From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Dear Readers,

I spoke to a reporter from a newspaper in London for about a half hour the other day.  He had found my STOP CASSINI web site on the Internet.  Two weeks ago (before the Columbia tragedy) I spoke to a reporter from Florida Today about NASA's nutty nuclear plans.  He also seems to have found me on the Internet.  In both cases my emphasis was on the secret military launches of plutonium RTGs and RHUs, which preclude proper discourse, or logical thinking regarding the "civilian" space launches.

The Nuclear Demon Hot Atom is killing our humanity towards each other, even while it rips our bodies apart a molecule at a time, a strand of DNA at a time, a cell at a time, from within.  A radioactive breakdown is an unstoppable event of such intensity that no container can hold it, and human organs are disintegrated by it.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

This email is available online here:














or try:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 15:09:26 EST
Subject: Re: "A Car Born Today..."

Even if Fusion was a viable energy source, and the people at Sandia and Los
Alamos think not, it is still fifty to 100 years away
Jack Shannon

(Jack Shannon, USMC (ret.) is nuclear physicist, designed the most common U.S. Navy reactor (DxG), etc..)

(Pamela Blocky-O'Brien notes in phone conversation that "it's the same bunch of scientists that have been pushing fusion all along, when we could have been investing in wind, solar, etc.  -- billions of dollars... They've been dancing up and down!")


From: "Doucette, Arthur" <>
To: "'Russell D. Hoffman'" <>
Subject: RE: "A Car Born Today..."
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 16:00:11 -0500

I'm much rather him focus on fusion then fission.
Fusion is a pipe dream and the money will end up simply furthering the
knowledge in materials science, high voltage electromagnetics etc etc
No workable generator is likely to ever come from it but it does take the
emphasis off of fission.
By the way, they are nowhere near break even (1x) but reliable scientists
have concluded that any practical fusion power plant would have to be around
10x in order to be economical.
Ain't gonna happen.



At 05:51 PM 2/7/2003 , "mitzi" <> wrote:
You're right about fusion, a very expensive boondoggle.  As I understand it,
Hydrogen can be separated from oxygen by solar-powered electrolysis.  Of
course that would defeat the oil man's purpose (we heard him render what his
speech-writers gave him)-which is to keep the oil flowing.  The problem I
worry about with the hydrogen technology is the availability of clean water
(h2o) from which to extract the stuff.  Would that be a problem?  Mitzi


An interesting question.  Perhaps one of our readers knows the answer. -- rdh


"Everybody knows that there was SOMETHING radioactive [on board] Columbia.  I went through HOOPS [with various federal agencies -- EPA, DOE, etc.] but couldn't find out what... one suggested it might be the smoke detectors on board!". -- Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, on the phone today (Thursday, February 6th, 2003)   She adds that reporters have told her that folks are running all over the place in radiation protection suits, and everyone says to call NASA, who denied there was anything radioactive, put her on hold, and never came back!  She notes that Bush did mention biomass in his "A car born today" speech. She suggests reading The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the 21st Century: A report Prepared by the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of State; which, surprisingly, outlines many of the problems with nuclear power.  The Federal Agencies that cooperated in the effort were: The Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of the Interior, the Agency for International Development, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.  They reportedly looked at "all prior studies, going back to 1939".)


At 09:44 AM 2/9/2003 , "F. R. Sarker" wrote:

Dear Mr. Russel ,

Thank you very  much for your  posting of the undermentioned  newsletter
which reflects exactly what  for   the Jr. B
is  heading towards a  war in Iraq. You are absolutely right  for your
pragmatic comment  such as  " People of America are  being
RAILROADED  to  War ".  It is true , 90%   Americans do not war  with Iraq
still they are being railroaded to it by the  administration
in a time time when USA is in the grip of unprecendented  economic
depression and when revigorating its dwindling  financial
position is  urgently  needed. Powell's  video presentation  about the
biological  bomb making sites  indicates how  hundreds of
American Satellites flying over the sky are unable to detect  the location
where those trains  went out.  When a satellite  can locate the position of
a standing  vehicle  it must be able to  locate the positions  when that
vehicle  starts moving. But when  a person like  Collin  Powell
admits that they failed to detect  next  destinations of those trains
mixed up  among the thousands of vehicles  on the streets
of Iraq  - it  reflects how  weak are the  detection machineries of the
Jr. B administration.

Further, Military people never  talk  with plain sentences  as Powell
happily  presented  in his  Recorded  conversations  held between   an
Iraqi  Captain and  Col.   in which the Captain  was informing to the Col.
that he had duly  shifted the  Chemical weapons  to the desired place duly.
 . Saddam and his army officers perhaps,  are not  so  foolish to  talk
about such  a seccret  assignment  without coded words allowing  their
enemies    to intercept  it  so easily.   Powell's   arguments appeared
that only  he and his boss are  intelligent  and people in the rest of the
world are foolish.

 Since we are fools , let us see what those wise guys  gain by  starting
war with Iraq.

Best wishes.

F. R. Sarker
Dhaka. Bangladesh


To: Nancy Allen
From: Russell Hoffman
Re: RHUs on board Columbia?


Thank you for your email.  I've interspersed some answers to your questions, and at the bottom, given some additional suggestions for running the online NO NUKES IN SPACE tutorial.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


At 06:35 AM 2/5/2003 , "Nancy Allen" wrote:

Hi...  My main questions are:

1) Was there an RHU on board?

Radioisotope Heater Units provide a small amount of heat, for a very localized area.  It depends on what the various experiments' requirements were, whether any RTGs (Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators) or RHUs were aboard.  They (NASA et al) act like something mighty dangerous was on board, don't they?  But they won't say what.  It is possible Israel (or India, or the U.S., or all three) had a spy satellite on board.  Maybe they released it in flight, but maybe technical glitches prevented its release.  And maybe that spy satellite had a radioactive power source. That's what comes from having a military NASA -- we can't tell anything.  Perhaps more importantly, since we can't change the past, we need to ask what would have happened if a nuclear payload HAD been on board?  Well, what would have happened is pretty much what is happening, "except" (if it is an exception) that millions may die. Plutonium is lethal in extremely small doses -- rdh

2) What does an RHU used on the shuttle look like?

If used, the RHU would be a small cylinder -- about 1 inch in diameter by 1.3 inches tall. -- rdh

3) Was any plutonium released in the atmosphere or on the ground?

We don't know if there was any Pu on board; if there was there's no way to know if it survived the breakup. -- rdh

4) Which federal agency is looking at radiation releases?

I think it's EPA or FEMA, or maybe the FBI. -- rdh

5) Why wasn't the public warned more acutely about radiation around the debris?

You'll have to ask NASA.  There might be D.U. in the control surfaces and nosecone -- no warnings.  If there were any RHUs or RTGs on board, the last thing they want is for a terrorist to know about it and go looking for them. There may have been some radioactive tracers for some of the experiments, too.  Fortunately, there's not much radioactivity in tracers, usually. I have heard that there were at least three, and maybe six (or more) military experiments on board. -- rdh

Thanks, nancy

You're welcome!

Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Note: FLASH 6 is a free download from Macromedia.  Approximately 99% of all computers already have it, and if not, it's easy to download and install, and will open up your computer to a world of interactive animations from tens of thousands of FLASH developers.  Those of us who use it, love it:

Even if you don't have a fast Internet connection, you can still easily view my NO NUKES IN SPACE animated tutorial.   It's just one 350 K file, and once it's downloaded, it runs without further Internet access, so the easiest way to view it on a slow connection is to go to the page, then walk away from the computer (or do email!) for a while while it loads.

The only other problem I've heard about is if you are running an old browser, like Netscape 4 or something.  I don't know why anyone wouldn't upgrade their browser, but if that's the problem, you can actually have different browsers loaded on your machine. -- rdh

or try:


At 08:14 PM 2/7/2003 , Kim Hunter wrote:

Russell, Love your dedication to the anti-nuke cause but disagree with your
position on Iraq. Would hate to see your nuke crowd divided by your voicing
controversial positions on other subjects. Best always, Kim


Hi Kim,

Thank you for your email.  Nuclear power, nuclear war, and nukes in space are closely linked to each other.  The nuclear issues are not really about energy but about military needs, military secrecy, etc..  Without the military connection, nuclear power never would have gotten off the ground and never would have continued through 50+ years of lies.

I believe Colin Powell and the entire current administration are lying to the American People, who are falling for it hook, line, and sinker.  The most fundamental principle of democracy is truth.  It has to be truth.  "We hold these Truths to be self-evident..."  Government by deceit is tyranny.  But then, a democratic government ruled by mobs of the uninformed is probably worse.  We all need to be more fully informed. And more wary of our leaders.  Otherwise... you got it... tyranny.

If it seems like there are many paths towards tyranny, it should not surprise you.  That is probably why our freedom here is so precious -- because it is so rare.  But what shall we do with our freedom?

