So, the US Military wants to shoot down a spy satellite as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere. They will use a component of the Missile Defense system to do it. Their public rationale is that the satellite might be dangerous when it lands, as it contains a tank of toxic hydrazine gas, and shooting it down first will seriously diminish the (already tiny) risk posed by this gas.
Now, this rationale is pretty flimsy.
The Satellite is not that big, the amount of gas is very small, the odds of it hitting anyone are minuscule, etc., etc.. read the article if you don't believe me.
The real rationale is almost certainly something like, "Hey guys, let's see if our expensive new Missile Defense System can hit a live target!"
I don't really have a problem with this. I mean, it would be nice to know if it works, right? But what sortof chews me is that they come up with this bogus line to feed the public. And it bothers me for two reasons.
Reason 1. Have a little respect for us, guys. This public reason was obviously a load of hooey, to me, before I read this article. I am not being a conspiracy theorist here, the "conspiracy" is in plain sight: some people want to (publicly) test their missile so they can get more funding for it. Fine. Just say so, don't trot out this line about protecting life and dangerous hydrazine.
Reason 2. The execution of this line of propaganda is pretty half-hearted, but this is exactly the same way that the US was bamboozled into war with Iraq. (See: conflation of Iraq and Al Queda, Saddam WMD, etc etc etc. ) So, there's a broad pattern of the government, and especially the military, hiding its real motivations, and getting into the propaganda game.
Obscuring the motivations for shooting down this satellite just seems petty, a knee-jerk, automatic propaganda response. No-one really cares, in the grand scheme, why you want to shoot it down, no-one's going to protest much, or stop you, but you lie about your motives anyway, out of habit. Which implies that, when we consider your motivations on more weighty matters, you are demonstrably untrustable.
Weak Sauce, is what I am saying.