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Rumsfeld Charts Missile Defense * Pentagon Reports Flaws * Berrigan Meets Darth Vadar

The battle is taking shape against the militarization of space. Your involvement and support for the planning of 13 October Actions is critical. This battle, if we will make a difference, will require as many world citizens as possible to unite with the Global Network and 181 Endorsing Organizations for actions at 64 sites worldwide so far. The following items describe Star Wars efforts in both directions. Regarding item 3, thanks to Frida Berrigan and the Brandywine Peace Community for their inspirational efforts in Pennsylvania!

For more information on plans for October 13 visit

This weekend, too, SolarFest's Music Festival and Energy Fair is happening in Vermont. Flyby News will be there signing on supporters for October 13 2001. For more information on this creative, fun, educational, music and energy fair, see .

1) Rumsfeld Charts Missile Defense Course
2) Pentagon report reveals flaws in missile defense
3) Report from the Star Wars Conference by Frida Berrigan

1) Rumsfeld Charts Missile Defense Course

By Robert Burns
AP Military Writer
Sunday, July 8, 2001; 12:49 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON The Bush administration wants to greatly expand the number and kinds of testing it believes is needed to build effective missile defenses, and is willing to spend billions more to do it.

In a sense, military planners have gone back to the drawing board to fulfill President Bush's goal of creating a reliable defense against ballistic missile attack on the United States, its allies and U.S. forces abroad.

The Bush administration sees no less urgency in obtaining a missile defense capability. But after months of reviewing options and studying the Clinton administration's approach, the Pentagon has decided to explore a wider range of technologies before deciding when the system could be ready for use.

"The focus of missile defense is no longer on deployment," says Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, which manages the Pentagon's missile defense work.

The focus is on testing, and lots of it. "It is going to be structured and disciplined," Lehner said.

It is also going to be expensive..............

[For the full story published in the Washington Post on 8 July 2001, see]


2) Pentagon report reveals flaws in missile defense
By John F. Tierney, 7/10/2001

NOT TOO LONG ago, the Pentagon's purchase of $400 hammers and $640 toilets raised eyebrows in Congress and among the public. Yet few people claimed those deluxe hammers couldn't cleanly hit their targets - most likely overpriced nails. And the toilets were said to flush with exquisite efficiency.

Not so the Pentagon's latest folly - an obscenely expensive but flawed missile defense system the Bush administration appears determined to deploy as early as 2004, even though the individual who was charged with evaluating its readiness has declared that it will not be ready, even in a limited form, until 2011.

Philip Coyle, formerly the Pentagon's chief civilian test evaluator, testified last September at a hearing before the national security subcommittee of the House Committee on Government Reform, of which I am a member. Coyle outlined the findings of a report he prepared during the National Missile Defense Deployment Readiness Review a month earlier. I asked him to provide his report, which is unclassified, to the subcommittee. Neither he nor Lieutenant General Ronald Kadish, director of the missile defense program, expressed reservations about making the report public. The subcommittee voted unanimously to make the report part of the hearing record.

Finally pried free two weeks ago - after eight months, six official requests, threats of subpoenas, a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 55 House Democrats, and over the continuing objections of Pentagon officials - the report confirms the glaring deficiencies in the testing program that Coyle raised last September.

The report describes a phenomenon in simulation exercises called ''phantom tracks'' in which interceptors were accidentally launched against missiles that did not exist. Although operators attempted to take emergency actions to override these launches, they failed every time. The system ''simply was not behaving according to operator actions.''

Coyle concluded that the system's effectiveness is not yet proven, even in the most elementary sense. In fact, according to his report, the program is so immature that ''a rigorous assessment of potential system performance cannot be made.''

Yet the Pentagon has no plans to test basic elements of the system, not even to conduct flight tests with more than a single missile, even though the Pentagon concedes that multiple engagements are the most likely scenario. The testing program also ignores widely available decoys that adversaries would find simple to implement.''

