Thursday, December 09, 2004

Nukes in Space

As I noted here, the issue of intelligence reform has been hung up on one main issue: money. I am not only referring to the debate about budgetary authority for the Director of National Intelligence to oversee even the intelligence agencies of the Pentagon. That is important, but the comments of John Lehman on the News Hour indicate another source of pressure lurking behind all of the rhetoric about control over tactical intelligence for the safety of the troops etc. Lehman said:
You've got the hardware manufacturers that manufacture the satellites that lobby and have very strong interests to keep the gross imbalance between hardware and the human and the translators, area specialists...
Now we hear from the LA Times, as Kevin Drum notes, that there is a "mystery program" buried in this long and complex bill.
In an unusual rebuke, Sen. John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that the spy project was "totally unjustified and very, very wasteful and dangerous to the national security." He called the program "stunningly expensive."
The rare criticisms of a highly secretive project in such a public forum intrigued outside intelligence experts, who said the program was almost certainly a spy satellite system, perhaps with technology to destroy potential attackers. They cited tantalizing hints in Rockefeller's remarks, such as the program's enormous expense and its alleged danger to national security.
Can any one say Star Wars, or is it a secret?


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