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Rogue U.S. Pushing Missile Defense to HELL with the Environment * Peatlands Loss Linked to Global Warming Surge

It is one week before the Inauguration of George W. Bush for U.S. President. Meanwhile the press is taking the same lead as the U.S. Senate in 1999 when they voted almost unanimously for Missile Defense, (97-3) when technologically feasible.[1] According to reports in the media, Donald Rumsfeld's nomination for U.S. Secretary of Defense isn't expected to have any trouble with U.S. Senate Confirmation. Meanwhile, this new Administration is threatening all of us with an emphasis in the military domination of space that could lead to environmental and economic catastrophes for everyone. In item two, an alarming report discloses that 'the slender "latch" which locks vast quantities of carbon into the world's peatlands has been identified and that climate change could trigger the release of carbon dioxide on a catastrophic scale.'

Scientists have widely expected that Mars once had an atmosphere. Now it consists of more than 95% carbon dioxide (CO2), which is very close to the CO2 proportion of Venus' atmosphere. Is Earth's atmosphere headed in this direction for a lifeless atmosphere devoid of human beings? The billions of dollars and energy focused on space military domination needs to be redirected in response to the real threat to life by those in power who are greedy, fearful and so far, willfully ignorant. Will people wake up in time? It could already be too late. But, then again, miracles are a part of life, and our attempts to make a positive difference gives life meaning and purpose. Many thanks to GlobeNet, Veterans of Peace and Karl Grossman for their courageous work. Please support their efforts for peace in space and survival for all life.

Reference [1] Arms Race Going Bonkers - NoFlyby Alert 3/19/99

1) Panel Urges U.S. to Defend Space

2) Peatlands Loss Linked to Global Warming Surge

3) Rumsfeld: ABM Treaty "Ancient History"

4) Helms Says U.S. Not Bound by ABM Treaty

5) Groups Call for Rejection of Rumsfeld


1) Panel Urges U.S. to Defend Space

January 12, 2001
Panel Urges U.S. to Defend Space
Published in the NYTimes

WASHINGTON -- An advisory commission headed until recently by Defense Secretary-designate Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday a lack of attention by the government to its satellites and space policy makes the United States ``an attractive candidate for a space Pearl Harbor.''

The United States depends on space more than any other country -- for military surveillance, weather forecasts, cell phone connections -- yet the White House, Congress and various government agencies fail to make space protection a top priority, the panel concluded.

And that, the commission said in its report to Congress, ``could leave the U.S. vulnerable to surprises in space.''

``The U.S. government -- in particular, the Department of Defense and the intelligence community -- is not yet arranged or focused to meet the national security space needs of the 21st century,'' the panel found.

The commission suggested several steps to restructure the government's space policy, which currently is scattered among more than a dozen military, intelligence and other federal departments.

``Right now, there are lots of little individuals who will give you lots of little individual space answers,'' said former Sen. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wyo., a commission member who characterized the situation as ``an enormous band of chieftains with no tribes.''

Among the commission's recommendations:

--Naming a new undersecretary of defense for space to coordinate national military and intelligence activities and research in the area.

--Having the undersecretary of the Air Force oversee the National Reconnaissance Office, which develops and operates satellites.
--Forming a presidential advisory board to provide guidance and help press the importance of space activities upon the White House.

--Establish within the National Security Council a group of senior space advisers and staff from various federal agencies who could be included in any security decisions.

--Assign regular meetings between the secretary of defense and director of central intelligence to ``address national security space policy, objectives and issues.''

The government must also do more to encourage students and tap experts who could help make contributions to the space industry, the advisers said.

``The investment in science and technology resources, not just facilities but particularly people, is essential if we're going to continue to be a leader as a space-faring nation, and we don't see that robustness today,'' said retired Adm. David E. Jeremiah, one of the commissioners.

Jeremiah said other nations may soon act upon America's dependence on its space satellites and ``are going to be attracted to our vulnerabilities.''

