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July 11, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-11

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OPINION
Thursday, July 11, 1985

The Michigan Daily

Page 5

Vol. XCV, No. 28-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Follow the leader
MASSACHUSETT'S Public Health Commissioner
Bailus Walker announced yesterday that smokeless
tobacco manufacturers must begin to label their packages
with a warning. The warning would be similar to the ones
currently on cigarette cartons.
Michigan should follow Massachusetts' example and
require warning labels on smokeless tobacco sold in the
state.
Currently, the advertising for smokeless tobacco fails to
inform the public about the harmful affects. Many com-
panies pay well-known sports figures a fee to endorse the
product. Many well-known players use the product.
The advertising campaigns and the lack of a warning of-
ten convince young people that smokeless tobacco is less
damaging than cigarettes. This is not the case, however.
Dr. Gregory Connolly from the Massachusetts Dental
Health Division recommended a label warning users that
smokeless tobacco can be addictive and can cause cancer
and other mouth disorders.
Smokeless tobacco also contains nicotine, a drug that
triggers the release of adrenaline and increases the heart
rate and blood pressure.
Massachusetts has become the first state to require
warning labels on smokeless tobacco. Michigan could be
the second.
Warning labels are never a "bad" idea. They help the
public make a more informed decision about a product.
The heath hazards of smokeless tobacco have been
overlooked by public officials for entirely too long. The
health division officials in Massachusetts finally came to
their senses and made the right decision to require war-
ning labels. Michigan should be encouraged to do the
same.
Powell
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Navy evaluates spy threat
By John Ross In sub-launched missiles, the United States is far ahead
of the Soviets. Although the Soviets have more ships and
CENTERVILLE, Ca. - Waves break against the un- more missiles, geography makes it difficult for their fleet
trammeled beach here, and wash to the foot of a steep to offer much more than coastal protection, and 60 percent
bluff near where thick cables disappear beneath the san- of all their subs are penned in port on any given day.
ds. One factor keeping them bottled up is the U.S. detection
A hundred yards above, cows chomp blissfully near two system which could, until recently, track nine out of every
low, windowless buildings from which the cables extend. ten Soviet subs in the oceans.
A lone sentry stands at the gate of the Centerville Beach Insiders won't say how far the lead has narrowed or
Oceanographic Facility in this remote corner of northern why, but there is little question the Soviets are now able to
California. Asked what the Navy does behind the elec- build quieter subs and move them around with less chance
tified fence, he replies tight-lipped, "If I were to tell you of detection. Some of the new technology comes cheap -
that, I'd be in big trouble." like attaching noisemakers to ships to make them appear
John Walker, his brother, his son and a freind are now in to run louder than they actually do - but new designs,
big trouble, for allegedly telling the wrong people what new coatings, and the ability to dive deeper are also
goes on behind the fence here and at similar submarine makinga difference.
tracking stations that girdle the globe. Each is a listening SOSUS and other systems also track U.S. subs to help
post, a part of the Sea Sound Surveillance System develop evasion techniques. "If we can hear our own subs,
(SOSUS). we figure the Soviets can, too," says Capt. Jim Bush -
Centerville is the westernmost SOSUS station in the con- John Walker's commander on the nuclear sub "Quijote,"
tinental United States, one of 22 worldwide maintained by in the 1960s, and now an analyst for the Center for Defense
1,800 sailors - many of them women - which track Soviet Information.
fleets, above and under the water, day and night. Some observers have suggested that the accused spies
On one end, the cables extending from the anonymous - all of whom spent long years in submarine operations
building here are hooked to arrays of sensitive and communications - might have so seriously com-
hydrophones laid in the early 1960s along the continental promised the Navy's sub detection system that it will have
shelf. On the other end, the lines are plugged into a com- to be scrapped.
plex computer network which can reportedly sift through Officially, the Navy says damage has been "short-term
millions of sea sounds - and pick out and identify a loose and operational," but some old salts are not so sure.
propeller screw on a Soviet Victor II class attack sub "Walker was right at the nerve center in our tracking
across the Pacific. operations,' retired Admiral Eugene Carroll told repor-
So tight is the security at Centerville that personnel ters. "He was in a position to give them information on
have reportedly been court-martialed for discussing base how we track their subs and how successful we were."
activities with their wives. With or without spies, Soviet technology has altered the
In all, five stations on the U.S. West Coast transmit a power balance between the two fleets. Observers surmise
continual stream of raw data to the San Diego Naval In- that this might be having an impact on the sputtering ar-
teligence Center, where the material is unscrambled and ms control talks.
sent on to fleet command in Hawaii to fit in with air and Arms control advocates, such as Robert Aldridge, who
sea tracking. Similarly unobtrusvie SOSUS stations dot designed Trident underwater launching systems for 16
the Atlantic coast, interfacing with fleet command in Nor- years, think the U.S. Navy's longtime ability to nullify
folk, Va. Soviet missile-carrying subs in effect represents a first-
The locations of SOSUS tracking stations in the North strike advantage - an advantage which encourages
Atlantic is considered so sensitive that the editorial staff Soviet defensive zeal. Aldridge suggests that if the Soviet
of a Norwegian magazine has recently been charged with fleet is better able to escape detection, that could have a
violating that country's official secrets act for revealing positive, stabilizing effect.
the existence of a facility in one of Norway's northernmost The Walkers are unlikely peace ideologues - Walker
islands, near Soviet sub pens. reportedly was a member of both the Ku Klux Klan and
The Navy has other ears for tracking the Soviet fleet the John Birch Society and had an official portrait of
thorugh narrow "chokepoints" into the deep oceans. Ronald Reagan on his desk. But the importance of the in-
From the air, PC-3 Orions drop sonar buoys in areas formation the group is alleged to have peddled is fraying a
where Soviet subs are believed to be lurking, and surface lot of nerves.
ships trail long arrays of listening devices - in 1983, to its "We will probably never know the extent of the damage
great embarrassment, a Soviet sub tangled with such an done," according to one insider, who says that if the 25-
array off the Carolina coast. year-old SOSUS system is compromised, "we'll have to
All these detection devices are linked through a web of accelerate development of new technologies."
satellite communication systems, the most classified area Those technologies - involving fiber optics laid in
of the surveillance apparatus - and the area in which ac- SOSUS-like arrays, thermal analysis of wakes laid by
cused spy ring members had the most expertise. subs, satellite-mounted lasers - could one day make the
Anti-submarine warfare is a $13 billion operaton - fully oceans transparent enough to nullify the cover of both
16 percent of the Navy's budget - and projected to double superpower's submarine fleets. In the wake of the current
by 1987. Despite the huge outlays, research, development spy scandal, the race to that end is surely being re-
and deployment are carried out as silently as the subs evaluated.
running the murky undersea. This is because of the im-
portance of anti-submarine warfare in the nuclear triad - Ross wrote this for Pacific News Service.
land-, air-, and sea-based delivery systems.
BLOOMCOUNTY by Berke Breathed

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