The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

US activates non-working missile defense system in response to PRK.

GOP leadership must've been thrilled to announce that they'd have an excuse to tout the longtime pet project SDI. Right-wing bloggers dutifully wrote pieces about the heroic vision of Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" plan and the Republicans' stick-to-itiveness in funding it. But it all makes for a parable that's as good as any in highlighting the utter incompetence of the party and the cultlike behavior of their loyalists: the "visionary" missile defense system has cost tens of billions of dollars, and has never worked. It was officially put in place by Bush in spite of the fact that it failed even the rigged tests it was given.

As the Bush administration warns North Korea not to test a long-range missile, the U.S. missile-defense system remains a patchy and unproven shield, government studies and outside experts say.

President Bush ordered the Pentagon to start fielding prototype anti-missile rockets in 2004 to have at least some chance of destroying an intercontinental missile heading for the USA. Although there are 10 of those interceptors on bases in Alaska and California, their hurried deployment prevented complete testing and contributed to technical glitches and manufacturing problems, congressional investigators reported this year.

As the article notes, the system costs some $8 billion dollars a year but has never been given a test that approximates-- you guessed it-- reality.