He pointed to one satellite problem in 1998, in which 85 percent of the nation's pagers were silenced, as a possible ``space attack.''

``The difficulty of space is that you can't tell,'' he said. ``We don't know if the interruption of all the pagers not so long ago was an attack or an anomaly that showed up in the hardware.''

In its report, the 13-member commission stressed that while organization and management of the nation's space efforts were important, ``the critical need is national leadership to elevate space on the national security agenda.''

The commission was led by Rumsfeld until he stepped down following his nomination by President-elect Bush to be defense secretary. Rumsfeld has listed ``defense of our space assets'' as one of his top priorities.


2) Peatlands Loss Linked to Global Warming Surge


The slender "latch" which locks vast quantities of carbon into the world's peatlands has been identified by a Welsh scientist, who warns that climate change could trigger the release of carbon dioxide on a catastrophic scale.

Dr Chris Freeman, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Wales, Bangor, has been studying the processes controlling decomposition in wetlands for 10 years.

The study has attracted attention because of the recent violent weather, which has concentrated minds on global warming.

It is also known that the world's peatlands, mostly concentrated in the northern hemisphere, contain
as much CO2 as the entire atmosphere and three times as much as the rain forests.

In a paper in the journal, Nature, Dr Freeman says he has identified the mechanism which prevents the CO2 being released from the peat wetlands back into the atmosphere.

He writes: "We used to think that the CO2 was not released because the waterlogging in wetlands starved the enzymes involved of oxygen. But we realised that decomposition can be quite efficient in other places that have no oxygen, such as in a sheep's stomach or a sewage treatment works."

His team set about identifying the enzymes involved to see how effectively they worked with and without oxygen. Most of the main enzymes worked well without oxygen but one, phenol oxidase, hardly worked at all unless oxygen was added.

This unusual enzyme destroys the natural chemicals which slow down the decomposition process so in wetlands the scarcity of oxygen means there is nothing to stop these "inhibitors" building up, preventing breakdown and release of CO2.

Dr Freeman says: "In one way this all sounds a bit worrying because it suggests that one simple enzyme is all that prevents re-release of the CO2 locked up in our wetlands, doubling atmospheric CO2 levels. At least we now know, on the other hand, that if we can find a way to keep that enzyme under control, we can stop the problem arising."

The crunch comes with the realisation that many scientific models of global warming have predicted more extreme weather episodes because of the increased volatility of warmer, wetter air.

"But these patterns predict that some regions could also suffer prolonged droughts and if such a drought occurred over the vast peatlands of northern Europe, Russia, Siberia or Canada and America, the wetlands could dry out sufficiently, exposing the enzyme to oxygen and releasing the vast carbon store.

Dr Freeman told The Herald: "The take home message from this research is that we urgently need to take every step to preserve our own peat wetlands against drainage for forestry or agriculture, cutting for fuel or extraction for horticultural use."

Dan Barlow, campaign manager for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: "Scotland still has superb examples [of peatlands] and the message is loud and clear - they must be protected both for reasons of their biodiversity and to keep the carbon locked up."

- Jan 11


3) Rumsfeld: ABM Treaty "Ancient History"
Recieved by Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space


George Bush's nominee for Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, today told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the 1972 ABM Treaty between Russia and the U.S. is "ancient history."

Rumsfeld was given a free ride by the Democrat and Republican members of the committee as they fell over themselves in their congratulations of Rumsfeld on his nomination. Over and over they remarked how impressed they were with his "credentials".

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) reminded Rumsfeld that the Gore/Lieberman Democratic ticket had promised to spend "$100 billion more" on the Pentagon than the George W. Bush campaign. Lieberman concluded his remarks to Rumsfeld saying that the American people do not rate military spending as a high priority for their tax dollars and that "we" must all work harder to change that mindset.

When asked by Carl Levin (D-MI) if deployment of BMD and arms control talks could be considered at the same time in a Bush administration, Rumsfeld said that he would promise to think about the question.

