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Brilliant Pebbles

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on July 13, 2003 12:58:05 UTC

I want to thank Mike Wittier Pearson for mentioning my name in almost every new post of his today. Unfortunately I am unable to respond to any of them directly as he is hidden from me.

As an aside I should mention that most of these posts are personal attacks on another poster using such words as psycho and therefore break the forum rules.

However, I also want to thank Mike for the newspaper article about Brilliant Pebbles. He correctly mentions that Canavan has given me credit for forcing the design of that system. I am happy NOT to get such credit in newspaper articles.

Moreover, this is the first instance in which I disagree with Ted Postol, whose classes I sat in on when I worked for MIT. Ted claims in that newspaper article that Brilliant Pebbles is vulnerable and that it is blinded by re-entry effects. Neither is true.

On the other hand, the govt claims that the system is under human control. That is the achilles heel of the system. Human control is necessary as most of the time the system must be turned off for any space program to launch, including communication satellites used by TVs and cell phones.

However, the delay time for human activation is so slow that it cannot defeat a suprise attack. So the system has to always be on. Perhaps it could be turned off for specific launches, but the enemy, whoever that is, could launch then as well. Also, if the keyes to the system get into the wrong hands or the encryption code is broken, then the enemy can turn off the system.

That is the only vulnerability of the system. In its original form invented by Canavan and his consultant Teller, the system would never be turned off, making it invulnerable. That is what sunk Star Wars in 1990. The 1993 Congressional Bill was an afterthough for purely political purposes. Everybody working that problem except govt employees and those in National Labs had already been laid-off.

Another aside: I do not understand why Mike should use the idea of Brilliant Pebbles in response to a discussion of god. The only connection I can see is that Elizabeth Claire Prophet, head of the Church Universal and Triumphant, has channeled messengers from god who have endorsed all aspects of space defense including Brilliant Pebbles. Mike, do you have any affiliation with this group? If not, could you please explain what you meant by its usage?


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