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Your Calls & Faxes to Senators Needed to Stop 'Divine Strake' Everywhere

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  • timothygbaer
    PLEASE ACT NOW: Call Indiana Senators Lugar and Bayh today or send them faxes to stop Divine Strake everywhere! Free fax is available through Friends
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2 3:45 PM
      PLEASE ACT NOW: Call Indiana Senators Lugar and Bayh today or send
      them faxes to stop "Divine Strake" everywhere!
      Free fax is available through 'Friends Committee for National
      Legislation' (see below for link!).
      AND CIRCULATE THIS!


      Friends,
      As Hoosiers were relieved to learn last week, "Divine Strake", a
      massive Defense Department test that simulates a nuclear weapon, is
      not going to be conducted in the limestones of Indiana. But it is
      still on the table for other states. Now we must go further and
      block it nationally. It should not happen anywhere.

      Hoosiers Against Divine Strake, a grassroots coalition that formed
      very quickly last month when the news broke that Indiana was
      considered as a test site (see
      http://www.bpac.info/calendar/StopDivineStrake.html for background
      information and press coverage) is now working with national groups
      to offer solidarity to other states still considered for Divine
      Strake.

      We have momentum to persuade our Senators to block this test
      altogether -- and with it, the illusion of "usable" nuclear
      weapons. With President Bush moving toward an attack on Iran, this
      is an acute danger.

      Please call or fax and ask Senator Lugar and Senator Bayh to offer
      an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill blocking Divine
      Strake. This will be on the Senate floor on Tuesday, September 5th.
      Please call or fax them today. Thank them for what they've done so
      far and urge them to take a very important step further, stopping
      the test anywhere.
      Tell them they will have Hoosier support for this.

      Please act today to contact:

      Senator Evan Bayh (202) 224-5623
      Senator Richard Lugar (202) 224-4814

      Send e-mail and FREE fax messages to the Senators,
      thanks to 'Friends Committee for National Legislation'
      <http://capwiz.com/fconl/issues/alert/?alertid=8983661&type=TA>

      When you get to this fax page, just write your own simple
      message: "Thank you for what you have done to keep Divine Strake out
      of Indiana. Now please stop Divine Strake anywhere, by offering an
      amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill blocking this test."
      The Friends Committee on National Legislation talking points are
      excellent, but be sure to make clear that you know the test is no
      longer planned for Indiana, and you are asking them not to let it
      happen anywhere.

      Pasted below are three letters: To Indiana Senators Lugar and Bayh,
      and to Senator Bingaman of New Mexico. These letters may also
      provide valuable background information to you.

      Thank you -- and peace,

      Christine Glaser

      ********
      September 4, 2006

      The Honorable Senator Jeff Bingaman:
      We request your urgent attention on an issue of international
      importance. The U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Threat
      Reduction Agency has planned to detonate 700 tons of ammonium
      nitrate/fuel oil to simulate the underground shock waves of a low
      yield nuclear weapon on hardened underground targets in a test
      called Divine Strake (DS).

      A DoD February 2005 budget document for "RDT&E Defense-Wide Advanced
      Technology Deployment" describes the test as a "full-scale tunnel
      defeat demonstration using high explosives to simulate a low yield
      nuclear weapon ground shock environment at Department of Energy's
      Nevada Test Site."
      Additionally, the DoD's "Tunnel Target Defeat Advanced Concept and
      Technology Demonstration" document explicitly declares that such
      tests are needed to "improve the warfighter's confidence in
      selecting the smallest proper nuclear yield necessary to destroy
      underground facilities while minimizing collateral damage."

