Shield Plans Flawed

Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:40 am
According to independent physicists of the American Physical Society, the multi-billion dollar missile defense shield won't work. Apparently successful tests have been the result of homing devices on missiles travelling only one third the speed of the real thing, and where the trajectory was known before hand. And also doesn't consider the possibility of decoys.

Catalyst-Missile Defence
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:43 am
Just a project to keep defense contractors making money.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 05:50 am
Re: Uh...
pistoff wrote:
Just a project to keep defense contractors making money.

That's what I suspected!
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 06:29 am
book mark
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 07:14 am
It was laughed at when raygun Ronnie pushed it and I don't see that it is any more workable today.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 07:17 am
I've only become interested because apparently Australia is getting involved now. Bush's little puppet John Howard is set to spend billions of our money on this pipe dream.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 08:51 am
You folks don't seem to understand that it isn't the fact of whether it works or not, it is about MAKING it work. It's about all the technologies that will be invented to make it work. They used to say that going to the moon was impossible and served no useful purpose. Yet from developing the technology to make the trip to the moon we got:
Microwave ovens
Video Tape Recorders
Advanced Material Sciences
Smaller Faster Computers
Advanced Radar And Tracking Systems
and a host of other 'spin off' techs that we take for granted every day.

Just because something doesn't work NOW does not mean that it won't work in the future. You can't just slap together some off the shelf components and voila a perfect missile defence system.

And Wilso, as to them using slow targets in the initial tests. Do you think they just slapped together a bunch of parts and said "Lets land on the moon now." No, they launched a series of test flights they brought us slowly closer and closer to what occurred in Apollo 11. You learn to walk before you can run.

The missile defence system will be tested in an incremental manner until all the bugs are worked out and the techs are developed that will allow us to intercept a full speed missile. Thats how science works.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 09:08 am
A few other 'spin off' techs as a result of developing the technology used for space travel. (we should be half as lucky with 'spin offs' in the development of the missile shield)

Breast Cancer Screening - An advanced digital sensor that detects infrared energy has been incorporated in a noninvasive diagnostic tool that screens for breast cancer.

Breast Biopsy - A non-surgical and much less traumatic breast biopsy technique, based on technology developed for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is now saving women time, pain, scarring, radiation exposure and money.

Computer-Aided Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging - Used in hospitals worldwide, these diagnostic tools came from technology developed to computer-enhance pictures of the moon for the Apollo program.

Cool Suits - Worn by Apollo astronauts to stay comfortable during moon walks, these suits today are used by race car drivers, nuclear reactor technicians, shipyard workers, people with multiple sclerosis and kids with a congenital disorder known as hypohidrotic ectodermal displasia.

Cordless Power Tools and Appliances - One of the most successful commercial spinoffs of space-based technology, these re-chargeable tools were developed to permit astronauts to do repairs in space.

Cardiac Pacemaker - First developed in the 1970's using NASA satellite electrical systems technology, the fourth generation of this unit incorporates space communications telemetry for noninvasive communication with the implanted pacemaker, as well as longer-life batteries from technology for spacecraft electrical power systems.

Fetal Heart Monitor - Technology originally used to measure airflow over aircraft wings has been used to develop a more affordable, portable, non-invasive, easy-to-use fetal heart monitor.

Firefighting Equipment - In response to concerns from the nation's fire chiefs, NASA designed a lighter, smaller, self-contained breathing apparatus that gave firefighters more mobility while working in smoke-filled structures.

Heart Pump - The technology used in Space Shuttle fuel pumps led to the development of a miniaturized ventricular assist pump by NASA and renown heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey. The tiny pump -- 2-inches long, 1-inch in diameter and weighing less than 4 ounces -- is currently under going European clinical trials.

Kidney Dialysis - Kidney dialysis machines were developed as a result of a NASA developed chemical process that could remove toxic waste from used dialysis fluid.

