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Congress Probes Report That Teller Gave Misleading 'Star Wars' Data

October 24, 1987|From a Times Staff Writer

Congressional investigators began a probe Friday into charges that physicist Edward Teller and fellow scientist Lowell Wood have given falsely optimistic information about the "Star Wars" anti-missile defense program to policy-makers.

At the same time, Roy D. Woodruff, who directed nuclear X-ray laser research for the program and who originally lodged the charges, won a commitment from the University of California for reinstatement to a job of "suitable" status.

The 19-year veteran at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory said he was forced to resign his post as the lab's associate director and was relegated to entry-level status after making the allegations. The university administers the laboratory.

The General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, began its probe after Woodruff met with Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Colton), a member of the House committees on Intelligence and Space and Technology, and Rep. Charles E. Bennett (D-Fla.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Brown said the GAO will determine if Teller, a Livermore consultant, has set up a non-official channel of information by briefing President Reagan and members of Congress. "Some people back here have always assumed that Teller's reports were overly optimistic," Brown said. "Frankly, I didn't give them very high marks. But some people might."

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