-Caveat Lector-

Tim Weiner is a proven liar, according to the GAO and others. No,
thanks!  I am certainly NOT in the mood to read any liberal
propaganda right now, especially considering  it is from this
source.  Rest assured, he IS well known but it is for his shameful
publications of false information in attempts to further gut the
military and intel.  And I am not subscribing to your implication
that the CIA, NSA or FBI or any military intelligence agency bombed
the WTC. Period.  I am sure the ones who did this find you a great
comfort. While the nation tries to unite to face this, there are
always a few who put their own agenda first.  In my day, this was
considered uncouth and faintly treasonous.  At best, you are
wasting both our time.

Publications of the Center for Security Policy
No. 94-D 77

   25 July 1994


(Washington, D.C.): Like the Spring bringing swallows to
Capistrano, the congressional season for finalizing spending
decisions related to strategic defenses against missile attack
seems to produce a predictable annual phenomenon: Zealous opponents
of what little remains of spending for such defenses can rely upon
an unscrupulous reporter for the New York Times, Tim Weiner, to
generate controversy and confusion -- conditions that lend
themselves to further reductions in investments in anti-missile

The latest Weiner salvo was unleashed on the Times' front page last
Saturday, 23 July 1994 under the headline, "Inquiry Finds 'Star
Wars' Tried Plan to Exaggerate Test Results. The lead paragraph was
no less provocative: "Federal investigators have concluded that
'Star Wars' officials conducted a deception program in the 1980s as
part of a plan to make the Soviet Union think the ballistic
missile-defense project was far more advanced than it was.

'Deja Vu All Over Again'

Such statements call to mind the frenzy kicked off by Mr. Weiner at
approximately the same point during last year's budget cycle. On 18
August 1993, the New York Times gave front-page treatment to a
libelous and factually unfounded story under Mr. Weiner's by-line
concerning a 1984 missile intercept test called the Homing Overlay
Experiment (HOE). This test, the fourth in a series conducted by
the Army and sponsored of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI),
was deemed an extraordinary success -- involving the first
successful destruction of one missile by another by direct impact,
without the aid of explosive devices. As such, it was pointed to as
a proud proof of the feasibility of advanced strategic defenses by
their supporters. And for SDI's critics, debunking or discrediting
this test became a high priority.

It was, consequently, momentous when Tim Weiner charged in the
Times that the fourth HOE test was deliberately "rigged" to assure
its success, to deceive the Soviets and -- intentionally or
otherwise -- to con the Congress. He quoted "former Reagan
Administration officials" (sic) as saying that "to insure that the
missile defense program would be seen as a success, the test was
faked." And he cited an unnamed "scientist" to the effect that: "We
put a beacon with a certain frequency on the target vehicle. On the
interceptor we had a receiver." Mr. Weiner added, "In effect, the
scientist said, the target was talking to the missile, saying:
'Here I am. Come and get me.'" Congressional critics of the SDI
program like Sen. David Pryor (D-AR) and Rep. Patricia Schroeder
(D-CO) were quoted in the article confirming the thrust of the
report and/or expressing outrage at its content in a way calculated
to lend authority to Mr. Weiner's claims.

In fact, the report about the beacon transmitting targeting data to
the interceptor -- like so much in Mr. Weiner's reporting -- was
absolutely wrong. The interceptor had no C-Band radio receiver
compatible with and capable of reading what was being transmitted
from the target for range-safety and other instrumentation
purposes. On 9 September 1993, then-Secretary of Defense Les Aspin
announced the results of a Pentagon investigation into this and
other charges served up by Mr. Weiner and the New York Times: "[The
experiment] was not rigged by the inclusion of a radar beacon...on
the target or by any other means. The experiment demonstrated what
it purported to demonstrate, namely that the final guidance of the
interceptor to a direct hit was done by the onboard heat

On that occasion, Secretary Aspin also disputed other points
prominently featured in the original Weiner articles and a
subsequent one published on 27 August 1993.(2) These included,
notably, distortions and/or misrepresentations concerning the use
and nature of measures to enhance the signature of the fourth HOE
test's target vehicle. They also described the placement aboard the
target of "a bomb" that purportedly was to be used to suggest that
an intercept had been achieved -- even if it had not been. In his
rebuttal, Mr. Aspin essentially endorsed statements challenging the
Weiner reports that had previously been issued by his predecessor,
Caspar Weinberger, by the director of the Strategic Defense
Initiative Organization at the time of the fourth HOE test, Lt.
Gen. James Abrahamson, and by the then-commander of the Army
Strategic Defense Command, Maj. Gen. Eugene Fox. (3)

When In Doubt, Press On

What is really remarkable about Mr. Weiner's latest assault on the
truth is that much of the article published last weekend actually
documents his previous inaccuracies and misrepresentations. In
fact, in reporting on the results of a General Accounting Office
study (performed at the request of Sen. Pryor after the results of
Secretary Aspin's investigation were made known), Mr. Weiner gave
the careful reader plenty of reason to distrust his accuracy, if
not his integrity. The following quotes from the Weiner article of
23 July are illustrative:

The GAO found that the original Weiner report was egregiously
wrong: "The [GAO] report directly contradicted accusations, made by
four men who worked for the Star Wars program...that Star Wars
officials rigged the fourth test in the series as part of the
deception program. It found no evidence that a beacon on board the
target missile sent a signal to the interceptor missile saying, in
effect, 'come and get me'...."