The report describes how flight tests are being dumbed down to ensure the public perception of success. The Pentagon, for example, is reducing the number of decoys, operators are relying on artificially ''canned'' scenarios, and interceptors are being given advance information they won't have in real engagements. Even with these ''adjustments,'' the program has experienced embarrassing failures.

Significantly, the report finds that the system can't defend against accidental or unauthorized launches from major nuclear powers, as originally envisioned. The Pentagon has been backtracking on this issue and no longer considers it a key goal.

Despite these warnings, President Bush proposes accelerating deployment and spending $3 billion more for all missile defense next year - a 57 percent increase. The Pentagon will move to deploy a ''rudimentary'' system, even before this limited and flawed testing is complete, just to build ''something'' by the politically significant date of 2004.

As Congress examines the president's missile defense program, and as the administration begins testing components of the system this weekend, I submit that the 52 recommendations in the Coyle report should be the minimum standard by which the new program is evaluated. And the Pentagon's ''you-can't-handle-the-truth'' attitude that kept this report bottled up for eight months must give way to a constructive and reasoned public dialogue based on full disclosure and honest information.

Absent that, the Pentagon might consider those $640 toilets as a more reliable way to dispose of the $200 billion to $300 billion that this flawed system could cost our nation.

John F. Tierneyof Massachusetts is a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives.

This story ran on page A19 of the Boston Globe on 7/10/2001.
Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.
3) Report from the Star Wars Conference by Frida Berrigan

June 28-29, 2001
Valley Forge Radisson
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

I was the mole, the spy, the interloper. I went to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to attend a conference organized by Representative Curt Weldon and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA), stirringly entitled "Defending the Northeast, America and Our Allies from Ballistic Missile Attack." It was the first time I've been back to King of Prussia since 1981, when I was there for the trial of my Dad, Uncle and six others who symbolically disarmed a Mark 12A nuclear warhead manufactured by General Electric [now, Lockheed Martin]. This action, called the Plowshares Eight, sparked a movement of over 75 disarmament actions on three continents. So, going back to where it all started, to hang out with the merchants of death, was an experience.

As the Brandywine Peace Community, LEPOCO's Angels Against Star Wars and the anti-Star Wars Darth Vader sweltered in 95 degree sun outside the hotel, I froze inside listening to Representative Curt Weldon give the opening address to the assembled men in suits. An informal count yielded a grand total of ten women among more than 200 men. Weldon, who chairs the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, welcomed us to the Radisson Hotel in King of Prussia and Valley Forge, and commented that a broad spectrum of expertise was present at the conference, including the defense industry, which he said was "especially well represented."

Well represented indeed, I counted over 70 participants from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and smaller missile defense companies like Alliant Missile Products and Science Applications International Corporation, out of a list of 200 or so. Not surprising, given how much the weapons industry has to gain from an accelerated push for missile defense and how actively they have supported missile defense boosters on the Hill. Weldon alone pulled in more than $200,000 in defense industry contributions in the last five years. Ironically he had the gumption to say that "I have never worked for a defense contractor in my life." With money like that coming into his office, he's stumping for Boeing and Lockheed every day on Capitol Hill.

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing and a local defense company all had elaborate displays in the basement "Independence Hall." Raytheon brought a half size model of its exoatmospheric kill vehicle (EKV). The EKV looks sort of like a vacuum cleaner or a snow blower and costs about $25 million. Pound for pound, it is among the most expensive weapons ever built. But that does not mean it works.

The EKV's slogan is "Discriminate and Destroy" but so far it seems more likely to "Crash and Burn." The 1999 National Missile Defense Review Committee Report, chaired by retired Air Force General Larry Welch, highlighted the "'hardware-poor' nature of the EKV program," and pointed out that the EKV might not be able to withstand the shock loads once mounted on the actual Ground Based Interceptor booster. The failure of the July 7, 2000 NMD test was due in large part to the failure of the Raytheon kill vehicle to separate properly from the Lockheed Martin booster rocket. As a result, the sensors used to hone in on the mock warhead were never turned on, and the vehicle sailed wide of its target. So much for Discrimination and Destruction.

