Not So Great Britain

Spy Chief Scraps Satellite Program | June 23, 2007

Spy chief Mike McConnell has junked a multibillion-dollar spy satellite program that engineers hoped would someday pass undetected through the space above other nations.

The move from the director of national intelligence comes after several years of congressional efforts to kill the program, known publicly as the next generation of ”Misty” satellites. The new satellite was to be a stealthy intelligence spacecraft designed to take pictures of adversaries and avoid detection.

Little is known about the nation’s classified network of satellites, which represent some of the most expensive government programs and receive almost no public oversight. Because of their multibillion-dollar price tags, sensitive missions and lengthy development schedules, spy agencies go to great pains to keep details from becoming public.

McConnell gave no reason for his recent decision. Despite the program’s secrecy, he almost dared further inquiry into it.

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