DATE=5/25/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=MISSILE FRAUD (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-262824 BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A prominent weapons expert says the planned U-S missile defense system will not work, and charges that officials have lied to cover up the program's flaws. V-O-A'S Jim Randle reports, the allegations come as the American and Russian presidents are getting ready for a summit meeting that will be dominated by arguments over nuclear arms and missile defenses. TEXT: The charges come from physics professor Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said at a Washington news conference that data from flight tests shows the planned national missile defense system could be so easily fooled by decoys that it is useless. Professor Postol says in order to shoot down missile warheads headed for the United States, the system must be able to quickly determine which fast-moving space objects are deadly warheads and which are harmless decoys. /// FIRST POSTOL ACT /// This means that the national missile defense system can simply not work if these simple decoys - which are literally balloons of the Mylar kind you can buy at the zoo - can defeat the system by confusing it, by overwhelming it (so) the system will not be able to function. /// END ACT /// The professor says contractors and officials simply ignored portions of test data that showed the system's sensors could not tell which of several objects in the sky were warheads and which were decoys. /// SECOND POSTOL ACT /// So they dealt with this problem by removing the data set -- by removing it and analyzing only the other objects. That incidentally would be considered scientific fraud in the community I work in. /// END ACT /// Not true, says a spokesman for the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Air Force Colonel Rick Lener [`lehn-er]. /// LENER ACT /// We categorically deny any allegation of fraud. There have been two independent review panels that have looked into the issue and have found nothing. The Department of Justice did not go forward with any action at all because there was just no evidence to support any basis for fraud. /// END ACT /// Colonel Lener says Professor Postol's information is incomplete and his conclusions are wrong. He says the system will eventually be improved by the addition of infared sensors based in space, and that will help sort weapons from decoys. Colonel Lener says officials cannot fully disclose how the system will work because they need to protect secret technologies. The National Missile Defense system faces another flight test at the end of June or in early July. President Clinton says he will use information from that test to decide whether to build the system or scrap it. (Signed). NEB/jr/gm 25-May-2000 18:45 PM LOC (25-May-2000 2245 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .