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FOIA: Security Council uncleared material for Oct 23, 1979 meeting on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela satellit

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posted on Nov, 21 2007 @ 07:06 PM
Security Council uncleared material for Oct 23, 1979 meeting on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela satellite event
Security Council discussion paper for the Oct 23, 1979 meeting on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela satellite event that detected a nuclear test..

Document date: 1979-10-22
Department: National Security Council
Author: Christime Dodsen, Staff Secretary
Document type: memo
pages: 12


Archivist's Notes: Fair quality document with limited blacking out. Secret/Sensitive re-stamped as Unclassified. Hand written note 'file S. Africa'. Dept of State Appeals Review Panel stamp with 'release' entry checked. Several pages stamped 'Denied in Full'.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 04:50 AM
National Security Council’s Internal Memo from Staff Secretary
To: The Secretary of State, of Defense, of Energy, Director Arms Control,
The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director CIA, Director Office of
Science and Technology Policy.

Dated October 22, 1979. 12 page document.

Easy to read and no blacked out information.
In this document South Africa was clearly blamed for the event.
As this document is only one month after the event, it is interesting that there is no mention of Israel or any other country’s involvement.
The focus of the meeting was to expect that the story will leak shortly and how to respond in regards to the U.S.’s position e.g. the last 2 pages are a sample QandA format.
Highlighted concerns were: that South Africa may be annoyed enough to withdraw their uranium exports to some influential countries (Japan, Germany etc), whether to fill USSR in on the situation before the media ‘get wind of it’, the assumption that only the South African Prime Minister would know of the explosion.

My personal response:
This document is a very good example to have an insight of the psychological game-plans of politics and their total lack of interest in environmental/humanitarian effects.

posted on Nov, 22 2007 @ 12:14 PM
This document is a briefing document pertaining to a suspected atmospheric nuclear detonation in the Indian Ocean, south of Africa, on September 22, 1979, known as the Vela Incident, named after the satellite Vela that picked up the detonation.

Without having any other corroborating evidence that a detonation took place and with no one taking responsibility for it, the leading suspected country is South Africa, which the US was pursing negotiations with in an attempt to stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The document written one month after the incident begins with a situation report explaining how attempts to get additional evidence has been a problem in that part of the world.

The next section on page 2 explains the effects on U.S. Policies particularly the nonproliferation policy and the negotiations to get South Africa to adhere to the IAEA safeguards for it’s enrichment plant. The worry is that if South Africa is able to get nuclear weapons, then they may support other programs in Israel and Taiwan and other countries like India and Pakistan will follow. What I find interesting is that both India and Pakistan have successfully tested nuclear weapons and it is suspected that Israel also has them, and that the US nonproliferation policy was not very effective.

List of states with nuclear weapons

The report goes on to say that if the news of the detonation was leaked that other countries of Africa would want a strong response and UN plans that are in place would be seriously diminished.

The tactical issues on page 4 describe how members of Congress are to be told of the incident ahead of time and how they should have a contingency plan if the news were to be leaked. Other international leaders were also to be informed and asked to help gain more evidence of the detonation. The report continues to describe possible reactions if they confronted the South African Government (SAG) with allegations that they exploded a nuclear device.

The report goes further into public reaction and that many countries would raise the issue at the UN and demand sanctions and the effect they will have including the reaction from the SAG.

On page 10, the report describes problems with admitting to not having enough evidence that a detonation took place, will raise questions of the US capability of verifying adherence to the Test Ban Treaty. Several explanations are listed to prepare to respond in the event critics raise this issue.

The last section covers the approach to take when talking to the Prime Minister of SA and gives responses to questions that may be raised.

Related FOIA Documents:
FOIA: Security Council discussion paper for Jan 7, 1980 meeting
FOIA: DCIA memo on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela Satellite event recording a suspected nuclear test
FOIA: Sandia Laboratories report on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela satellite event - Alert 747
FOIA: A report by a panel of non-government scientists on the Sep 22, 1979 Vela satellite event

Related Links:
Wikipedia article on the Vela Incident

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