Billions spent on war, but nothing on airliner safety

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On NBC Nightly News on the night of Jan. 25, I heard two distinctly different stories regarding the importance of the average American to the current administration. In an early section, it was said that the Bush administration was to ask congress for another $80 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's on top of the $87 billion requested mid 2004. That's at least $160 billion taken away from improving the life of our own people and worse, negatively increasing the debt of the United States. A later portion of the newscast discussed the possible shooting down of an American airliner with a shoulder-fired rocket. The report stated that there is equipment currently available that could protect airliners. Every airplane in every fleet could be retrofitted with the equipment. But, the report goes on, it is unlikely that these retrofits will ever take place because of the immense cost.. This immense cost will be $11 billion. We're going to throw another $80 billion away for some pie in the sky, yet when it comes to protecting our own people, our highest priority, we can't spend less than 15 percent of that amount. Bob Kaiser Newcastle