FROM David Willman
U.S. defense missile test was scripted for success, investigation finds North Korea test fired an intercontinental ballistic missile this week. The U.S. wants to protect the homeland from something like that. But an LA Times investigation found that conditions for a recent U.S. missile defense test were orchestrated to ensure its success.
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.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?