Insulation - Insulation barriers made of aluminum foil laid over a core of propylene or mylar, which protected astronauts and their spacecraft's delicate instruments from radiation, is used to protect cars and trucks and dampen engine and exhaust noise.

Insulin Pumps - Implantable and external insulin pumps, which is based on a design of the biological laboratory of the Mars Viking spacecraft, have aided insulin dependent diabetics. These computerized pumps can infuse insulin at a pre-programmed rate, allowing more precise control of blood sugar levels.

Temperature Pill - An ingestible thermometer capable of accurately measuring and relaying deep internal body temperatures non-invasively to an external receiver was developed from satellite communication techniques.

Surgical Probe - Special lighting technology developed for plant growth experiments on Space Shuttle Spacelab missions is now used to treat brain tumors in children. Doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee use light emitting diodes in a treatment called photodynamic therapy, a form of chemotherapy, to kill cancerous tumors.

Water Purification - Water purification technology used on the Apollo spacecraft is employed in several spinoff applications to kill bacteria, viruses and algae in community water supply systems and cooling towers. Filters mounted on faucets can reduce lead in water supplies.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 09:12 am
More 'spin offs' (God knows the space program and all other tech advancing science projects are a waste of maoney Rolling Eyes )

Artificial Heart - The technology used in Space Shuttle fuel pumps led to the development of a miniaturized ventricular assist pump by NASA and renown heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey. The tiny pump -- 2-inches long, 1-inch in diameter and weighing less than four ounces -- is currently undergoing European clinical trials where it has been successfully implanted into more than 20 people.

Automotive Insulation - Materials from the Space Shuttle thermal protection system are being used on NASCAR racing cars to protect drivers from the extreme heat generated by the engines.

Balance Evaluation Systems - Devices built to measure the equilibrium of Space Shuttle astronauts on return from orbit are now widely used by major medical centers to diagnose and treat patients suffering head injury, stroke, chronic dizziness and central nervous system disorders.

Bioreactor - Developed for Space Shuttle medical research, this rotating cell culture apparatus simulates some aspects of the space environment, or microgravity, on the ground. Tissue samples grown in the bioreactor are being used to design therapeutic drugs and antibodies. Some scientists believe the bioreactor will routinely produce human tissue for research and transplantation.

Diagnostic Instrument - NASA technology was used to create a compact laboratory instrument that more quickly analyzes blood, accomplishing in 30 seconds what once took 20 minutes.

Gas Detector - A gas leak detection system, originally developed to monitor the Shuttle's hydrogen propulsion system, is being used by the Ford Motor Company in the production of a natural gas-powered car.

Identification System - Developed to track millions of parts used for the Space Shuttle, a digital data technology that allowed the parts to be scanned by machines has now been commercialized. The new system uses laser-etched markings that work on practically any surface, are invisible and virtually indestructible.

Infrared Camera - A sensitive infrared hand-held camera that observes the blazing plumes from the Shuttle also is capable of scanning for fires. During the brush fires that ravaged Malibu, CA in 1996, the camera was used to point out hot spots for firefighters.

Jewelry Design - Jewelers no longer have to worry about inhaling dangerous asbestos fibers from the blocks they use as soldering bases. Space Shuttle heat shield tiles offer jewelers a safer soldering base with temperature resistance far beyond the 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit generated by the jeweler's torch.

Land Mine Removal Device - The same rocket fuel that helps launch the Space Shuttle is now being used to save lives - by destroying land mines. A flare device, using leftover fuel donated by NASA, is placed next to the uncovered land mine and is ignited from a safe distance using a battery-triggered electric match. The explosive burns away, disabling the mine and rendering it harmless.

Lifesaving Light - Special lighting technology developed for plant growth experiments on Space Shuttle Spacelab missions is now used to treat brain tumors in children. Doctors at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee use light emitting diodes in a treatment called photodynamic therapy, a form of chemotherapy, to kill cancerous tumors.

