SENATORS SNOOKERED ON MISSILE DEFENSE

Two Democratic Senators thought they had a deal: they'd vote for the Bush Administration's missile defense program, and the Pentagon wouldn't deploy new anti-missile systems until they were properly tested.Now, it seems, the Senators, Michigan's Carl Levin on Michigan and Rhode Island's Jack Reed, were snookered.Global Security Newswire reports:

(Levin and Reed) said they were assured by administration officials the system would be declared "fielded" and not "deployed" until the missile interceptors are proven to work under realistic conditions through operational testing.Days after gaining key House and Senate committee approval for the initiative, however, the White House on May 20 issued a policy statement declaring its intention to "deploy" the systems by the deadline. In addition, a recently leaked copy of the Dec. 16, 2002 order, "National Security Presidential Directive 23," showed that Bush had directed the Pentagon to "deploy" the systems all along...Its clear to me that theyre trying to slip something past the Congress and the American people, said Joseph Cirincione, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.There is certainly some deception going on, said Lisbeth Gronlund, a missile defense analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Last week, a key element of the anti-missile program, the ship-mounted Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system, failed a test near Hawaii.
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