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Weinberger Scored on Testing

May 26, 1987

I find it inexcusably irresponsible for The Times to print the atrocious article by Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger (Editorial Pages, May 13) on the subject of nuclear testing, "Congress Must Not Bottle Up Testing."

You have plenty of editorial staff, adequately informed on the arguments presented in this atrocity, to advise you of the emptiness of those arguments and of the more than adequate documentation of the lack of scientific support for Weinberger's litany, both within and outside the weapons laboratories.

A record of more than six hours of testimony by 14 of the nation's foremost scientific and policy experts on these matters is available for $8.48 from Joint Publications, State Capitol, Box 90, Sacramento, 95814.

Your own Robert Scheer spent several days interviewing certain of the witnesses who produced that testimony. He, therefore, has to be well-informed enough not to credit any of Weinberger's myths.

And, in case your own resources are still inadequate, let me quote from a press conference that preceded the Feb. 11 joint legislative hearing on this subject.

Dr. Richard Garwin, IBM Watson Laboratories: "In 1950, I helped build the first hydrogen bomb, and contributed to the techniques of nuclear testing. We do not need nuclear tests. A total ban on nuclear tests is in our interest. Our purpose in stopping nuclear tests would be to stop Soviet progress in the evolution of their nuclear threat to the United States and our allies. The Reagan Administration's arguments against a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty are, in my opinion, every one of them, wrong!"

Dr. Hugh DeWitt, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: "I have a Q clearance. In the 30 years I've been at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I've seen laboratory representatives lobby for continued testing, and convince the national government that a test ban is not in the national interest. The laboratories are centers of advocacy. There is essentially no oversight of the laboratories. They are free-floating entities in the American system."

Dr. Jack Evernden, U.S. Geological Survey: "There simply is no use today for on-site inspections. We can arrange to monitor half to one-kiloton explosions anywhere in the Soviet Union. An agreement not to test above this level would abort all development of future strategic weapons."

Dr. Ray Kidder, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: "There's no question the Soviets have not exploded a single nuclear weapon in the past 18 months. The first explosion this year, on Feb. 3, is likely to start the whole arms race all over again."

JACK R. JENNINGS

Corresponding Secretary

Southern California

Federation of Scientists

Redondo Beach

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