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Act to Stop PU Development for Space * Leonard Peltier and Lori Berenson Defense Updates

1) Help Stop DoE's Plutonium Development for Space by Monday

2) Help free Leonard Peltier this Tuesday on his 56th birthday

3) Lori Berenson Update


1) Help Stop DoE's Plutonium Development for Space by Monday

Please act by Monday to place your statements on record to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to stop their development of Plutonium-238 for space. This direction continues, like Cassini, so clearly stated by Dr. John Gofman as an act of "organized insanity." With problems like Global Warming, under nourished people and political instability, this direction for plutonium is simply irresponsible. Please place your statements on record by E-mail, fax and/or telephone by this Monday, September 11.






Colette E. Brown,
U.S. Department of Energy, NE-50,
19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290;
by fax (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4592; by phone (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4593;
or by electronic mail to:


In the Draft PEIS the DoE states that they must "assess the need of expansion of its existing nuclear infrastructure" due to growing demand for space nuclear power.

DoE maintains that "NASA has yet to identify or demonstrate technologies that can visibly replace plu-238-fueled radioisotope power systems for use in deep space missions."

DoE further states that "Because the supply of plu-238 produced at Savannah River Site (S.C.) to support NASA space missions is limited, DoE signed a 5-year contract in 1992 to purchase plu-238 from Russia. The political and economic climate in Russia creates uncertainties as a source of plu-238 to satisfy future NASA space mission requirements."

DoE thus proposes to "re-establish a domestic capability for producing and processing this material. Since the SRS facilities previously used for plu-238 production are no longer available, DoE needs to evaluate other DoE irradiation and chemical processing facilities, as well as potential commercial light water reactors for this mission. Unless an assured domestic supply of plu-238 is established, DoE's ability to support future
NASA space exploration missions may be lost."

DoE states that the targets for plu-238 production would be fabricated in one of three facilities at:

* Oak Ridge Nat'l Laboratory (TN)
* Hanford Site (WA)
* Idaho Nat'l Engineering & Environmental Laboratory

Among the space missions requiring space nuclear power in coming years are:

* Pluto/Kuiper Express (16 pounds)
* Europa Orbiter & Solar Probe (6.6 pounds)
* NASA Mars Surveyor series
* Nuclear Powered mining colonies on Moon/Mars
* Nuclear Powered rockets to Mars


1) NASA is not doing enough to develop environmentally benign power sources for space missions. European Space Agency (ESA) has now developed high-efficiency solar cells for deep space missions.

2) The plutonium production/fabrication process for space nuclear power missions has recently led to several worker contamination accidents. An expansion of production will only worsen this problem.

3) Expanding the number of launches of nuclear powered space devices from Cape Canaveral on rockets with 10% failure rates will only increase the possibility of a deadly mishap.

4) The massive cost of expanded production of plu-238 can not be justified at a time when DoE admits it needs over $300 billion to clean-up existing problems at DoE facilities.

5) The military is promoting the use of nuclear power in space for space-based weapons technology. Using nuclear power for space war will have severe environmental implications for life on Earth.



Colette E. Brown,
U.S. Department of Energy, NE-50,
19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290;
by fax (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4592; by phone (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4593;
or by electronic mail to:

Thank you for sending your comments to the DoE in support of stopping the nuclearization and weaponization of space.
Please send a copy of your comments to GlobeNet .

2) Help free Leonard Peltier by his 56th birthday

The following transcript is from a telephone conversation with Leonard Peltier from Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary to his defense committee and supporters.

Dear brothers and sisters, friends and supporters,

I just want to thank everyone for their contributions toward this year's clemency effort. I know a lot of people think that the LPDC has access to sizeable funding due to the support we have from many affluent people, but in reality, our movement has always been a grass roots movement. And, I have learned all too well over the years that the only people we can depend on to struggle and sacrifice for what is right, is each other. We are the ones who do not have much to lose, unlike many who enjoy luxuries and a life style we could never even imagine having access to. However, I know that means every penny you have donated has not come easy and I want you to know that I very much appreciate your heart felt help. The LPDC tells me that we have now raised $17,053 and that we are close to being able to hire the PR firm who we so desperately need at this time. They are the people with the connections we need, both among the media and in Washington DC, and I cannot express to you how important their help is. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, my friends for your support. We could not do it without you. You continue to give me hope for a happy ending to this year's struggle.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,
Leonard Peltier

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee's Note: We want to remind everyone that the fund drive's goal of $50,000 is set to end on Leonard Peltier's birthday, which is only days away! If you are in a position to contribute any amount, now is the time to do it! If each of Leonard's supporters donated just a small amount, we would have enough to really pump up this fight!

Thank you very much for your help.

Please print or use this form to send in with your donation:

YES! I want to contribute to the emergency fund drive and help gain freedom for this innocent man!

