24 August 2001
1. NMD: WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DEFEAT A MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM?
Do a rain dance. Philip Coyle, former head of the Pentagon's test
and evaluation office, says the effectiveness of X-band radar
would be seriously weakened by rain, hail or even high clouds.
Analysts are now insisting that the Pentagon must test the X-band
radar in rain, and North Korea is recruiting meteorologists.
2. ABM "DEADLINE": WN REVEALS THE REAL DATE FOR U.S. WITHDRAWAL.
The big news on Wednesday was that Russia was given a November
deadline to agree to U.S. development of a national missile
defense, otherwise the U.S. would announce withdrawal from the
ABM Treaty, with or without Russia
(WN 27 Jul 01).
Big deal, ABM is dead either way. The source of the story was John Bolton, the
chief arms control negotiator, who said the two sides should show
progress by the time Putin visits Bush on his Texas ranch in
November. Thursday, Bolton began backtracking. He had predicted
U.S withdrawal from the treaty would take place in "months rather
than years." Reporters thought that meant a few months, but it
literally means 23 months or less, Bolton explained, since
"years" means at least two. Friday, President Bush stepped in to
clarify things: a) the U.S. will withdraw, b) there is no fixed
deadline, c) we would like to have Russia join us. WN predicts
the withdrawal announcement will indeed come in November.
3. SENATOR NO: WHEN DOES WHAT'S NEW APPLAUD A HELMS DECISION?
When Helms decides to retire. The unreconstructed Senator from
North Carolina made it official: he will not run for another
term, which would start in 2003. It's probably not a coincidence
that his announcement came just as the White House was making it
clear that the hated ABM treaty will be history by 2003. Jesse
hates a lot of things, but nothing more than the ABM treaty.
4. NMD PROTESTS: THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE LAW.
In the past,
protesters arrested at the NMD test site have faced misdemeanor
trespassing charges, but a group from Greenpeace was shocked to
learn last week that for their role in a demonstration waged last
month they face felony charges of "conspiracy to violate a safety
zone." The maximum penalty would be six years in prison and
fines of $250,000. Such harsh treatment is unusual for protests
not resulting in violence or the destruction of property.
5. THE AUGUST EFFECT: MILLIONS PLAYED, THERE WAS NO WINNER.
In addition to Condit/Levy, the huge coverage this week was Power
Ball. WN suggests that would-be players just send us their
dollar. The odds of winning are exactly the same to within eight