Monday, June 28, 2004
Why Bother Testing It Really
If it is so necessary, why not be sure it works?
Missile defense going up--and around testing lawIt must be physically impossible for this administration to do anything above board.
In its effort to quickly build and deploy a missile defense system, the Bush administration has quietly sidestepped a federal law that requires "operational testing" for new weapons systems before they are deployed.
Instead, the Defense Department has argued that its ambitious $50 billion program to destroy missiles fired at the U.S. is still under development and not ready for such testing even though the first interceptors of the system are scheduled to be installed and switched on this fall.
Opponents say the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s explanation is doublespeak. The administration's missile defense program already is in production, they argue, and the development claim is a ruse to ward off scrutiny.
"I think it will be `in development' forever," said Sen. Jack Reed (news, bio, voting record) (D-R.I.), who wants flight tests before more money is spent. "We've offered several variations for saying, `Let's go ahead and do this testing.' . . . But there's a political impetus. This has been an icon for the conservatives since the Reagan years."
Stephen J. Hedges, Chicago Tribune