NASA is in a bind regarding nuclear issues.  The nuclear "clan" in NASA is king -- it decides the fate of all other branches.  Pro-nuclear attitudes have been in-bred throughout the ranks for decades now.  Being labeled "anti-nuclear" inside NASA will ruin your opportunities for advancement and probably get you fired at the first opportunity -- and with constant budget fluctuations, there are always opportunities.  But if you want to do advanced space studies, NASA is the only game in town.

Add to that the policies within NASA which preclude ANY active NASA employee from speaking independently without risking being fired.

As if all that isn't bad enough, even those who think there might be a problem feel loath to say anything for "professional" reasons.  Because "scientists" -- especially the creme-de-la-creme of "scientists" -- normally feels they should not speak out on technical issues they are not familiar with.   Because they sure wouldn't want someone doing that to them.

But what if the whole field of nuclear science is based on a couple of fundamentally flawed assumptions?  Assumptions based on biased research, which has not received proper public scrutiny?  What happens then?

One of the main complaints about our first war in the Gulf is the toxic and radiological legacy -- not to mention, bombed out waterworks, for God's sake! -- in Iraq.  The "highway of death" is still a radioactive wasteland, an imposing blockade to future relationships between Kuwait and Iraq, courtesy of the Depleted Uranium shells in our A-10 Warthogs.  The same tactical military goal (shooting retreating soldiers) could have been achieved for a few more dollars using other metals -- okay, a lot more dollars, but compared to the billions and billions spent getting set up for war, this extra cost is trivial.

Instead, hundreds of scientists gather OUTSIDE the United States and review the data to determine why so many tens of thousands of Iraqi babies are being born deformed.  They conclude it's D.U.  We never hear about it here in America.  Deception is the rule, not the exception.

This is not like tobacco, which is JUST a corrupt business versus sound science.  This has a military aspect which makes it much more difficult to make any headway.  Our democracy has been destroyed.

During the 1991 Gulf War, Colin Powell et al told us about how the Scuds were being shot down by the Patriots, etc. etc..  It turned out it was all lies.  Truth is the first casualty in war, so it's okay, right?  But now we're in an eternal state of war, and truth never makes it out the door at all.

Davis-Besse should have been front-page news, but it was ignored.  When the media gets involved in cover-ups like that, democracy must have walked out the door a long time ago.  Without a democracy HERE, we've lost all moral high ground THERE or ANYWHERE.

Military toxics are a huge problem which needs to be addressed, as does infiltration of various  movements in America.  So it's impossible to uncouple the existence of an undemocratic, unelected government, which is in power in America today, from the nuclear issue.  As long as we U.S. citizens allow our government (and its contractors) to disrupt our environmental movements by sending in infiltrators, not just to watch for criminal behavior, but to delude and destroy those movements -- even when those movements are based entirely on sound science -- we do not have a democracy.

We do not have a democracy.

And one has to ask: If "they" are as capable of interfering with democracy for us -- for U.S. citizens, for people interested in truth, and who are trying to prevent an American Chernobyl -- an EMINENT NUCLEAR ECOLOGICAL DISASTER -- then what are "they" doing in other countries?  They talk about assassinating world leaders, as if it was a God-given right.  They blow up cars -- with American expatriates in them -- using Predator drones.  They hand prisoners over to our "allies" because their rules against torture are nonexistent.   All I have to put up with -- presumably -- is nukes, kooks, and spooks.  I HAVE TO speak out.  If I don't, who will?  If I can't, who can?

Thanks again,
Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


At 10:32 AM 2/6/2003 , Gary (a former neighbor) wrote (clip) re: IRAQI SENIOR SCIENCE ADVISOR SO LOGICAL, ALL MAJOR STATIONS HAD TO CUT HIM OFF!:
Russle, (sic)
Are you serious? ....


Hi Gary,

How horrible is war?  What is its purpose?  Is every war America has ever fought 100% justified?  Will the use of nuclear "bunker busters" in this coming war be a justified tactic?  Have you read about Bush's plan, which will reintroduce the world to the use of nuclear weapons in warfare (see Kennedy statement, below), something not seen since World War II (not including our own use of Depleted Uranium)?

Have you read about Bush's plan to fire 400 Cruise Missiles the first day, and 400 more the second day?  Is it possible that thousands of Iraqi children will die from this "Operation Overkill" or whatever its codename is?

You said recently that this war would be over oil (see first item below).  But we don't need oil, we need a RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY which encourages conservation, and which produces wind farms, solar energy panels on houses and businesses, and does all the other things any engineer worth his degree knows could be done, and any economist worth HIS degrees knows could be done at a huge net profit to society.

Why choose a dangerous technology over a safe one (wind, wave, tidal, solar, geothermal, OTEC, etc.), given a choice?  Why did we choose so poorly 50+ years ago when we chose nuclear?  Could our forefathers really have been that flat-out dumb, or were they hoodwinked, strong-armed, misled, or just plain confused?

To find the answers, I've carefully researched the historic documents, which are still available to anyone who wishes to understand why we now have a 7% nuclear energy economy instead of a 0% nuclear energy economy:  The answer is: The need for bomb material, such as plutonium.  It has nothing to do with solving our energy needs at all, which explains why a system with a net loss to society energy-wise has nevertheless been promoted (and propped up financially) for decades by the U. S. Government.

BIG LIES by various U. S. Administrations have enormous historic precedent.  They should be expected.  Did you expect Colin Powell to come out and say "Folks, we want a war over oil!  Okay?"? 

But if that's the truth, then he SHOULD come out and say it!  Democracy (which we are supposedly trying to spread throughout the world) is founded on -- and cannot exist without -- truth.  Instead he makes up a pretence of war.  Because under war conditions, truth goes out the window.  Even the founding fathers knew that, of course -- that's how we won the Revolutionary War (ambushes, for example -- we fought like guerillas).  (That, and some help from the French).

My father fought Nazis during WWII (infantry; mortarman), my uncle was an Army Officer during Vietnam era, my great great great whatever grandfather was an officer in the Confederate Army.

Next time, they will just push buttons and launch cruise missiles from afar, guided by plutonium-powered orbiting satellites far overhead.  Maybe the CIA will give them the proper coordinates, but then again, maybe they'll accidentally bomb the Chinese Embassy or something.  Accidents do happen, right?  People just make mistakes, right?  Innocent mistakes that kill people, that's all.  Innocent mistakes.  Is 400 "carefully targeted" (except the ones that miss) cruise missiles fired the first night, and 400 more the second night, and so forth, considered a "weapon of mass destruction"?  If not, why not?

Now, the question today is, is this administration just looking for an excuse?  As noted below, Powell even dramatically brought up ANTHRAX as a reason to bomb Iraq, but that -- everyone knows, right? -- was probably DOMESTIC TERRORISM like what Timothy McViegh did.  Pure evil, but there's no proof it's got a thing to do with Saddam Insane.

As a U.S. citizen, I don't like being lied to.  I don't like being pushed around.  Not by Saddam, not by B2.  We need a renewable energy economy, we need it now, and we need less talk of war and more talk of global sharing.  A "Manhattan Project"  (but done openly, with full public scrutiny, of course) to solve the world's energy needs using renewable resources would do more to bring about peace for Americans than all the cruise missiles in our arsenal can ever do.  Few people bother to remember -- or learn -- what the Iraqi people really think of Americans, but the fact is, they DON'T hate us. Not yet, anyway, but we aren't making it very easy for them (I'm talking strictly about the people of Iraq, not their leaders).  We talk here about the people of Iraq overthrowing their government, but they have no means to do that, and they probably hope it can be done non-violently, anyway.  Revolutions are awful, bloody messes.  Lots of innocent people always die in them. 


Russell D. Hoffman
Senior Peace Advisor
Planet Earth

Suggested reading: Victory Through Air Power, Military Methods in the Art of War, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Iwo Jima, Chickenhawk, The Bridge at Andau, The Code Talkers, Men In Green Faces, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Army of the Potomac (set), Sink the Bismark!, A Rumor of War, The Night Hamburg Died, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,  Dog Soldiers,  A Bridge Too Far (Cornelius Ryan's daughter is a high school chum of mine), Soldiers of '44, Catch 22, Yamamoto (Hoyt), America Goes to War, Veteran's Day, Wing Leader (Johnnie Johnson), Bringing the War Home, Battle of the Somme, No Parachutes, Slaughterhouse Five, Archives of Memory (my father's own war experiences).


At 06:34 PM 1/31/2003 , "L " wrote:

Mr. Hoffman,

I must say I was very impressed, shocked, saddened and just pretty much every emotion in the spectrum occurred while reading your essay.  As this current world tension builds I often fear our leaders will become inclined to use nuclear force.  I mist admit that before reading your essay I naively thought most people were killed in the immediate nuclear event and not the later days or years.  I fear for our races future.  Will we learn our lessons before we are taught them in all finality? 

