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Court Ruling to Stop Navy's LFAS Experiments * Bart Jordan's Creten maze, Stonehenge, Lippard's Overlay

1 June 2000

1) Big News on Court Ruling to Stop Navy's LFAS Experiments
2) Feedback on GlobeNet's D.C. Actions to Help Stop Star Wars
3) Bart Jordan on the Creten maze, Stonehenge, Lucy Lippard's Overlay
4) Leonard Peltier's 12 June Parole Hearing


1) Big News on Court Ruling to Stop Navy's LFAS Experiments

The following is from Attorney Lanny Sinkin that was forwarded to Flyby News on 28 May 2000, which was originally from an email to a listserve hosted by Cheryl Magill ,

>Yesterday, I received word from Andrew Wetzler at the Natural Resources Defense Council that the United States Navy officially cancelled the LWAD 00-2 Sea Test scheduled to begin this week off the east coast of the United States. For those interested in the details of this event, I have provided below a chronology. The cancellation of LWAD 00-2 is a remarkable victory for those devoted to protecting marine life, especially cetaceans, from the unwise technological decisions being made by humans in the United States Navy. Congratulations to everyone involved in achieving this outcome.

The next major developments, as far as I know, will come from the hearing scheduled in Honolulu before Judge Alan C. Kay on June 13 at 9:00 a.m. A suit filed in February challenges the environmental impact statement (EIS) process being conducted by the Navy for its low frequency active sonar system. The central challenge is that the entire EIS process is compromised by the fact that the Navy spent at least $350 million preparing to deploy this system without preparing an EIS first, as required by law. The hearing will consider the defendants' motion to dismiss the case and a motion filed by plaintiffs' counsel seeking to reopen a 1998 LFAS case for further litigation.


Week of March 13-17 - Seventeen whales strand in Bahamas at the same time Navy conducts tests using various active sonar devices, including high intensity (200 dB) broadcasts. The tests are known as Littoral Warfare Advanced Development (LWAD) Sea Tests. The Bahamas test is LWAD 00-1. Navy claims coincidence. Stranded whales come from at least four different species in three families of two suborders of cetaceans, including Balaenoptera sp., Ziphius cavirostris, Mesoplodon densirostris, Stenella frontalis, and Balaenoptera acutorostrata.

March 21, 2000 - Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) send letter to Secretary of the Navy Danzig demanding a suspension of such tests. Further tests are scheduled in late May.

March 22, 2000 - Attorney for plaintiffs in Hawai'i case challenging deployment of low frequency active sonar sends formal notice to Secretaries of Commerce and Navy that Bahamian tests violated environmental laws, including Endanger Species Act.

March 24 - HSUS, the nation's largest animal protection organization, demands that the United States Navy suspend upcoming tests involving active sonar systems.

March 31, 2000 - Attorney for plaintiffs in Hawai`i cases sends letter to Secretary of Commerce calling upon the Secretary to notify the Navy that further LWAD testing without formal consultation and permits from National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) would be a criminal violation of the Endangered Species Act.

April 5, 2000 - After less than thirty days of analysis, US Navy concludes that testing in the Bahamas did not cause strandings and deaths of whales. [Note: Scientists conducting 1998 studies of affects of LFAS on whales are still analyzing the data two years later.]

April 21, 2000 - Navy issues press release again concluding that LWAD 00-2 could not be responsible for the strandings and deaths in the Bahamas. The release does state that a U.S. fleet in the same area broadcast sonar signals from five ships and one submarine in the time frame of the strandings. A Navy/NMFS investigation continues.

April 24, 2000 - Navy submits Overseas Environmental Assessment (OEA) to NMFS requesting concurrence in LWAD 00-2. As was the case for LWAD 00-1, the Navy seeks agreement based on informal consultations. Such a process confines the discussion to a Navy-NMFS dialogue with the public rarely becoming aware of the project. In this case, however, the disaster in the Bahamas brought elevated public attention brought to the LWAD testing program. NRDC secures a copy of the OEA and makes the document available to people working on potential litigation to stop LWAD 00-2 and others.

