In Maine, Missiles Get Mixed Reaction
The public reaction in western Maine to a proposed missile defense site is mixed.
The Pentagon is considering whether to place a missile defense site on the east coast - a naval training site in Maine is one possibility, Fort Drum is another. In all, four sites are under condsideration.
This week, it was Maine's turn to hear from - and speak to - officials from the Department of Defense.
Next Tuesday night, August 19, at Carthage Central school, it will be Fort Drum's turn.
Television station WGME spoke with a couple of people who live near the proposed Maine site, during a session in Rangeley, Maine Tuesday night. (Seen in our picture.)
One of them, Ann Baker, was skeptical. Baker wondered about the effect of a missile site "to the wildlife, to the water - we don't know how that's gonna go."
But another, Tom Sullivan, said "We need that kind of thing. We just need to get away from a seasonal economy. This would help."
As well, Maine's public radio reported on the ambivalence some people feel.
"There will be jobs related to this - I'm not sure how many, that's going to be one of our questions. What kind of construction jobs, what kind of permanent jobs?" Tom Saviello, a Republican state senator told MPBN.
"What happens if there's a fire on the base? Does my local fire department go and fight it in the Kingfield area, Carrabasset Valley, or do they have their own fire department? Those are simple questions, but they need to be answered," Saviello said.
The idea of a missile defense system - there are two sites already on the west coast - is that rockets launched from the site would destroy incoming enemy rockets before they could strike the U.S. However, the technology is highly questionable; a Los Angeles Times investigation earlier this year disclosed that after a decade of work and $40 billion spent, the system still can't reliably shoot down incoming missiles, even when the tests are scripted.