A Pentagon panel of outside rocketry experts was too polite to use the phrase "pie in the sky," but they might as well have in excoriating the rush to deploy an unworkable antimissile system in time for President Bush's re-election campaign. Although clearly bedeviled by test failures and unproven components, the first antimissile stations in this fantastic $130 billion-plus windfall for the defense industry were officially deployed on the West Coast last fall - just in time to cover Mr. Bush's vow in 2000 to have the system up in four years.Slice 2:
An outside panel chartered by the Pentagon has concluded that the rush to deploy a national antimissile system last year led to shortfalls in quality controls and engineering procedures that could have better assured the system would work, according to the panel's final report.Back to the first article:
Bent on meeting President Bush's deadline to install the first elements of the system by the end of 2004, Pentagon officials put schedule ahead of performance, the report says.
Among risky shortcuts that were taken, the panel says, were insufficient ground tests of key components, a lack of specifications and standards, and a tendency to postpone resolution of nettlesome issues.
Dozens of retired admirals and generals have urged the president to cut taxpayer losses and shift money to the more imminent threat of low-tech terrorism at the nation's vulnerable ports, borders and nuclear weapon depots. This advice has been ignored, and even now Congress is dishing up another year's $7.6 billion for missile defense.Sounds like good advice. Why does it appear that the W, Rove and Co continue to follow faulty intelligence rather than sound advice?