Article 16717 of alt.activism:
Subject: Federal defense jobs program
Date: 18 Mar 92 15:23:51 GMT
Organization: University of Kansas Academic Computing Services
The following are excerpts from Newsweek March 23, 1992, pp.56-58.
A Safety Net Full of Holes
After nine years and #30 billion, new charges brand the Star Wars defense
effort a fraud
.... From the start, though, many physicists and military officers warned
that Star Wars was technologically impossible. Now, $30 billion later,
there's evidence that the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO), as the
Star Wars command is known, saw the flaws all along -- and knowingly masked
the program's failures and overstated its progress just to keep the money
.... He [Engineer Aldric Saucier who was chief scientist for Advanced
Technology and Architectures for the army's Strategic Defense Command]
accused SDIO of "systematic illegality, gross mismanagement and waste,
abuse of power and the substitution of political science for the scientific
method." He said SDI officials took money allocated by Congress for one
program and spent it on another, and falsified data about the efficacy of
such marvels as the X-ray laser in order to keep the dollars gushing in.
.... Defense Department advisers such as physicist Richard Garwin of IBM
have pointed out that a perfect nuclear shield either defied the laws of
physics or relied on weapons that could be easily neutralized by Soviet
countermeasures. .... Claims for SDI, says physicist Theodore Postol of
MIT, have "proven to be false and made without technical or scientific
And so quietly, secretly, SDI did what might charitably be called
"evolve." According to a report from Congress's General Accounting Office,
released last week by Rep. John Conyers, SDI lowered its sights in 1987 to
discourage, not block, a massive Soviet missile attack. Taxpayers may not
have realized it, but the billions of dollars were not going to buy Reagan's
popular perfect defense. SDI switched course again in 1990 with the
introduction of Brilliant Pebbles, a program to develop an armada of
hundreds of small orbiting interceptors that would swarm toward incoming
missiles and destroy them by impact. In 1991, SDIO conceded that Pebbles
could protect America only against _limited_ (up to 200 warheads)
ballistic-missile attacks from anywhere (read: crazed Saddam-type
dictators). Changing goals as it went along was central to what Saucier
calls the main point of SDI: "to keep the research-and-development money
flowing." That required secrecy. "If you keep all the technical data
under wraps," says Kennel [Elliot Kennel was a former air force nuclear
engineer], "it's easy to keep it funded."
.... President Bush has requested $5.4 billion for SDI next fiscal year,
compared with $4.1 billion in 1991-92.
"People must be free to work, to save, to own their own home, to
take risks, to invest in each other and, in essence, to control
their own lives."
Pres. George Bush
"I don't know that athiests should be considered citizens, nor
should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
Pres. George Bush
"If we don't succeed, we risk failure."
J. Danforth Quayle