Jewish World Review Feb. 10, 2003 / 8 Adar I, 5763

Dan Abrams

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Avoid politicizing the shuttle disaster


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | My message is simply this: Please do not politicize the crash of the Columbia space shuttle - at least not yet.

As the families and the nation mourn, I've already heard a prominent Democrat making subtle references to this administration's refusal to provide certain funds to NASA, a prominent Republican questioning whether President Clinton is to blame. It's shameful.

Look, if it turns out that better funding would have prevented the disaster, could have prevented the disaster, then start pointing fingers. But right now as the families mourn, the most likely explanation seems to be some sort of accident, maybe a piece of insulation striking the wing.

Experts from coast to coast have weighed in on that before the return to earth. The consensus, that it was no danger. It seems they may have been wrong, but that's not necessarily an issue of funding. That could be just an error. More importantly, the experts will tell you this type of space travel is inherently dangerous. Even NASA has estimated the risk of disaster at any given shuttle flight at about one in 145.

This is not like flying an airplane. So, let's allow the investigators time to assess if it could have or should have been prevented. Until then, let's let the families mourn their and our loss without the echo of political bickering further staining this difficult time.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 6-7 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.

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