I had a question that caused my stumbling on your essay initially.  What causes the body's molecular structure to destabilize?  Is it the gamma rays that are emitted by the nuclear event?  If you know I would greatly like to know as well.  =)

Either way, I thank you for the revelation and how easy it is for Americans and everyone around the world to be so ignorant about nuclear weapons technology.  It has inspired me to pursue a career at the United Nations instead of the current Tech company I work for and at least learn more and try to educate our soon to be doomed race about the effects of our ignorance.


Thank you,


Dear L.,

Thank you very much for your letter. 

You may also be interested in reading The Russell-Einstein Manifesto, Issued in London, 9 July 1955, by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein:

Probably the most comprehensive book on radiation dangers is Dr. John W. Gofman's RADIATION & HUMAN HEATH (Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA, 1981).  Gofman helped isolate the world's first "working quantities" of plutonium (without which, there would have been no bomb to use on Hiroshima or Nagasaki).  Gofman's long career continues TODAY; he is in his 90s and last time I spoke to him, quite lucid (a lot more lucid than I'll ever be!)

A more recent book (1995)  is  WINGS OF DEATH: NUCLEAR POLLUTION AND HUMAN HEALTH, by Dr. Chris Busby. Green Audit Books, Green Audit (Wales) Ltd., Aberystwyth, Engand.  Dr. Busby is also mentioned in the article I recently posted here:

Ionizing radiation damages the human body internally.  Even alpha particles, the smallest and lightest of the four types (alpha, beta, gamma, and x-ray), which can be stopped by a sheet of newspaper (or a few sheets, anyway), are extremely dangerous if a substance which emits them has been inhaled or ingested.

Some radioactive materials are so harmful that something on the order of millionths of a gram (of Pu 238, for example) is probably enough to cause lung cancer nearly all the time (Pu 238 gives off a lot of alpha particles for its size.  The same weight of Pu 239 actually gives off roughly just as many alpha particles as it breaks down, but does so over a much longer period of time).

If you survive a nuclear attack, every breath you take will bring in more radioactive particles, which will break down inside you, until you evacuate the area (which might be blocked off, because people won't want YOU contaminating THEM).  Your insides will have been bombarded with neutrons, x-rays and so forth, and will be "irradiated", meaning some of your own atoms in your body are now radioactive.  Your body is breaking down.  Because someone, somewhere, hated humanity.  No one can possibly have an individual hatred for each of the people they would kill when they use an atomic bomb -- you can't even MEET a million people in a lifetime (or at least it's very difficult, but I'm trying!) -- how can you POSSIBLY hate that many people!?!  Of course, one nuke can kill a lot more than one million people.  You have to hate humanity to use such a weapon.  Either that, or be brainwashed and thus, essentially inhuman yourself.

The Cold War should be renamed the Nuclear War Against Humanity By The Promisers Of Peace.  We were stabbed in the back by these masters of war.  They made us build these awful weapons, on the promise that these awesomely awful weapons would bring us peace.  They needed nuclear power plants to get the tritium and plutonium and other radioactive substances -- and they needed the public to buy into all this and not look too deeply into the REAL "nuclear fuel cycle", which includes cancers, leukemias, and birth defects.  We were told our lives were being saved by this messy stuff, but that wasn't true AT ALL!

Saddam Hussein probably has nuclear weapons and is probably willing to use them, especially if Baghdad has been nuked first.  George Bush definitely has nuclear weapons and has threatened to use them in a first strike.  India has renounced a first strike, but has threatened to level Pakistan if Pakistan uses even one nuke against India.

And for what?  A moment's pleasure!  The joy of obliterating your fellow humans can only last SO LONG before the shock of what you have done pastes itself on the televisions of the world, and you are condemned as a mass-murderer, and you feel kinda bad about yourself.

After a few hundred hours of this on CNN, even George Bush would probably feel bad about nuking Iraq, or he's not human.

Let's not go there.

Recently, coincidentally and out of the blue, I got a phone call from a pump inventor (I probably get more of these calls than anyone else on the planet!), who holds U.S. patent #4,441,321, for an amazing clean energy solution called OTEC, which was funded to the tune of a million dollars a year by ERDA in the mid 70s, but was never put into production.

I asked why not -- politics was the answer, in a nutshell.   So here are all these energy solutions, and it's pretty much common knowledge, at this point, that they all work, but instead we are ruled by the nuclear "Demon Hot Atom" -- it supplies our power (too much of it, which is, more than 0%), it defends us (But not really; Anthrax has leveled the playing field, even if Bush won't admit it), and it is used in space for "peaceful purposes" which only mask military ones.

Nuclear power is an unreasonable way to make energy and EVERY nuclear power plant is run by criminals.  Technologically, it's really a "no-brainer" -- we can live without nuclear power, and the idea that anyone can be so righteous (as Bush2 thinks himself to be) that they can use nuclear weapons with a clear conscience is ludicrous!  Threatening to create such massive amounts of "collateral damage" is loathsome at best.  That's why I'm convinced that -- despite the obvious fact that Saddam Hussein probably DOES have nuclear weapons -- all nations must dismantle their nuclear weapons and disavow nuclear war -- including that which is waged with Depleted Uranium weapons, which leave a trail of death from the miners to the machinists, to the transport personnel, to the gunners, to their targets, and then, on down the environmental chain, in the water, food, and air, to the children of the children of the children of anyone who lives on, or downwind, or downstream of the battlefield.

The biggest lie was also self-delusion; that there would be a solution to the waste problem.   Many scientists truly believed that there were perfectly good solutions, such as rocketing the waste into outer space.  Some still do.  Last summer the National Space Society did a two-page spread on the idea.  Immediately after the Columbia disaster, NSS identified a lack of proper funding as the root cause of the accident.

That's bulls#i1.  There are so many overlooked dangers in NASA's operation, it's actually a wonder that we haven't lost all our shuttles by now.   Cracked fuel lines.  3,000+ wiring problems.  And now this.  Certainly, just a few things more might have gone wrong, and we'd have no manned space capabilities right now whatsoever.  Any moment now, the ISS could be hit by a lentil-sized piece of space debris, which would probably completely destroy it, with the loss of the additional lives.  NASA flies on a wing and a prayer.  Before each Shuttle mission they have traditional foods (Beans & Franks, believe it or not, really nasty stuff).  That's voodoo idolatry worship.  It's NOT all in good fun,  either, because they do the same thing when the stakes are ON AVERAGE a million times higher than for a space shuttle launch -- that is, during the launch of radioactive materials.  While Columbia and Challenger each killed seven people, a Cassini accident could have killed millions, AND if Columbia had nuclear materials on board, it could still kill millions.  (And we have no proof Columbia did NOT have nuclear materials on board, including RTGs, RHUs, or even a nuclear reactor!). But NASA just makes a guess of the dangers, and hopes for the best.

NASA's numerous nuclear plans RELY on luck to save our collective asses from cancer, leukemia, birth defects, heart problems, immune  problems, everything.   They make a bunch of calculations of what the chances are that an accident will happen, fudge the figures as much as they can, then publish these fantasy values as if they were meaningful in any way, AND even when those very values indicate (to most rational human beings) that there is a grave danger in the launch, they go ahead and launch anyway!   Such strange behavior is not science at all!  Real science would AVOID the use of nuclear materials for space exploration altogether.  But NASA can't do that because, while you could always change a civilian space mission to use non-nuclear technology (after all, it's just a power source or a heat source, or both, not a vital ingredient to a scientific experiment), military missions have much more demanding requirements.  RTGs are the way to go - IF you have no mercy for your brethren.  All those RTGs which are right now in military use around the Earth (often in very low orbits, too) will sooner or later fall to Earth, with their deadly payloads of Pu 238 and Pu 239 and so forth.   Some level of protection has been engineered in, but it should not be mistaken for a guarantee.  What it's really good for is insuring that IF/WHEN the plutonium containments fail, they'll do so at high altitude so the deaths will be widespread and impossible to identify on a one-to-one basis.  No one ever knows for sure why THEY get lung cancer, do they?  Not even a two-pack-a-day smoker can be sure.

Yet, EVEN TODAY, in "space enthusiast" groups, there are those who think launching nuclear waste into space is the solution to the nuclear waste problem.  Never mind NASA's half-century history of absolutely spectacular rocketry failures.  Never mind the known problem of space debris.  Never mind the problem of terrorism, or of gathering all the waste up in one place (the launch site) without having accidents along the way!  They always "never mind" all these and many other issues.

NASA has risked the distribution of hundreds of pounds of Pu 238 into the environment.  Some of it is currently on board space missions circling the earth, some has already fallen to earth, some is on Pioneer, Cassini, and other "deep space" missions.  All was really to support a military use of Pu 238 in outer space.  This too MUST be banned internationally!


