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DU * Campaign to Block Rumsfield Nomination * Stop Low Frequency Active Sonar

NBC TV evening news reported yesterday that veterans of the Kosovo conflict were experiencing similar symptoms as to those Vets from the Gulf War. Depleted Uranium is a prime suspect by many NATO nations. This is due to illnesses, including cancer from those likely exposed depleted uranium shells that were exploded. This releases a fine dust that can be inhaled or ingested.

John W. Gofman, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology was a co-leader of the "Plutonium Group" at the University of California, Berkeley, which managed to isolate the first milligram of plutonium from irradiated uranium. In a Letter of Concern, May 11, 1999, he states "..By any reasonable standard of biomedical proof, there is no safe dose, which means that just one decaying radioactive atom can produce permanent mutation in a cell's genetic molecules. My own work showed this in 1990 for xrays, gamma rays, and beta particles (Gofman 1990: Radiation-Induced Cancer from Low-Dose Exposure). For alpha particles, the logic of no safe dose was confirmed experimentally in 1997 by Tom K. Hei and co-workers at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) Vol.94, pp.3765-3770, April 1997, "Mutagenic Effects of a Single and an Exact Number of Alpha Particles in Mammalian Cells").

It follows from such evidence that citizens worldwide have a strong biological basis for opposing activities which produce an appreciable risk of exposing humans and others to plutonium and other radioactive pollution at any level. The fact that humans cannot escape exposure to ionizing radiation from various natural sources --- which may well account for a large share of humanity's inherited afflictions --- is no reason to let human activities increase the exposure to ionizing radiation. The fact that ionizing radiation is a mutagen was first demonstrated in 1927 by Herman Joseph Muller, and subsequent evidence has shown it to be a mutagen of unique potency. Mutation is the basis not only for inherited afflictions, but also for cancer."

The complete letter and reference link by Dr. Gofman is posted:

This evidence of "no safe dose" hasn't sunk into the consciousness of military planners or the accepting public. The U.S. government has denied doing harm with the stuff since injecting it into poor civilians as guinea pigs in the forties and exposing soldiers to atomic bomb explosions. It is time we stop its dangerous use and development. One way to accomplish this is to stop the development of missile defense. The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Veterans for Peace have begun a national grassroots campaign to block the nomination of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense in the Bush Administration for this purpose.

The second item in this Flyby News issue, which also asks for your support, has to do with the U.S. Navy testing of Sonic Blasts harmful to sea life. Life is too special to allow military strategists to risk the well-being of life in all its forms.

1) Campaign to Block Rumsfield Nomination

2) Choice of Rumsfeld Creates Solid Team for Missile Shield

3) Action to Stop Low Frequency Active Sonar Blasts for Ocean-Life


1) Campaign to Block Rumsfield Nomination

From: "Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space"

Date: Fri, 5 Jan 2001 13:57:10 -0500


The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and Veterans for Peace have undertaken a national grassroots campaign to block the nomination of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense in the Bush Administration.

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee will soon hold hearings on the nomination before the full Senate votes on Rumsfeld. We are urging people across the U.S. to contact their two U.S. Senators in opposition to the Rumsfeld nomination. Please help spread this message.

Call your Senators as soon as possible via the Congressional Switchboard at: (202)224-3121

For your information, members of the Armed Services Committee are as follows:

* Democrats - Levin (MI), Kennedy (MA), Bingaman (N.M.), Byrd (W.V.), Lieberman (CT), Cleland (GA), Landrieu (LA), Reed (R.I.)

* Republicans - Warner (VA), Thurmond (S.C.), McCain (AZ), Smith (N.H.), Inhofe (OK), Santorum (PA), Snowe (ME), Roberts (KS), Allard (CO), Hutchinson (AR), Sessions (AL)

Our primary goal in this effort is to immediately show the nation that Rumsfeld is a radical operative for the military industrial complex and will be a prime mover for a new Star Wars system and an even greater military build-up. It is our intention that this campaign will force the Star Wars issue into greater public focus. The peace movement must take a bold, proactive stand against this appointment.


