KILLING THE FUTURE
When Obama Attacked NASA,
He Violated His Oath
April 2—Two days after President Obama announced his intention to end the U.S. commitment to manned space flight, Lyndon LaRouche issued a call, on Feb. 3, 2010, for Obama's impeachment. As LaRouche and LaRouchePAC have elaborated many times since, the President's announcement to take down the U.S. space program, which has proceeded apace since that time, was prima facie evidence that he was in violation of his solemn oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Since that time, the growing evidence of Obama's mental instability has only added greater urgency to the need for his removal from office, based on the provisions of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitition.
We reprint here LaRouche's call, which first appeared in the Feb. 12, 2010 issue of EIR, followed by an elaboration of Obama's crimes against NASA, and the space program more broadly; the British role behind Obama's policy; and reactions from leading NASA astronauts in defense of America's space program. In light of the role NASA would necessarily have to play in defense against the galactic dangers mankind faces, LaRouche's conclusions are even more important today.
LaRouche: Why Obama Must Be Impeached
President Barack Obama's stated intention, to shut down and destroy the NASA program at its root, when added to the Hitler-like health-care policy, and the general, destructive features of all other leading Obama policies, is one step too far to bear. There is no longer room on this planet for a United States and a President Obama to occupy the same space.
The need for Obama's ouster, either by resignation or impeachment, is now an existential issue for both our republic and the welfare of the planet generally.
Since the founding of our republic, the existence of our nation has depended upon surges of science-driven and related increases of the productive powers of labor, per capita and per square kilometer of our territory. Now, especially since the reign of former President George W. Bush, Jr., and now that of Obama, the very means, of science and technology, by which the existence of our republic had formerly prospered, has been destroyed, step, by step, by step. Our industries have gone, the security of our food supplies has been undermined, and now the last bastion of the means of technological progress, the space program, is scheduled for obliteration.
Simply, the time has come, that President Obama must go, either by his own choice, or ours. The intention of our Federal Constitution demands this.
—Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
"This decision is a decision to abandon humanity's future," LaRouche charged in February 2010, in reference to Obama's NASA policy. "This comes on top of a lot of evil, coming out of the same administration, and from this administration's masters in London. This is a turning point in history, which humanity can no longer tolerate: what Obama, as a puppet of the British, represents."
The NASA budget submitted by the President, through his fascist budget director Peter Orszag, on Feb. 1, has a number of elements. First, and most crucially, it cancels the Constellation program, which includes the space capsules and rockets that are in the process of being built in order to return to the Moon. The explicit reason for the cancellation is the immediate cost of the program.
What the Administration is doing here, is killing the manned space flight program, while claiming that it is simply being postponed. Immediately, there will soon be no vehicle other than the Russian Soyuz to take astronauts to the International Space Station, since the space shuttles are scheduled to be decommissioned this year. More fundamentally, the whole mission of human space colonization is being dumped—with no goals or destinations being established, the scientific manpower being scattered to the winds, and the whole idea of manned space-flight being downgraded to a column in the cost-accounting chart.
Second, the budget allocates $6 billion over five years to amateur private companies, which have never produced rockets for manned flight, to develop space vehicles, especially for use in low-orbit flight.
This is a cynical crap-shoot. Initial surveys of astronauts, who have not gone insane, show that over 60% of them would not fly on such rockets, due to safety concerns. It follows the privatization (read: looting) program which creatures such as George Shultz and Felix Rohatyn have applied to the U.S. military, more generally, with (probably intentional) disastrous results.
Third, the budget increases by 61% funding for so-called Earth science, which will go for sensors and other programs based on the fraudulent assumption of global warming. This anti-science waste of funds and manpower, is what Obama's pro-genocide Science Czar, John Holdren, calls a "return to science."
Other aspects of the budget are a mix of useful investments in technology, including robotic missions which are necessary precursors to manned flight, and an extension of funds for the International Space Station, and dead weight. Not surprisingly, the projects being funded are targetted to areas which are important to Senators with clout on the NASA budget—in order to blunt their opposition to the overall direction.
British Goal Achieved?
So far, the Obama NASA budget has gone through, and thousands of skilled scientists and technicians have lost their jobs—or are about to once the Shuttle no longer flies. This represents a major victory for the British, who have worked from the 1960s on, to destroy the U.S. space program. As elaborated in a recent LaRouchePAC video, "The Destruction of NASA" (http://archive.larouchepac.com/node/13392), the British have been determined to kill the technological optimism and leadership of the United States, which is represented by the U.S. achievement in space, especially manned space flight. They are now feeling triumphant.
