Kucinich Bill - GN Responses

June 1, 2005

Bruce Gagnon

After receiving responses from some of our members, including representatives from the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), about the Kucinich space weapons ban bill, we'd like to make the following comments:
  1. The bill calls for a ban on basing weapons in space and the use of weapons to destroy or damage objects in space that are in orbit. The bill also calls for termination of all research, development, testing, and deployment of such weapons.  If passed it would require the President to begin negotiations on a World Treaty to Ban Weapons in Space.  We believe this is generally what we have been calling for.  While we don't think the bill will pass the House, it can be a useful tool to organize around.
  2. All politicians have their contradictions and blind sides. Kucinich, probably one of the better politicians in the U.S., is clearly not without his own contradictions.  He has a NASA facility in his congressional district and thus treads lightly around some key space issues.  We shouldn't be throwing the baby out with the bath water.  We believe he cares about preventing an arms race in space.  Few politicians in the U.S. would go out on a limb to introduce this legislation.
  3. Our name is the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. We are not the global network against "all activity in space." While I am the first to be critical about many things being done now and that are planned for the future, we think we must recognize that our membership is very diverse. Many of our members are not against space exploration. It's really a question of what kind of space exploration is done. What kind of seed is carried into space? We have been consistent about raising those points in the past and will continue to do so in the future. We have been the lonely voice for years talking about mining the sky, corporate takeover of space, the militarization of NASA, and the growing use of nuclear power in space. We will not stop talking about these key issues just because of the Kucinich bill.
  4. It is easy to be against all space activity today. Period. No more launches. But then we do enjoy our satellite directed e-mail, cell phones,etc....

Our Concerns with the Kucinich Bill:

  • When representative Kucinich first introduced this bill in 2001 he included several definitions of space weapons technology that would be banned.  His staff told the Global Network they received pressure from several Washington lobby "arms control" groups that told him they would not support the bill unless he took the "controversial" items out.  He did so.  Many people across the U.S. were angry when he took out these definitions and have made a very good case that without them in the bill no significant ban on weapons in space was possible.  The definitions in the original bill were:  "electronic, psychotronic or information weapons; chemtrails; high altitude ultra low frequency weapons sytems; plasma, electromagnetic, sonic, or ultrasonic weapons; laser weapons systems; strategic, theater, tactical, or extraterrestrial weapons; and chemical, biological, environmental, climate, or tectonic weapons."
  • The 2001 bill also included a definition: "The term 'exotic weapons systems' includes weapons designed to damage space or natural ecosystems (such as the ionosphere and upper atmosphere) or climate, weather, and tectonic systems with the purpose of inducing damage or destruction upon a target population or region on earth or in space."
  • The latest version Kucinich bill also says nothing about nuclear reactors in space, such as Project Prometheus.  It has long been the goal of the Pentagon to put reactors in space to power weapons systems like the space-based laser.
  • U.S. military warfighting satellites could also be classified as weapons in space.  During the 2003 U.S. "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq, over 70% of the weapons used were guided to their targets via space technology.  The Kucinich bill makes no mention of this reality.
Thus the Global Network fully acknowledges the weaknesses of the Space Preservation Act of 2005.  As an organization we will not take a formal position for or against the bill but instead have included it on our web site for public review.  We urge groups that think the bill should go further to contact Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) directly and make your views known.  We urge people to educate their congressional representatives on the key issues left out of the new Kucinich bill. 


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