Scientific Fraud in the National Missile Defense Program
Theodore A. Postol, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The National Missile Defense System is designed to intercept nuclear warheads at high altitudes in space. The defense is extremely vulnerable to simple decoy countermeasures that need only work in the near vacuum of space. A feature of this defense is that its interceptors must discriminate between warheads and decoys by analyzing the infrared signals from distant real and false targets during one minute from target acquisition to flyby. Experimental data on targets and decoys taken in an experiment in 1997 revealed that simple infrared decoys could not be discriminated from warheads. The missile defense government contractor with the approval of Department of Defense managers censored much of the data from this experiment. Data that showed the system could not discriminate was concealed from scientific review, and analysis of the remaining data was improperly altered to create scientifically insupportable outcomes. I will describe the collusion between Government managers and contractors, and show data that was used to create the false case that discrimination had been demonstrated. Tampering with the experimental data, and critical science-based signature results further fraudulently bolstered the analysis. Evidence will be shown that the entire test program was altered to hide the fact that the defense-system could not function against simple decoys.