FROM David Willman
The Pentagon's 'Zombie' Blimps Program Over the past two decades, the Pentagon has spent $2.7 billion on a little-known air defense system. It’s a fleet of big white blimps meant to detect missile or drone strikes—and so far, it’s been a dud. So much so that today’s L.A. Times calls it a “zombie” program: Expensive, ineffective and impossible to kill.
Siga Technology's Multi-Million Dollar Smallpox Drug Deal Eradicated for almost 40 years, Smallpox is known to exist in locked freezers in a Russian scientific institute and the US government. In case it might be available as a bio-weapon, the US has $1 billion worth of vaccine that works within four days of exposure, at a cost of $3 a dose. Now the Obama Human Health and Services Department has granted a sole-source contract for a pill to give people exposed too late for the vaccine to work. Its cost is $255 per dose, but it can't be tested to see if it would be effective. The contracting firm is controlled by a billionaire contributor to the Democratic Party. That's according to a lengthy investigative report in the Los Angeles Times by David Willman.
Closing a Chapter on the 2001 Anthrax Scare At a news conference yesterday, the Justice Department said Dr. Bruce Ivins was the only person with access to the strain of anthrax that killed five and panicked the nation after September 11. It claimed FBI evidence would have proven him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt if he'd lived long enough to go on trial instead of committing suicide. Is the case against Ivins believable? Why did it take seven years? If Ivins suffered from mental illness for so long, why was he working with deadly toxins in a government laboratory?
FBI to Unveil the Case against Bruce Ivins The FBI is briefing the families of five victims and nearly two dozen survivors of the anthrax letters that terrorized the nation in the aftermath of September 11. Later today, investigative reports are expected to be made public on Dr. Bruce Ivins, who apparently killed himself last week. David Willman of the Los Angeles Times was the first reporter to reveal that Ivins had become the prime suspect.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
Free speech and the ideological fight for college campuses Conservatives claim that American colleges and universities are bastions of liberal orthodoxy, shielding students from alternative ways of thinking. What better place for a protest than UC Berkeley? What better agent of controversy than Ann Coulter?
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?