Late April/early May - information begins to emerge indicating that NMFS personnel are dissatisfied with the process underway and the OEA. The Navy provided less than thirty days in which to review the OEA, placing NMFS personnel under pressure to simply agree. NMFS personnel are not pleased with the late filing and concerned about what appears in the OEA.

May 5, 2000 - NMFS sends a letter to the Navy stating that "we are not able to concur with your determination that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect listed species under the National Marine Fisheries Service's jurisdiction." The letter stated that additional time would be needed to complete the review. Given the short time frame available, the letter requested the Navy to postpone the operation.

May 9, 2000 - Attorney for plaintiffs in LFA Hawai`i litigation sends extensive comments on the OEA to NMFS. The essence of the comments are (1) the informal consultation process should stop and a formal process be initiated, in part to allow for public participation; (2) the events in the Bahamas and the emerging evidence of shock trauma call for extraordinary caution in allowing more tests; (3) the March 21 NRDC/HSUS letter to the Secretary of the Navy provides additional legal and scientific concerns that need to be considered before relying upon informal consultations to concur in the LWAD 00-2 test; (4) the OEA did not address at all what happened in the Bahamas; (5) the sonar activities of the naval fleet in the Bahamas suggest the possibility of synergistic impacts from LWAD 00-1 and the fleet sonars; (6) the OEA is seriously deficient because there is no discussion of the Bahamas, there is no discussion of the history of cetacean strandings and deaths now associated with low frequency active sonar (e.g. Mediterranean 1996), such as LWAD 00-2 intends to use, the cetacean exposure levels set forth as safe rely on a reference that directly contradicts the claimed safety or rely on a single study on one species to generalize to numerous species. [Presumably others are sending in comments as well, which as yet are not available to include in this chronology.]

May 10, 2000 - Environmental groups and scientists hold a press conference in Washington, D.C. calling for a moratorium on any further high intensity sonar testing. At the press conference, Ken Balcomb, Director of the Center for Whale Research, reports on the emerging evidence that the whale deaths in the Bahamas trace to some form of shock. Blood in the eyes, blood in the brains, and damage to lungs all point to some explosive or high intensity source. Dr. Marsha Green, Ocean Mammal Institute, discusses the impact of sound on cetaceans. Dr. Naomi Rose, Director of the Humane Society of the United States, issues the call for the moratorium. Dr. Charles Bernard, former Navy weapons development specialist, criticizes the LFAS technology from a military perspective.

May 15, 2000 - Attorney for plaintiffs in LFA litigation sends second comments to NFMS. The comments direct NFMS attention to evidence in the Navy's draft EIS for LFAS deployment, which demonstrates that the claims of safe levels in the OEA actually derive from the Scientific Research Program conducted as part of the draft EIS preparation. The comments suggest that the Navy failure to include the draft EIS information with the OEA constituted a serious omission and that had those documents been included, NMFS would have been required to wait because regulatory decisions cannot be made based on draft documents.

May 9-19, 2000 - Intense pressure placed on NMFS to prevent finding that formal consultations are required. Environmentalists, scientists, and other citizens opposed to LFAS deployment mount campaign to build support for NMFS staff recommendations.

May 19, 2000 - Patricia Kurkul, Regional Administrator, Northeast Region, NMFS sends letter to Navy stating that NMFS is "not able to concur with your determination that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect listed species." The letter cites to the limited time given to NMFS to review the project; the deficiencies in the OEA, including a failure to include the latest evidence available on various issues; the imprecise descriptions given of the intensity of planned broadcasts; questionable evidence, methodology, and conclusions regarding impacts on marine life; and inadequate discussion of potential impacts on turtles. The letter concludes that "NMFS recommends formal consultation under Section 7 of the [Endangered Species Act].

May 25, 2000 - Navy cancels LWAD 00-2. Density surveys of marine mammals will be conducted using only commercial locators and passive arrays. There will be no use of low frequency active sonar.