      DS was originally scheduled to be detonated at the Nevada Test Site
      on June 2, 2006. However, it was subsequently cancelled due to mass
      opposition to the test from over 40 environmental, human rights,
      Native American Tribes and peace organizations. There are new
      concerns that the Pentagon is considering moving DS to the White
      Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. There are many reasons why
      funding for Divine Strake should be eliminated - and, to
      prevent "creative accounting," the test should be blocked outright,
      and this ban attached to the whole military budget:
      * The DST is an affront to taxpayers. The exorbitant costs
      associated with the DST are particularly appalling at a time when
      millions of Americans - with New Mexicans ranking at the bottom of
      the barrel - lack health care and basic human services.
      * DS is not justified in light of information gathered from previous
      testing. Data on ground shock waves are readily available from the
      historical nuclear weapons tests that took place at the Nevada Test
      Site, as well as dozens of simulated nuclear effects tests that took
      place over the years in Hawaii, Indiana, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada,
      and in New Mexico at the White Sands Missile Range.
      * DS may constitute a threat to public health. Were it to be
      rescheduled for the Nevada Test Site there are serious concerns that
      the explosive blast could result in the air-borne spread of residual
      radioactive contaminants from decades of past nuclear testing to
      Downwinders and surrounding communities. Wherever it might be held,
      it would likely result in the dispersion of a complex mix of toxic
      chemicals.
      * The DST may be found to be in violation of United Nations
      Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and discriminate
      against the rights of the Mescalero Apache who live in the vicinity
      of the White Sands Missile Range or the Western Shoshone near the
      Nevada Test Site.
      * DS will set a bad international example while the Bush
      administration is demanding that Iran and North Korea freeze their
      nuclear programs. Contradictorly, the test could strongly signal the
      potential willingness of the U.S. to launch a nuclear strike against
      North Korean and Iranian nuclear facilities.
      * DS will violate the spirit of the 1970 NonProliferation Treaty
      (NPT). In 1996, the International Court of Justice, the judicial
      branch of the United Nations, unanimously held that Article VI of
      the NPT requires the nuclear weapons states "to pursue in good faith
      and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear
      disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective
      international control." In April 2000, the NPT Review Conference
      further affirmed the intention of Article VI that all parties to
      the NPT, and specifically those that possess nuclear weapons, must
      achieve complete nuclear disarmament.
      Conducting simulated nuclear weapons tests with the goal of
      calibrating their ground shock effects while "minimizing collateral
      damage" suggests an effort to enhance their "usability." We must
      always bear in mind the human suffering and environmental
      devastation that resulted from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and
      Nagasaki. The U.S. should consistently act to discourage the
      potential use of nuclear weapons, rather than engage in tests
      that could have the opposite effect.

      We, the undersigned organizations, respectfully request that you
      consider sponsoring a floor amendment to the defense appropriations
      bill, H.R. 5631, scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor, Tuesday,
      September 5, to prohibit this indefensible test.
      Thank you for your consideration.
      Respectfully submitted,
      Susan Dayton, Director
      Citizen Action New Mexico
      Albuquerque, New Mexico

      Jay Coghlan, Director
      Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
      Santa Fe, New Mexico


      *******

      1308 North Maple Street
      Apartment 22
      Bloomington, IN 47404-3367
      (812) 331-2815
      keppel@...

      September 1, 2006

      The Honorable Evan Bayh
      564 Russell Building
      United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510

      Dear Senator Bayh:

      On behalf of Hoosiers Against Divine Strake, I am delighted to learn
      that Michael Evenson, Acting Director of the Defense Threat
      Reduction Agency, has stated that DTRA has no plans to conduct
      Divine Strake in Indiana. We much appreciate your concern on behalf
      of many diverse constituents united in strong opposition to this
      test. We believe that Indiana's Congressional delegation and
      citizen action are making a significant difference.

      Our goal is to block Divine Strake altogether. It must not take
      place in Indiana, New Mexico, or anywhere. As we learned what it
      would mean to have a 10,000 foot mushroom cloud over Indiana, many
      Hoosiers had a chance to understand, in the most personal terms,
      just what even a nuclear simulation means for any community. I wish
      it had been possible for you to be in Mitchell to attend the two
      very impressive press conferences with Mayor Butch Chastain.
      Citizens who defy stereotype expressed their anger over previous,
      smaller explosions about which they had not been informed - and
      their determined opposition to Divine Strake.

      I believe that you and we now have an important opportunity to use
      the heightened level of public awareness to take a major step to
      reduce the nuclear threat. In the words of DTRA, Divine Strake is
      designed to "improve the war fighter's confidence" in using nuclear
      weapons "with a minimum of collateral damage." If even the non-
      radioactive mushroom cloud is highly toxic, how can we pretend that
      there is a real nuclear weapon with a low threshold for use?