As a Congressman from Illinois he voted against food stamps, Medicare, and antipoverty programs. Secretary of Defense from 1975-77. Past board member of Hoover Institution (right wing think tank), was a member of the
Committee on the Present Danger (mid-1970s), and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is now in a position to drive up military spending that will force further cuts in already hard hit social spending.


1) Rumsfeld is a leading proponent of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).
The 1998 Rumsfeld Commission report inaccurately portrayed North Korea as a potential nuclear threat to the U.S. thus justifying BMD. The "Commission's" findings negated earlier CIA analyses, eventually forcing the CIA to change its projections.

2) Rumsfeld supports massive increases in an already bloated military budget.

3) Rumsfeld supports U.S. efforts to take control of outer space by developing technology to attack other nations' satellites with new generation weapons like the space-based laser.

4) Rumsfeld has been described by the avidly pro-Star Wars right-wing Center for Security Policy (Frank Gaffney) as a "trusted advisor and a financial supporter," and in 1998 was awarded its "Keeper of the Flame"

5) Rumsfeld opposes the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, testified against the chemical weapons convention, opposed the SALT II arms agreement, and lobbied for the B-2 Bomber and the MX Missile.

Please help us by forwarding this appeal to others who will support this effort.

Thank you.

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

Peter Shaw
Vets for Peace
Port Matilda, PA.
(814) 237-1216




Call your Senators as soon as possible via the Congressional Switchboard at:
(202) 224-3121


2) Choice of Rumsfeld Creates Solid Team for Missile Shield

December 29, 2000
Choice of Rumsfeld Creates Solid Team for Missile Shield

WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 - For more than two years, one man more than any other has driven the debate over whether to build a national missile defense: Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Now, in choosing Mr. Rumsfeld to be his secretary of defense, President-elect George W. Bush has signaled that the politically and diplomatically divisive goal of building a shield against nuclear missiles will be at the core of the new administration's national security agenda.

In 1998, Mr. Rumsfeld, the former Republican congressman, former ambassador to NATO and former secretary of defense, oversaw a commission that concluded that "rogue" nations could threaten the United States with ballistic missiles sooner than analysts had predicted.

Conservatives who supported a missile shield hailed the findings as refreshingly candid and worrisome. Liberals who supported arms control criticized them as too focused on potential threats and not on the diplomatic and financial obstacles to building a missile shield.

Either way, the commission's report - and a provocative North Korean missile test a month later - led the Clinton administration to propose its own limited version of a national missile defense. What turned out to be one of the most influential documents in modern American military planning bears Mr. Rumsfeld's name.

"The Rumsfeld Report was the main reason the debate was gradually turned around and the administration turned around," said Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican of Arizona and an ardent advocate of a missile defense.

In his campaign for president, Mr. Bush repeatedly advocated building a more expansive defensive system than the one President Clinton proposed and, last summer, deferred. Mr. Rumsfeld offered little detail, however, except to say that he would not rule out defenses based on the ground, as Mr. Clinton proposed, or at sea and in space.

Today, Mr. Bush was no more specific, saying only that he would expect Mr. Rumsfeld to work closely with his budget director "to make sure that the missile defense receives the priority we think it must receive in future Pentagon budgets."

Still, it is clear that Mr. Bush's selection of Mr. Rumsfeld completes a national security team - including the next vice president, Dick Cheney, and the next secretary of state, Gen. Colin L. Powell - that shares the dream of building the sort of shield against nuclear missiles that President Ronald Reagan envisioned.

When his selection was announced on Dec. 16, General Powell made the case forcefully, calling a defensive shield "an essential part" of the nation's security. Mr. Bush himself referred to Mr. Rumsfeld's prominence on the issue of missile defense, citing his work as chairman of the commission, to which Congressional Republicans had appointed him.

"In picking Don Rumsfeld, we'll have a person who is thoughtful and considerate and wise on the subject of missile defense," Mr. Bush said.

Mr. Rumsfeld's report, released in an unclassified form in July 1998, was striking in its contradiction of previous analyses by the nation's intelligence agencies, which had concluded that no new nation could strike the United States with ballistic missiles for at least a decade.

