I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
-Albert Einstein (contemplating nuclear devastation)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peace Fleet meets the War Fleet on August 1st

Peace activists to meet the U.S. Navy Fleet arrival at Seafair on August 1, 2012 in Elliott Bay
Contact:     Glen Milner (206) 365-7865
                  Mary Gleysteen (360) 265-1589
                  Day of the event (206) 979-8319

Local activists will stage a water-based nonviolent protest against the glorification of weapons of war at the Seattle Seafair festival.  Peace activists will meet the U.S. Navy fleet in Elliott Bay.

Other peace activists will meet on land near Pier 66 and on Pier 62/63 on the Seattle waterfront at the same time for a nonviolent demonstration against weapons of war.  Demonstrators on land will meet with members of the 2012 Pacific NorthwestInterfaith Peace Walk, who began their walk for peace in Portland on July 22.

What:  Peace activists will meet the U.S. Navy fleet arrival at Seafair.  This is the eleventh year for this demonstration. 

When:  Wednesday, August 1, noon, Peace Fleet in Elliott Bay.  Demonstration on land near Pier 66 at 1 PM.

Where:  Elliott Bay, near Pier 66.  Demonstration on land near Pier 66.

For the fourth year, the Coast Guard has established a special “safety” or no-protest zone around Pier 66 during the fleet arrival.  The zone serves no other purpose than to keep peace vessels away from the pass and review area for the arrival of Navy vessels on the waterfront.  Last year, the roof top of Pier 66 was declared a “private event” and only invited guests were allowed into the area.  This year the Coast Guard has proposed rulemaking for a new regulation with broader definitions for security zones for the fleet arrival.

Why would we demonstrate for peace at a Seattle maritime festival?

Because the celebration of warships in our harbor helps bring about the normalcy of modern war.

The fleet arrival at Seafair is a public relations and recruiting event for the U.S. Navy.  Previous years have brought Trident nuclear submarines complete with nuclear warheads and Navy warships used to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles in the first and second Wars on Iraq and the War on Afghanistan.  The fleet is displayed for four days in downtown Seattle at tremendous cost to taxpayers while crucial social services in education, health care, and transportation are being cut for lack of funds.

Peace Fleet Flagship, 2010

Fact Sheet--Peace activists to meet U.S. Navy Fleet at Seafair on August 1, 2012

Since 2000, anti-war demonstrators have met the Navy fleet arrival in Elliott Bay only to face “security” restrictions by the Coast Guard, Navy and the Port of Seattle.

The new proposed rule is a continuation of attempts that began in 2008 by the Coast Guard to limit demonstrations at the Seafair fleet arrival in Elliott Bay.  The new proposed rule also ignores much public discussion under the previous rule-making procedures and is an attempt to gradually reduce areas for demonstrators in Elliott Bay.  The Coast Guard’s summary of recent rulemaking is at http://www.d13publicaffairs.com/go/doc/21/1099339. 

The Coast Guard proposes to establish a new regulation, 33 CFR 165.1333, which states that “no person or vessel may enter or remain in the security zones… without permission of the COTP.”  This essentially establishes a 500-yard exclusionary zone in which vessel operators must gain permission from the Captain of the Port in order to “enter or remain” in the moving security zones.  The proposed rule is at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR%252BPR%252BN%252BO%252BSR%252BPS;rpp=25;po=0;D=USCG-2011-1126.

Previous rule-making and the previous final rule restricting vessels during the fleet arrival is at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;dct=FR%252BPR%252BN%252BO%252BSR%252BPS;rpp=25;po=0;D=USCG-2010-0062.

On March 2, 2012, Jeffrey Blumberg of the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security completed an investigation of the Coast Guard’s rulemaking procedure in the Puget Sound region.  The finding, in response to Complaint No. 10-08-USCG-0124, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, stated:

As a result of our investigation, we recommended that the USCG work more closely with interested community groups prior to the implementation of exclusion zones, and that appropriate First Amendment concerns be carefully weighed before the creation of exclusion zone rules.  The Coast Guard has concurred with these recommendations.

 However, the Coast Guard never informed individuals in the Puget Sound region and only posted the latest proposed rule in the Federal Register.

There has never been a known or anticipated threat for the Seafair fleet arrival.  The latest available threat assessment, the Port of Seattle Police Seafair 2009 Operations Plan under Terrorist Threats and Activity, stated, “There are no specific threats of violence and no information relating to Seafair that would indicate an increased threat level.”  

A violation of safety zones at Seafair could bring an arrest and a charge resulting in up to six years in jail and/or a $250,000 fine.  The Coast Guard, in addition to establishing the rule, is the same agency that enforces the rule, charges, and rules against any perceived violators in a Coast Guard hearing conducted by a Coast Guard Hearing Officer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lawsuit filed against Bangor Second Explosive's Handling Wharf

News Release issued on June 19, 2012

Environmental lawsuit filed against U.S. Navy’s 2nd Explosives Handling Wharf at Trident nuclear submarine base

Contact:     Kathy George (Harrison, Benis and Spence LLP)
                      (425) 802-1052
                  Glen Milner (Ground Zero Center) (206) 365-7865
                  Steven Gilbert (WA Physicians for Social Responsibility)
                    (206) 527-0926
                  Leonard Eiger (Ground Zero Center) (425) 445-2190

Today, two groups took action to halt construction of a second Explosives Handling Wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor until the public is fully informed about the serious environmental risks of the $715 million project.  The groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tacoma alleging that Navy secrecy surrounding the project is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

The new wharf would be built close to the existing wharf where submarines dock for loading and unloading of Trident missiles.  Plaintiffs are concerned about harm to birds, salmon, seals, whales and other marine life from drilling up to 1,250 pilings and covering an area of water the size of six football fields in ecologically sensitive Hood Canal.

