Tuesday, August 21

The Media Must Demand Truth From the Testers Now the truth is coming out. Last week, Air Force Lt. Gen. Ronald T. Kadish, director of the missile-test organization, acknowledged that we don't yet know how to hit a missile with another missile, let along distinguish enemy warheads from decoys without radio aids. We are a long way from a national missile defense and a testing program that focuses on the problems that such a system must overcome.

But the Pentagon has staged a series of show-biz events that have been rigged to appear successful when, in fact, they prove next to nothing. Who benefits from such deception? Not the president. Not the defense secretary. Not U.S. allies. Certainly not the American people, who are no better defended against a missile attack than they would be by holding a cheap umbrella over their heads. The only clear winners are the missile-defense system's principal contractors--Boeing Co., Raytheon Corp., TRW Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corp.--and those among our enemies and detractors who might seek to alienate the United States further from the rest of the world.

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