Prosthesis Material - A commercial derivative of the foam insulation used to protect the Shuttle's external tank replaced the heavy, fragile plaster once used to produce master molds for prosthetics.

Rescue Tool - Rescue squads have a new extrication tool to help remove accident victims from wrecked vehicles. The hand-held device requires no auxiliary power systems or cumbersome hoses and is 70 percent cheaper than previous rescue equipment. The cutter uses a miniature version of the explosive charges that separate devices on the Shuttle.

Vehicle Tracking System - Tracking information originally used onboard Space Shuttle Spacelab missions now helps track vehicles on Earth. The commercial spinoff of the tracking software allows vehicles to transmit a signal back to a home base. Municipalities today use the software to track and reassign emergency and public works vehicles. It also is used by vehicle fleet operations, such as taxis, armored cars and vehicles carrying hazardous cargo.

Video Stabilization Software - Image-processing technology used to analyze Space Shuttle launch video and to study meteorological images also helps law enforcement agencies improve crime-solving video. The technology removes defects due to image jitter, image rotation and image zoom in video sequences. The technology also may be useful for medical imaging, scientific applications and home video.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 10:29 am
In reading Fedral's posts, I'm reminded of former Cong. David Bonior. Speaking to the Democratic Convention, Bonior said: "The Republican Party believes that the best way to feed the birds is to give more oats to the horse." At the time, he was talking about "trickle-down" tax cuts, but it seems that we now have "trickle-down" technology too.

Sure, the space program gave us lots of swell stuff, and it's even possible that the enormous boondoggle known as the missile defense shield will yield some more whizbang inventions. But then, why should we invest billions into a defense project that most likely won't work if what we're really interested in is a more efficient rocket propulsion system, or cold fusion, or a cure for the heebie-jeebies? If we're interested in solving those problems, shouldn't we invest in solutions that are targeted at those problems, rather than hoping that those solutions will come to us as byproducts of a doomed, useless, and extravagently expensive defense project?
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 10:31 am
Way to be a glass half empty type guy there, Joe.
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 10:49 am
I tell you joe, I think if you had been in Kitty Hawk N.C. in 1903 watching the Wright brothers, you would have been one of the ones saying.
"They will never get that thing off the ground"
Then as you watched it fly past you, you would have said.
"Sure, but now how are they gonna land it?"

I think Einstein said it best with his.
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.
Just because you cant see that it can be done, you seem to think that settles the argument.

There were numerous people who used to say that there was no way we could land men on the moon. They said the technology was impossible, that the radiation would fry the astronauts, that they would freeze to death in the cold, that there was no way to guide a craft accurately enough to get there let alone to return them safely. Yet our scientists looked at each of those problems as hurdles to be jumped, not as walls that stopped their progress. The result: men on the moon and safely home again.

The missile shield is just another set of hurdles to be jumped. This country has not prospered because of men saying. "It can't be done because its too hard" It has become what it is because people stepped up and said. "What you see as an impossibility, I see as a challenge to be overcome"
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 02:02 pm
Do you conservatives REALLY believe what you write?
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Reply Wed 14 Jan, 2004 02:13 pm
I know! It's like the truth is just so blinding sometimes!
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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 04:33 am
14:02 2003-01-03

Shock Revelation: US Nuclear Missile Defence Shield Will Not Work

The Nuclear Missile Defence Shield (baptised ?Son of Star Wars¦) was an important part of George Bush-s election manifesto in 2000. Leading experts claim that if put to the test, the multi-billion dollar system will be a flop. This would put the credibility of the whole project, and its supporters in the White House, at risk.

The main critic of the system is Theodore Postol, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who claims that the system would be unable to differentiate between nuclear warheads targeted at the USA and the decoys which would inevitably accompany them. Furthermore, he claims that the MIT has evidence from tests that the system would fail but that this has been covered up, leading him to claim that a ?serious fraud¦ has been committed.