Russell Hoffman

List of 300 books on nuclear issues:


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 14:11:59 EST
Subject: Re: Iraq war & oil

At 10:15 AM 2/6/2003 , wrote:
This will help you understand. IMHO


Phil Marie Sr

This war really is about oil, but not in the way you might think.
The Daily Reckoning PRESENTS: The Bush crew claim they have a 'smoking gun' -
evidence that Iraq is producing weapons of mass destruction - which they'll
release next Wednesday. Why wait? Strategic Investment's Dan Denning has a
smoking gun of his own. "This war really is about oil," says Denning, "But
not in the way you might think."


By Dan Denning

Stevenson: "Do you, Ambassador Zorin, deny that the U.S.S.R. has placed and
is placing medium and intermediate range missiles and sites in Cuba?" Zorin:
"I am not in an American court room, sir, and therefore I do not wish to
answer a question that is put to me in the fashion in which a prosecutor

Adlai Stevenson, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Valerian Zorin, Soviet
ambassador to the U.N. United Nations, New York City, October 25, 1962
Moments after he spoke the above words, Adlai Stevenson became a leading
daytime drama star, at least for a few moments. Stevenson exposed Soviet lies
in front of an international TV audience. He showed the entire world U.S.
reconnaissance photos of Russian missiles in Cuba. The world is waiting for
another "Stevenson Moment", but this time, from U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell. And on February 5th, it just might finally get it.

The Bush Administration will produce its "smoking gun" next Wednesday. But
why wait? Today, I'll unveil my own smoking gun. It doesn't have anything to
do with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But it does directly deal with
what, deep down in his Texas heart, George W. Bush has in mind for Iraq's 112
billion barrels of oil.

Most people think this coming war is about oil. And it is. But not in the way
you might think.

Iraq sits on the second-largest proven reserves in the world. According to
the U.S. Department of Energy, it has another 220 billion barrels of probable
and possible resources. It may be much, much larger than even this sizable
number...much of Iraq remains unexplored and undeveloped since the Gulf War
ended in 1991.

It's not as if Iraq isn't producing any oil right now. Currently, it produces
slightly less than 2 million barrels a day. And under the terms of U.N.
resolution 986, Iraq is allowed to export around 2.2 million bpd to pay for
food and critical domestic infrastructure plans.

Yet according to Iraqi Oil Minister Amir Rashid, as of early 2002, only 24 of
Iraq's 73 developed oil fields were actually producing. Part of this is
Iraq's own fault. Iraq destroyed much of the production capacity of its
southern oil fields before advancing coalition ground forces could seize them
in the Gulf War.

All that's about to change. In a free Iraq, billions more in reserves are
likely to come online, increasing Iraqi oil production to somewhere in the
neighborhood of 5 or 6 million bpd. But who gets rich off of this? Is it
Iraq? Is it major integrated oil companies? Is it Bush and Cheney and their
Texas Oil Mafia cronies? Is it France and Russia? The answer tells us how to
profit as investors.

First off, contrary to popular belief, an increase in Iraqi oil production
doesn't make big U.S. oil companies richer. Rising oil production in Iraq
should lead to falling oil prices. And falling oil prices aren't generally
good for big oil profits, even on increased volume. They will lower prices at
the pump for sure. But they will not increase profits for Texaco. In fact, if
oil prices don't fall after the war with Iraq - and I mean fall back down to
around $15/barrel, the there really IS a conspiracy.

The only companies who will profit after the war - no matter who owns the
fields - are the companies who will help make the fields productive. I'm
talking about oil service companies. It doesn't matter if France, Russia, the
U.S. Army or a new Iraqi government owns the fields. Whoever owns them will
need the services and the equipment to make the profitable. Enter oil service

Oil service stocks - the companies who sell the equipment and services to
make oil fields productive - were the biggest winners in the days between the
beginning of the air war in Gulf War One and the end of the ground war. I'm
forecasting a quick gain in this sector immediately after the bullets start
to fly.

What's more, oil service stocks act a lot like traditional resource stocks.
That is, their businesses improve when the integrated oils ramp up
exploration and expansion of existing production capacity - something that's
a lock to happen in post-Saddam Iraq.

In any case, an increase in Iraqi production seems almost inevitable. The
only question is how it will come about. If Saddam chooses to lose
gracefully, leaving oil fields intact - or if he simply runs out of time to
destroy them - existing capacity will be expanded, and new reserves located
and developed without much hassle. Otherwise, the United States and its
allies will be faced with the black scenario of repairing the entire
destroyed infrastructure of the Iraqi oil industry.

If Iraq does destroy its oil infrastructure preemptively - or even if Iraq
becomes a 'free' state at all - certain people stand to lose an awful lot.
These are the people for whom the war really IS about oil.

Under the terms of U.N. resolution 986, Iraq is allowed to export oil and use
the proceeds to pay for food and critical infrastructure, as determined by
the U.N. In order to produce its oil, Iraq is allowed to enter into contracts
with foreign firms to sell parts and equipment for its oil industry. Those
contracts must be approved by the U.N.

You can actually view the contracts on line at the U.N. website. The site
reveals that France, Russia, and China have 798, 862, and 227 contracts in
various states of approval with Iraq, respectively, although not all the
contracts have yet been approved or executed. U.S. firms have a grand total
of one contract with the Iraqi oil industry. The U.K has eight, two of which
have been nullified and six of which have been approved.

Looking at dollar value, the picture becomes even more interesting. Since
April of 1995, over 3.3 billion barrels of Iraqi oil valued at $62 billion
have been exported under U.N. supervision. Since 1996, about $3.6 billion of
this has gone to purchase spare parts for the Iraqi oil industry, a process
in which the U.N. acts as a broker between the Iraqi government and foreign
firms looking for business. The U.N. estimates there are $10.8 billion worth
of additional oil industry contracts up for grabs or in the pipeline.
According to an article by Thomas W. Murphy at, "Russia
has ranked first among nations doing business with Iraq under the
oil-for-food program, with sales exceeding $4 billion." As for France, Mr.
Murphy states that France sold $1.5 billion worth of goods to Iraq last year,
the most of any nation for the year.

The "sales", by the way, are done by letters of credit that Iraq issues.
These letters of credit draw on funds in an escrow account established by the
U.N. - funds originally procured from Iraqi oil sales. In other words, French
and Russian business profits in Iraq are coming from Iraqi oil money.
What's more, the potential for more French and Russian contracts in Iraq - at
least under the Hussein regime - is staggering.

A report produced by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information
Administration spells it out. Russia has a lot to lose in a free Iraq. The
DOE report states that "Russia, which is owed several billions of dollars by
Iraq for past arms deliveries, has a strong interest in Iraqi oil
development, including a $3.5-billion, 23-year deal to rehabilitate Iraqi
oilfields, particularly the 11-15 billion barrel West Qurna field (located
west of Basra near the Rumaila field)."

And then come the French, who've got a lot to lose too. The DOE report
states: "The largest of Iraq's oilfields slated for post-sanctions
development is Majnoon, with reserves of 12-20 billion barrels of 28o-35o API
oil, and located 30 miles north of Basra on the Iranian border." French
company TotalFinaElf reportedly has signed a deal with Iraq on development
rights for Majnoon.

You can throw the Chinese and Germans on the pile, too. Dozens of countries,
in fact. The black gold rush has been going on for twelve years, under the
tight control of the U.N. A Deutsche Bank study estimates international oil
companies have signed $50 billion in deals with Iraq. The deals cover the
development of an estimated 50 billion barrels of reserves and an additional
4 million bbl/d of potential production.

There are only two major countries that don't seem to be getting in on the
act...and significantly, these are the ones applying pressure for a regime

The truth is, we have no idea what will happen in the coming weeks. But using
a little logic, it's not hard to figure out that in almost any scenario,
Iraqi oil production is bound to go up. It could go up sooner, if Hussein
goes quietly. Or it could go up later, if he doesn't.

In either scenario - the restoration of destroyed facilities or the increase
in production of existing fields and the development of dormant Iraqi
reserves - oil service companies have billions in business ahead of them.


Dan Denning
For the Daily Reckoning

P.S. I test-drove a highly leveraged strategic play on oil service companies
earlier this week in Strategic Trader Alert, my proprietary trading service.
Readers following the trade could have made 58% gains in 2 days. But I'm
betting these oil service plays are just getting warmed up. The next 2-3
months of war speculation could prove to be quite profitable. Obviously, I'm
reserving the trades for paying subscribers to the service, but if you're
interested in joining us, you can find the details of this strategy here:
No Matter What Happens In Iraq...

Editor's note: Daniel Denning is the editor of the financial advisory
Strategic Investment and the chief strategist behind the Strategic Trader
Alert. For advice on making trades consistent with the ideas you have read in
today's essay, please click here:

Strategic Trader Alert 


Subject:  Update on Powell's Presentation from ZNet
To: <>


Another update from ZNet. This time two replies from ZNet commentators to Powell's Presentation. There are more on ZNet... -- and other new materials there too, of course -- on Powell, on antiwar work, on the recent WSF, and on many other issues.

Please visit...and please also consider our Sustainer Program...

