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CPSR Journal Vol 19, No 4
Volume 19, Number 4 The CPSR Journal Fall 2001

2001 Norbert Wiener Awards by Coralee Whitcomb

[ Read the program notes ]

CPSR awarded its fifteenth Norbert Wiener Award to Dr. Nira Schwartz and Dr. Theodore Postol for their courage and personal sacrifice in alerting the public to falisfied performance tests of the National Missile Defense project. The backdrop for the evening was the cozy, yet elegant, Cottage Inn in Ann Arbor, MI, and the beautiful University of Michigan in October.

Dr. Schwartz tugged at our hearts as she described the realities of life as a whistle blower. After repeatedly pointing out major discrepencies between reported and real test results to TRW, her employer, she was summarily fired. To this day, the NMD project continues to claim their fantastic results—99% accuracy at intercepting incoming missiles as opposed to decoys.

Dr. Postol later verified the findings of Dr. Schwartz and spoke out against the role his institution, MIT, through its support of Lincoln Labs, has played in allowing the public to be dramatically misled. His description of the methods used to guarantee success in a recent NMD test bore little if any resemblence to a real world scenario.

It seems that 20 years after CPSR rose up to fight public misperception around the Strategic Defense Inititative, little has changed. Billions continue to be spent on useless war toys and misleading the public. We are all in the debt of people like Drs. Schwartz and Postol who are willing to jeopardize their own well-being that the public know the truth.

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