The Nuclear Missile Defence Shield is a system which intercepts incoming warheads with missiles while they are still in space. Other systems, still in the project stage, involve particle beam accelerator rays fired at the warheads from a space vehicle, possibly detonating the nuclear missiles while they are still in the airspace of the country which launched them.

Prof. Postol and other critics claim that the notion of hitting a missile with a missile is impossible to guarantee with 100% security, especially because incoming warheads could easily be equipped with multiple decoys, or even anti-anti-missiles, aimed at the interceptors fired by the defence system.

Tests made in 1997 by TWR, a military contracting company, on a prototype interceptor missile showed that the system could sense which were the real warheads and which were the decoys. However, a former employee of the company, Nira Schwartz, claims that the results of the tests were faked. This claim was backed up later by the House of Congress General Accounting Office, which claimed that the evidence presented by TWR, was ?highly misleading¦. However, the project had already been given the go-ahead by a federally funded research project, Lincoln Laboratories, which function within the scope of the MIT.

In the event, Raytheon, a competitor of TWR gained the contract with the Bush administration to set up ten interceptor units in Alaska by 2004. Nevertheless, since Raytheon uses the same technology based upon infra-red rays to choose between the decoys and the warheads, the same flaws are likely to exist, claims Prof. Postol.

Experts claim that thousands of metal decoys would be enough to fool an interceptor missile and if the warheads were coated in rubber foam or any other radar-absorbing material, the sensors would not be able to differentiate between the warhead or the decoy. Postol-s claims that the Patriot missiles issued to Israel during the Gulf War would be a failure were later proved to be true, since not all the Iraqi SCUDs were intercepted. Furthermore, almost 50% of the tests made on rocket-to-rocket interception systems in the last three years have provided evidence that the systems fail to guarantee an effective interception.

How it is possible for the laboratories involved to continue to receive hundreds of millions of dollars to continue working on a project which at its outset is doomed is a question which George W. Bush might choose to answer.

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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 04:35 am
3 January 2003
Physicist blows whistle on US missile defence
From Roland Watson in Washington
The Times


THE credibility of President Bush's multibillion-dollar missile defence plans are being questioned by leading scientists after claims that the results of key tests were falsified.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is considering an investigation into accusations that fundamental flaws in the proposed "Son of Star Wars" system have been covered up.

The criticism is led by Theodore Postol, a physicist and missile defence critic at MIT, who has said that the institute is sitting on what is potentially "the most serious fraud that we've seen at a great American university".

After months of demanding an inquiry into the affair, Ed Crawley, the chairman of MIT's aeronautics and astronautics department, has reversed previous refusals and recommended an investigation.

The issue in question goes to the heart of missile defence technology, an article of faith among right-wing Republicans and a key plank in Mr Bush's 2000 presidential manifesto. The United States unilaterally withdrew last year from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in order to pursue the controversial proposed system, which is designed to intercept enemy warheads in flight, a feat likened to hitting a bullet with a bullet.

Dr Postol and fellow critics say the ability of an interceptor missile to distinguish between an incoming warhead and the decoys likely to accompany it is deeply suspect. Any such doubts would cripple the credibility of the system.

Such questions date back to mid-1997 when the military contractor TWR Inc was accused by one of its employees, Nira Schwartz, of faking test results on a prototype anti-missile sensor meant to tell hostile warheads from decoys.

The company and its system was given the all-clear by the Lincoln Laboratory, a federally funded research centre at MIT. But subsequently the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, accused TWR of exaggerating the sensors' performance, saying its conclusions had been "highly misleading".

Dr Postol has written to 20 members of Congress saying that MIT's reluctance to investigate the role of its own research centre "may indicate an attempt to conceal evidence of criminal violations".

Critics say that MIT's independence is compromised by its interest in maintaining hundreds of millions of dollars in annual government contracts.

