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Even in the Wake of Tragedy: "Space-Based Weaponry is Irrational"

13 September 2001

Osama bin Laden Is More American Than He Thinks and Visa Versa

Bush and bin Laden are caught in a web, in a cycle of violence. They are focused on their differences, their religions, and their righteousness about their perspectives of what is good and what is evil. They have egos. They have convinced themselves that they are honoring their family, country, Creator, and sadly, events become more predictable in their widening paths toward their extreme positions. The picture is not all black and white. American leadership should realize this, and take measures now to transform former policies that would have spent billions of dollars on Missile Defense ineffectively, to a policy that unites most all the world for mutual assurances of peace, health and mutual well-being.

In honor of the people harmed and families suffering, please keep working to end the campaign that would bring weapons into the heavens that would create more instability on Earth. On Tuesday, October 2, 2001, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich will introduce legislation to ban space-based weapons. You can help pass such legislation by showing "Weapons in Space" by EnviroVideo in a public forum or at a community access cable television station and contacting your elected representatives. We are at a critical point and time, and weapons in outer space could tilt the balance into an unretrievable dive into chaos and destruction to most all life.

"Instead of lashing out against perceived hostile communities, we need to recognize that America's greatest strength is not in our weapons of destruction, but the fortitude and caring of its people." --Stephen Zunes

1. Even in the Wake of Tragedy: "Space-Based Weaponry is Irrational"
2. Nuclear Power Plants easy targets for terrorists


1) Even in the Wake of Tragedy: "Space-Based Weaponry is Irrational"

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - In the aftermath of the tragedies at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, and the downed airliner near Pittsburgh, Pa., renowned attorney Daniel Sheehan, Director and General Counsel and Director of the Institute for Cooperation in Space, has publicly spoken out, calling "space-based weapons, ballistic missile defense irrational."

"Above all we should now realize that the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars on the construction of an anti-ballistic missile system (the so-called "missile shield") is clearly not a realistic or potentially effective response to an event of this complex nature. We should be on guard against those who would use this incident as an irrational source of support for such an irrational program," Sheehan states.

"The expenditure of hundred of billions of dollars, or any dollars at all, on an irrational missile shield system is most certainly not to be included in how we respond," Daniel Sheehan concludes. Sheehan, a Harvard Law School graduate, who is famous for an impressive body of legal work including the Karen Silkwood case, Pentagon Papers case, Three Mile Island, and the Iran Contra case, states, "At a point in time like this in the lives of our human family it is essential that everyone remain calm, that we extend our prayers and condolences to all of the families of those killed and injured and pray for the recovery of those who are still in danger."

Sheehan continues, "It is equally important that we refrain from resorting to threats of physical violence against those whom we suspect may be responsible. However, it is essential that we respond to tragic actions of this nature by accurately and calmly assessing all of the factors which have contributed to its occurrence and that we craft steps to be taken to prevent incidents of this nature in the future."

"The policies of the US government and of a number of Middle Eastern nations and the non-rational invocations of cultural values have led to this complex tragedy," Sheehan says.

"Only a careful and rational analysis will demonstrate the degree of respect that we must pay to those who have died today," says Sheehan. "The period of mourning for our dead must be characterized by a calm and responsible analysis of what we must do to prevent a reoccurrence of such a tragedy and what we must do to begin to untie the complex knots of policy which have led to this tragedy."

Daniel Sheehan 415-479-7795
Dr. Carol Rosin 805-641-1999


2) Nuclear Power Plants easy targets for terrorists

Nation & World 9/17/01

A nuclear nightmare
They look tough, but some plants are easy marks for terrorists


He called it Project Worst Nightmare. And in the twisted mind of Donald Beauregard, commander of the 77th Regiment Militia in St. Petersburg, Fla., it surely was. Beauregard's plan was simple–disable the electric power grid feeding the nearby Crystal River nuclear power plant with explosives stolen from a National Guard armory. That would shut down the plant, blacking out St. Petersburg. This was no idle fantasy. When the cops finally caught up with him, Beauregard and his "strike team" had a 20-mm cannon, a .50-caliber machine gun, and a few pipe bombs primed to blow.

Beauregard might have succeeded if an informant hadn't tipped the police. He was prosecuted and clapped off to prison last year. But the FBI took Beauregard's plan seriously enough to incorporate it into a test it ran last May against the Palo Verde nuclear generating station in Arizona.

And here lies the rub. In the past decade, nearly half the nation's 103 power plants have failed mock terrorist attacks against them. The plants that failed, in other words, would not have stopped the Donald Beauregards of the world.

For full story see:

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The Sky(scraper) Is Falling -- Commentary by Russell D. Hoffman
Editor's note: This following statement was excerpted.
For full text contact:

September 11th, 2001

Fellow Citizens:

If I had told you, yesterday, that today two commercial airplanes, loaded with passengers and fueled for cross-country flights, would crash into New York City's World Trade Center, one into each of the twin tower buildings, and that shortly thereafter both towers would come crashing to the ground, and also told you that the Pentagon would be hit at about the same time, and another plane would be brought down too, you would have called me "Chicken Little".

America's nuclear power plants are vulnerable. And don't call me Chicken Little.

It should be obvious now that we have no reason to think the nuclear containment domes are safe from planes. But in any event, many of the systems vital to keeping a nuclear power plant from melting down are located OUTSIDE the containment dome, including the control room, the primary coolant pumps, and other systems. There are numerous holes in the containment dome for pipes, wire, personnel, and equipment to go through. Accidents outside a containment dome can affect systems inside the containment dome, and a subsequent meltdown inside the containment dome WILL release radioactivity to the environment.

A meltdown at a nuclear power plant would be 1000 times worse than everything we saw today.

There should be no doubt in anyone's mind that a meltdown would have occurred if one of the hijacked airplanes had been flown into a nuclear power plant. We can be thankful the hijackers passed over these targets.

The spent fuel pools are outside the containment dome, providing an even easier target than the containment dome. And, spent fuel storage casks located near some reactors can also be potential targets, and thus add significantly to the danger at those facilities.

In short, America's nuclear power plants are extremely vulnerable. And don't call me Chicken Little.

Our nation's firemen and other emergency personnel are NOT adequately trained or equipped for handling a severe nuclear radiation emergency, and the evacuation plans for nuclear power plants are absolute garbage.

Everyone recognizes what an incredible job the firefighters, police, and other emergency personnel must be doing, but their task today pales when compared to what emergency personnel would face if a nuke plant was attacked.

All nuclear reactors need to be shut down immediately and permanently, and their waste needs to be stored underground. (However, I am not advocating Yucca Mountain as a solution.)

Clean, renewable energy solutions do exist, and they are far less vulnerable to terrorism and other calamities than our nuclear power plants, and provide cheaper energy as well. Perhaps quickly switching to safe renewable energy solutions would cause some temporary hardship, but nothing is impossible for our great nation, if we recognize our vulnerabilities and seek to eliminate them as quickly as possible.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

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