The London Economist was the first to applaud what they called Obama's "radical overhaul" of the NASA orientation. Its article started with a chortle over the death of the Moon-Mars mission, which has been a goal among space visionaries for decades (and of the United States, officially, since 2004), and proceeded to praise the privatization and global warming emphases.
Other London mouthpieces, including so-called liberals in the United States, have followed suit. For example, the April 18, 2010 Financial Times, while applauding Obama's decision to scrap Constellation and the Moon program, wrote that he "flunked the opportunity to drop it entirely," and takes particular aim at what they call "NASA's fuzzier 'Dan Dare' mission, based on the idea of man's 'need to discover' "—i.e., the quest for scientific knowledge per se which is the very basis of NASA's true achievements, and which the British so hate. Instead, the FT advises that the U.S. should do as Britain did, and reduce its space program to "practical initiatives designed to benefit life on Earth."
Sources tell EIR that it was British conduit Peter Orszag who played the critical role in formulating the shape of the budget, based upon his London School of Economics, utilitarian convictions.
The Astronauts Speak Out
No group of people understand the profound loss Obama's policy represents more than the astronauts themselves and some key NASA officials. Hear what they had to say:
- Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, in a statement released on Jan. 27, 2010, stated that Obama's proposal to end manned space flight was "even worse" than President Nixon's ending of the Apollo program, which Griffin characterized as "one of the most significant, yet strategically bankrupt, decisions in human history." At least Nixon "left us with the Space Shuttle," Griffin said. The Obama program "leaves NASA and the nation with no program, no plan, and no commitment to any human spaceflight program beyond that of today.... The president has chosen to recommend that the nation abandon its leadership on the space frontier."
- On Feb. 2, 2010, Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan denounced Obama's "space program to nowhere." Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, said, "We have a responsibility to our country to inspire our kids to do bigger and better and greater things. "He [Obama] is somehow unwilling to invest in the future of this country.... I won't be here in 20, 30, 40 years from now, but my grandkids will. I want them to have the country I had. I want something better for them."
- On Feb. 15, 2010, Scott Carpenter (Mercury), Gene Cernan (Gemini and Apollo), and Charlie Duke (Apollo) wrote an open letter to all Americans, to help rally opposition to Obama's attempt to kill NASA's manned space program:
"Dear Mr. & Mrs. America:
"There has never been, and likely never will be, another government program that expedites technological innovation so much as the U.S. space program. There is not another program that has so successfully rallied a nation, inspired youngsters toward academic achievement or established the U.S. as the world leader in technology.
"The manned space program has, in particular, been a source of our nation's strength and character. But an Achilles heel in the form of our country's executive branch threatens a mortal wound. Under the Obama 2011 budget, the U.S. will no longer ferry humans into space—no Moon, no Mars. The source of so much of America's inspiration and spirit, the impetus for so much discovery, technology and imagination, is in jeopardy. The demise of America's space program is just another step in the dismantling of our nation.
"Where's the vision put so eloquently in 1962 when President Kennedy said, 'serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.' President Kennedy delivered a vision to the American public that demanded courage, imagination and follow-through....
"We are the only country to ever conquer the high ground, the moon.... The national security implications are starkly real. From the high ground, foreign governments will have greater access to monitor U.S. technology assets in Earth orbit. Whoever controls the high ground becomes the world's leader in technology.
"We ask you to join those members of Congress who have the fortitude and courage to embrace the vision that has become part of our nation's signature and who are advocates of returning to the moon and maintaining America's leadership role in the exploration of space."
- Apollo 7 astronaut Walt Cunningham, in an op-ed in the Feb. 27, 2010 Houston Chronicle, wrote: "Except in wartime, there has never been another government program that produced as much technological innovation as the U.S. space program, and there likely never will be...." Cunninghman juxtaposed the ending of Constellation to the proposed "increased spending on the discredited global warming hypocrisy."
"Have we really degenerated as a country to the point where we can no longer fund our own exploration? Did we spend $460 billion becoming pre-eminent in space, only to stupidly surrender it?"
- On April 12, 2010, nineteen astronauts, whose service spanned from the early 1960s Mercury program to the Space Shuttle, joined by former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, legendary flight director Gene Kranz, and Apollo-era director of the Johnson Space Center Chris Kraft, sent a letter to President Obama, expressing their outrage at the attempt to shut down manned space exploration, as the nation's space program is "reduced to mediocrity."
"For those of us who have accepted the risk and dedicated a portion of our lives to the exploration of outer space, this is a terrible decision. America's greatness lies in her people: she will always have men and women willing to ride rockets into the heavens.
"Too many men and women have worked too hard and sacrificed too much to achieve America's preeminence in space, only to see that effort needlessly thrown away.... This is not the time to abandon the promise of the space frontier for a lack of will or an unwillingness to pay the price."
Since that is true, Obama has to go.