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'Star Wars' Critic Called to Washington

October 22, 1987|DAN MORAIN | Times Staff Writer

SAN FRANCISCO — A scientist who alleged that physicist Edward Teller conveyed exaggerated forecasts about "Star Wars" technology to policy makers in Washington has been summoned to the capital to discuss his allegations with congressional leaders, Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Colton) said Wednesday.

Brown invited Roy D. Woodruff, former associate director of defense systems at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, to Washington after publication of Woodruff's charges on the Strategic Defense Initiative. Brown said Woodruff is to meet on Friday with him, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Les Aspin and other congressional leaders.

Teller, meanwhile, did not return repeated phone calls Wednesday to his offices at Livermore and at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

Brown, a ranking member of the House Committee on Space and Technology, as well as the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview that he had been in touch with Woodruff, 47, before the reports. But Woodruff previously had been reluctant to air the allegations, wanting instead to keep them within the university system. Woodruff's position changed and he agreed to go to Washington for the meeting after his charges were reported, Brown said.

In a job grievance filed with the university in April, Woodruff said he had asked to be reassigned in October, 1985, after he was unable to convince laboratory director Roger E. Batzel to send "correcting information" to temper "overly optimistic, technically incorrect" information conveyed by Teller and his protege, physicist Lowell Wood, of Lawrence Livermore, to the "nation's highest policy leaders." Wood and Batzel also could not be reached.

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