Thank you...

(You can add and remove names for ZNet Updates on the ZNet top page...)


Powell's Presentation
It was like something out of Beckett
By Robert Fisk

Sources, foreign intelligence sources, "our sources," defectors, sources, sources, sources. Colin Powell's terror talk to the United Nations Security Council yesterday sounded like one of those government-inspired reports on the front page of The New York Times - where it will most certainly be treated with due reverence in this morning's edition. It was a bit like heating up old soup. Haven't we heard most of this stuff before? Should one trust the man? General Powell, I mean, not Saddam.

Certainly we don't trust Saddam but Secretary of State Powell's presentation was a mixture of awesomely funny recordings of Iraqi Republican Guard telephone intercepts à la Samuel Beckett that just might have been some terrifying little proof that Saddam really is conning the UN inspectors again, and some ancient material on the Monster of Baghdad's all too well known record of beastliness. I am still waiting to hear the Arabic for the State Department's translation of "Okay Buddy" - "Consider it done, Sir" - this from the Republican Guard's "Captain Ibrahim", for heaven's sake - and some dinky illustrations of mobile bio-labs whose lorries and railway trucks were in such perfect condition that they suggested the Pentagon didn't have much idea of the dilapidated state of Saddam's army.

It was when we went back to Halabja and human rights abuses and all Saddam's old sins, as recorded by the discredited Unscom team, that we started eating the old soup again. Jack Straw may have thought all this "the most powerful and authoritative case" but when we were forced to listen to Iraq's officer corps communicating by phone - "yeah", "yeah", "yeah?", "yeah..." - it was impossible not to ask oneself if Colin Powell had really considered the effect this would have on the outside world.

>From time to time, the words "Iraq: Failing To Disarm - Denial and Deception" appeared on the giant video screen behind General Powell. Was this a CNN logo, some of us wondered? But no, it was CNN's sister channel, the US Department of State.

Because Colin Powell is supposed to be the good cop to the Bush-Rumsfeld bad cop routine, one wanted to believe him. The Iraqi officer's telephoned order to his subordinate - "remove 'nerve agents' whenever it comes up in the wireless instructions" - looked as if the Americans had indeed spotted a nasty new little line in Iraqi deception. But a dramatic picture of a pilotless Iraqi aircraft capable of spraying poison chemicals turned out to be the imaginative work of a Pentagon artist.

And when General Powell started blathering on about "decades'' of contact between Saddam and al-Qa'ida, things went wrong for the Secretary of State. Al-Qa'ida only came into existence five years ago, since Bin Laden - "decades" ago - was working against the Russians for the CIA, whose present day director was sitting grave-faced behind General Powell. And Colin Powell's new version of his President's State of the Union lie - that the "scientists" interviewed by UN inspectors had been Iraqi intelligence agents in disguise - was singularly unimpressive. The UN talked to scientists, the new version went, but they were posing for the real nuclear and bio boys whom the UN wanted to talk to. General Powell said America was sharing its information with the UN inspectors but it was clear yesterday that much of what he had to say about alleged new weapons development - the decontamination truck at the Taji chemical munitions factory, for example, the "cleaning" of the Ibn al-Haythem ballistic missile factory on 25 November - had not been given to the UN at the time. Why wasn't this intelligence information given to the inspectors months ago? Didn't General Powell's beloved UN resolution 1441 demand that all such intelligence information should be given to Hans Blix and his lads immediately? Were the Americans, perhaps, not being "pro-active" enough?

The worst moment came when General Powell started talking about anthrax and the 2001 anthrax attacks in Washington and New York, pathetically holding up a teaspoon of the imaginary spores and - while not precisely saying so - fraudulently suggesting a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 2001 anthrax scare.

When the Secretary of State held up Iraq's support for the Palestinian Hamas organisation, which has an office in Baghdad, as proof of Saddam's support for "terror'' - there was, of course, no mention of America's support for Israel and its occupation of Palestinian land - the whole theatre began to collapse. There are Hamas offices in Beirut, Damascus and Iran. Is the 82nd Airborne supposed to grind on to Lebanon, Syria and Iran?

There was an almost macabre opening to the play when General Powell arrived at the Security Council, cheek-kissing the delegates and winding his great arms around them. Jack Straw fairly bounded up for his big American hug.

Indeed, there were moments when you might have thought that the whole chamber, with its toothy smiles and constant handshakes, contained a room full of men celebrating peace rather than war. Alas, not so. These elegantly dressed statesmen were constructing the framework that would allow them to kill quite a lot of people, the monstrous Saddam perhaps, with his cronies, but a considerable number of innocents as well. One recalled, of course, the same room four decades ago when General Powell's predecessor Adlai Stevenson showed photos of the ships carrying Soviet missiles to Cuba.

Alas, today's pictures carried no such authority. And Colin Powell is no Adlai Stevenson.

World reaction


A "typical American show complete with stunts and special effects" was Iraq's scathing dismissal of General Powell's presentation. Mohammed al-Douri, above, Iraq's UN ambassador, accused the US of manufacturing evidence and said the charges were "utterly unrelated to the truth.

"No new information was provided, merely sound recordings that cannot be ascertained as genuine," he said. "There are incorrect allegations, unnamed sources, unknown sources."

Lt-Gen Amir al-Saadi, an adviser to Saddam Hussein, said the satellite pictures "proved nothing". On the allegation that Iraq had faked the death certificate of a scientist to shield them from UN inspectors, he added: "If [General Powell] thinks any of those scientists marked as deceased is still in existence, let him come up with it."


Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, left, praised General Powell for his "powerful and authoritative case". He said the presentation "laid bare the deceit practised by the regime of Saddam Hussein, and worse, the very great danger it represents.

"Secretary Powell has set out deeply worrying reports about the presence in Iraq of one of Osama bin Laden's lieutenants, al-Zarqawi, and other members of al-Qaida, and their efforts to develop poisons.

"The recent discovery of the poison ricin in London has underlined again that this is a threat which all of us face.

"Saddam is defying every one of us ... He questions our resolve and is gambling that we will lose our nerve rather than enforce our will."


France called for the number of inspectors to be tripled and the process beefed up. Dominique de Villepin, the Foreign Minister, above, said inspections should continue but under "an enhanced regime of inspections monitoring". Iraq must also do more to co-operate ­ including allowing flights from U-2 spy planes. "The use of force can only be a final recourse," he said.


China said the work of the inspectors should continue. Tang Jiaxuan, the Foreign Minister, said immediately after General Powell's presentation: "As long as there is still the slightest hope for political settlement, we should exert our utmost effort to achieve that."


Inspections should continue, Igor Ivanov, the Foreign Minister, above, said. More study was needed of the evidence presented by General Powell, he added. Meanwhile, inspections "must be continued".


The Powell presentation and the findings of the weapons inspectors "have to be examined carefully", said Joschka Fischer, the Foreign Minister. "We must continue to seek a peaceful solution."


Binyamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Minister, left, said: "We've known this a long time. We've shared intelligence with the US, and I think the US has shared some of that today." General Powell "laid bare the true nature of Saddam Hussein's regime, and I think he also exposed the great dangers ... to the region and the world".

Powell's Case
By Phylliss Bennis

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council on February 5 wasn't likely to win over anyone not already on his side. He ignored the crucial fact that in the past several days (in Sunday's New York Times and in his February 4th briefing of UN journalists) Hans Blix denied key components of Powell's claims.

Blix, who directs the UN inspection team in Iraq, said the UNMOVIC inspectors have seen "no evidence" of mobile biological weapons labs, has "no persuasive indications" of Iraq-al Qaeda links, and no evidence of Iraq hiding and moving material used for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) either outside or inside Iraq. Dr. Blix also said there was no evidence of Iraq sending scientists out of the country, of Iraqi intelligence agents posing as scientists, of UNMOVIC conversations being monitored, or of UNMOVIC being penetrated.

Further, CIA and FBI officials still believe the Bush administration is "exaggerating" information to make their political case for war. Regarding the alleged Iraqi link with al Qaeda, U.S. intelligence officials told the New York Times, "we just don't think it's there."

The most compelling part of Powell's presentation was his brief ending section on the purported al Qaeda link with Iraq and on the dangers posed by the al Zarqawi network. However, he segued disingenuously from the accurate and frightening information about what the al Zarqawi network could actually do with biochemical materials to the not-so-accurate claim about its link with Iraq--which is tenuous and unproven at best.

A key component of the alleged Iraq-al Qaeda link is based on what Powell said "detainees tell us...". That claim must be rejected. On December 27 the Washington Post reported that U.S. officials had acknowledged detainees being beaten, roughed up, threatened with torture by being turned over to officials of countries known to practice even more severe torture. In such circumstances, nothing "a detainee" says can be taken as evidence of truth given that people being beaten or tortured will say anything to stop the pain. Similarly, the stories of defectors cannot be relied on alone, as they have a self-interest in exaggerating their stories and their own involvement to guarantee access to protection and asylum.

