August 1998

Has Bill Gates declared war on the United States?

By selling the U.S. Navy its defective, obsolete Windows NT product, Microsoft has done what Saddam Hussein and other despots have failed to do: sabotage a U.S. Navy vessel and take it out of action.

Government Computer News ( reported last month that the U.S.S. Yorktown was retrofitted with Microsoft's Windows NT product and used in a battlefield simulation test. Fortunately for all concerned, this was not a live-fire exercise. During a simple navigational maneuver, a single piece of erroneous data caused Windows NT to crash, taking out the ship's propulsion system. The mighty warship had to be towed to port for two days of humiliating and expensive repairs.

It didn't have to be this way. The U.S. Navy bought 400,000 licenses for IBM's reliable, futuristic OS/2 Warp system a few years ago. What are they using them for -- the wallpaper on some admiral's cabin??

I have sailed with the brave men and women of the U.S. Navy. I know the nerve-wracking anxiety of listening to the clink of chains from a Russian "fishing trawler" echo on the sonar of a nuclear-powered submarine. I know the thrill of diving in excess of
<CLASSIFIED> feet and surging under the waves in excess of <CLASSIFIED> knots to escape the observers. I have smelled the electric stench of the helium-oxygen mix used to mitigate decompression disease ("the bends"), and I have listened to the carefully measured tones of a naval security officer explaining his tireless search for any trace of danger.

But most of all, I have learned the secret of the U.S. Navy's 200-year tradition of scientific and navigational excellence: "Every backup system has a backup system." And now the U.S. Navy has turned its back on the key ingredients of its success. Somebody has sold out -- not to Russians, or the Chinese, or to Iraq -- but to a gang of American traitors.

If an arms merchant sold defective gunpowder to the military, would there be no penalty? If tainted fuel was delivered and crippled a Navy ship, would there be no outrage? Is there no court-martial for a band of swindlers selling a pack of lies encoded in digital format? Must American ships be turned into floating crematoriums, and the blood of a thousand U.S. sailors stain the hands of Mr. Gates, Mr. Ballmer, and their accomplices in crime, before these scoundrels dance from the end of a hangman's rope? Or maybe the gallows is too good for them.

I remember when Microsoft introduced its faulty Windows NT 4.0 product in the summer of 1996. During the rollout in Seattle, a bomb threat ruined the gala event. Was it mere coincidence that Mr. Gates was quickly hustled onto a U.S. Navy ship that "happened" to be stationed nearby? What piece of high-ranking Navy brass does Microsoft have in its hip pocket, anyway? And just what are these high-tech grifters in Redmond running, some kind of Ollie-North-style shadow government, in defiance of the U.S. Constitution? Maybe "Microsoft Uber Alles" is already far more than merely an infantile fantasy of the sinister Microsoft manipulators.

What is the penalty for treason? Hang them all. Hang 'em high!

Most recent revision: August 6, 1998
Copyright © 1998, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.