For those that don’t use really long words when every day words will do, hubristic means arrogant. Now, the part I don’t get is what exactly is he complaining about? Here is the National Security section from 1996 version Gore and Clinton established:
(1) The United States will conduct those space activities necessary for national security. These activities will be overseen by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) consistent with their respective responsibilities as set forth in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, other applicable law, and Executive Order 12333. Other departments and agencies will assist as appropriate.
(2) Improving our ability to support military operations worldwide, monitor and respond to strategic military threats, and monitor arms control and non-proliferation agreements and activities are key priorities for national security space activities. The Secretary of Defense and DCI shall ensure that defense and intelligence space activities are closely coordinated; that space architectures are integrated to the maximum extent feasible; and will continue to modernize and improve their respective activities to collect against, and respond to, changing threats, environments and adversaries.
(3) National security space activities shall contribute to U.S. national security by:
(a) providing support for the United States’ inherent right of self-defense and our defense commitments to allies and friends;
(b) deterring, warning, and if necessary, defending against enemy attack;
(c) assuring that hostile forces cannot prevent our own use of space;
(d) countering, if necessary, space systems and services used for hostile purposes;
(e) enhancing operations of U.S. and allied forces;
(f) ensuring our ability to conduct military and intelligence space-related activities;
(g) satisfying military and intelligence requirements during peace and crisis as well as through all levels of conflict;
(h) supporting the activities of national policy makers, the intelligence community, the National Command Authorities, combatant commanders and the military services, other federal officials, and continuity of government operations.
(4) Critical capabilities necessary for executing space missions must be assured. This requirement will be considered and implemented at all stages of architecture and system planning, development, acquisition, operation, and support.
(5) The Department of Energy, in coordination with DoD, ACDA and the DCI will carry out research on and development of technologies needed to effectively verify international agreements to control special nuclear materials and nuclear weapons.
(6) Defense Space Sector Guidelines:
(a) DoD shall maintain the capability to execute the mission areas of space support, force enhancement, space control, and force application.
(b) In accordance with Executive Orders and applicable directives, DoD shall protect critical space-related technologies and mission aspects.
(c) DoD, as launch agent for both the defense and intelligence sectors, will maintain the capability to evolve and support those space transportation systems, infrastructure, and support activities necessary to meet national security requirements. DoD will be the lead agency for improvement and evolution of the current expendable launch vehicle fleet, including appropriate technology development.
(d) DoD will pursue integrated satellite control and continue to enhance the robustness of its satellite control capability. DoD will coordinate with other departments and agencies, as appropriate, to foster the integration and interoperability of satellite control for all governmental space activities.
(e) The Secretary of Defense will establish DoD’s specific requirements for military and national-level intelligence information.
(f) The Secretary of Defense, in concert with the DCI, and for the purpose of supporting operational military forces, may propose modifications or augmentations to intelligence space systems as necessary. The DoD may develop and operate space systems to support military operations in the event that intelligence space systems cannot provide the necessary intelligence support to the DoD.
(g) Consistent with treaty obligations, the United States will develop, operate and maintain space control capabilities to ensure freedom of action in space and, if directed, deny such freedom of action to adversaries. These capabilities may also be enhanced by diplomatic, legal or military measures to preclude an adversary’s hostile use of space systems and services. The U.S. will maintain and modernize space surveillance and associated battle management command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence to effectively detect, track, categorize, monitor, and characterize threats to U.S. and friendly space systems and contribute to the protection of U.S. military activities.
(h) The United States will pursue a ballistic missile defense program to provide for: enhanced theater missile defense capability later this decade; a national missile defense deployment readiness program as a hedge against the emergence of a long-range ballistic missile threat to the United States; and an advanced technology program to provide options for improvements to planned and deployed defenses.
(7) Intelligence Space Sector Guidelines:
(a) The DCI shall ensure that the intelligence space sector provides timely information and data to support foreign, defense and economic policies; military operations; diplomatic activities; indications and warning; crisis management; and treaty verification, and that the sector performs research and development related to these functions.
(b) The DCI shall continue to develop and apply advanced technologies that respond to changes in the threat environment and support national intelligence priorities.
(c) The DCI shall work closely with the Secretary of Defense to improve the intelligence space sector’s ability to support military operations worldwide.
(d) The nature, the attributable collected information and the operational details of intelligence space activities will be classified. The DCI shall establish and implement policies to provide appropriate protection for such data, including provisions for the declassification and release of such information when the DCI deems that protection is no longer required.
(e) Collected information that cannot be attributed to space systems will be classified according to its content.
(f) These guidelines do not apply to imagery product, the protection of which is governed by Executive Order 12951.
(g) Strict security procedures will be maintained to ensure that public discussion of satellite reconnaissance by Executive Branch personnel and contractors is consistent with DCI guidance. Executive Branch personnel and contractors should refrain from acknowledging or releasing information regarding satellite reconnaissance until a security review has been made.
(h) The following facts are UNCLASSIFIED:
(i) That the United States conducts satellite photoreconnaissance for peaceful purposes, including intelligence collection and monitoring arms control agreements.
(ii) That satellite photoreconnaissance includes a near real-time capability and is used to provide defense-related information for indications and warning, and the planning and conduct of military operations.
(iii) That satellite photoreconnaissance is used in the collection of mapping, charting, and geodetic data and such data is provided to authorized federal agencies.
(iv) That satellite photoreconnaissance is used to collect mapping, charting and geodetic data to develop global geodetic and cartographic materials to support defense and other mapping-related activities.
(v) That satellite photoreconnaissance can be used to collect scientific and environmental data and data on natural or man-made disasters, and such data can be disseminated to authorized federal agencies.
(vi) That photoreconnaissance assets can be used to image the United States and its territories and possessions.
(vii) That the U.S. conducts overhead signals intelligence collection.
(viii) That the U.S. conducts overhead measurement and signature intelligence collection.
(ix) The existence of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the identification and official titles of its senior officials. All other details, facts and products of intelligence space activities are subject to appropriate classification and security controls as determined by the DCI.
(i) Changes to the space intelligence security policy set forth in the national space policy can be authorized only by the President.
What it did was give carte blanche priviledges to the US to do whatever it wanted based on the whims of the President and/or Pentagon. What Bush has done is spell out specific purposes and policies that the US will be shooting for. The result of the 1996 version was basically nothing. Whether the 2006 results in anything substantial remains to be seen. However, as usual, Al Gore is just being critical for the sake of being critical only.
When asked if his comments were on the record, Gore replied negatively. That’s par for the course. I’m sure he’s waiting to make a movie or book so he can make more money pandering to the anti-Bush crowd.
I’m not going to claim this is a great policy document or not. What I am going to do is assert that the 1996 version was worse, left NASA in a state of no leadership and direction, and therefore Gore has no room whatsoever to criticize anything anyone else does.