For further information or to request periodic updates, send an email to

and visit


2) Feedback on GlobeNet's D.C. Actions to Help Stop Star Wars

The following are excerpts from the Global Network Space Alert Newsletter # 9 (Summer 2000):

Loring Wirbel from Colorado Springs writes: Our Keep Space for Peace events started in Washington DC in an atmosphere of hope and good spirits. A demonstration against Star Wars at the Treasury Department on April 14 drew 140, and the numbers swelled to 200 during an hour long picket line at the White House. Speakers at the rally included Dr. Michio Kaku and representatives from the Greens, WILPF, Peace Action, England, Puerto Rico and many others. An incredible amount of media were present and stayed for much of the event, due largely to the fact they were waiting for the IMF/World Bank protests to begin that weekend. Friends in New Mexico said they saw us on TV. It was great fun protesting with our overseas friends!

Loring Wirbel continues: The Global Network (GN) April 15 conference at American University had an overabundance of excellent speakers, capped by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. The former mayor of Cleveland, Ohio also spoke at the April 16 Mobilization for Global Justice rally in DC. Kucinich addressed issues of space militarization as stridently and succinctly as he addressed global debt. The Congressman left many in the Saturday audience feeling that he not only understood space weapons issues, but that he was the first Democrat in many years to exude honesty and intelligence in his convictions. Rep. Kucinich made the connections between "missile defense" and planetary dominance, and warned that "We cannot survive as a nation with a Sword of Damocles approach." Speakers at the conference ranged from the lively Australian Helen Caldicott to the moving South African poet Dennis Brutus to the comedic but factual presentation by Bill Hartung of the World Policy Institute. Our Saturday evening supper party entertainment included moving folk music presentations by Holly Graham (Olympia, WA), Aurel Duta (Romania) and Michael Scott Miller (Ventura, CA), as well as a dynamic multimedia presentation from the "physics chanteuse" of San Francisco State University, Lynda Williams. This years conference included representatives from Romania, Ghana, Niger, England, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany and from all corners of the U.S. Other representatives from Bangladesh, Togo, Sierra Leone and Uzbekistan could not attend due to Visa troubles, despite concerted efforts by the GN Board of Directors to line up Congressional complaints to the State Department. Thanks to all who made this a great event!

The United Nations Non-Proliferation Review Conference began in New York on April 24 with Secretary-General Kofi Annan warning that deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system "could well lead to a new arms race." Annan said that plans to move away from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty "may well reduce, rather than enhance, global security." The U.N. conference was called to review a 1968 treaty in which non-nuclear states agreed not to try to develop or acquire nuclear weapons as long as the nuclear powers pursue disarmament. Hundreds of representatives from NGO's around the world came to the event to lobby all the nuclear powers to move quicker toward disarmament. The GN, along with Abolition 2000, hosted a panel discussion for NGO's and U.N. missions that drew a large crowd to hear Karl Grossman, Alice Slater, Dr. Rashi Mayur, and Bruce Gagnon speak about space weapons. GN Board member Regina Hagen (Germany) also represented the GN on another panel dealing with space during the several week event. To a considerable extent the U.S. plan to deploy Star Wars set the tone and dominated the conference deliberations because of the obvious implications for arms control.

The cost is going up! A recent Congressional Budget Office figure is now at $60 billion through 2015. The next test from Vandenberg AFB in California and Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean will be June 26 and an extra test has been set for October. Each National Missile Defense (NMD) flight test costs $100 million. Russia's recent ratification of the CTBT and Start II, as well as calls for missile reductions in the range of 1,500, is causing North Carolina's Republican Sen. Jesse Helms' veins to harden. Clinton will meet with Russia's President Putin in Moscow on June 4-5 to try to get Russia to agree to changes in the ABM Treaty that presently restricts systems like BMD. Clinton is said to be offering cuts of his own in nuclear weapons under a new Start III treaty in exchange for Russian acceptance of BMD. Star Wars proponent Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa) recently fumed that, "People like Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton have been overwhelmed by the arms control crowd."

Several key obstacles are popping up that could cause a delay in deployment of BMD. The first is that a former senior engineer at TRW, Dr. Nira Schwartz, was recently fired by the corporation after she told them the system will not work. She is now suing the company alleging that BMD is "not a defense of the U.S..It's a conspiracy to allow them (TRW) to milk the government. They are creating for themselves a job for life."

