October 10, 2002

Star Wars

This evening's Frontline is on everyone's favorite intersection of pork barrel politics and unscrupulous militarism, missile defense. I'm confident the folks at PBS will do their usual bang up job; the episode has already received a ringing endorsement from the National Review. Yes, I'm sure that by the end I'll be shouting at the TV and afraid to go to sleep lest I discover that a military-industrial junta has taken over America. Oh wait. That being said, my favorite account of missile defense comes from JoAnn Wypijewski's article in the December 2001 issue of Harper's. The article is quite lengthy, so here's a little taste:

"Sometime after I returned from Kwajalein, I came upon a newspaper column by Paul Loeb, recounting a meeting he'd had with executives at Lockheed's Missile & Space Operations in Sunnyvale, California. He quoted one fellow saying, 'Let's get real. We all know that if anyone ever attacks America, the bomb is going to be delivered by a suitcase, a car or a truck, or in a boat.... We all know that we're lobbying for these programs because they make us money. We don't care whether they'll ever work, or even be useful. We care that the dollars come our way.'"

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