The Campaign Spot

Edwards’s New Defense Adviser, Former Rumsfeld Commission Member, Praised Missile Defense

John Edwards, earlier this week:

As president, I will direct my Secretary of Defense to launch a comprehensive, tough review of fraud, waste, and abuse—and put an end to it. One example is missile defense and offensive space-based weapons, which are costly and unlikely to work.

(Never mind that as a senator, Edwards voted to deploy missile defense as quickly as possible.)
Edwards’ new military adviser, Barry M. Blechman, back in 2001:

In their stiffening opposition to the administration’s plans for missile defenses, congressional Democrats have acquired a strange nostalgia for the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union depended on nuclear deterrence for security. …The Democrats, for their part, should not rule out the desirability of supplementing deterrence with effective defenses on ideological grounds, or on the basis of a mistaken nostalgia for the misremembered comforts of deterrence.

I welcome Blechman to his position advising the Edwards campaign, and hope the candidate listens to him closely.
By the way, I would remind my netroot friends that Blechman was a member of the Rumsfeld Commission, a.k.a., Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States. Here’s the Washington Post’s assessment of the impact of the Rumsfeld Commission:

The political impact of the Rumsfeld report was strengthened by the fact that its conclusions were unanimous. The Democrats had been allowed to appoint three members of the nine-member panel, so it was difficult for them to argue that the report was politically tainted. The Democrats’ experts included Blechman and Richard L. Garwin, a leading nuclear physicist strongly opposed to missile defense on technical and scientific grounds.

 

…Since the beginning of the Bush administration last year, and Rumsfeld’s reappointment as defense secretary, the conclusions of the Rumsfeld Commission have been elevated to quasi-doctrinal status within the government, according to several officials.

 

“Nobody dares say a word against Rumsfeld, at least in public,” said one government nonproliferation expert. Another spoke of a “mass conversion” within the CIA, even among analysts who were predicting something entirely different just a few years before.

Explosion of rage among the netroots over this in 3… 2… 1…

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