Staff Editorial: Just a pipedream

In a recent speech, President George W. Bush outlined his vision of manned spaceflight to the moon, and eventually to Mars. While President Bush cited only a $1 billion increase in funding necessary for NASA, it is only logical that such a robust project will go disastrously over budget. Given the precarious security reality in our nation’s capital, it is illogical that Bush would consider such an expenditure at this time.

According to information that has only recently become available, the U.S. Park Police failed a dirty bomb test administered by the Department of the Interior. In this test, a suspicious plastic bag was placed in close proximity to the Park Police station near the Washington Monument. The Park Police failed to even notice the suspicious package for nearly 20 minutes.

The detonation of a dirty bomb on the National Mall would have disastrous consequences for the entire downtown Washington, D.C. area, and it would also put GW students at a direct, calculated risk. Because of GW’s proximity to the National Mall, students would be in the primary impact zone of such an attack.

Instead of spending such a large amount of money on a dream proposition, the Bush administration must seriously address the need to upgrade the security measures present at our national monuments. The billions of dollars sure to be spent on this NASA pipedream could go a long way toward recruiting more qualified personnel to defend our nation’s capital.

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