Disturbing News: Park Police arm themselves against US citizens

Matt Jensen mattj@newsblip.com
Tue, 31 Jul 2001 12:34:16 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 31 Jul 2001, Bill Humphries wrote:

> For the sake of the FoRK Fairness Doctrine, Joe Conason's all distraught 
> that the quarry in the missile intercept test from last week had a GPS 
> beacon on it [2]. The cynical explaination would be that it was to 'rig' 
> the test. The other explanation would be that you wanted to track the 
> dummy reentry vehicle to see how badly you missed it. Conason reports 
> that his sources say it was to help steer the kill vehicle, but there's 
> so much noise out there that I'd tend to think it was instrumentation 
> and not 'enhancement.'

Well, the Pentagon explanation, from the Reuters story Conason refers to,
admits that the beacon was to help in interception, not tracking. See
below.  You wouldn't need to be cynical to reach this explanation, since
Conason said the Reuters story "quoted a Pentagon official who who
'conceded that real warheads in an attack would not carry such helpful

(But even if the Pentagon didn't admit it, after all the data fudging and
suppression the Pentagon has done on this over the last decade, it would
be fair to call a doubter a 'realist', rather than a 'cynic'.)

-Matt Jensen


Officials Say Beacon Aids Anti-Missile Test
By Charles Aldinger

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. anti-missile weapon was able to destroy a
test warhead in space on July 14 partly because a beacon on the target
signaled its location during much of the flight, defense officials said on
The officials confirmed a report by Defense Week that the ''hit-to-kill''
weapon was guided to the vicinity of the speeding warhead high over the
Pacific Ocean by signals from the electronic beacon in a successful,
highly publicized test.

But they stressed in interviews with Reuters that the weapon, fired at the
oncoming warhead from Kwajalein Atoll, used its own on-board seekers and
navigation system to home in on and shatter the target in the final phase
of the test.

Critics have charged that such tests to date have been unrealistic,
including this month's second successful U.S. military interception of a
warhead in four tries. The test gave impetus to President Bush (news - web
sites)'s controversial plan to build a defense against missile attack.

``The only thing that it (the beacon) does is help get the booster in the
right direction,'' said Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Lehner, a spokesman for
the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. ``The weapon finds the target
and hits it.'' ... "