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April 07, 2009

Obama Voting Present on Missile Defense

He continues to believe that he can avoid making actual commitments and continue speaking in vague cant meaning nothing at all.

Candidate Obama made a video in response to Caucus4Priorities [a liberal advocacy group]. "I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems," Obama said. "I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems…"

To Democrats on the left side of the spectrum, "unproven missile defense systems" had a specific meaning. "Our position would have been that, at least at the time, any kind of missile defense system was unproven," Peggy Huppert, who was Iowa state director for Caucus4Priorities, told me. "We thought it should be discontinued, that it was not a fiscally responsible program -- ineffective, not proven, too expensive." Therefore, when Obama told Democrats that he would stop "unproven missile defense systems," he was saying he would stop all missile defense systems.


Now Obama is president and faces two problems for which missile defense is a possible solution. The first is North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile which might someday carry a nuclear warhead. The second is Iran's continuing effort to build a nuclear weapon. With that in the news, Obama pledged in the Czech Republic that, "as long as the threat from Iran persists," the U.S. "will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven."

In light of Obama's history on the subject, what was he saying? Why would he go out of his way to tell an audience in the Czech Republic that a missile defense system must be cost effective? And since he said that he will go forward, but only with a system that is "cost-effective and proven," was he saying that such a system exists today?

I posed the question to the White House, and a spokesman was as artful with words as his boss. "There is a provision in the defense authorization law for the last two years that establishes a process whereby such technology will be 'proven' technologically capable," he said. What the White House left unsaid is that the missile defense system to be installed in Europe has not been established to be "proven."

He seems to be procrastinating in his already-made decision to kill missile defense entirely, but who the hell knows with this guy.

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posted by Ace at 01:13 PM

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