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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Quotes of the Morning: Gimme Shelter

“Our missile-defense program since 2001 has demonstrated that missile technology, in particular hit-to-kill technology, actually works. We actually can hit a bullet with a bullet.”
-Paul Wolfowitz, October 2002

“Today I am pleased to announce we will take another important step in countering these threats by beginning to field missile defense capabilities to protect the United States as well as our friends and allies.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, December 17, 2002

“President Bush in 2002 announced a goal to field a rudimentary ground-based missile shield by the end of 2004, but the timetable may slip somewhat, Pentagon chief weapons buyer Michael Wynne said last week.
The Pentagon is spending $10 billion a year on the project.”
-Reuters, December 13, 2004

“According to a new estimate by the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, the Bush Administration's missile defense plans - both national and theater - could cost as much as $273 billion. Given that these programs have a bad history of cost overruns, the final tally could be even higher.”
-Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, August 14, 2004

“Chicago-based Boeing Co. has won a $928 million contract to field the ground-based midcourse defense part of a planned U.S. missile defense shield, the Pentagon announced on Monday.
The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said the cost-plus-award fee would cover construction and non-construction efforts at a missile defense site in Huntsville, Alabama in fiscal year 2005 through fiscal 2007.”
-Reuters, December 13, 2004

“Over a quarter of a trillion (with a ‘T’) dollars huh? Sounds like a lot. I hope that we can afford it with all of the costs of Iraq and our fears about defecit spending right now. But at least we’ll be safe”

“I wouldn't call it a failed test, because the intercept was not the primary objective. It’s still considered a success in that we gained great engineering data. We just don't know why it didn't hit."
-Chris Taylor, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, on a test of the Missile Defense System, June 18, 2003

“The Pentagon's last hope of flight-testing critical new elements of an antimissile system, before activating the system this autumn, appeared to vanish yesterday with the disclosure that the next flight test has been postponed until late this year, well past the November election.
The Air Force general in charge of the program said the setback will not affect plans to begin operating the system in the next month or two. But the delay leaves the Pentagon pressing ahead with a system that will not have been flight-tested in nearly two years -- and never with the actual interceptor that will be deployed. “
-Washington Post, September 13, 2004

“The test would be the first since a December 2002 failure in which the ‘kill vehicle’ -- a Raytheon Co. -built 120-pound package of sensors, chips and thrusters -- failed to separate from its booster rocket. Of eight intercepts attempted so far, five hit their targets, but under highly scripted conditions. “
-Reuters, December 10, 2004

“By ‘scripted conditions’ they mean little things like (and I’m not making this up), putting a GPS system in the nose of the missile to be intercepted in order to make it easier for the system to find. Once again, in completely ‘scripted conditions’ like that it was going with a 63% success rate. This is like claiming that you have fantastic skill at baseball and then only hitting 5 of 8 playing tee-ball. Now if only we can make the rogue nations put GPS systems in their missiles…”

“The first test of a national missile defense system in two years failed Wednesday, making it nearly impossible for President Bush to achieve his goal of having a basic anti-missile system in place before the end of this year.
In the test of what the administration envisions as a shield over U.S. soil, the so-called kill vehicle was shut down by an automatic safety system at the last minute and could not be launched toward the target missile it was supposed to intercept.”
-LA Times, December 15, 2004

“That was after the delay caused by unfavorable conditions like rain. See, the system doesn’t work in the rain or on really cloudy days. God I wish I was making this up.”

"Did we have perfection with our first airplane, our first rifle, our first ship? I mean, they'd still be testing at Kitty Hawk, for God's sake, if you wanted perfection."
-Donald Rumsfeld, on the Missile Defense System, August 2004

“[The new missile defense system being installed will likely stop] a relatively small number of incoming ballistic missiles, which is better than nothing.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, December 17, 2002

“Not if you’re trying to stop nukes Rummy. 63% success really won’t make me feel better then..”


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