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Law School professor Abram J. Chayes, speaking on the proposed Safeguard antiballistic missile system, yesterday charged the Nixon administration with asking the American people to "buy a $6.5 billion pig-in-a-poke."
Testifying during the second day of public hearings of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, the former State Department legal advisor questioned how laymen can "make up our minds when the technical community is divided" over the ABM's workability.
He added that the standard procedure in such a case would be to test out the proposed system under operating conditions, but that that would be impossible in this instance. George Rathjens, visiting professor of political science at M.I.T., also testified against the system.
Wolfgang Tonafski of Stanford and Herbert York of U.C. at San Diego, forr er director of Defense Research and Engineering under Eisenhower completed the foursome opposing the system.
Both Chayes and Rathjens questioned the effect Safeguard deployment might have on the proposed arms talks "while we get started on Safeguard would be to invert priorities," Rathjens said.
"If there are risks in deferring deployment for a time, I think they are small. There are also risks in going forward with the system's development," Chayes said, adding that such a delay would also avoid giving new impetus to the multibillion dollar arms race.
Chayes and Rathjens, along with Jerom B. Weisner of M.I.T., have been making a critical study of the Safeguard for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass). Their report, designed to counter the arguments presented by the Pentagon, should be released in two or three weeks
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