Only days ago, President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates put forth a new defense budget proposal that cuts $1.4 billion in funding from the money pit that is ballistic missile defense:
A cut in missile defense spending was less than anticipated as Gates said the program would shift toward the threat posed by countries with rogue programs, such as North Korea.
The Airborne Laser program would be scaled back and there will be no funding for additional interceptor missiles based in Alaska.
Well, the backlash, from Democrats and Republicans alike, has begun, led by none other than Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Let's take a look at what he had to say and what might be behind his reasoning.
"Cooperation on missile defense is now a critical component of many of our closest security partnerships around the world," Lieberman wrote in a letter to the president. "We fear that cuts to the budget for missile defense could inadvertently undermine these relationships and foster the impression that the United States is an unreliable ally.
"Moreover, sharp cuts would leave us and our friends around the world less capable of responding to the growing ballistic missile threat."
Lieberman, a longtime supporter of a robust missile defense program, is the lead signatory on the letter.
Lieberman's letter was also signed by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and James Inhofe (R-OK).
Now what is Lieberman's true reason for supporting missile defense so much that he found it necessary to protest the President's desire to cut funding to a program that is both unnecessary and a money pit? No, I don't think Joe Lieberman thinks this cut in funding makes us less safe, especially when he's parroting the same talking points as Gov. Sarah Palin:
"I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead," Governor Palin said.
"I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska’s strategic location & the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation."
So what is this about? Well, money of course! Money for Palin, Begich and Murkowski's state. And most tellingly, money for Lieberman's campaign coffers.
So it really all comes together when you see financial stories like this (emphasis mine):
In the first ever "salvo" firing of a THAAD interceptor, the Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) developed by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne successfully positioned the interceptor to destroy the incoming test ballistic missile. Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles were fired during a test on March 17 from the Pacific Missile Range off Kauai, Hawaii.
You guessed it, Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies company, Lieberman's highest campaign contributor. No wonder he's looking out for their interests to the tune of penning a letter to the President on their behalf and selling out the American people.
Another politician bought. Excuse me while I vomit.