Now the Pentagon Just Dials up Google Earth

November 11, 2007
Failure to Launch

Death of Spy Satellite Program

By May 2002, the government’s effort to build a technologically audacious new generation of spy satellites was foundering.
The contractor building the satellites, Boeing, was still giving Washington reassuring progress reports. But the program was threatening to outstrip its $5 billion budget, and pivotal parts of the design seemed increasingly unworkable. Peter B. Teets, the new head of the nation’s spy satellite agency, appointed a panel of experts to examine the secret project, telling them, according to one member, “Find out what’s going on, find the terrible truth I suspect is out there.”
The panel reported that the project, called Future Imagery Architecture, was far behind schedule and would most likely cost $2 billion to $3 billion more than planned, according to records from the satellite agency, the National Reconnaissance Office.
. . . Despite its relative inexperience, Boeing was given responsibility for monitoring its own work, under a new government policy of shifting control of big military projects to contractors. . .

. . . By the time the project, known by its initials, F.I.A., was killed in September 2005 — a year after the first satellite was originally to have been delivered — cost estimates ran as high as $18 billion. . .

–read entire debacle–

That ‘new government policy’ could not have been instigated by anyone other than Donald Rumsfeld.

No one knows what’s gong on with Star Wars since he’s been asked to leave, but the project was a shambles during his tennancy, at a cost rumored to be hundreds of billions.

This administration will be long remembered as ‘The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight’ on everything from pre-emptive war to nation-building to privatization to budgeting and finally, to keeping the Constitution somewhere (even peripherally) within their sights.

Who do you call when you want to know what Musharraf is up to? Google Earth, of course.

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