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News ::
Why did Bush drop the AMB Treaty Now?
21 Dec 2001
Planning for Whose Future?
Bruce Gagnon on the complete nuclearization and weaponization of space.

Planning for Whose Future?
Bruce Gagnon on the complete nuclearization and weaponization of space
by Amy Pincus Merwin

Bruce Gagnon, the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and
Nuclear Power in Space, was the final speaker at the Peace, Justice and
Globalization Conference recently held at the University of Oregon
campus in Eugene October 19-21, 2001. Complementing and illustrating his
talk were dozens of images from current newspaper and magazine articles,
old and new books, and documents from the aerospace industry and the
military, all of which helped ground his incredible information in
everyday reality. His speech was a chilling reminder that while most of
us try to cope with the existence of conventional warfare, the U.S.
Military, NASA, and the Bush administration are using our tax dollars to
build weapons in space.

Some Background
To understand the nature of the U.S. space program, we must look to its
roots in Nazi Germany. Werner von Braun, a brilliant rocket scientist,
was recruited by the German Nazi Major General Walter Dornberger (an
originator of the concepts behind ballistic missile defense and orbiting
battle stations) to build the B-1 and B-2 rockets which terrorized
Europe near the end of WWII. The Germans built a production and launch
facility called Peenemunde, located along the Baltic Sea, to which
thousands of Jews and French resistance fighters were brought as slaves
to build the rockets.

After the Allies bombed this installation, the Nazis moved their
operation to a more secure location in the Hartz Mountain tunnel called
Middlewerk. They then built a new concentration camp called Dora, and
brought 40,000 Jews and gypsies to serve as slaves building their
missiles and rockets. These slaves repeatedly sabotaged the rocket
manufacturing by urinating on the wires and leaving screws unturned,
causing the rockets to go haywire. (Ultimately the Nazis hung 100
slaves/POWs to set an example to others to refrain from sabotage.) When
the Allies arrived at Dora, they found approximately 25,000 dead whose
bodies had not yet been cremated.

After WWII, 1500 Nazi scientists never went to trial in Nuremberg, but
instead were smuggled into the U.S. by Operation Paper Clip. One hundred
of them — including Werner von Braun and his team — were sent to
Huntsville, AL. When NASA was created immediately after WWII, von Braun
became the first director of its Marshall Space Flight Center. Kurt
Debus, Peenemunde’s V-2 flight director, became the first director of
NASA’s Kennedy Center. Arthur Rudolph, who cracked the whip over the
slaves at Middlewerk, became the project director for NASA’s Saturn IV
rocket program that took the U.S. to the moon. And astonishingly, Major
General Walter Dornberger, a member of the SS, became VP at Bell
Aerospace Corporation (the company that amassed its fortune from the
manufacture of the helicopters we used in Viet Nam) in NY, and served on
the military oversight committee monitoring NASA. Testifying before
Congress in 1958, Dornberger felt that “America’s top priority ought to
be to conquer, occupy and utilize space between the Earth and the moon.”

“Masters of Space”
The Pentagon’s U.S. Space Command (U.S.S.C.), headquartered at Peterson
Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, CO, has its slogan engraved on its
building and embroidered on their uniform patches: “The Masters of
Space.” Gagnon sees an ideological similarity between the two slogans:
Hitler’s “Deutschland Uber Alles,” which translates to “Germany Over
All” (i.e., “The Master Race”), and our “The Masters of Space.”

The U.S.S.C. has a planning document called Vision for 2020 with a
nearly cartoon-like cover image of a satellite hitting targets on the
Earth, and which states that space forces will emerge to protect
military and commercial national interests and investments. With
superior space technology, ‘they’ can see and hear everything, and
target anything on Earth.

The Gulf War was the first war won with the help of satellite technology
that was able to pre-identify, from space, all our targets within Iraq.
The U.S. Military then bombed over 90% of those targets and tested its
new laser weapons and Stealth bombers during the following weeks.
Consequently, Charles Honer, then Commander of the U.S. Space Command,
asserted that we came out of the Gulf War deeply sensitized to the
military value of space. He claimed that whoever controls space will
control the outcome [of any situation].

