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Defense Scandal

July 19, 1988

Some $30 billion later the American people are told what we knew at least 10 years ago: the B-1 won't work ("Air Force Reported Failing in Bid to Fix B-1 Defense Systems," Part I, July 11). Even if it could perform as planned, the bomber is superfluous. ICBMs can reach the Soviet Union in about 30 minutes; the B-1, comparatively, grinds along, arriving about 13 hours later. By that time, for all intents and purposes, the "nuclear party" is over, with millions dead and dying amid a grisly shadow of what was. Further bombing would amount to riddling the Soviet corpse with more bullets. The U.S. needs the B-1 like Mike Tyson needs a new punch.

And, yet, the Air Force still will not let go of its sick toy. Air Force spokesman Capt. Jay DeFrank suggests it can still work. His contention blatantly insults our intelligence and promises to further pick our pockets for future studies and improvements of this white elephant.

It is long overdue for the American people to say no; to personally take a small step toward nuclear disarmament; in effect saying no to the greed of the death merchants, who will not take the ultimate responsibility for their actions. To say no to the B-1 bomber and nuclear proliferation is to say yes to life, to affirm our potential for goodness. As designated caretakers of our planet, it is the only sane response.

CHRIS SCHEFTER

Tustin

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