Date: Tue, 12 Aug 1997
From: "Anderson, Robert"
To: Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice
Subject: Laser weapons in space
The Sept. issue of Popular Science, in my mail box today, has an article everyone should read. The feature story is on the Internet but the next article is on the project underway at Kirtland AFB and White Sands Missile Range to put the dream killing machine of laser weapons into production, and SPACE.
While every one has been patting themselves on the back with the victory over the Soviet Union, the Pentagon, especially the Air Force (in competition against other branches of the war dept) has been developing the laser devices needed for total global dominance - Star Wars.
Much of it has gone on here in New Mexico. You will see the technical details in the article, but briefly mentioned in the article is the moral and illegality of space based weapons, by any country.
The US Space Command in a recent brochure, sent to me by Citizens for Peace in Space, in Colorado, quotes the Space Command as their mission is to insure the continued dominance of US commercial interests on the globe by dominance of the high ground of space. This was the big lesson of the Persian Gulf War, whoever controls the data lanes of satellites and computers in the digital era can control the battlefield, or in future scenarios those on the ground who might be opposed to the US government or private sector employer policies.
The article tells of actual tests of a laser at White Sands that can destroy orbiting satellites. The AF has several similar lasers at Kirtland AFB, too. They want to put these air born in 747s, a whole fleet of them.
We will pay for this at hundreds of billions of dollars.
The article also mentions the way around the prohibitions on permanent space based weapons like lasers is to have quick turn around launch reusable vehicles which can go into quick orbit, hit a target and return for refueling or just wait to jump up for the next target. This is like saying we are not building new nuclear weapons while we really are building them. The imperialists who run this government know they are going against the public desires for a peaceful world so they have to resort to these lies and covert actions.
A more troubling part of this whole project for us in NM is the way they are planning to have the public pay for it under the cover of a commercial space port in the Las Cruces area. The Pentagon realized back in the 80s the public would not support the cost of this enormous space program so they consciously farmed out parts of the research under the term Dual-Use technologies in contracts to the university researchers and others.
Much of the research to put this all into place has taken place in public universities like UNM groveling for government contracts in the era of federal funds cut to education (54% since Reagan), thus was born the new research universities we are told is our future. Education is not the mission any longer, but research and contract management.
But the space port, and telescopes like the UNM Enchanted Skies project planned for Grants area under an Air Force grant, is necessary for this laser weapons system. These are being built under the dual technology concept of helping the private sector commercialize space and the universities train scientists and make their university payrolls. We, the pubic, will pay for most of it and the military will stand by to use the infrastructure and the private sector corporations like Intel will use the public domain of space to manufacture products in the clean environment and special conditions of space to sell back to us consumers high tech products at high prices.
We, the public, lose either way we turn in this picture. If workers oppose them the lasers can target us on the ground; if China or Japan gets out of line we fry their satellites and communications systems, as we did Iraq in the Persian Gulf War field test. With blind communications and spy satellites no country in the modern world can compete against us. Thus the rush to implement the new post-industrial Manhattan Project before anyone gets wind of it and to make the public excited to pay for it.
It is the true marriage of the military-industrial complex.
It is no accident movies like Contact come out at these times, I figure, or, the Mars mission is so promoted. Ever notice how the media, corporate owned media, covers every NASA shuttle launch and burp of the astronauts?
There is a spin in place to sell us the use of space for government and private sector activity, not for our use of space as a common ground for peace and prosperity. Pity the poor Indians of outer space with this frontier calvary mentality in charge. Space is not a frontier, by the way, but our neighborhood and community.
And in October NASA plans to launch the Cassini to Jupiter with a plutonium power supply. This is to soften public resistance to using nuclear materials in space, a necessary step to placing in space large nuclear power supplies for orbiting laser battle stations. It is not likely nuclear bombs will be placed on space stations as they are obsolete now with these laser weapons. Thus, you see why the Pentagon would like to trim back the nuclear facilities, close labor intensive land bases, transfer the money to laser programs. The Joint Chiefs of Staff generals have been telling Congress to close the bases but patronage dependent political leaders like Domenici and Bingaman oppose such moves - such twists and turns driven by technology innovations are moving too fast for our political structure.
This could lead in some views to a military coup, if one has not already taken place. But I figure they will figure a way to make the changes in a win-win for the private sector and their public servants. This is presently being done successfully with the space port and Mars missions programs. Just as the computer has made the filing clerk obsolete, lasers have made nuclear bombs obsolete, only the priesthood grown up around the labs will not go along with this plan.
The space port in NM could be visualized as the next Oklahoma land rush, land taken from the indigenous people for settlers, cattle ranchers, farmers and railroads, but with us taxpayers, especially in NM subsidizing it. Or you could imagine it as a continuation of the give away of the broadcast spectrum by the FCC to the television stations for pennies compared to the commercial profits which will be made with high definition tv.
This comes to a presence for us in New Mexico. Thurs. night, in Grants, the Air Force telescope being built by the University of New Mexico is holding a public hearing on the environmental impact statement. Notice there is no political impact statements in any of these projects?
This Thurs., in Las Cruces, the state and federal government are holding a big love fest, public selling, balloon float, on plans for the space port. Then next Thur, Aug 19, in Truth or Consequences, and on the 20 in Las Cruces, the consortium to build the space port are holding a big public presentation of the EIS for the whole space port, not the financing.
Interestingly enough the fuel they use in the launch vehicles is pretty harmless, but the plant which produces the fuel, located near by, is a real clean air eater polluter. But if Intel can do it in Albuquerque then a few more thousands of tons a month into the desert air should not be a problem either.
Greens should attend these meeting and point out the need for public uses of space, not the military-industrial complex, and that we will not stand for our state and federal government subsidizing this when we have such pressing wage and human needs like teachers salaries going unmet.
From the high desert,
Robert L. Anderson
115 Columbia SE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Compliments of Proposition One Committee