In 1996, in an Aviation Week and Space Technology article titled
“U.S.S.C. Prepares for Future Combat Mission in Space,” General Joseph
Ashy stated that, “…absolutely we are going to fight in space…from
space…and into space. The Space Command will be a growing Command.”

A June 1999 news release stated that the war in Kosovo was the second
space war. The U.S. Military’s new weapon, the computer, coupled with
its satellites, invaded Yugoslavia’s computers so it was unable to
protect itself from our airstrikes — we had pre-emptively destroyed
their command control capability, and their banking system and records,
electronically. Former President Clinton initiated a new Space Command
program called Computer Network Attack, and established college
scholarships for our best and brightest computer ‘whiz’ kids — to
prepare them to work for Computer Network Attack.

In “Premises for Policy: Military Superiority in the 21st Century,” a
more recent document written by Space News staff writers Jeremy Singer
and Colin Clark, it is stated that the Department of Defense must invest
in the means to neutralize space both commercially and militarily.
Hence, the Pentagon claims the right to destroy other countries’
commercial satellites if they deem it necessary.

The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) supports two
approaches. One approach, National Missile Defense (NMD), is purportedly
a program designed to protect America from attack by ‘rogue nations.’
This system would deploy over 100 interceptors in Alaska and North
Dakota, and cost only $60 billion to deploy. For example, considered a
‘rogue state,’ China has only 20 nuclear missiles capable of hitting the
U.S., whereas the U.S. has 7,500 nuclear missiles that we can deploy to
China. The goal with the NMD is to intercept a missile mid-air in deep
space to protect the U.S.

Gagnon stated that NMD is not about national defense but is really a
Trojan Horse intended to set the stage for dominating and controlling
space. China and Russia say NMD will initiate a new arms race. In the
U.N. General Assembly in November 2000, a Chinese and Russian resolution
called for a global ban on weapons in space. The vote follows: 163
countries in favor, no oppositions, and three abstentions — the U.S.,
Israel, and Micronesia. The official U.S. position was that because
there is no problem, there is no need to negotiate a global ban on
weapons in space.

The U.S., with Lockheed Martin, is working furiously to deploy military
satellites in space. One such satellite is the Milstar, which
communicates with all U.S. war fighters on the ground, in tanks, on
boats, or in the air. Apparently all U.S. warfare on the Earth today is
now coordinated from space.

The second approach of BMDO is Theater Missile Defense (TMD), which
doesn’t wait until a missile is in space but surrounds an offending
country and then hits, while in the boost phase, whatever missile the
country attempts to launch. TMD would be based in the ocean, on land,
and in the air. The Air Force would create an airborne laser — a
converted Boeing 747 with a laser attached to its nose — flying 24/7 to
knock out missiles before they launch.

A March 1999 New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story stated that “for
globalization to work America must not be afraid to act like the
superpower that it is.” Locate this document at, or write U.S. Space Command, Director
of Plans, Peterson AFB, CO 80914-3110 DSN 692-3498 or call Comm (719)

Asia and China
Richard Nixon, the first president to recognize China, created the ‘one
China policy’ and did not take a position on the dispute between Taiwan
and the mainland. But Bill Clinton lifted the arms sales ban to Taiwan
while he was president, and President Bush is currently selling weapons
to Taiwan. Gagnon believes that George Bush is here to finish what
Ronald Reagan began with Star Wars.

A May 27, 2000 Washington Post article, “For Pentagon, Asia Moving to
Forefront,” stated that the U.S. will now manage China by doubling our
naval military presence in the Pacific region — including lengthening
airport runways in Guam and Wake Island so they can handle B-1 and B-2
bombers, and pre-positioning cruise missiles on Guam. In an analysis by
Paul Mann titled Theater Defense Endorsed for Asia, both major U.S.
political parties joined together to promote TMD as the first phase of
Star Wars and in forward-deploying TDM to surround China.

The U.S. has 40,000 troops in Japan and another 40,000 in South Korea,
where TMD will be deployed. The U.S. also plans to deploy intermissile
defense into Taiwan, Australia, and on ships in the Asian-Pacific
region, beginning with a coastal encirclement of China.