According to Kathy George, Seattle environmental attorney for the plaintiffs, “Before the Navy spends hundreds of millions of tax dollars on this project, Congress and the public are entitled to a complete and open discussion of the risks and less harmful alternatives.”

Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action member Glen Milner stated, “The Navy’s environmental analysis essentially says ‘Don’t worry, trust us.’  But the National Environmental Policy Act was enacted to ensure all significant environmental impacts are disclosed.”

The Navy’s expressed purpose for its $715 million second Explosives Handling Wharf is to support the “Life Extension Program” for the Trident D-5 missiles and Trident strategic weapons on the submarines at Bangor.  The Life Extension Program involves the upgrade of guidance systems, rocket motors in the missiles and other components, which requires additional missile handling operations in Hood Canal.  The Navy announced its decision to proceed with the wharf project on May 18.  The wharf will take four years to build.

Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility member Steven Gilbert stated, “As major disasters such as Fukushima become more common, our nation must decrease the potential risk to our environment instead of increasing it, as with the second Explosives Handling Wharf in Hood Canal.”

The operation of the second Explosives Handling Wharf will double the amount of explosives handled at one time in Hood Canal.  The net explosive weight of the two wharves is equal to 7.4 million pounds of TNT in the form of rocket propellant in the missiles.  The propellant is classified as an HC/D 1.1 explosive, more volatile than TNT, and is capable of detonating upon impact.

Plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit include: Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, and individual, Glen Milner.

Friday, June 1, 2012

TRIDENT: 142 Successful Tests (and counting...)

Hey Trident fans - this just in from the U.S. Navy and it's partner in crime (against national and international law) Lockheed Martin.  They just burned a few hundred million of YOUR hard-earned tax dollars to test launch four more Trident ballistic missiles. The cost of each missile is roughly $70 million. 

Even though the Cold War is long over and "deterrence" is now a worthless concept it's nice to know that these missiles, normally armed with multiple nuclear warheads, will function with such unparalleled reliability, precision and accuracy when the time comes to launch those bad boys.

Here's the story:

This is one of few unsuccessful test launches

Lockheed Martin-Built Trident II D5 Missile's Reliability Record Reaches 142 Successful Test Flights

Navy Launches Four Missiles in Tests

Published: Thursday, May. 31, 2012 - 6:09 am
/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Navy conducted successful test flights April 14 and 16 of four Trident II D5 Fleet Ballistic Missiles (FBMs) built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT). The Navy launched two unarmed missiles each day from the submerged submarine USS Maryland (SSBN 738) in the Atlantic Ocean.

These tests marked the 139th, 140th, 141st and 142nd successful test flights of the Trident II D5 missile since design completion in 1989 – a reliability record unmatched by any other large ballistic missile or space launch vehicle.

"Under the leadership of Navy Strategic Systems Programs, the Trident Strategic Weapon System continues to demonstrate solid reliability in operationally representative flight testing," said Melanie A. Sloane, vice president of Fleet Ballistic Missile programs, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, the Navy's Trident missile prime contractor. "These tests are an important part of the strategic deterrence mission because the mere presence of this highly capable system discourages aggression. The stealth and mobility of the submarine-based Trident Strategic Weapon System give it a unique role in deterrence [who is kidding whom???] as the most survivable leg of the strategic triad, which ensures the security of our nation against any potential adversary."

The Navy launched the missiles as part of Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Tests. The Navy conducts a continuing series of operational system evaluation tests to assure the safety, reliability, readiness and performance of the Trident Strategic Weapon System, as required by the Department of Defense's National Command Authority. The Navy conducts the tests under the testing guidelines of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The missiles were converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices, tracking systems and flight telemetry instrumentation.

First deployed in 1990, the D5 missile currently is aboard OHIO-class and British VANGUARD-class submarines. The three-stage, solid-propellant, inertial-guided ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carries multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., has been the strategic missile prime contractor for the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Programs since the inception of the Fleet Ballistic Missile program more than 50 years ago. Lockheed Martin employees, principally in California, Georgia, Florida, Washington, Utah, Virginia and Scotland, support the design, development, production, test, and operation and sustainment of the Trident Strategic Weapon System.

Lockheed Martin leads the industry in performance and domain expertise in strategic missile and missile defense systems. Lockheed Martin designs and produces ballistic missiles, interceptors, target missiles and reentry systems with unmatched reliability. Lockheed Martin's focus on operational excellence yields affordable high-quality systems and services.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion [THANKS TAXPAYERS!!!]

Media Contact: Lynn Fisher, 408-742-7606; lynn.m.fisher@lmco.com

For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/trident-ii-d5-fleet-ballistic-missile--fbm-.html

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, STRATEGIC SYSTEMS PROGRAMS, DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

SOURCE Lockheed Martin

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/31/4528172/lockheed-martin-built-trident.html#storylink=cpy