The missile defence system, the first steps of which Mr Bush announced in December with the aim of having ten missile interceptors in Alaska by 2004, is being built by Raytheon, which beat TWR to the contract. But Dr Postol said the TWR test, which offers a rare glimpse into the highly secretive world of missile testing and is based on the same infra-red technology used by Raytheon, suggests some flaws that challenge the overall feasibility of the entire project.

Dr Postol, a persistent missile defence critic who is accusing MIT of a "serious case of scientific fraud", cannot be lightly dismissed. After the Gulf War he challenged the Pentagon's claims for the success of its defensive Patriot missiles, saying they had intercepted few if any Iraqi Scuds. Despite initial ridicule, his assertion is now accepted.

Since 1999 three of the eight tests of "hit to kill" interceptors have failed. Critics say that wrapping a nuclear warhead in radar-absorbing rubber foam or releasing thousands of small pieces of metal would be enough to fool an interceptor.

Separately the State Department yesterday charged two US aerospace companies with illegally supplying China with satellite and rocket technology that could be used for intercontinental missiles.

Hughes Electronics Corp and its parent company, Boeing Satellite Systems, stand accused of 123 arms control violations by helping China with technical data after failed rocket launches in 1995 and 1996. Hughes said that it had done nothing wrong.

(See also: A Hole in Our Missile Defense System - http://www.mapcruzin.com/news/war061502a.htm
MIT Physicist Says Pentagon is Trying to Silence Him - http://www.mapcruzin.com/news/bush072901c.htm )


2 January 2003
M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws in Antimissile System
By William J. Broad
The New York Times


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking into accusations that its premier laboratory lied to cover up serious problems with the technology at the heart of the administration's proposed antimissile defense system. The university was prodded to act by Theodore A. Postol, a tenured M.I.T. physicist in security studies and a prominent critic of the antimissile plan. In letters to Congress and elsewhere, Dr. Postol has said M.I.T. appeared to be hiding evidence of serious flaws in the nation's main antimissile weapon, a ground-based rocket meant to destroy incoming enemy warheads by impact.
His accusations center on a 1998 study by Lincoln Laboratory, a federally financed M.I.T. research center, and have grown over the years to include the institute's provost, president and corporate chairman. Dr. Postol became known as an antimissile critic after the Persian Gulf war in 1991, when he argued that contrary to Pentagon assertions Patriot missiles had shot down few if any Iraqi Scud missiles.

His contention, at first ridiculed, in time became accepted as truth. Officials at the institute strongly deny any wrongdoing. "The bedrock principle for all research done at M.I.T. is scientific integrity," officials said in a statement. "Any allegation that there has been any deviation from that principle must be taken seriously, and that is what M.I.T. has done in this case."

These officials dismissed Dr. Postol's accusation that they had delayed acting on his accusations. Dr. Postol, who first called for an investigation 20 months ago and repeated his request many times, is unsatisfied.

"Potentially, this is the most serious fraud that we've seen at a great American university," he said in an interview.

His argument draws on stacks of letters, reports and interview transcripts, their details technically daunting and plentiful. But he is hard to ignore. Even Dr. Postol's critics, who call him pushy and arrogant, tend to admire his laserlike precision. A Navy science adviser in the Reagan administration, he came to M.I.T. in 1989 as an expert on advanced weapons.

His credibility rose after the Patriot case, which began in 1991 when the Army contended that the weapon had knocked out nearly all of the Scud missiles that Iraq had fired at Israel and Saudi Arabia. After studying videotapes of the clashes, Dr. Postol said Patriots had probably made no direct hits. The Army initially strongly disagreed, but in January 2001 Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen joined the doubters. "The Patriot didn't work," he said.