In September 2001, Bush publicly stated that it’s alright for China to
build and test more nuclear weapons. In wondering why Bush wants China
to build more weapons, an obvious connection is that the number-one U.S.
industrial export is weapons. According to Gagnon, war and TMD comprise
Bush’s global marketing strategy to sell more and more weapons. For
example, we currently sell weapons to Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Saudi
Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and on. Therefore, we must
keep permanent U.S. military bases in Saudi Arabia, from which we weekly
bomb Iraq. Yet since 1991 600,000 children in Iraq have died as a result
of U.S. bombing and economic sanctions. Regardless, the deal-making
proceeds: a mid-October issue of Time Magazine reported that while in
Oman, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld negotiated the
positioning of U.S. bases there in exchange for a U.S. arms deal.

How do these activities translate in Asia? The previous encirclement of
China was from its coastal side, but in this war on Afghanistan China
also becomes encircled at its landlocked borders as well. Gagnon
believes that one outcome of this war is a geopolitical move to place
military bases in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan,
Turkmenistan, and other countries throughout the region. With its
economy under the control of the World Bank and the IMF, Russia is no
longer a potent world power, and NATO alliances developed on its eastern
borders and soon within its borders. Thus China remains the last
frontier (with a huge consumer population/market) not fully under
multinational corporate control. The ’stans, all bordering China, have
large reserves of natural gas, coal, oil, and uranium. With the
dissolution of the former U.S.S.R., whoever controls this region will
control the pipelines that carry these resources to market.

The U.S.S.C. Long Range Plan document reveals its goal of the Earth
being fully encircled by the new space technologies: the Star Wars
Satellites (SBIRS) under development which will see, hear, and target
everything on Earth; the Military Space Plane, which is the successor to

the space shuttle; and Reagan’s favorite, the space-based laser. In
January 2001, the U.S.S.C. generated a computer war-‘game’ set in 2017
between the U.S. and China. In this ‘game,’ the space plane
pre-emptively attacks China by descending from space, striking China,
and then returning to space. The second weapon used in the ‘game’ was
the space-based laser, hitting targets in China.

According to The Network, a Catholic social-justice newsletter, the U.S.
is moving away from international treaties such as the Land Mine Treaty,
the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and
the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and into a position of domination.
For instance, House majority whip Tom Delay confronted the Chinese
Ambassador on Meet the Press and warned him about underestimating the
resolve of the American people. Remember the ‘accidental’ bombing of the
Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia? Combine the memory of that situation with
the humiliation of the Chinese Ambassador on American TV and our
encirclement of China by land and sea, and Gagnon queries, "What will
China do?"

Space Junk and Orbiting Nukes
In a 1989 demonstration at the Kennedy Space Center, former Apollo
astronaut Edward Mitchell stated that we will not be able to get a
rocket off Earth if the military is allowed to test or build weapons in
space, because of all the orbiting “space junk.” Today, 110,000 pieces
of space junk larger than 1/2? are orbiting Earth. Recently, the
International Space Station had to be moved to another orbit because
space junk was dangerously close to it.

A December 1999 Harpers Magazine article stated that 34 nuclear reactor
cores orbiting the Earth will fall back toward the planet over the next
1,000 years. Since the beginning of the Space Age, the U.S. and former
U.S.S.R. have launched 40 nuclear-powered military satellites; several
of these have already fallen back to Earth, hit the atmosphere, broken
apart, and burned up upon re-entry, spreading radiation globally.
According to Dr. John Gofman, one of the co-discoverers of uranium, the
1963 U.S. Military Satellite, called SNAP 9A, with two pounds of
plutonium on board, fell back to Earth spreading plutonium throughout
the planet’s atmosphere and resulting, at least partially, in the
increased cancers across the globe today.

Space Treaties Be Damned
In NASA scientist John Lewis’s book, Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from
the Asteroids, Comets and Planets, he claims that there is gold on the
asteroids, magnesium, cobalt and uranium on Mars, and Helium-3 and water
on the moon. Lewis predicts that whoever controls these bodies will be
rich beyond their wildest dreams. A 1995 New York Times article, “Who
Will Mine the Moon?”, asks the question, Will the moon become the
Persian Gulf of the 21st Century? and states that the Helium-3 on the
moon could be used for fusion power.

