Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Posey Moons Florida Today

On July 23, I posted an article about Space Coast Rep. Bill Posey's false claims that China plans to establish a colony on the Moon for military reasons.

The day before, Florida Today published an interview in which Posey said:

The moon, first and primarily, is the military high ground. We know the Russians want to colonize the moon. The Chinese are going to colonize the moon — they’ve said so.

I sent an opinion letter to Florida Today which was published on July 26. I wrote that Posey has repeatedly made this claim, but never offered any proof.

The newspaper published today a response from Posey:

It is naive to think that Russia and China have no desire to dominate space, or that they lack the capability to reach the moon. A January 2010 report from The Washington Times quotes Chinese officials stating they are developing plans to reach the moon by 2022 and are building three space stations.

For those of you unfamiliar with The Washington Times, it's owned by members of the South Korean Unification Church. Members are commonly known as "Moonies" because the church's founder is Sun Myung Moon.

Searching the Times archives, I found the article that it appears Posey cites as his source.

Titled "China Space Program Shoots for Moon", it's not a "report" as Posey claims but an opinion column written by John J. Tkacik, identified as "a retired Foreign Service officer" who was "chief of China analysis in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research during the Clinton administration."

Mr. Tkacik's column says nothing about China wanting a Moon colony. This is what he really wrote:

Senior Chinese space officials have told their state media that China could be on the moon by 2022 at the outside. Other authoritative Chinese space engineers see a moon landing as a next step in the Tiangong program that will launch three Chinese space stations into Earth orbit between 2011 and 2015. In 2008, NASA scientists told the Bush White House that, with the technology currently available to the Chinese space program, Chinese cosmonauts could be on the moon by 2017.

No authoritative source and no documented plan to build a moon colony. Just rumor and speculation that China might land on the Moon some day.

Landing on the Moon is not a "colony" anymore than the six Apollo landings created an American "colony" on the Moon. A colony is a permanent visit, not a few days picking up rocks.

Rep. Posey, in my opinion, remains as I described him on July 23 — a demagogue who makes absurd claims trying to frighten people into keeping him in power.

I've forwarded the Times link to the Florida Today editorial staff, and asked them to call out Mr. Posey on his fibs.

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