The L.A. Times reviews the billions of dollars in research money being spent this year on homeland defense. The paper's -- and a former defense official's -- conclusion: "What we will have in two or three years is a huge new public trough. The funding going into this is way overblown. When you throw this kind of money around, even well-intentioned people can't control it."

Efforts to build national [biological] networks of sensors "makes Star Wars look easy," the defense official said, referring to the 20-year drive to build a missile defense system. The official agreed to speak on condition of anonymity. As government offices, universities and contractors establish dozens of homeland security research centers, he added, "What you hear is the thundering of the herd rushing to the money."
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