If Congress does nothing else between now and election day, it will pass another record defense spending bill--even though the Pentagon says it can't keep track of the money. Will more than $500 billion make America safer? Do the House and the Senate care more about oversight or pet projects? Also, an update on today's suicide bombing in Kabul and a conversation about ABC's The Path to 9/11. Is it a docudrama or political propaganda?
FROM THIS EPISODE
In Kabul, Afghanistan, today, a suicide bomber killed at least 18 Afghans and two American Soldiers. Many more were wounded. The attack, which struck downtown near the several diplomatic missions, comes as NATO commanders are asking for 2000 more troops to fight the resurgent Taliban.
After hours of impassioned debate about terrorism, Secretary Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq, the Senate passed the defense-spending bill yesterday by a vote of 98-to-nothing. Congress is about to do the same. The legislation's $500 billion provides for more military spending than the rest of the world combined. In a post-9/11 election year--with wars going on in Iraq and Afghanistan--no politician in either party wants to be labeled "anti-defense." The Pentagon has admitted it can't keep track of all of that money. So who knows if bigger spending really means greater protection? Are threats to America changing faster than the military can get ready to meet them? Does Congress focus on oversight or pet projects?
Democrats, including former President Clinton, are up in arms over The Path to 9/11, scheduled to run Sunday and Monday nights on ABC. The network calls criticism "premature and irresponsible," because final editing is incomplete. Republican Thomas Kean, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission and a co-executive producer of the 6-hour docudrama, says changes are being made, at his suggestion, and that the miniseries is being made by "people of integrity." Two Democrats who were on the Commission say some scenes contradict its findings.
Scott Collins, Television Reporter, Los Angeles Times