In his conclusion, Powell said, "We wrote 1441 not in order to go to war, we wrote 1441 to try to preserve the peace." It is certainly at least partially true that the UN resolution was an effort to "preserve the peace," although it is certainly not true that the U.S. wrote 1441 to preempt war. Rather, the Bush administration intended that the resolution would serve as a first step toward war.

Finally, the "even if" rule applies. "Even if" everything Powell said was true, there is simply not enough evidence for war. There is no evidence of Iraq posing an imminent threat, no evidence of containment not working. Powell is asking us to go to war--risking the lives of 100,000 Iraqis in the first weeks, hundreds or thousands of U.S. and other troops, and political and economic chaos--because he thinks MAYBE in the future Iraq might rebuild its weapons systems and MIGHT decide to deploy weapons or MIGHT give those weapons to someone else who MIGHT use them against someone we like or give them to someone else who we don't like, and other such speculation. Nothing that Powell said should alter the position that we should reject a war on spec.


(Phyllis Bennis <> is a Middle East analyst for Foreign Policy In Focus (online at and a senior analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies.)

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Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 21:54:58 EST
Subject: Think about These Words

Los Angeles Times - January 29, 2003 - By Edward M. Kennedy

Notion of a first-strike use in Iraq carries the seed of world disaster.

A dangerous world just grew more dangerous. Reports that the administration is contemplating the preemptive use of nuclear weapons in Iraq should set off alarm bells that this could not only be the wrong war at the wrong time, but it could quickly spin out of control.

Initiating the use of nuclear weapons would make a conflict with Iraq potentially catastrophic.

President Bush had an opportunity Tuesday night to explain why he believes such a radical departure from long-standing policy is justified or necessary. At the very minimum, a change of this magnitude should be brought to Congress for debate before the U.S. goes to war with Iraq.

The reports of a preemptive nuclear strike are consistent with the extreme views outlined a year ago in President Bush's Nuclear Posture Review and with the administration's disdain for long-standing norms of international behavior.

According to these reports, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has directed the U.S. Strategic Command to develop plans for employing nuclear weapons in a wide range of new missions, including possible use in Iraq to destroy underground bunkers.

Using the nation's nuclear arsenal in this unprecedented way would be the most fateful decision since the nuclear attack on Hiroshima. Even contemplating the first-strike use of nuclear weapons under current circumstances and against a nonnuclear nation dangerously blurs the crucial and historical distinction between conventional and nuclear arms. In the case of Iraq, it is preposterous.

Nuclear weapons are in a class of their own for good reasons -- their unique destructive power and their capacity to threaten the very survival of humanity. They have been kept separate from other military alternatives out of a profound commitment to do all we can to see they are never used again. They should be employed only in the most dire circumstances -- for example, if the existence of our nation is threatened. It makes no sense to break down the firewall that has existed for half a century between nuclear conflict and any other form of warfare.

A nuclear bomb is not just another item in the arsenal.

Our military is the most powerful fighting force in the world. We can fight and win a war in Iraq with precision bombing and sophisticated new conventional weapons. The president has not made a case that the threat to our national security from Iraq is so imminent that we even need to go to war -- let alone let the nuclear genie out of the bottle.

By raising the possibility that nuclear weapons could be part of a first strike against Iraq, the administration is only enhancing its reputation as a reckless unilateralist in the world community -- a reputation that ultimately weakens our own security. The nuclear threat will further alienate our allies, most of whom remain unconvinced of the need for war with Iraq. It is fundamentally contrary to our national interests to further strain relationships that are essential to win the war against terrorism and to advance our ideals in the world.

This policy also deepens the danger of nuclear proliferation by, in effect, telling nonnuclear states that nuclear weapons are necessary to deter a potential U.S. attack and by sending a green light to the world's nuclear states that it is permissible to use them. Is this the lesson we want to send to North Korea, Pakistan and India or any other nuclear power?

The use of nuclear weapons in Iraq in the absence of an imminent, overwhelming threat to our national security would bring a near-total breakdown in relations between the U.S. and the rest of the world. At a minimum, it would lead to a massive rise in anti-Americanism in the Arab world and a corresponding increase in sympathy for terrorists who seek to do us harm. Our nation, long a beacon of hope, would overnight be seen as a symbol of death, destruction and aggression.

In the introduction to his national security strategy last fall, the president declared: "The gravest danger our nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology." On that he was surely right -and the administration's radical consideration of the possible use of our nuclear arsenal against Iraq is itself a grave danger to our national interests, our nation and all that America stands for.

Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy represents Massachusetts.

John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World
110 Maryland Avenue, NE - Room 409
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4100 x.131



At 02:47 PM 2/6/2003 , Richard Wilcox <> wrote:


February 6, 2003

Peggy Noonan, Space Case

Boom Bye-Bye: the Manufacture of Tragedy


Peggy Noonan loves nothing so much as an official tragedy to contextualize ,
and this weekend's shuttle disaster -- never mind what you may have read at about the shuttle landing safely, those internet sites
are not reliable -- gave her ample opportunity.

In "The Days of Miracle and Wonder", Noonan appropriates Paul Simon lyrics
to discuss yet another "searing reminder of American heroism." Ironic, is it
not, that heroism as defined by the Columbia incident and 9/11 means that
you end up dead? Never mind that the Israeli wasn't explicitly American; US
taxpayers paid so much of his salary throughout his career that we have at
least a proprietary interest in the Colonel.

Enough of all that, for now, anyway. Because Noonan has what amounts to
tenure in the corporate press, she can write a fragmentary reverie about
Saturday's events and have it pass as the official version of acceptable
grief. Noonan described Bush's "blunt words" as "explicitly God based",
because his speechwriter stuck in some quote from the Book of Isaiah to
impart gravitas. Mr. Bush's "thoughtstream", to hear the former Reagan
speechwriter tell it, leads "straight to the spiritual"

Yep, Peggy, he's Jesus with a security clearance. Wasn't Bush the governor
of Texas who mistook executions for sitcoms? The puppet gets up and reads
some canned mush about why "mankind is led into the darkness", and we're
supposed to squint until we see an actual statesman behind the microphone?
Peggy, please.

Noonan's piece isn't simply a well-rehearsed gushing about Bush's innate
spirituality, however. She intends -- or WSJ intends for her to -- provide a
definitive reaction to what essentially is a media tragedy. The Columbia may
have exploded, but NASA didn't undercut newscasts with mawkish strings. That
was Fox News. The US puts a military full-court press on the rest of the
world, with all the death and destruction that implies, and rather than
address the issues of expansion and empire honestly, we're supposed to be
transfixed by manufactured tragedy.

Noonan alludes to the idea of tragedy being served up when she discusses the
1986 Challenger disaster. She describes "schoolchildren across the country
were watching the Challenger go up, they were watching on TV sets and in
auditoriums, because Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space, was on
the flight. The children saw it all. It was supposed to be part of American
schoolchildren learning about space, that's why the schools were showing it
live. It was a learning tool. . . and the children learned more than anyone
would have expected." About bravery, about the "everyday courage of
astronauts. . . all the Americans doing big and dangerous things in the
world--members of the armed forces, cops and firemen, doctors in public
hospitals in hard places."

The children indeed learned more than they expected that day in 1986, Peggy.
I was in eighth grade just then, and remember all the Challenger jokes being
told by all of us who weren't deaf-mutes. You might remember them as well;
if not, I'm sure they're on the Internet. There was an impromptu assembly a
week after the disaster about the "inappropriateness" of such jokes; though
it was allowed that they were defense mechanisms, they were of course beyond
the pale.

People assumed that the jokes were defense mechanisms against the tragic
loss of those brave souls, or whatever the phrase of the day was. Looking
back, though, I think they represented people internalizing lessons about
their relationship to government. Those folks in uniforms, however heroic
they seem at the time, end up dead. For a moment of ephemeral glory before
the media cycle is finished churning their bodies and souls within its
gaping maw.

All the corpses are forgotten eventually, Peggy. The original Challenger
crew. The corpses who died for stalemate in Korea and Vietnam. Those who
have met their ends in Afghanistan, liberating the pipeline route from those
who live on it. Those who are about to meet their ends; those poor bastards
who signed up for this government's war against evil, who had no clue it was
all smoke and mirrors.

