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Re: A Scud in California!
This sounds like it could be a dis.org project. Maybe Phon-e and HummerMan
are conspiring to rid us of Carolyn in a spectacular way next August.
Anyone know the range^h^h^h^h^h distance from Berkeley to New Mexico?
At 08:37 PM 10/8/98 -0700, William Knowles wrote:
>>From another one of the several lists I'm on, I figured someone
>might know who the new pseudo-proud owner of a fully-operational
>SS-1C Scud missle *WITH* moblie launcher is...
> Intelligence, N. 86, 5 October 1998, p. 12
> THE SCUD THAT DIDN'T GET AWAY
> At "Intelligence", we're taking bets that you won't hear about
> the unidentified British firm which used an unnamed British
> freighter to import a fully-operational SS-1C Scud missile --
> complete with launcher, but missing its warhead -- into the
> United States. According to a 25 September report in the
> "Washington Times", special investigators from HM Customs and
> Excise have been asked to determine how paperwork sent with the
> system came to be falsified, but they're probably going to run
> into ... the Pentagon because the Scud missile and its mobile
> transporter-erector launcher were seized on 2 September by the
> US Customs Service at Port Hueneme, California, about 56 km.
> north of Los Angeles and ... next door to the US Navy Point
> Mugu Pacific Missile Range, and ... the closest military port
> to the Vandenburg US Air Force Base where all classified US
> military launches take place.
> The Russian-designed, Czech-manufactured missile system was
> licensed for importation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
> Firearms (ATF), but ... it was wrongly described. Although
> addressed to a wealthy -- but so far unnamed (and bets are he
> will never be named) -- US citizen, who is regarded as a bona
> fide weapons collector rather than an arms dealer, the missile
> system had not been made inoperable as required by import
> rules. This is, of course, of interest to the Pentagon. "This
> is a full-blown missile," stated John Hensley, a senior agent
> of US Customs Service in Los Angeles. "The only thing missing
> is the warhead." The launch chassis is a MAZ-543 truck,
> commonly used by former Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces. "The
> guidance system was totally intact and the engine was ready to
> go," Mr. Hensley said. "All you needed to do was strap on a
> garbage can full of C-4 high-explosive and you had a weapon."
> The guidance system and engine would, of course, be of intense
> interest to Pentagon intelligence, and the Israeli Mossad,
> particularly if the weapon is a later date or recent model.
> Hensley said the buyer, who lives in Palo Alto, had previously
> purchased a Scud missile that had been properly demilitarized.
> Under US law, such weapons may be imported, provided they are
> first cut up with a blowtorch so that they can never be
> reassembled. But in this case, in an effort to fool customs
> officials, a photograph of the first -- cut up -- missile to be
> imported was attached to the illegal -- intact -- system, which
> was seized on 2 September. If the "buyer" really wanted his
> missile, then the San Francisco Bay, which Palo Alto overlooks,
> is a much better port of entry. Bets at "Intelligence" are
> also out on the "buyer" being associated with the military-
> funded Stanford Research Institute (SRI) or similar Pentagon-
> dependent firms in nearby Silicon Valley.
> COMMENT -- The SS-1C Scud is a liquid-fueled missile which is
> among the most widely deployed weapons in the world. It is in
> service in 16 nations. Iraq's military forces were able to
> extend the range of the missile ("with baling wire and
> plywood", according to certain specialists), and used it
> extensively during the 1991 Gulf war. International transfers
> of such missiles, which normally have a range of 300 km., are
> banned under the Missile Technology Control Regime. Although
> the major media suggested the seizure would embarrass the
> Clinton administration, currently engaged in a major
> international diplomatic effort to halt exports of weapons of
> mass destruction and missile-delivery systems by Russia and
> China to the Middle East, it would seem more likely that the
> affair will "drag out indefinitely" in a California court,
> unless an appropriate "buyer" can be "sacrificed" publicly.
> Olivier Schmidt,
> Editor of "Intelligence"
> <[email protected]>