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.
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?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.