Were these guys even on the same call? If you read the Moonie-owned Washington Times yesterday, you would have thought everything was just hunky-dory with the missile defense system -- never mind all those tests in which the interceptors couldn't get off of the ground.
U.S. defenses against enemy missiles are progressing toward full deployment and a new sea-based version hit a simulated Scud missile flight during a test last month, Pentagon officials said yesterday.Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering, director of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency, told reporters that the basic system of interceptor missiles, sensors and tracking devices is working and is a critical national security weapon."Overall I'm very optimistic," Gen. Obering said during a telephone conference. "This is a critical capability and I think that people will realize over time that we absolutely need this for our security, and I think we'll look back and say thank goodness that we were able to develop this system when we did and get it into the field."But now, check out what Defense Daily -- the military-industrial trade e-journal, not exactly regarded as a bastion of left-wing thought -- had to say about Obering's chat:
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) director Air Force Lt. Gen. Trey Obering is disappointed with recent flight test problems in the ground- based midcourse defense arena."I'm very disappointed in this last test because of the simplicity of the failure," Obering said in a teleconference yesterday."The flight test interceptor aborted as designed," Obering said."We had a failure of one of the ground support equipment arms to adequately clear out of the way as it should have" within the silo.Or how about this, from the Washington Post?
The general in charge of the Pentagon's faltering effort to develop a system for defending the United States against ballistic missile attack said yesterday that he has ordered a thorough review of all ground equipment used in testing and appointed a senior Navy officer to oversee future test preparations.The moves by Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry A. "Trey" Obering III follow failed attempts in December and February to launch interceptor rockets in tests of the fledgling system. Both failures have been blamed on what defense officials say were minor glitches -- a flawed software code in December and a faulty silo retracting arm in February.In a conference call with reporters, Obering expressed continued confidence in the system. He said that even without the launch of the rockets, the recent tests scored some successes by demonstrating the system's ability to track target missiles and generate intercept instructions. But he acknowledged frustration at the tendency of simple glitches to foil the tests."The hard things about missile defense we are accomplishing," Obering said. "The easy things are what we're having trouble with."So here's my question: Did the Moonie Times' Bill Gertz actually sit down and think, "Hmmm, let me carry the Administration's water today"? Or is blind acceptance so pre-programmed into the paper's DNA that this kind of cheerleading becomes automatic?(Thanks to Victoria for the catch.)THERE'S MORE: On second thought, maybe this all has something to do with little piggies. Or with getting high on the job. Sneak a peek at Dr. A.C. Wonk's take on the missile defense hackery.