Anthony Gancarski, author of UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS [2001, Diversity Inc.],
accepts email at


To: "GreenAction" <>
Subject: [greenaction] peace slogans

>Some messages that appeared on buttons and signs at Saturday's
>demonstration in Washington,  D.C.:
>- These colors don't run the world.
>- One nation under surveillance.
>- How did our oil get under their sand?
>- Go Solar, not Ballistic.
>- Who would Jesus bomb?
>- Start Drafting SUV Drivers Now.
>- Don't blame me, I voted with the majority.
>- Buck Fush!
>- It's NUCLEAR, not NUCULAR, you idiot!
>- Resistance is Fertile.
>- (Pictures of sheep carrying flags) Stop Mad Sheep Disease Now.
>- (UFW sign) Pick Fruit, not Fights.
>- (On a five year old) More Candy Less War.
>- Say can you see my democracy?
>- (With pictures of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld) Asses of Evil.
>- It's the oil, stupid.
>- War is expensive, Peace is priceless.
>- Read between the Pipelines
>- No More BuSh.
>- Smart weapons, Dumb president.
>- The only thing we have to fear is Bush himself.
>- How many Lives per Gallon?
>- Peace Takes Brains
>- Anything War can do, Peace can do better.
>- Negotiation Not Annihilation.
>- Another patriot for peace.
>- Oh Say can You Cease?
>- Star Spangled Bummer
>- Don't Arm a Son of a Bush
>- Don't do it George, Dad will still love you.
>- Power to the Peaceful
>- The last time we listened to a Bush, we wandered in the desert for 40

As this newsletter goes to press, it is noted that hundreds of naked women in Australia and New York City lay down (in the snow, in NY) to protest for peace.  I'd like to see more of these protests. -- rdh


To Sheila, Others Whom It May Concern;

Regarding your followup comments (shown below), how many issues of the STOP CASSINI newsletter did you read?  Which ones?  I am absolutely justified in calling this guy out, and I will continue to do so.  Even if it hurts my reputation among those who haven't got a good understanding of how underhanded politics really is in America, or among those who like to all just get along.  Or among those who won't bother to dig out the facts.

If you won't even ask YOURSELF the vital questions, such as the one I offered in my prior email on the subject (where would you infiltrate a movement, if you could, at the top, or at the bottom?), at least ask yourself this:  What kind of friend to the movement would I be if I felt this way about someone, and kept quiet about it, and didn't try to warn others?  If I was absolutely sure, and yet, year after year, said nothing, while watching everyone's efforts be demolished by the infiltrator?  Would I be right in being silent?  A plethora of activists have noticed a problem, and there are many people who are in complete agreement with me about this -- from the scientist who told me "OF COURSE HE'S A FAKE!" (named in the newsletters, you can go back and read it all yourself) -- to the activists who are ON RECORD in those newsletters as wondering what could possibly be wrong with Gagnon.  As one put it, "Nobody's that dumb!" after he made one of his classic mistakes.  Again, this activist is named in the newsletters, go read 'em and weep.

If you see Gagnon as being cooperative, that's EXACTLY what he's trying to have you think -- that he's helping.  That he's an inspiring leader.  That he knows how to make the movement grow.  If you think those things about him, you are sorely misled, and he's doing his job well. Fooling YOU (and the press) into thinking he forthrightly leads the NO NUKES IN SPACE/NO WEAPONS IN SPACE movement is exactly what he wants to do and tries to do.

What exactly is wrong with mining Mars, anyway?  Aside from that the actual proposals to do it all appear to be harebrained?  What's wrong with the colonization of space, aside from that it would take enormous raw materials permanently away from Earth, undoubtedly cost the lives of thousands of people because it's not safe up there (we have an atmosphere to protect us from radiation and small space debris (a moon colony would have neither))?  What's wrong with these and other NASA plans?

Aside from the fact that they are invariably cover-ups for military operations, that is?  Aside from their unworkability with today's technology, and aside from their cost, while children cannot even get an education in America because there's no money to hire teachers?   Aside from the pollution of the launch, the reentry problems, the space debris issues, and so forth?  Aside from the fact that all such ideas tend to revolve around nuclear power sources obtained here on Earth and shipped to outer space through our debris field, on our rickety rockets?

Putting all that aside, they are actually fairly interesting ideas.  Off-Earth colonies are probably inevitable eventually, and are VITAL if the seeds of human intelligence are not going to be wiped out some day by some wayward asteroid, or (vastly more likely, I'm afraid), a global nuclear conflagration.  Mining Mars would be a great thing, if it could work.  Look what we get -- all the space cowboys have something to do, and the environmental damage of those mines could replace the environmental damage from mines which do the same thing on Earth.

Aside from the prohibitive cost of getting the metals from Mars to Earth, which makes the idea about as harebrained as anything can be.  So harebrained, that it won't happen.   And if it does happen, and the metals (or whatever is mined) AREN'T shipped back to Earth, where will the "net gain" be for us Earthlings?  Do we really WANT a large, thriving colony in outer space, which by definition needs extremely high technology just to survive, and which can take over our world easily any time they want, because an attack from outer space is so unstoppable (which is why America wants to dominate space in the first place.  Read Victory Through Air Power by Alexander P. De Severski (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1942), and James Oberg's more recent treatise called Space Power Theory (it is, or was, available free from the DoD web site) if you doubt the value of having the ultimate "upper hand" from a military point of view.  Whoever dominates space dominates Earth.  It's as simple as that.  The question is not (in my mind) "Who do you WANT that to be?" -- it's US -- but "HOW do you want it done?  The dominance can be reduced, the environmental ASSAULT by the military against all Earthlings via their use of nuclear power supplies and heat sources can be reduced, and, by minimizing the militarization of space, the INCENTIVE for others to destroy Earth-orbital space for everyone (for example, by releasing lots of monofilament strings at various altitudes above Earth, a sure and simple way to to it) would also be reduced.).

Right now, NASA is a military organization which launches spy satellites on a regular basis for the USAF, USN, CIA, etc..  For all we activists know, Columbia might have had an Israeli satellite on board.  They might not have been able to deploy it because of some minor technical glitch.  There might be plutonium RTGs and RHUs scattered all over America, from California to Mississippi.

But don't worry, The Gag Man is on the case, and has put in a FOIA request to NASA to find out what was on Columbia.  Sleep well, Sheila, for tomorrow we will all be radioactive!


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

P.S. For those counting, two other people, Jennifer Verrick in California and Dave Webb in England, also wrote to let me know they've worked with Gagnon and are pleased as punch with him.  I don't know Mr. Webb, but I fully expected such a response from JV.  JV hasn't (yet?) answered my followup inquiry as to how much effort she had actually put into reading my reports on the problem, although their knee-jerk responses came so quickly (and in at least one instance were so utterly illogical) that it appears they hadn't read any at all (in a followup which arrived as I write this (the wee hours, 2/5/2003), Webb further claims upon my request for details, to have read some -- but "not all I must admit" of the STOP CASSINI newsletters -- although he didn't say when he read them, or which ones, and classified it as discussions about "mistakes or misjudgments", which it most certainly is NOT.  Please don't bother trying to drag me further into this matter.  Gagnon is an infiltrator; those who need to know, or are just curious about the details, can look at the documentation which I've already posted.

P.P.S. Suggested additional reading: The War Against The Greens by David Helvarg, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1994, 1997.

Note: Found in a Karl Grossman article: "Dr. Dave Webb, who had been a scientist in the British space program and is now principal lecturer at the United Kingdom's Leeds Metropolitan University’s School of Engineering, and is also Global Network secretary, says, "Star Wars projects like the Space-Based Laser require significant sources of power and it is very useful for the U.S. government to be able to bury some of the costs for the development work in ‘civilian’ or ‘dual use’ programs."  This is, of course, a completely true statement.


At 06:50 PM 2/4/2003 , wrote:
Russell, he is not an infiltrator. When you do this to him, you do it
to his work. His work has been invaluable to those of us going up
against Vandenberg AFB. We absolutely need him. I have not always
agreed with him, and we knocked heads hard on Kucinich, whose ""Space
Preserveration Bill"" is idiotic and dangerously allows NASA to be
funded by you and me. However, Bruce has worked his way out of the
fog, and is battling NASA hard.
I'm not crazy about Kucnich, but support his lawsuit against Bush and
his brave stand on many war issues. I'm just waiting for the
lightbulb to come with activists who bow down and kiss the ground he
walks on rather than just saying, Dennis, we really appreciated so
much about you, but can you just look at your pro-NASA postition here
abit, especially since we can only explore space with nukes. Bruce is
there, but many in the peace movement aren't.
Bruce is not an infiltrator, but a hard-working brother who has many
times been the lone voice in the wilderness to stop mining and
colonization of space. He is invaluable to the Central Coast, period!
Don't take this tool away from us.

