Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poland's safe, but what about my $100 billion?

The U.S. government has for years justified building an unworkable “missile defense system” in Eastern Europe, allegedly -- and I’m serious -- because of the threat posed by Iranian (not Russian, definitely not Russian) missiles, despite the fact that Iran has not attacked another country in centuries, a record the U.S. could do well to copy.

But in a March 25th press briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell suggested that there may be no need to defend Poland from the specter of Persian rocket fire, telling reporters that “if the Iranians were to abandon their pursuit of long-range ballistic missiles or a nuclear weapon, it would to some degree obviate the need for a European missile defense.”

As Morrell certainly knows, of course, the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, the consensus opinion of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies -- including, presumably, the Defense Departments intelligence outfits -- declared “with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” Translation: a major declared rationale for the so-called missile defense system may not be true.

And here I thought we were going to waste more than $100 billion on a military-industrial boondoggle that doesn’t even work. What a relief!

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