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To the Editors of The Crimson:
Saturday's Crimson story on the Honeywell demonstration quoted a Honeywell public relations executive's denial of several charges concerning his company's production of anti-personnel weapons. Specifically, Stewart G. Baird claimed: that Honeywell's Rockeye II bomb is not an anti-personnel weapon but an "anti-tank" device; that the company has not made the guava bomb for two years; that Honeywell never produced SPIW's (Special Purpose Individual Weapon--fires flechettes, steel-finned darts 2-3"long), though he admitted that it "helped" in their development.
These assertions range from the false to the outrageously misleading, and I am disappointed that The Crimson saw fit to print them without checking their accuracy. Research on Honeywell is readily available from Clergy and Laity Concerned or the American Friends Service Committee, and The Crimson itself ran a piece on Friday which directly contradicts much of what Baird said.
The claim that the Rockeye II is solely "anti-tank" is an old one. It is an out-and-out lie. According to a 1966 Congressional hearing, "the Rockeye II is a cluster bomb which contains anti-tank and anti-personnel bomblets" (emphasis added). It has been used by the thousands against the most populous areas of North Vietnam (American Report, 12/4/74). In the summer of 1972 the New York Times reported that the Rockeye II had been dropped on villages and hospitals. Would Honeywell have us believe that tanks stream through the streets of residential sections of Hanoi and Haiphong, that they are hidden away inside medical centers?
The Defense Marketing Service Market Intelligence Report of March, 1973, said that the guava bomb and certain other Air Force munitions contracts would bring in a total of $10 million for Honeywell in fiscal 1974. DMS is a semi-official organization serving this country's weapons business, and is considered a reliable source by those in the industry. While it is obviously in Honeywell's interest to create the impression that it no longer makes anti-personnel weapons, I can think of no reason why DMS should lie about Honeywell's contracts. Honeywell does not exactly have a record of being truthful and open about the weapons it produces.
As for the SPIW, Honeywell has consistently denied responsibility for weapons for which it "only" produced essential parts or did development work. Honeywell did more than "help" to design the SPIW--the company did virtually all the research and development for this device. Those who design weapons for an immoral war, those who build them, and those who order their use must all share in the responsibility for the deaths and crippling injuries which those weapons cause.
Baird also said that "there's no distinction between different weapons." International war crimes statutes, like the Geneva and Hague conventions, do not agree with him. For example, Article 23 of the latter expressly forbids "arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering..." If this phrase does not apply to Honeywell's products, then it is devoid of any meaning at all. When we say that Honeywell is responsible for "crimes against humanity," we are not just using these words because we like dramatic rhetoric. We say this because it is literally true. Peter S. Hogness '76 Member of R.H New American Movement
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