Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Insert Coin(s) To Continue

The entire blogosphere seems to be having a good laugh over this, from Atrios

It was the lead item on the government's daily threat matrix one day last April. Don Emilio Fulci described by an FBI tipster as a reclusive but evil millionaire, had formed a terrorist group that was planning chemical attacks against London and Washington, D.C. That day even FBI director Robert Mueller was briefed on the Fulci matter. But as the day went on without incident, a White House staffer had a brainstorm: He Googled Fulci. His findings: Fulci is the crime boss in the popular video game Headhunter. "Stand down," came the order from embarrassed national security types.

John Heinke, at QandO, says:

This may not be a good time to mention my idea for a console based missile defense system. After all, we already have a whole generation of kids in training for it.

I agree. Hell, we've had the technology for years.


Screenshot from Missile Command, via the Atari Times.

In all seriousness though, where national missile defense is concerned, I think the country would be better served by letting technology catch up with our ambitions before attempting further progress. 49 retired US generals and admirals recently signed a letter urging President Bush to postpone building the proposed system; citing that, among other things, a) no one is certain whether or not it will work at night, and b) the requested funds ($10 billion) would be better spent protecting our ports and borders from terrorists. (Time, 4/5/2004, Vol. 163, Issue 14)

Promoting missile defense or combating terrorism, why does that sound familiar?

Government CustomWire, Apr 01, 2004

WASHINGTON, Apr 1, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The White House had promoted missile defense, instead of combating terrorism, as the cornerstone of a new national security strategy before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

On Sept. 11, 2001, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to deliver a speech outlining a Bush administration policy that would address the threats the United States faces. But the focus was largely on missile defense, not terrorism from Islamic radicals, the Post said.

In my opinion, the most promising prospect for national missile defense isn't even missile-based. It's the ABL, (Airborne Laser) being developed by Boeing.

The Airborne Laser (ABL) is the first megawatt-class laser weapon system to be carried on a specially configured 747-400F aircraft, designed to autonomously detect, track and destroy hostile ballistic missiles. The Beam Control/Fire Control system will accurately point, focus and fire the laser to provide sufficient energy to destroy the missile while it is still in the highly vulnerable boost phase of flight – before separation of its warheads.