Boston Globe columnist James Carroll offers the latest update on our national missile defense system, which has never, except in the dreams of its “high frontier” proponents, shown the faintest sign of being a workable way to defend us against much of anything in any of our lifetimes. Now, it seems that a lab at MIT hired by a defense contractor has played a part in covering up its woeful inadequacies — possibly even its inability to actually hit something not more or less stationary or a mile wide and pre-targeted. When you think about it, this sort of thing is increasingly commonplace in our world — not that different, for instance, from drug testing funded by drug companies.
Of course, there’s another question here that Carroll doesn’t raise. Does it matter to its military and corporate proponents whether, in the end, the system works or not, given the vast sums of money that it funnels into advanced weaponry r&d, the economy it helps to float, the possibilities for war in space that it will help open up, and the allies it helps bring into an American system of global domination? Probably not. Tom
A missile coverup at MIT?
By James Carroll, December 3, 2002, The Boston Globe
LAST MONTH the Air Force general in charge of developing the missile defense system declared that the elusive technology had finally proven itself. ”We no longer need to experiment, to demonstrate, or prevaricate,” Lieutenant General Ronald Kadish said. ”We need to get on with this.”
But the record of Pentagon assertions in favor of missile defense has been unreliable, to say the least. A project that is bringing tens of billions of dollars into military-industrial coffers carries an irresistible bias in its own behalf, and history shows that neither the Defense Department nor its contractors are reliable evaluators of the science and technology on which President Bush’s vaunted ”shield” must stand. Leave aside for the moment the disturbing question of whether US initiatives toward missile defense will ignite a mortal new arms race with China and others. The remaining question of feasibility is grave enough.