I have maintained my silence since the visit of the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) and the irresponsible antics of the local chapter of Greenpeace in the hopes that common sense would prevail. But your article of Sunday March 18th showed the futility of that hope. As a newspaper you are responsible for the accuracy of your reporting and in this instance you have failed to do so.
First off, if GREENPEACES own website is to be believed, the headquarters for Spain is in Madrid.
What is this nonsense about awaiting for test results from experts from the Spanish Navy, if you are looking for radioactivity you use a Geiger counter, which would take about three minutes, this type of reporting is not only misleading but fuels the fears of people who depend upon the media for accurate and unbiased reporting.
I will now lead off with a quote from your article and then issue my challenge. According to Greenpeace, fuelled by the controversy over the crippled Royal Navy submarine HMS TIRELESS in Gibraltar, the number of accidents and catastrophes involving nuclear warships is very high and that many of the problems have arisen while the vessels have been in ports.
Since this quote was attributed to a Sr. Carlos Bravo I now issue you both this challenge. Within two weeks of publication of this letter, you publish a list of the accidents and catastrophes involving nuclear warships, since the first nuclear powered carrier visited Mallorca 38 years ago (1962). That ship was the USS Enterprise. To save at least a few trees, lets limit the list to those accidents and catastrophes that have occurred while the vessels were in Port, as that seems to be Sr. Bravos main concern. As a secondary issue concerning these carriers. They are deployed for a minimum tour of six months and while deployed to the 6th fleet divide their time between the Persian Gulf where they fly missions to prevent Saddam Hussein from carrying out more attacks using weapons of mass destruction, in this case nerve gas against the Kurdish people who are seeking greater autonomy for their people, this should sound a familiar chord for Majorcan's who are attempting the same thing. When not in the Gulf they are in the Balkan's trying to prevent two ethnic groups from killing each other. As part of that mission they are flying air cover for the Spanish Military groups that an enlightened government has deployed to the region.
Young Majorcean solders and airmen cannot be proud of the reception received by their allies by Majorca.
It is not the wish of Spain that no nuclear powered warships dock at Spanish ports, the ships seem to be quite welcome at other ports. It is an opinion held here in Mallorca and not elsewhere, in the meantime other ports are reaping the economic rewards of welcoming these ships.
Concerning the ordering of full emergency and civil protection operations when these ships enter port, I would like Greenpeace's response to this question. If Nuclear power is that dangerous and the US NAVY has nine nuclear carriers, would it not be prudent for the authorities to enforce full emergency and civil protection operations around the nine nuclear power plants on the mainland? Will Greenpeace also demonstrate against the French nuclear powered carrier the CHARLES DE GAULE?