Hiroshima Day & Y2K (BASIC press release)


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,           Aug. 6

While some of the "noises" about the Y2K danger are reassuring, I suspect
that most of us are only too happy to be reassured (just as most computer
programers and those who hired them were only too happy not to worry about
the problem in the first place).

One thing is certain. Even if there were no threat of Y2K malfunctions, the
world would be a better place if nuclear weapons were de-alerted (and if all
states were working to phase out the entire nuclear industry). 

So, I will be writing to Clinton and Yeltsin and also to Canadian government
representatives to say that I expect them to take the Y2K threat seriously.
I urge all of you to do the same. To make this a bit easier for you, here
are the e-mail addresses of Clinton and Yeltsin.

all the best, Jan.
PS Mailing letters is even better, especially if you put something on the
outside of the envelope toindicate what your concern is, so the government
knows that everyoe who saw that letter knows that citizens care...

United States of America, President William Clinton <•••@••.•••>
President Clinton, The White House, Washington, DC, USA (I don't have a zip
Russia, President Boris Yeltsin <•••@••.•••> (I don't have a mialing
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 1999 00:22:15 +0000
From: Paul Swann <•••@••.•••>
Subject: BASIC Hiroshima Day press release



In commemoration of the bombing of Hiroshima, over 250 peace, environment
and church groups, trade unions, parliamentarians and Congressmen from the
US, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Japan and elsewhere
have written a letter to Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin, asking them to
take strategic and tactical nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert over
the Y2K  rollover period, in view of concerns that Y2K-related computer
errors may create an unacceptable risk of accidental nuclear war.

This letter is also being sent to the UK, France, China and the UN and its
signatories include Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator  Meg
Lees, (South Australia), Leader of the Australian Democrats, anti-nuclear
campaigner Maj-Britt Theorin MEP and representatives of Friends of the
Earth,  CND and the World Court Project.

If Y2K breakdowns produce inaccurate early-warning data, or if
communications and command channels are compromised, the combination of
hair-trigger force postures and Y2K failures could be disastrous. There
should  therefore be a 'safety first' approach to Y2K and nuclear arsenals.
Because none of the nuclear weapons states can guarantee that their
nuclear-related computer  systems are Y2K compliant, the only responsible
solution is for them all to stand down nuclear operations. This approach
should include taking nuclear weapons off alert status and decoupling
nuclear warheads from delivery vehicles.

Nuclear weapon states must work together to enhance trust,  transparency
and security by exchanging personnel and information and verifying each
other's activities over the 'rollover' period. In August 1996, the Canberra
Commission noted that terminating nuclear alert status would: (a) reduce
dramatically the chances of accidental or unauthorised nuclear missile
launch,  (b) help set the stage for intensified cooperation on a more
far-reaching  disarmament agenda and (c) have a very positive influence on
the political climate between nuclear weapon states. In view of the dismal
current relations between the US and Russia and China, the last two points
are particularly salient.

The immediate stakes are so high, and the potential for global catastrophe
so clear, that mutually verified de-alerting in the face of the Y2K
computer problem must take precedence over all other political

Call Tom McDonald on +44 (0)171 407 2977 for more  information

British-American Security Information Council

Carrara House, 20 Embankment Place, London WC2N 6NN
Tel: +44 (0)171 407 2977 / Fax: +44 (0)171 407 2988 / Email:

1900 L Street NW, Suite 401, Washington, DC 20036.
Tel: +1 202 785 1266 / Fax: +1 202 387 62 98 / Email: •••@••.•••

Website: http://www.basicint.org