Several senators questioned Rumsfeld about the so-called "threat" to the U.S. by "rogue" states. Rumsfeld stated that this is a "dangerous" world and that the threat of a missile attack on the U.S. is greater today than ever before. He painted a picture of unemployed Russian rocket scientists going to work for angry dictators who want to destroy American cities.

Feeling confident and relaxed, often leaning back in his chair, Rumsfeld gave the appearance of a man totally in control. When asked about the "militarization of space" he stated that "It would be a stretch to suggest that in the future space will not be recieving the same kind of attention that is now given to land, air, and sea."

Rumsfeld stated that in his mind there had been "no change" in North Korea's work to develop nuclear weapons. "They are world class tunnelers... they don't have a good record of behaving well...It's a shell game with those folks."

Rumsfeld's record has long been one of denying the obvious. His 1998 "Commission" manipulated existing U.S. intelligence findings to come up with new conclusions that fit the political agenda of pro-Star Wars groups that he was closely associated with. Now, despite evidence that North Korea has suspended their missile testing program and is working toward reunification with South Korea, Rumsfeld still promotes the threat from North Korea to justify a quick deployment of Star Wars.

Rumsfeld concluded his testimony by saying that "We have a new president coming into office who is committed to deploying BMD."

Several new Democrats have been added to the Senate Armed Services Committee. See the full list just below:

 Democrats - Levin (MI), Kennedy (MA), Bingaman (N.M.), Byrd (W.V.), Lieberman (CT), Cleland (GA), Landrieu (LA), Reed (R.I.), Nelson (NE), Nelson (FL), Akaka (HI), Carnahan (MI)

 Republicans - Warner (VA), Thurmond (S.C.), McCain (AZ), Smith (N.H.), Inhofe (OK), Santorum (PA), Snowe (ME), Roberts (KS), Allard (CO), Hutchinson (AR), Sessions (AL)

Call your Senators to oppose the Rumsfeld nomination as soon as possible via the Congressional Switchboard at: (202) 224-3121


4) Helms Says U.S. Not Bound by ABM Treaty

Thursday January 11
Helms Says U.S. Not Bound by ABM Treaty
By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The influential chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Thursday that the United States was not bound by an arms control treaty that Russia has said would be violated if a missile defense were deployed to protect the United States and its allies.

Sen. Jesse Helms, who will be going into his seventh year as head of the committee, said the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) expired when the Soviet Union dissolved and should not be an impediment to a U.S. missile shield.

``The United States is no longer bound by the ABM Treaty -- that treaty expired when our treaty partner the Soviet Union ceased to exist,'' said Helms, a North Carolina Republican.

``Personally, I do not think that a new ABM Treaty can be negotiated with Russia that would permit the kind of defenses that America needs and must have,'' he said in a speech at The American Enterprise Institute.

President Clinton deferred a decision on whether to deploy a national missile defense system to President-elect George W. Bush, who takes office on Jan. 20.

Russia and China have opposed a U.S. national missile defense, saying it could lead to a renewed arms race.

Donald Rumsfeld, Bush's choice for defense secretary, said at his confirmation hearing on Thursday the United States must develop defenses against missile attack. But he refrained from setting any date for deployment.

Helms said his top priority would be to undo Clinton's endorsement of a treaty to create the first permanent global court for trying alleged war criminals.

Some Republicans are concerned such a court could lead to a foreign country putting members of the U.S. military on trial.

``I will make reversing this decision and protecting America's fighting men and women from the jurisdiction of this international kangaroo court my single highest priority in the new Congress,'' Helms said.

Bush's team has criticized the treaty as flawed and said that Bush would not send it to the Senate for ratification in its current form.

The International Criminal Court would be set up in the Netherlands to try individuals accused of mass murders, war crimes and other gross human rights violations. The tribunal would not come into force until 60 countries ratify the treaty, and so far almost half that number have done so.