Dr. Postol's current battle is a spinoff from the case of Dr. Nira Schwartz, a senior engineer in 1995 and 1996 at TRW Inc., a military contractor. Dr. Schwartz accused her employer of faking test results on a prototype antimissile sensor meant to distinguish enemy warheads from decoys. This task was the hardest part of the antimissile challenge, and doubts about success would erode the weapon's credibility. TRW denied Dr. Schwartz's charges and in a 1998 report federal investigators said TRW was essentially truthful. This report is at the center of Dr. Postol's charges.

The report was done under the direction of the Lincoln Laboratory, and two of its five authors worked there. The other three were drawn from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Aerospace Corporation, a military industry research company. After Dr. Schwartz's accusations became public in 2000, Dr. Postol dug into the Lincoln Laboratory report. On April 26, 2001, he wrote Charles M. Vest, M.I.T.'s president, calling the report's conclusions "false and unsupported" and asking for an investigation by the institute. He repeated his request a month later and a year ago he wrote Alexander V. D'Arbeloff, chairman of the M.I.T. corporation, saying Dr. Vest had failed to investigate "a serious case of scientific fraud."

Nearly 10 months after Dr. Postol's complaint, the institute opened an inquiry into whether a formal investigation was warranted. Robert A. Brown, M.I.T.'s provost, wrote Dr. Postol on Feb. 11 to say that since the disputed report was by "government, not M.I.T.," the university had no obligation to review its overall accuracy. He said the institute would examine only the work of the two Lincoln authors. Dr. Postol objected, and federal investigators soon gave him new ammunition. On Feb. 28, the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said in two reports to Congress that TRW had exaggerated the sensor's performance, calling its contentions "highly misleading." The investigators faulted the Lincoln report for relying on data processed by TRW, instead of seeking the contractor's raw data.

The institute began its inquiry on April 12, led by Dr. Edward F. Crawley, who is in charge of of the school's department of aeronautics and astronautics. Dr. Postol then suffered two setbacks. First, Frank Press, a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, who had been asked by the institute to look into assertions that it had not moved quickly enough, concluded on April 22 that the initiation of the fraud inquiry, "though prolonged," adhered to M.I.T. policies.

In July, Dr. Crawley weighed in with a preliminary report calling the 1998 study trustworthy. "Not only do I find no evidence of research misconduct," Dr. Crawley wrote, "but I also find no credible evidence of technical error." No investigation was warranted, he said. Dr. Postol challenged the draft inquiry report's findings. In particular, he noted that Dr. Crawley's draft contradicted the General Accounting Office report, which the Defense Department and Lincoln Laboratory had reviewed for accuracy.

"Either there's a serious problem with the G.A.O. report, which needs to be corrected," Dr. Postol told Dr. Crawley in August, according to a meeting transcript, "or Lincoln Laboratory could be involved at the highest levels of management in covering up fraud." On Nov. 4, Dr. Crawley reversed himself and recommended a full investigation. His revised report was given to Dr. Brown before Christmas. Dr. Crawley has not said why he changed his mind, and the institute has not said whether a full investigation will go forward. The institute refused to give Dr. Postol a copy of the final Crawley report, saying he had broken a promise to keep the draft report confidential.

On Nov. 26, the institute issued a statement saying, "It would be unfair to comment on the inquiry," and adding, "Professor Postol knows what the M.I.T. policies say about confidentiality and if he chooses to disregard them, he will have violated those policies." Roger Sudbury, a Lincoln spokesman, said the laboratory was cooperating with the institute. He said he could make no other comments because of confidentiality restrictions. Dr. Postol said he feared that the institute's references to confidentiality rules were preparatory to bringing action against him.

On Dec. 5, Dr. Postol began sending letters on M.I.T. letterhead to 20 members of Congress, including Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, and Representative John M. Spratt Jr., Democrat of South Carolina, both defense experts. Recent actions by the the institute, Dr. Postol wrote, "may indicate an attempt to conceal evidence of criminal violations of federally funded research at the M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory." He said the criminal violations were laboratory officials lying to federal investigators.