But the model looked great and so did the computer generated graphic displays. Each company offered attractive freebies too. I took three handsome blue "Boeing: Team NMD" mugs. There were also lapel pins, key chains and baseball hats for conferees to take home.

In addition to bringing his industry friends and their freebies along, Curt Weldon also brought some props, including a Scud missile and a Theater High Altitude Area Defense launcher-- deployed in the parking lot. The Scud missile was accompanied by a poster with 28 names-the Americans killed in an Iraqi attack on a bunker in Saudi Arabia. Weldon dedicated the conference to their memory, saying they died because "America failed them." Ten years later, he said, we still don't have a fully deployed missile defense which could assure that "never again will Americans come home in body bags."

In addition to pulling the heart strings of the assembled, Weldon also railed against the "left wing rhetoric" of the "liberal media establishment," singling out Dan Rather for special attention by saying the CBS anchor had the "intellectual honesty of my pet." [To see where this comment might have come from see the CBS TV Transcript: Critics Say the Missile Defense System is Flawed:,1597,245328-412,00.shtml ] To combat what he sees as the anti-missile defense slant in the mainstream press, Weldon envisions a series of regional conferences to follow this one, with the aim of awakening the American people to the fact that they are vulnerable to ballistic missile attack and there is no defense. He used the work "vulnerable" countless times throughout his almost two-hour speech and Q&A session.

Other speakers included Lt. General Ronald Kadish, Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization; Ambassador Henry Cooper, the Chairman of the Board of High Frontier-a pro-missile defense think tank that was distributing "Strategic Issues Policy Briefs" at the conference with titles like, "Toward the High Ground of Space: A Fine First Step!!" and "The Battle Lines Are Drawn!!!" Frank Gaffney, President and CEO of Center for Security Policy, was also in attendance. Gaffney, whose think tank has received over $2 million from weapons manufacturers in recent years, spoke on a panel with Baker Spring from the Heritage Foundation entitled "The ABM Treaty and Missile Defense."

Curt Weldon said the two-day conference was aimed at the American public. But I didn't see any there. All I saw were representatives of weapons manufacturers, right wing-nut think tanks and the Pentagon. The only normal Americans I met were sweating in the hot sun on the curb, chatting and holding their signs, and waving at the cars that honked in support. While the news coverage of the conference downplayed the presence of protestors from the Brandywine Peace Community, it was big news inside. Weldon referred to the 20 or so gathered outside as "misguided but well intentioned" and said that "Darth Vader is wandering around out there looking sort of bewildered, I think he's lost." Every time he mentioned the protestors, the audience laughed and guffawed, but it seemed to me that they felt exposed. Darth Vader wasn't lost, he had found them.

Frida Berrigan, World Policy Institute

Spread the Word No Star Wars: No Way No How!

Bush's 1st Star Wars Test This Saturday, July 14
Darth Vader will be at Lockheed Martin Again

Protest the Star Wars Test,

Noon, this Saturday, July 14, Lockheed Martin, Mall & Goddard Boulevards, Valley Forge, PA (behind the King of Prussia Mall). Septa buses #124 and 125 available from Philadelphia; Septa bus #123 available from the 69th St. Terminal.

"What began with "Trinity" (the first atomic test blast 56 years ago) and the atomic bomb continues with Lockheed Martin and Star Wars"

This coming Monday, July 16, the anniversary of "Trinity" and the start of the nuclear age, Join us in Moorestown, New Jersey at Lockheed Martin's Aegis Warship site (and home to the Navy's "Star Wars" Theater Missile Defense plan), Centreton & Hartford Rds., for a 7 AM sunrise vigil of commemoration and protest. Directions available at the Brandywine Peace Community web site:

For more information:
Call the Brandywine Peace Community, (610) 544-1818


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