      There simply is no way to calculate or condone the effect of using a
      U.S. nuclear weapon (perhaps the B61-11) on Nantanz or anywhere
      else. DTRA was interested in the limestone of southern Indiana
      because of the geology of "significant adversaries." As you know,
      Iran lies on a fault. A U.S. nuclear weapon would set off a
      political earthquake whose shock would be felt globally for
      decades. The damage to what remains of our national legitimacy and
      security might well be irreversible. Because some key members of
      the Bush Administration seem bent on confrontation with Iran,
      this is an acute worry. Even conducting this test shatters our
      credibility on non-proliferation.

      As we thank you warmly for your efforts to date, we continue to urge
      you strongly to offer an amendment to the Defense Appropriations
      Bill blocking Divine Strake altogether. You would win overwhelming
      praise in Indiana. You would also be taking an important national
      and international initiative showing that at a decisive moment you
      are willing also to apply limits to the world's most dangerous
      nuclear arsenal, our own.

      We are in solidarity with the people of New Mexico, who may now be
      the unwilling hosts to this test. We thought you might like to see
      a letter which citizens there are sending to Senator Bingaman.
      Perhaps you could work with him to offer the amendment blocking
      Divine Strake. In any case, I know your own initiative would
      command attention and respect in the Senate and give the amendment
      every chance for success.

      Please see below the names of Indiana groups that join Hoosiers
      Against Divine Strake in this request.

      Let me add a word of thanks for the extraordinary kindness which Liz
      Brinkerhoff and Todd Rosenbloom have shown us during these
      discussions.

      With appreciation and best wishes,

      Respectfully yours,

      David

      David Keppel


      ********


      1308 North Maple Street
      Apartment 22
      Bloomington, IN 47404-3367
      (812) 331-2815
      keppel@... <mailto:keppel@...>

      September 1, 2006

      The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
      306 Hart Senate Office Building
      United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510-1401

      Dear Senator Lugar:

      On behalf of Hoosiers Against Divine Strake, I am writing a brief
      addition to my letter of August 30th thanking you very much for your
      efforts to keep the test out of Indiana and urging you to offer an
      amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill blocking Divine Strake
      altogether.

      We believe that this test should not happen anywhere. Over the past
      three weeks, Hoosiers have had the opportunity to consider what it
      would mean to have a mushroom cloud over our state. We do not want
      to send this mushroom cloud to New Mexico; nor do we feel there is
      a "usable" nuclear weapon. In the post 9/11 world more than ever,
      the consequences of our actions anywhere come home to us. Any test
      that made it more likely that the United States might use a nuclear
      weapon would be a threat to our own security. It would also be
      unacceptable on legal and ethical grounds.

      We fervently hope that you will offer an amendment blocking the
      Defense Threat Reduction Agency from conducting Divine Strake
      anywhere. Naturally, we feel a special solidarity with the people
      of New Mexico. I thought you might like to see the copy of a letter
      that residents are sending to Senator Bingaman. There are, of
      course, many Senators with whom you might work in this initiative.
      If you were the sponsor, it would surely win overwhelming
      support. We admire your leadership so far and look forward to
      working with you to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.

      Please see below the names of Indiana groups that join Hoosiers
      Against Divine Strake in making this request.

      Let me add a word of special thanks to Chip and to Lesley for all
      their help in this matter, as always.

      With much appreciation and all best wishes,

      Respectfully yours,

      David

      David Keppel




      ***************************************
      "There's no such thing as a war without atrocities, but war-making
      is the biggest atrocity of all."
      --Benjamin Ferencz, a former chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg
      Trials

      SUPPORT THE TRUTH -
      END THE WAR! http://www.declarationofpeace.org/

      Christine Glaser
      917 W. 6th Street
      Bloomington, IN 47404
      Partner, GREENFIRE Consulting Group, LLC
      http://www.greenfireconsulting.com
      Organizer, Bloomington Peace Action Coalition http://www.BPAC.info
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