Instead, the commission warned that countries like North Korea, Iran and Iraq could develop a missile "with little or no warning" - and essentially at any moment.

Since the report became public, North Korea, in particular, has undergone significant changes. Its once hermitic leader, Kim Jong Il, had been negotiating with the Clinton administration to halt its production of long-range missiles, though the White House announced today that progress had not been enough to warrant a presidential trip to North Korea to seal a deal.

Mr. Rumsfeld did not address North Korea today, but his remarks indicated that his assessment of the threat of a ballistic missile attack on America had not changed.

"There is no question but that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the delivery systems for them is extensive across the world," he said.

Mr. Bush's proposals for a missile defense will face the same hurdles as President Clinton's. And since Mr. Bush's would go further, they may be more contentious, especially in Russia and China, which view missile defenses as destabilizing.

President Clinton decided against moving ahead with a limited system that began with 100 interceptors after failing to persuade the Russians to amend the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972.

Although Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld have not advocated abandoning the treaty, they have suggested that they will not be bound by its prohibition on developing a missile defense. Other Republicans have called for its abolition, which even the nation's staunchest European allies oppose.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers, an arms control advocacy group, said the new administration would have to prove that a shield against missiles was feasible. Despite spending $4.8 billion this year, the Pentagon has had tests of a limited system fail.

"It's not only technically difficult and expensive," Mr. Kimball said. "It's a political hot potato. This is going to be much more difficult than they think."

NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, these materials are distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for research and educational purposes.

3) Action to Stop Low Frequency Active Sonar Blasts for Ocean-Life

>fwd: Alert

>The following is an action alert sent out by Natural Resources Defense Council regarding the plan proposed by the US Navy to develop a Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active noise research.

The Commission's full staff report is available online.: Tell the California Coastal Commission to stop allowing the Navy to blast the Pacific with dangerously loud noise. The U.S. Navy has asked the California Coastal Commission for permission to operate a new extended-range submarine detection system in the Pacific Ocean that will blast ocean waters with noise billions of times louder than that known to disturb whales (the Navy must get the commission's permission because the sounds generated by the system will travel into California's coastal waters).

This risky technology - Low-Frequency Active Sonar (LFA) - presents a serious and wide-ranging threat to California's marine life. A single LFA transmitter would generate sound in the range of 235 decibels, flooding hundreds of square miles of ocean with noise. Two hundred thirty-five decibels is millions of times more intense than the 160-decibel level known to harm human divers. The sheer force of 230-decibel blasts could cause permanent hearing loss, serious physical injury, or even death to whales and other creatures unfortunate enough to be swimming near an LFA transmitter. But what concerns marine scientists even more than physical injury are the impacts that LFA could have on the behavior (such as breeding, feeding, and migration) and viability of entire populations of marine mammals. It is exactly these effects on vital activities, experienced over hundreds of miles of ocean, that pose the greatest risk to California's marine mammals.

What to do:

Write to the California Coastal Commission urging the commissioners to deny the Navy's request to deploy LFA.

You can email the California Coastal Commission directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at Or use the contact information and sample letter below to send your own message, and feel free to add your own reasons for wanting to protect the marine animals that inhabit California waters.

Sample Letter:

Sara Wan, Chair California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont St., Ste. 2000, San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone (415) 904 5289 Fax (415) 904-5400

Subject: Don't let the Navy deploy LFA in the Pacific

Dear Chair Wan,

I am deeply concerned about the Navy's plan to expose marine animals living in California's coastal waters to loud, low frequency noise. The Navy's proposed deployment of its Low-Frequency Active (LFA) sonar system poses a serious threat to marine mammals, and other ocean life, in California waters. The Navy's most recent studies have not adequately addressed the short-term and long-term impacts of the LFA system on whales, dolphins, porpoises, sea turtles, and a host of other marine animals. The Commission has a responsibility to assure the long-term safety and protection of the wildlife that inhabits California's coastal waters. I urge you and the rest of the Commission to deny the Navy's request to deploy LFA in the Pacific. Please forward a copy of my letter to each Commissioner.

[Your name and address]

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