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Disarmament group to unleash anti-missile defense ad campaign

Posted: Wednesday, September 06, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Television ads critical of a proposed missile defense project shelved by President Clinton will start appearing on cable political shows Wednesday in congressional districts where pro-missile defense candidates face the stiffest competition.

The ads play off the project's several failures in tests, citing statements from groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists and Federation of American Scientists, which oppose the project.

Peace Action, the group behind the ads, has bought time on CNN during its prime time political shows. Voters in several hotly-contested districts will see the ads. The group is especially targeting Senate candidates, including Republicans Rick Lazio of New York, and Sens. John Ashcroft of Missouri and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

The ad opens with balloons floating through the sky, while a narrator says, ''This is a mylar balloon. It is not a nuclear warhead. Trouble is, the Star Wars Missile System the Pentagon is pushing can't tell the difference.''

The latest test of the system, in July, failed when the booster rocket didn't release the warhead-busting device called a ''kill vehicle.'' It was the third test of the intercept program with two of them having failed.

Last week, Clinton said he is not convinced the system is possible with current technology, and decided to leave it to the next administration to decide when, or if, to deploy the shield.

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