I’d just finished a chapter in my new book that concerned the U.S. Missile Defense Shield, and along came this article from Rolling Stone. There are a few typographical glitches in the “print” version (I’m sure these will be fixed soon; the article’s pretty fresh), but a lot of interesting insight into the state of this controversial program.
After Bush’s inauguration, when Rumsfeld was placed in charge of the Pentagon, he immediately began directing big budget increases toward missile defense. One day, in the Senate, some Democrats started to complain that too much money was being spent on missile defense and not enough to combat the kinds of nontraditional attacks preferred by terrorists. Joe Biden threatened to cut the missile defense budget unless Rumsfeld shifted some money toward preparing for terrorist attacks. Rumsfeld threw a fit and threatened to have President Bush veto any such bill. The day this angry standoff took place was September 10th, 2001.