Flaw in US anti-missile system covered up

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Flaw in US anti-missile system covered up, says scientist

Source: AFP | Published: Friday May 19, 8:33 AM

WASHINGTON, May 18 - A prominent scientist has accused developers of the US National Missile Defence system of tampering with test results to hide evidence that sensors on the missile interceptor could not distinguish between a warhead and a simple balloon decoy.

Theodore Postol, an MIT professor and NMD critic, called on the White House to appoint a board of independent scientists to review the test data before President Bill Clinton decides whether to order deployment of the anti-missile system.

"This highly organised and systematic pattern of actions has the appearance of an elaborate scientific and technical blunder, which urgently needs to be investigated by a team of scientists who are recognised for their scientific accomplishments and independence from the Pentagon," Postol wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Podesta.

The Pentagon said such an inquiry would be 'premature,' and that its Ballistic Missile Defence Organisation was preparing a 'line by line analysis' of Postol's charges.

But Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said the professor's criticism focused on data from a flight test involving an interceptor that no longer is being used.

"We believe that the current interceptor is doing a good job in discriminating between warheads and decoys," he said.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), May 18, 2000

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