.S.Colonial Empire is as Close as the Nearest Reservation (Michael Garrity). In this chapter the author explains why the FBI accorded so much attention and effort to stop AIM in its struggle against mining on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and how the FBI purposefully targeted the AIM leaders.

Within a few years, judges involved in Peltier's trial admitted there was no evidence concerning Peltier's involvement in the murder of the two FBI agents. The only established fact is that Peltier was involved in the firefight with the FBI agents as well as three other individuals. For reasons never clarified by the court, one of the four people involved, was never brought to trial. The two others, Robideau and Butler, in a separate trial, were acquitted for reasons of legal self-defense. It is also important to note that Peltier, nor Robideau nor Butler have ever denied participating in the firefight. They have always claimed to be acting out of legal self-defense, returning fire to individuals whom they couldn't identify at that time. This is not surprising since at the exact moment of the facts, dozens of indigenous peoples on the Pine Ridge Reservation had been murdered by death squads. Non of these murders have ever been investigated. In those circumstances, the people involved had sufficient reason to fear for their lives.

The major obstacles in this case do not implicate the basic reasons for the case, but rather its institutional and ideological grounds.

The release of Leonard Peltier implicates following:

*the admission that the FBI was indeed guilty of organizing political repression in the 1960s and 1970s, however, this was already acknowledged by a congressional investigation committee headed by Douglas Pike, which ascertained a political repression campaign called COINTELPRO (Counter intelligence Program),

*the admission that the North American court system has structural shortcomings, especially the facts that in some states judges are not elected and not appointed based on their competence, the fact that appeal procedures are held by the same judges as in the court of first instance, and the fact that a judge can autonomously decide which witnesses for the defense or for the prosecution will be heard. All examples of facts that were systematically used in Peltier?s case to prevent a fair trial. These ffaws are also copiously reviewed in the last report of Amnesty International "Right for All" which in 1998 analyzed the respect for human rights in the United States; and which quotes besides the Peltier case also several similar cases such as, for example Mumia Abu-Jamal, who received the death sentence. Furthermore, this case painfully reveals that the white population in the U.S. still poignantly discriminating the indigenous population in all aspects of society.

Judge Gerald Heany admitted in a letter dated April 18, 1991, to Senator Daniel Inouye, that : "There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubt upon the government?s case." Furthermore, the United States Government over-reacted at Wounded Knee. Instead of carefully considering the legitimate grievancess of the Native Americans, the response was essentially a military one which culminated in a deadly firefight on June 26, 1975. While the government's role in escalating the conflict into a firefight cannot serve as a legal justification for the killing of the FBI agents at short range, it can properly be considered as a mitigating circumstance. Peltier was not the only individual involved in the firefight, an action of the President was recommanded to start the "healing process". "We as a nation must treat Native Americans more fairly" Judge Heany.

Furthermore, it seems that this case severely suffers from the usual belittling and bias on inadequate understanding that generally rules when the issue of North American Indigenous Peoples is brought forward. The stereotypical image of ?cowboys and indians? is so deeply rooted in Western psyche that people hardly realize it concerns people whose ancestors have suffered one of the most bloody genecides in human history. In the 1950's one assumed the Americas in 1492 counted a mere population of about eight million people, of which approximately one million lived on what is today known as the United States. Recent scientific studies at North American universities, however, say that a more accurate extimation would be arround 145 million indigenous peoples, of which 18 million were living north of Mexico. (David E.Stannard, American Holocaust. The Conquest of the New World. Oxford University Press 1992 p 11).

The argument that the mass mortality during the colonization is due to a lack of immunity against European diseases appears to be a myth. These past years, historian analysts are more drawn to the theory that there was indeed, without a doubt, an organized campaign to annihilate the indigenous population of the Americas.

The recent readness of the Belgian government to critically investigate its own responsibility in the murder of Patrice Lumumba, and the recent book of the North American historian Adam Hochschild, (King Leopold?s Ghost. A story of Greed, Terror and heroism in Colonial Africa, 1998) concerning the slaughter of an estimated 10 million people in Freestate Congo remind us of our own past.

These and simular initiatives should make us realize that the struggle for peace and justice is a plight of all times, that respect for human rights cannot be selectively enforced but should equally be in force in hostile as well as allied countries, in dictatorial as well as democratic countries. History is irreversible. However, what is happening today falls under own responsibilities.

This resolution is an attempt to live up to the responsibility for a rather concrete case. For 24 years a fellow human being is incarcerated for a crime of which his guilt has never been proven. He is imprisoned because he stood up for the rights of his people. This resolution does not enuciate guilt or innocence of the person involved. This document only asks the U.S.President to grant executive clemency for humanitarian reasons, and that the U.S. Congress would review the entire case.

With this resolution Belgium joins the European Parliament, numerous governmental officials such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, JosERamos-Horta, numerous non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International, as well as dozens Members of the U.S.Congress, who have been asking justice for Leonard Peltier for years now.


Proposal for resolution

The House of Representatives,

-Considering the House of Representatives resolution 603/6-95/96 adopted on March 13, 1997,

-Considering the resolutions of the European Parliament adopted on December 15, 1994 and February 11, 1999;

-Whereas Mr.Peltier in his efforts to obtain a new trial is being supported by numerous religious leaders, and a considerable number of Members of the U.S. Congress;

-Whereas several Members of the U.S.Congress have proposed to hold investigative hearings into the circumstances that led to Mr. Peltier?s indictment and sentence;

-Whereas the request for executive clemency still has not been heard by the U.S. President;

The Belgian Government requests :

-to pursue the President of the United States to take an early decision concerning Mr. Peltier's request for clemency, based on humanitarian reasons;

-to support the Members of the U.S.Congress in their endeavors to open investigative hearings in this case;

-to forward this resolution to the President and the Congress of the United States, to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Secretary General of the United Nations.

18th January 2000

Patrick MORIAU (PS)
Ferdy Willems (VU & ID)

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