- In, "Russell D. Hoffman"
<rhoffman@a...> wrote:
> EarthFirst!ers, other interested activists,
> Years ago, I posted what I believe is more than enough compelling
> information from numerous activists who have crossed Gagnon's path.
> Those interested in finding out about this creep can start with
issue #252
> of my STOP CASSINI newsletter, and then work their way back along
the path
> of actions and reactions, deeds and misdeeds, crimes and
> all the way back to issue #1 if need be:
> Gagnon's crimes against humanity are very typical of government
> infiltrators, so by documenting them meticulously, my hope is that
> -- people facing other infiltrators in other movements -- can see
> happens.  How insidious it is.  And how easily even a "pro" is
fooled --
> like Baker and Grossman, not to mention Dr. Kaku.
> Ask yourself this:  If you were going to infiltrate a movement -- I
> really do it right, so you destroy that movement utterly, year
after year
> after year -- wouldn't you put someone in at the TOP, like where
Gagnon has
> wriggled himself -- or what?  Where can the fewest people have the
most effect?
> An infiltrator will lead you the way you think you want to go, then
at the
> last moment, things will dissolve and unravel.  His press
conferences will
> have vital names left out and phone numbers wrong -- we've seen
this time
> and again.  And the big protest will burn up lot of energy, and
get "people
> in funny hats" in the news one day, but the essential scientific
> behind the activists' case will be ignored.
> Gagnon has a long history -- much longer than mine in the movement -
- and I
> had an excellent opportunity to see what he's made of, shortly
after Karl
> Grossman personally invited me into the movement after having read
> transcript of a radio broadcast I had done which he found online
(and which
> is still online):
> Gagnon has ignored many, many good scientific reports from
scientists close
> to the issues.  Without the scientific basis, what activist stands
> chance, or has a case worth fighting for?
> The whos, whats, whens, and wheres of these behavior patterns are
> documented in the newsletters, which serve as a timeline to a
> FAILURE of a movement to accomplish a very logical goal -- stopping
> Cassini.  Would anyone argue that stopping Cassini was not a
logical goal
> now?  To find out why the activists failed, one need only read the
> of what happened.  Many have undoubtedly downloaded this history
> maintain their own copies on 100-year CDs.  I hope many more will.
> I have worked very carefully to back up everything I claim, on this
and on
> every issue I care to speak about.  Over time, with careful
observation, a
> pattern always emerges, because there is no way you can always hide
a lack
> of honest intent.  It just can't be done, because truth demands
> actions and behaviors.  The case against Gagnon is a solid one, and
I doubt
> you could find a better documented one, simply because he was and
is such a
> crucial person in such a vital movement.
> And lastly, I take the strongest issue with Sheila's accusation
that I have
> made these accusations simply because I disagree with Gagnon.  That
is not
> my style, as anyone who has proven me wrong on ANY subject
> knows.  Everyone makes mistakes, but Gagnon's "mistakes" are
> often genuine purposeful failures, which the NO NUKES IN SPACE
> should decipher for what they are, and handle appropriately, and
> other movements should observe generally and learn not to do in a
> sense.
> Any environmentalist who is not seeking complete and utter truth is
in the
> wrong movement -- perhaps they should go to church instead ,
where "truth"
> can be decreed ("the Earth is flat", etc.).  That there might be
> infiltrators among us should be a "given" in "today's threat
> environment".  That Gagnon might be one of them -- well, no one
should take
> it on faith, which is why I've documented my case against him, and
why I
> recommend others do the same if they think they have been pushing a
rock up
> the wrong hill, like I was, like Grossman is, like Sheila is, like
others will.
> I could go on of course, and let myself be dragged into another
> about a loser, albeit a very important one for those who want to
> make a difference in opposing nuclear power in space, and a real
stone in
> my shoe, but if anyone really cares, the truth is already out
there.  I've
> posted it.  I stand by it.  It's a very closed issue, and I'm sure
it's a
> water-tight case.
> Russell Hoffman
> Concerned Citizen
> Carlsbad, CA
> Note:  As I write this, CNN Headline News is now reporting (8 pm
PST , Feb.
> 3rd, 2003) that NASA is saying the Columbia debris may be toxic,
but is not
> radioactive.  Maybe that means they found all the radioactive
pieces or
> believe they vaporized in the high atmosphere, but who knows?
>  From what I've heard, in addition to possible plutonium payloads,
> "elevons", rudder, and nose section might have had Depleted Uranium
in them
> (747s do), and there might have been some radiation on board for
> experiments, too.  Maybe NASA is telling the truth this time!  But
> could have been Cassini, which had 72.3 pounds of Pu 238 on board,
and many
> more nuclear missions are planned.
> Running the SWF directly instead of the html (which just runs the
> anyway) seems to allow the image to scale better in your browser
(at least
> if run from IE6):
> (Requires IE6 or Netscape 7, Flash MX, one 300K download,  then
there is no
> further Internet activity unless you click out of the animation.)
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> At 12:17 PM 2/3/2003 , sheila baker wrote:
> Subject: [EF!] Mighty Foe of Nukes in Space, Bruce Gagnon, not an
> Dear Earth Firsters,
> I want you to know that I totally disagree with
> Russell's branding of Bruce Gagnon as a movement
> infiltrator. I have not always agreed with Bruce's
> approach to ending weapons in space, and still oppose
> the ""SPace Preservation Bill"" and accompanying World
> Treaty. Bruce has carried and promoted this bill as
> have many in the peace and environmental movement. The
> bill's section 6 has our tax dollars (if you pay them,
> that is) going to commercial development,
> reconnaisance, surveillance, remote sensing, and
> ""R&D"" of outer space (we all know what that's
> about). But hey, this is the famous Dennis Kucinich's
> bill. So, peaceniks around the world buy into his
> deweaponizing outer space as if it is the gospel
> truth. Russell has sharply seen through this crap, but
> others are still carrying the torch for it. Doesn't
> mean they are infiltrators, and in the case of Bruce
> Gagnon, the hardest working, most radical guy in the
> no nukes in space world. Can't say enough for Bruce,
> as he has taken all the criticism for protesting the
> holy space exploration at the very time the holier
> Columbia went down, complete with nukes. Bruce
> gathered together the New MExico anti-war folks and
> protested the pro-space nuke Albuquerque conference
> when folks were 'mourning' the loss of the astronauts
> (never mine the health loss of the 70 who touched the
> toxic rocket parts). Bruce also helped the California
> Central Coast gather itself together to fight the
> mighty evil one-Vandenberg AFB and the very first
> missile defense test launch in October 1999 (Catholic
> Workers and Santa Barbara Greens have always been
> vigiled at VAFB, though).
> So for all who want Aerospace Caucus, pro space
> development Kucinich for President, look deep at Bruce
> as one who has fought space mining and colonizing and
> been the lone voice in the wilderness, knowing the
> toxic nature of such folly. Bruce just gave you what
> you wanted, Kucinich wrapped in a silver lining and
> looking alot like Jesus.
> I reject Kucnich as divinely perfect human being, love
> his ABM Treaty withdrawal lawsuit as well as his
> strong opposition to Iraq (even though the guy has
> also pushed for Nato expansion and on the Balkans Nato
> Caucus) and view him just as a human being like
> myself, Bruce, you and everyone. We are all subject to
> error, and hopefuly will listen to each other when we
> disagree with each other's approach without
> classifiying each other as infiltrators.
> In Solidarity to All,
> -sheila baker
> ______________
> (Yahoo! groups info)
> ====================================================
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
> *************************************************>
> rhoffman@a...

(Yahoo! stuff)


-----Original Message-----
From: Russell D. Hoffman []
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 12:58 PM
To: Arthur Doucette
Subject: Could a spy sat have been in Columbia's cargo bay?

Hi Arthur,

Would it have been absolutely utterly physically impossible to carry spy
satellite on Columbia's last mission?

Thanks in advance for your opinion,



From: "Doucette, Arthur" <>
To: "'Russell D. Hoffman'" <>
Subject: RE: Could a spy sat have been in Columbia's cargo bay?
Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2003 10:42:18 -0500

Hi Russell,

Would it be impossible to carry a spy satellite? No.

Would it be practical? I think not. The shuttle is not an overly stable
platform compared to typical spy satellites. (were talking minute vibrations
here but they severely impact high resolution cameras), The other issue is
the orbital inclination is a quite high 59 degrees so it would sweep a
chosen target maybe once a day at most. Spy satellites are either
geosynchronous or if lower they are in flatter orbits so they can sweep the
same target area on every pass.

The physical reason it would not be practical is Columbia had both the very
large Spacehab double science module and the extended stay package installed
in the cargo bay.

Between the two they take up almost all the room available. There were a few
"hitchhiker" canisters along the sides of the cargo bay as well but these
are too small to be a sophisticated spy satellite posing as something else.

One thing to keep in mind is that everything on the shuttle has to be
accounted for and its exact weight known as it is critical to the orbital
insertion calculations which determine engine burn. NASA could fake what
something is but not its weight.




[[[ IMHO, it would be possible to inaccurately list the weight of one object as less than it actually is, so you could add another object off the record books.   It seems unlikely to me that Israel would have ignored this golden opportunity to put a new spy satellite into orbit.  Highly elliptical orbits are useful for getting occasional but relatively close looks at things; flatter orbits give further-away views, but more frequent ones. -- rdh ]]]



Please visit my updated NO NUKES IN SPACE animation for look at NASA's nuclear history:

-- rdh

Posted online February 10th, 2003

Minor changes have been made to this published version by the original author, highlighted bold deep blue color. -- rdh