Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 19, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

MISSILE DEFENSE....I just love this quote about the latest test of our missile defense system:

"I wouldn't call it a failed test, because the intercept was not the primary objective," said Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the MDA. "It's still considered a success in that we gained great engineering data. We just don't know why it didn't hit."

Hey, I thought the Bush administration was interested in results, not process?

Cheap partisan jokes aside, though, the lack of transparency in evaluating missile defense is a real scandal. We've been at this stuff for at least two decades (maybe four or five depending on how you count), the tests are designed to be practically impossible to fail, and yet they continue to fail and fail and fail.

But they don't. These days, "great engineering data" is considered a success. (Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations....) I'm not philosophically opposed to missile defense, but I am opposed to sinking money endlessly into a program that never seems to achieve anything. Conservatives rightly castigate social programs that don't produce results, so why are they willing to put up with it here?

(Oh, and don't forget that Bush has decided that missile defense will be deployed in October 2004 regardless of whether it works or not. October 2004. Does that date sound at all suspicious to anyone?)

Kevin Drum 8:49 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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