He accused the institute dragging its feet for 19 months and suggested that the university's highest officials were trying "to conceal evidence of possible criminal violations."

Dr. Postol speculated that the institute was leery of his accusations because it wanted to protect the reputation of Lincoln Laboratory, the institute's top source of federal financing. President Vest is conflicted because he sits on the White House council of science advisers and "knows that the missile defense system won't work and that his own organization has lied about its capabilities," Dr. Postol added.

Military and some institute officials have long criticized Dr. Postol's focus on the TRW case, saying it was irrelevant today. They note that TRW in December 1998 lost out to a rival company, Raytheon, in getting the contract to build the antimissile weapon. But Dr. Postol said the TRW case opened one of the few public windows on antimissile feasibility, which is usually wrapped in tight secrecy.

He cited a June 1997 flight test in which, he said, a TRW sensor and computer brain failed to differentiate a mock warhead from nine decoys. Because of that surprise, Dr. Postol added, all the nation's recent antimissile tests have been much simpler, typically using a single decoy. "It's absolutely relevant," he said of the TRW episode. "It goes to the heart of whether this system has any chance of working. It's more relevant now than when the case first arose."

That, he said, is because President Bush announced on Dec. 17 that the ground-based weapon would star in the nation's first antimissile system to be built in a quarter-century.

In late December, Dr. Postol left the institute for a four-month sabbatical at Stanford University. "I'll fly back in a heartbeat if something comes up," he said. "I want to see this thing resolved."
0 Replies
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 05:54 am
Star Wars is all hype and money and no shield in place after all these years - I mean all these long long long years. So we keep pouring money down a hole -
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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 05:55 am
That's what worries me about Australia being involved. It'd drain our small economy very quickly, just to feather the nests of a few of Bush's buddies.
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Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 06:25 am
I know that it is screwed up that the Aussies have such misguided jerk-off that has the power.

Now the wignuts will answer "but you just have a mediocre mind and it could work. It doesn't matter how many people say it won't or what their qualifications are.

The thing that I have learned about debating with wingnuts is that they are NEVER wrong. They always find a comeback to anything.
0 Replies
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2004 10:32 am
Fedral wrote:
I tell you joe, I think if you had been in Kitty Hawk N.C. in 1903 watching the Wright brothers, you would have been one of the ones saying.
"They will never get that thing off the ground"
Then as you watched it fly past you, you would have said.
"Sure, but now how are they gonna land it?"

Well, Fedral, since we're putting words into other people's mouths, let me offer this:

Scene: Kitty Hawk, N.C., 17 Dec. 1903.
Dramatis Personae:
Fedral, spokesman for the Wright Bros.
Joe, an interested bystander

Joe: So, will they ever get that thing off the ground?
Fedral: Get it off the ground? That's not really the point.
Joe: What do you mean?
Fedral: Well, we received a commission from the war department to invent a better cavalry stirrup, so we immediately set to work on the airplane.
Joe: I don't get it.
Fedral: We felt that the technological innovations that would flow from our work on the airplane would justify the vast funds expended on the airplane itself. For instance, the world needs an improved buggy whip, a better way to make iced custards, a cure for the vapors. We saw this need, and so we devised the airplane project.
Joe: Why don't you just work on those specific projects?
Fedral: You poor, deluded man, you obviously don't understand how Washington operates.
Joe: Oh look! They got it off the ground. It's a success. How do you feel about that?
Fedral: Well, naturally, I'm bitterly disappointed. Now that the project has succeeded, how are we going to develop the self-inflating pneumatic tire or the automatic hammer or the external combustion engine? This is a disaster!

Fedral, my point (which you obviously missed) is that it's not enough to tout all the side-benefits and byproducts of research, if the research itself isn't worth doing. You've listed all the neato inventions that have come from the space program, yet the difference between the space and missile defense programs isn't that there won't be side-benefits from each, but that one is worth doing in its own right and the other isn't.
0 Replies

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