Name ________________________________ Phone #___________________


Enclosed is my contribution for:
___$25 Please send my free year's sub of Spirit of Crazy Horse News
___$50 Please send a copy of PRISON WRITINGS by Leonard Peltier
___$100 Please send my Free Peltier sweatshirt to the above address
___$150 Please send a "What About Joe" poster to my above address
___$500 Please send me one numbered print of ___Grandma Jumping Bull,
___Spirit of the Bear
___Big Mountain Lady
___$1000 Please send me ____a full set of the above prints
____a signed copy of In the Spirt of Crazy Horse
____a hand beaded necklace made by Leonard Peltier
____an "Oasis in the Badlands" (an Edward Curtis lithograph
donated by Christopher Cardozo, Inc)
___$5000 Please an original Peltier oil painting.
(see )
___Other, I have enclosed a contribution of $ ______.

NOTE: With the exception of Prison Writings and oil paintings by Leonard Peltier, all gifts will be available during this fund drive only. Donations over $100 are tax deductible, but checks must be made out to "Global
Exchange," our 501C3 fiscal sponsor, with "c/o LPDC" in the memo. All other checks can be made out to LPDC directly. All donations should be sent to our address. Thank you for your generous contributions.

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
To subscribe for email updates
send a blank message to < >

Call the White House Comments Line Today (and especially on Leonard's Birthday 9/12)
Demand Justice for Leonard Peltier! 202-456-1111

Be in New York City December 10, 2000 On the Anniversary of the UN's
Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- Peltier March For Freedom!

3) Lori Berenson Update

Lori Berenson is a U.S. citizen, human rights activist, and free-lance journalist who currently is serving a life sentence in PerEfollowing her conviction by a secret, hooded military tribunal, in violation of international law. The U.S. would have more clout for human rights by undoing the injustices to Leonard Peltier and Native Americans. The attorney for Leonard Peltier, Ramsey Clark, is also working for Lori and the drive for justice for her and Leonard to come home to their families.

--------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Mark and Rhoda Berenson"
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 00:29:59 -0400

Thursday, September 7, 2000

To Friends and Supporters of Lori Berenson

This is day 1,744 of Lori's wrongful incarceration in Peru.


Based on newly obtained information, on Monday August 28 the Supreme Military Council overturned Lori's conviction of treason and aggravated terrorism and nullified her life sentence, finally conceding what Lori has said all along -- that she is not guilty of the preposterous charges levied against her. This was a major admission by the government of Peru, undermining all its claims against Lori. Instead of releasing her, however, the government of Peru remanded Lori's case to the civilian courts for a "show trial." The US State Department has reported that these civilian courts do not meet international standards of openness, fairness, and due process.

The so-called "trial" of Lori officially began Thursday August 31 when a judge visited Lori upon her arrival at Chorrillos Prison in Lima and tried to take testimony immediately. Lori refused, saying she will not speak to a judge before she has the opportunity to speak to State Department officials, parents, and US legal advisers to learn about the civil court process.

The pre-trial activities are proceeding in ways that will only hurt Peru and further isolate that country in the community of nations for its continued violations of fundamental human rights. There was no due process in Lori's military tribunal five years ago and to date there is no evidence there will be due process now. Lori continues to be demonized by Peruvian government officials, Peruvian jurists, and by the Peruvian media. In addition, the pre-trial procedures have begun without Lori having any opportunity to prepare a defense. Already, Peru has committed several violations to Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights.

1. Lori has not yet been notified of the charges against her.
2. Lori has not yet been able to select a lawyer.
3. Lori is permitted to have a lawyer hear testimony taken from witnesses, but this testimony is currently being taken before she has hired a lawyer.

On Tuesday September 5 Lori filed a petition with the court, asking that all proceedings against her be held in abeyance until her fundamental rights are protected. (See home page of web site for full wording of petition). In the presence of former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Rhoda, and U.S. State Department Consular Officer Mary Grandfield, the judge agreed to give Lori one week to hire a lawyer and prepare a defense. On Wednesday September 6 he "changed his mind" and told Lori he would start taking testimony from her on Friday September 8 and if she did not have a lawyer he would assign a public defender. Given these violations of due process, Lori plans to remain silent in accordance with Article 8 of the American Convention on Human Rights.


Amy Goodman, award-winning journalist and host of Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now," played portions of a taped interview with Lori on Wednesday September 6 (see home page of to hear this broadcast). The interview with Lori occurred in the yard at Socabaya Prison in March 1999. Amy Goodman participated in a human rights delegation from the Los Angeles-based Office of the Americas that was given permission to see Lori. The interview was never aired before and this is the first time Lori's voice had been heard in public since her sentencing in January 1996.
"To be silent in the face of injustice is to be an accomplice to evil.
I will not be silent." -- Lori Berenson, January 2000
"Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message

You are the message."

Leonard Peltier
(from Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)


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