The GAO found that the test was "not deceptive": "The report said
the enhancements Star Wars officials took to double the chance that
the fourth test would succeed were secretive, but not deceptive."
(Emphasis added.)

The GAO found that the test was not part of the so-called
"deception" plan: "The deception program had been abandoned [in
1984] and, in the opinion of the [GAO] investigators, no deceptive
measure remained...."

The GAO found that the so-called "bomb" could not be used as part
of a deception: "A bomb [actually a spotting charge consisting of a
mere 320 grams of high explosive] was on board the target missile
in the fourth test, though military officials told the
investigators that it was not wired to go off on...command."

The GAO found that the test practices were "reasonable": "The
investigators concluded that these enhancements were reasonable
from the perspective of Strategic Defense Initiative officials
trying to prove the program could work."(4)

In short, the General Accounting Office -- an organization known
for its studies' uncanny ability to provide congressional sponsors
with virtually any conclusion they want -- has produced a study for
Sen. Pryor that has a bottom line that is, presumably, very
different from the one desired: On virtually every point, Tim
Weiner's case against the Strategic Defense Initiative and its
leaders was erroneous. This fact may explain why this GAO study
remains classified and unavailable except when leaked to
journalists like Mr. Weiner.

The Bottom Line

The Center for Security Policy deplores the blatant advocacy
journalism in which Tim Weiner and the New York Times persist in
opposing programs to defend the United States against missile
attack. Surely a new low has been reached in this regard, however,
when the Times uses precious page-one space to compound the damage
it has previously done to the program -- and the national
interest -- by promoting afresh assertions that have repeatedly
been disproved. The Center calls for the immediate release of the
GAO study on the Weiner charges. And it calls upon the newspaper
that considers itself to be the Nation's journal of record to
present the GAO's conclusions fairly -- i.e., under a front-page
headline and lead graph that accurately describe what amounts to a
complete vindication for the SDI program and a thorough repudiation
of Mr. Weiner and the New York Times.

- 30 -

1. Interestingly, in his 23 July article, Mr. Weiner chose to make
no mention of the findings of the study commissioned by Mr. Aspin
in response to his earlier reporting. Perhaps he feared that, had
he reminded his editors of the wholesale debunking of his earlier
journalistic feats, his latest efforts would have been given
appropriately short shrift -- rather than front-page placement.

2. For more on the Aspin rebuttal, see the Center's press release
entitled Center to New York Times: How About An Apology Now That
the Pentagon Has Debunked False Claims About SDI Test? (No. 93-P
77, 9 September 1993).

3. See the Center for Security Policy's Decision Briefs entitled,
All the 'News' that Fits the Times' Political Agenda: Latest
Assault on SDI Unfounded, Indefensible, (No. 93-D 70, 18 August
1993) and 'Paper Trail' Confirms New York Times' Agenda, Sloppy
Reporting on Recent SDI Conspiracy Allegations, (No. 93-D 71, 26
August 1993).

4. This conclusion closely tracks with a May 1988 publication by
the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment entitled, SDI:
Technology Survivability and Software. This study makes clear that
OTA -- an institutional hotbed of SDI critics -- was aware of and
untroubled by the steps taken as part of a legitimate weapons
development effort:

"The simulated reentry vehicle (RV) fired from Vandenberg Air Force
Base in California [as the target for the fourth HOE test] radiated
about 10 times more infrared (IR) energy than that expected from
today's Soviet RVs, and future RVs could have even lower IR
signatures with thermal shrouds....These comments on the SDI
validation experiments should not be construed as criticism of SDI
Organization management. These are all sound experiments properly
designed to collect bits of information necessary on the path to
developing a working system." (Emphasis added.)


NOTE: The Center's publications are intended to invigorate and
enrich the debate on foreign policy and defense issues. The views
expressed do not necessarily reflect those of all members of the
Center's Board of Advisors.

Top of Page © 1988-1998, Center for Security Policy

----- Original Message -----
From: "Samantha L." <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2001 9:34 AM
Subject: Re: [CTRL] Tim Weiner's "Blank Check"

-Caveat Lector-

  Tim Weiner won a Pulitzer Prize for the series of articles which
became this outstanding book.  He was a journalist for the
Inquirer at the time and is now with the NY Times.  The book is not
opinion piece, it is a superbly sourced piece of investigative

  The overall point is, though, that if you believe we have
oversight in all matters pertaining to the military and/or
intelligence, you
live in Pollyanna Land.


In a message dated 9/14/01 3:20:03 AM Central Daylight Time,

> Well, that is your opinion.  Thank you for the suggestion.  After
>  reading a certain amount of books on these big expose's
>  it seems at times!) I developed a peculiar habit.  I began to
>  compare and contrast the views of the various authors to what I
>  remembered actually happened.  Then with compuers, I could
>  check on some of it and libraries helped.  Court records if you
>  get to them.  I just have a hard time believing everything I
>  especially when it is contrary to things I know about from a
>  of sources.  Some people simply do not believe everything they
>  read.  Unfortunately, some do.

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