News Release

Major Military Issues: Bombing Vieques, National Missile Defense, Terrorism Report

ROBERTO RABIN
Director of Vieques Historic Archives and a spokesperson for the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques, Rabin said today: “The people of Vieques, with the wide support of the Puerto Rican community, have mounted an intense campaign to end 60 years of U.S. Navy presence, exercises and destruction of the island of Vieques. Since the death of a civilian security guard on April 19, 1999, there have been protests…. The recent resumption of bombing on April 27 sparked widespread civil disobedience with over 150 people arrested for entering into the bombing zone as human shields to stop the bombing.”
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WILLIAM HARTUNG
President Bush’s speech this afternoon puts National Missile Defense in the spotlight. Hartung is senior research fellow at the World Policy Institute and co-author of Toward a New Nuclear Posture: Challenges for the Bush Administration. He said today: “There is no workable missile defense on the horizon…. A ballistic missile is the least likely method an adversary would choose for delivering a nuclear weapon to U.S. soil…. An early decision to break out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and deploy a missile defense system could spark a renewed global nuclear arms race…. A multi-tiered system of the kind favored by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld will be enormously expensive, dwarfing the $60 billion price tag for the Clinton NMD system and creating a huge potential windfall for the Big Four missile defense contractors.”
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KARL GROSSMAN
Professor of journalism at the State University of New York, Grossman — who just completed production of the film “Star Wars Returns” — will be testifying in London before members of Parliament on Thursday. He said today: “The spin is ‘missile defense,’ but what the administration is seeking to do, in the words of the Rumsfeld Space Commission, is: ‘conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on earth and in space.'”
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WILSON RILES Jr.
Pacific Mountain Region Director of the American Friends Service Committee, Riles said today: “The Bush administration has stepped up the search for another enemy. That does not bode well for the needs of U.S. citizens. ‘Missile defense’ is a major aspect of that; so is targeting China as the enemy. While Clinton was almost near the end of negotiating an agreement with North Korea, Bush basically ended the South Korean president’s initiative to resolve that conflict.”
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BEAU GROSSCUP
Yesterday, the State Department released its annual report “Patterns of Global Terrorism.” Grosscup, who is author of The Newest Explosions of Terrorism, said today: “The report is an important instrument in the continuous effort by the U.S. government to construct a jingoistic image of terrorism.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167