The U.N.’s Moon Treaty says that no one can own the moon, claim
ownership of the moon, or put bases on the moon. In addition, the 1967
Outer Space Treaty states that all space bodies are the province of all
humankind, and no one can put weapons of mass destruction in space. But
former astronaut and geologist, Harrison Schmitt, has created a
corporation to mine the moon, and recently asked Congress to override
the Moon Treaty and allow U.S. aerospace corporations to make land
claims on the moon.

Currently, NASA is concluding the process of mapping the surface of
Mars. The next step is to launch plutonium-based rovers to extract soil
samples and send those samples back to Earth. According to Gagnon,
NASA’s ultimate goal is to set up human mining colonies, powered by two
nuclear reactors, on Mars by 2016. These colonies would need to be
launched from Cape Canaveral on rockets that have a 10% failure rate.
Nuclear rockets can cut the regular year of travel to Mars in half,
thereby avoiding the space radiation effect (of turning a space
traveler’s body to jello). NASA’s solution is to build rockets powered
by nuclear reactors. They are also expanding facilities to increase the
production of plutonium at labs in Idaho and Tennessee — to fulfill the
‘need’ for more plutonium to fuel space travel. A launch accident with a
nuclear payload or rocket is expected with increased use of nuclear
power, but the production process itself is already killing people: In
1994-96, when building nuclear generators for the 72 pounds of plutonium
carried on the Cassini, 244 cases of radiation contamination were
reported by workers on the project.

Socializing Costs, Privatizing Profits
According to Space News, the early estimates of the cost of the Mars
missions ran up to $400 billion. In addition, the aerospace industry
claims that many Federal agencies run popular entitlement programs with
plenty of ‘pork’ to skim off for Mars exploration. They are lobbying to
limit human services to pay for space exploration and mining. Their plan
is to have the taxpayers pay for research and development of these space
programs, have the people of Earth work like slaves for them, and then
they [the aerospace corporations] will privatize the skies and immorally
but legally “buy” tax-exempt status for their profitable mining and

The forward of John M. Collins’s definitive study commissioned by
Congress, Military Space Forces: the Next 50 Years, was signed by
Congressmen Glenn Spratt, Skelton, Kasich, Blaz, and Volkmer. Collins
states in this book, “Whoever controls the space, Earth and the moon
will control whoever gets on and off Earth.…None of this can be done
without nuclear reactors.”

Only the Truth Can Set Us Free
In 2001, NASA, the Air Force, the Department of Energy, nuclear
academia, and the aerospace industry joined together to complete the
nuclearization and weaponization of space. Yet despite this massive
concentration of interests, today there are no weapons in space. The
skies still belong to everyone, free for us to marvel at the beauty and
mystery of the heavens.

In this era of corporate globalization, a widening gulf between the
haves and the have-nots is spawning worker resistance movements. The
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space believes that
we must create a global movement to protect space from U.S. domination.
They believe that the weapons-in-space consortium’s ultimate goals are
to lower our standard of living, and to condition people to be
subservient to military dominance in and of space. Space itself will be
controlled by the wealthy few who will gain from mining the celestial
bodies and monitoring (from space), if not controlling, all actions of
the people of the Earth.

Bruce Gagnon has faith that we can be liberated by the truth. In order
to accomplish this, we must educate ourselves beyond the soundbites
offered by the mainstream media, and free ourselves from our narrow
consumer mentality, our dependence on (and perceptions of entitlement
to) our creature comforts, and our lifestyles that keep us in bondage to
the corporate control of products and services. He believes that in the
aftermath of the 9/11 tragedies, many people’s hearts and minds are now
open to hear the truth. According to him, now is the time that we must
‘go out in the streets’ and inform people of the truth.

Weapons for Space by Carl Grossman
Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, announced legislation to ban weapons
in space and stop research and development of all space weaponry. Please
ask your legislators to co-sponsor this bill.

This article was printed in The Oregon Peaceworker, Volume 14, Number 10
December, 2001

Copyright November, 2001

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