Final Word from Monday, January 26, 2009

For months, friends and foes of the U.S. radar have been studying Barack Obama's every word - without tremendous success - to glean insight into his position on missile defense. Perhaps the biggest clue so far came last week. Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush administration, nominated William Lynn III to the No. 2 post at the defense dept. He's a former top lobbyist for Raytheon, the radar supplier, and he was directly involved in lobbying for missile defense. His nomination came just a day after Obama signed an executive order preventing ex-lobbyists hired by his administration from participating for two years in issues affecting their former employer. Lynn, however, was given a national-security waiver and won't have to recuse himself from issues affecting Raytheon. His former employer has its finger in many more pies that just radar, but his appointment is nevertheless reason to suspect that Obama's views on missile defense won't veer much from Bush's.[Czech Republic United States of America MD department George]

Glossary of difficult words

foe - enemy or opponent;

to glean - to obtain, derive, extract;

insight - understanding of a person or thing;

holdover - a person or thing surviving from an earlier time;

waiver - exemption (for national-security reasons, in this case);

to recuse oneself - to excuse oneself from a case or issue due to a possible conflict of interest;

to have a finger in every pie - to be involved in a large and varied number of activities;

to veer - to change direction suddenly.

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