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Allies Fear U.S. Project May Renew Arms Race * Peltier letter to the editor

Dear Congress, UN Delegates, Heads of State, Media Reps and subscribers,

The following article was published in the nytimes, forwarded to me by a friend. If anyone has good ideas of a campaign to change the current trend, please pass forth soon. What can we effectively do in a united way for peace in our world, to stop space-based weapons and the escalation of the arms race?


November 20, 1999


Allies Fear U.S. Project May Renew Arms Race


WASHINGTON -- A senior State Department official flew to NATO headquarters this week to defend the administration's plans to deploy a national missile defense system in the face of growing criticism from European allies who say their security is being threatened.

Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott met with NATO members' representatives in Brussels, explaining American intentions and "getting an earful of complaints" from the Europeans, according to a senior diplomat here.

"This was the first time the Americans really discussed with us their plans for a missile defense that could become a big divide between us," said the European diplomat.

"It is very late to wait to talk to your allies."

As President Clinton prepares to decide next summer whether to build a $20 billion national missile defense system, the European allies have joined Russia and China in questioning why the United States needs to move so quickly.

"Nobody in his right mind would argue that this is welcome timing," Talbott said in an interview. "It is necessary because of what we need to do and when we need to do it in order to respond to a looming threat."

Chief among the complaints voiced in Brussels was the administration's threat, stated with even greater firmness by leading Republican candidates for the presidency, that the United States might withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty if necessary to field the system.

Under that treaty, Russia and the United States are restricted to deploying one limited ballistic missile system to defend a small area of their countries.

The administration now is negotiating with Russia to alter the treaty to allow for the construction of a missile system to protect the entire country from a limited attack by a state with an emerging missile threat, like North Korea.

Several officials, according to a European diplomat here, asked whether the deployment, even if approved by Russia, would trigger a new arms race as other countries felt compelled to find ways around a new missile defense system.

Others said they feared that a separate American system would undermine the trans-Atlantic network because Europe would be left unprotected.

"Ballistic missile defenses have become the hub where relations with Russia and China intersect, the future of nonproliferation intersects and where our European allies express their most severe disgruntlement with the American leadership," said George Perkovich, director at the
W. Alton Jones Foundation and author of "India's Nuclear Bomb" (University of California, 1999).

Alaska would probably be home to the system, including at least 20 interceptor missiles ready to shoot down incoming missiles.

It would also use satellites and radar stations in the United States, as well as two radar sites the United States already maintains in Greenland and Britain.

Talks are under way with Copenhagen, for the site in Greenland, a Danish territory, and with London, for the British site, according to an American official. Neither country has yet approved allowing its site to be part of the new system.

Stretching the arms race to another critical justice and human rights issue, I am sharing the following, which contains a recent letter to the editor that was published in the newspaper "Recorder" (Greenfield, MA). For more info on the Peltier campagn see Also, a related issue to help a 74 year old native american with 4 incurable diseases receive parole this coming february, visit the Standing Deer website at

Leonard Peltier Support Group / Greater New England (LPSG/GNE)
P.O. Box 1999
Wendell Depot, MA 01380 USA

The following was published in the Recorder newspaper, Greenfield, MA, in the November 19 issue.


Leonard Peltier

In my opinion an article in the Greenfield Recorder on October 9, 1999 in the local regional section had a misleading perspective. The article was entitled "Gill monument defaced in the name of activism." I believe that whoever dumped crimson red paint on the monument that commemorates Captain William Turner's "victory," (which is controversial in itself, since many are convinced that this wasn't a decisive battle to end King Phillip's War, but the decisive massacre), and stenciled the declaration on the boulder "Free Leonard Peltier," acted with an intent to educate the public about injustice, or perhaps it was a sign of frustration about the injustices to Native Americans for the past 507 years.

I cannot condemn or condone this act of defacing public property, but in light of apparent American injustice and genocide against the indigenous peoples of this land, I hope that the people and the town of Gill will consider asking the Commonwealth to leave the monument as it is now, or to remove this commemoration representing a massacre of a village that included women and children in our area.

November is Free Leonard Peltier Month. In 1993 Attorney Ramsey Clark filed for executive clemency on Leonard's case. Normally it takes six to nine months for a clemency petition to be reviewed. It has been six years and we have heard nothing. The only response ever received from President Clinton is a form letter stating that it is still being reviewed by the department of justice. President Clinton has the authority to look into the status of the review and he has the authority to grant clemency whenever he chooses. The Clinton Administration has ignored letters and resolutions from foreign parliaments, letters from many prestigious people, and millions of signatures and letters from the people of the U.S. The government admits that they do not know what involvement Leonard may have had in the agents' deaths. It is an outrage that he is still in prison after more than 23 years. I hope many people in our area will write to President Clinton, call the White House comment line (202-456-1111) and contact Congress to make an appeal for Leonard's freedom and justice.

Jonathan Mark


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