A delay by Boeing Corporation in delivering key simulation software for
NMD could also delay the system. Flight tests performed so far cannot test the ability of NMD to counter a wide range of potential missile attacks. The head of the Pentagon's testing and evaluation directorate recently stated that, "Absence of a functioning and valid simulation software will place significant limitations on the DoD's ability to assess the potential effectiveness of the NMD system at the deployment readiness review" that will be done before Clinton makes his final decision. Another key problem is that deployment of the new BMD fleet of surveillance and tracking satellites called Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) that is central to the operation of the system will not be in place until a year after the rest of the program is scheduled to be ready.

PETITION: Click onto and sign our No Star Wars - No BMD on-line petition addressed to Clinton & Congress.

For more information or to receive this full newsletter contact:

Bruce K. Gagnon
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 90083 Gainesville, FL. 32607 (352) 337-9274

3) Bart Jordan on the Creten maze, Stonehenge, Lucy Lippard's Overlay

New Hampshire Times - January 19, 1977 - Page 13
(Part 2) ROOTS:
unlocking the secrets of the White Goddess, the Cretan maze

New Hampshire Times - July 6, 1977 - page 21
The Secrets of Stonehenge

From Lucy Lippard's OVERLAY


4) Leonard Peltier's 12 June Parole Hearing

After 24 Years of Imprisonment, Leonard Peltier Will Be Reviewed For Parole

Contact: The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee:
Gina Chiala, co-coordinator 785-842-5774

For Immediate Release:

Press Conference June 12, 2000 from 3:00pm E4:00pm
Leavenworth, Kansas
The Lincoln Room of the Ramada Inn (3rd and Delaware)

Speakers Include:
Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General
Carl Nadler, Attorney
Jennifer Harbury, Attorney and Renowned Human Rights Advocate
Curt Goering, Amnesty International, USA Director
Jean Day, LPDC Spokesperson, Jean Day
Leonard Peltier's grandchildren, Alexandra and Cyrus Peltier
Representatives for the National Council of Churches
The Assembly of First Nations
The National Congress of American Indians

Native American Leonard Peltier will be reviewed for parole on June 12 at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Amnesty International, who considers Peltier to be a political prisoner, will attend the hearing in person to ask the Commission to set Leonard Peltier free. The National Council of Churches, the National Congress of American Indians, the Assembly of First Nations, and Peltier's family will also be asking the Parole Commission for Leonard Peltier's release.

Peltier underwent his first full parole hearing in 1993, at which point the Parole Commission denied his release far beyond what their guidelines recommend, and set his next full hearing for the year 2008. However, the Commission is required to hold subsequent hearings every two years in order to determine whether there are any circumstances that warrant a change in their original decision. On June 12, Peltier's attorneys will tell the Commission that there is no justifiable reason to continue Peltier's sentence, and the Commission's original decision to deny him parole was based on error.

The Parole Commission originally denied Peltier parole based on their finding that he "participated in the premeditated and cold blooded execution of those two officers." However, the Parole Commission has since said it "recognizes that the prosecution has conceded the lack of any direct evidence that [Peltier] personally participated in the executions of the two FBI agents." Leonard Peltier, who has served over 24 years of his sentence and has maintained a good behavior record during his incarceration, has been eligible for release for over nine years.

Thousands have written to the Commission in support of Peltier's release. Additionally, several Native organizations and communities are submitting parole plans offering Peltier work and housing. On June 12, a parole examiner will hear the case and make an initial recommendation as to whether or not the Parole Commission should grant Mr. Peltier a date to be released. Thousands will await the results.

* * * * *
Please Note: The LPDC is bringing letters of support to Parole Board's Hearing. If you want to write a letter to the Parole Board reviewing Leonard Peltier's case, sign and send hardcopy of your letter to the following address, asap before the June 12 Hearing:

Peltier For Parole
Leonard Peltier Defense Committee PO Box 583 Lawrence, KS 66044
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