Helms said he intended to work with the Bush administration to ensure that the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would be invited to join NATO, an expansion that Russia opposes.

``We must show Russia's leaders an open path to good relations, while at the same time closing off their avenues to destructive behavior,'' Helms said.

He said he hoped more action would be taken to undermine foreign leaders such as Cuban President Fidel Castro and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

``We must have a new Iraq policy, and such a policy must be based on a clear understanding of this salient fact: Nothing will change in Iraq until Saddam Hussein is removed from power,'' Helms said.

He advocated a new U.S. policy on Cuba, saying debate over whether to lift the economic embargo against the communist-ruled island was likely to end with a Bush White House which supports keeping it. Helms said the types of policies that undermined communism in Poland could also be applied to Cuba.

On Taiwan, Helms said the island's self-defense capabilities were not keeping up with China's military modernization and it was ``imperative that we act quickly to reverse the decline.''


5) Groups Call for Rejection of Rumsfeld

For Immediate Release

Contacts Bruce Gagnon at Global Network
Peter Shaw at Veterans for Peace
Investigative Journalist Karl Grossman

The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Veterans for Peace, with the support of peace groups around the world, are calling on the U.S. Senate to reject the appointment of Donald Rumsfeld as the next U.S. Secretary of Defense charging that he is a “Star Wars zealotEwho will cause a new arms race and ultimately war in space.

“Rumsfeld has been the agent of the right-wing and corporate forces that have been pushing for Star Wars,Edeclared Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network. “It was Rumsfeld who, in 1998, was appointed by arch-conservatives Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott to chair a commission that insisted on prompt deployment of a missile defense system. The Commission's findings undermined earlier CIA analyses that threats of attack from 'rogue states' were not iminent, eventually forcing the CIA to change its projections."

“Rumsfeld was then given the ‘Keeper of the FlameEaward by the pro-Star Wars right-wing Center for Security Policy,Enoted Gagnon, “an operation funded by the aerospace corporations that seeks to become Star Wars contractors and which has listed Rumsfeld as a ‘trusted advisorEand a financial supporter.E Rumsfeld recently chaired a second Space Commission, made up of former Space Command leaders, that insists that the U.S. needs anti-satellite weapons to protect U.S. "space assets."

“Rumsfeld supports U.S. plans to ‘control spaceEin violation of the intent of the United Nations' Outer Space Treaty of 1967, which sets aside space for ‘peaceful purposes,Eand which the U.S. not only has signed but was a leader in initiating. With Rumsfeld in charge of the Pentagon, we will see a push for the weaponization of space that will lead to an arms race in space. Other nations will not submit to having the U.S. ‘control spaceE The real fight to stop Star Wars begins with the issue of Senate approval of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense."

Peter Shaw of Veterans for Peace said that “our members know what war is aboutEand described Rumsfeld as a “radical operative of the military industry complex who opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, testified against the chemical weapons convention, opposed the SALT II arms agreement, and lobbied for the B-2 Bomber and the MX Missile--and has carried the flame for Star Wars. The United States and the world cannot afford this extreme agenda."

Karl Grossman, author of a soon-to-be-released book, “Weapons In SpaceE(Seven Stories Press) which includes information on Rumsfeld and his Star Wars links, said that “as The Washington Post has just reported, Rumsfeld is the ‘leading proponent not only of national missile defenses, but also of U.S. efforts to take control of outer space." Grossman, a professor of journalism at the State University of New York, said that “we must focus on strengthening the Outer Space Treaty, bolstering it by banning all weapons from space. Our neighbor Canada is a leader in this call at the United Nations. With Rumsfeld as defense secretary, the U.S. will be moving in the other direction: toward war in space.E
The Global Network and Veterans for Peace are calling on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and thereafter the full U.S. Senate, to reject Rumsfeld. They are organizing a grassroots campaign in which people across the United States are contacting their U.S. senators and expressing their opposition to the Bush appointment of Rumsfeld.

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