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<nettime> M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws inAnt
David Mandl on Fri, 3 Jan 2003 18:26:44 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws inAntimissile System

Any programmer who's built reasonably complex systems knows that it would
be impossible to build something like "Star Wars" and have it actually
work.  Looks like the Defense Department and M.I.T. have been fudging the
data.  Oops.



M.I.T. Studies Accusations of Lies and Cover-Up of Flaws in Antimissile System

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking
into accusations that its premier laboratory lied to cover up serious
problems with the technology at the heart of the administration's proposed
antimissile defense system.

The university was prodded to act by Theodore A. Postol, a tenured M.I.T.
physicist in security studies and a prominent critic of the antimissile
plan. In letters to Congress and elsewhere, Dr. Postol has said M.I.T.
appeared to be hiding evidence of serious flaws in the nation's main
antimissile weapon, a ground-based rocket meant to destroy incoming enemy
warheads by impact. His accusations center on a 1998 study by Lincoln
Laboratory, a federally financed M.I.T.  research center, and have grown
over the years to include the institute's provost, president and corporate
chairman. Advertisement

Dr. Postol became known as an antimissile critic after the Persian Gulf
war in 1991, when he argued that contrary to Pentagon assertions Patriot
missiles had shot down few if any Iraqi Scud missiles. His contention, at
first ridiculed, in time became accepted as truth.

Officials at the institute strongly deny any wrongdoing.

"The bedrock principle for all research done at M.I.T. is scientific
integrity," officials said in a statement. "Any allegation that there has
been any deviation from that principle must be taken seriously, and that
is what M.I.T. has done in this case."

These officials dismissed Dr. Postol's accusation that they had delayed
acting on his accusations.

Dr. Postol, who first called for an investigation 20 months ago and
repeated his request many times, is unsatisfied. "Potentially, this is the
most serious fraud that we've seen at a great American university," he
said in an interview.


Dave Mandl
dmandl {AT} panix.com
davem {AT} wfmu.org

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