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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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?
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.