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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

All the Sense in the World 

Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap:
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday it makes "all the sense in the world" to study the feasibility of designing a nuclear weapon capable of penetrating deeply buried targets.

Rumsfeld defended the proposed 8.5 million-dollar study of a "robust nuclear earth penetrator" at a Senate hearing after it came under fire from Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat . . . .

"It is beyond me as to why you are proceeding with this program when the laws of physics won't allow a missile to be driven deeply enough to retain the fallout which will spew in hundreds of millions of cubic feet if it is a hundred kilotons," Feinstein said.

Rumsfeld said more than 70 countries have programs to build facilities underground, and have available to them equipment that can dig chambers the size of a basketball court from rock in a single day . . . .

He said the administration wanted see if it is feasible to develop weapons casings hard enough to penetrate "not with a large nuclear weapon but with either a conventional capability or a very small nuclear capability in the event that the United States of America at some point down the road decided they wanted to undertake that type of project."

The proposal has been attacked by arms control advocates as a step toward developing a weapon that would lower the threshhold for the use of nuclear weapons.
For deeper insight into the psychology that leads the U.S. to abandon "inconvenient" treaties and pour billions into research that will almost certainly make Americans less safe in the long run, read on:
The space industry's key players loudly applauded a speech on maintaining the United States' lead in space presented by the commander of Air Force Space Command at the National Space Symposium's Corporate Partner Dinner at the Broadmoor Hotel April 5.

General Lance W. Lord addressed an audience of more than 900 people comprised primarily of corporate officers from the command's industry partners on day two of the week-long conference . . . .

Citing Monday night's NCAA men's basketball national championship game, General Lord pointed out how even a large advantage can be threatened. Eventual winner North Carolina saw a 15-point edge whittled down to two before it pulled out a 75-70 win.

"That goes to show no lead is safe. No lead really lasts unless you keep working on your game," General Lord said.
Especially when the other side is playing on a regulation-size subterranean court.

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