The scientific community fights for years over one Hubble telescope - and some shady agency has two?
They can afford to "give them away" now. Probably because they have something much better now?
Am I the only one who thinks there is something simply "wrong" with all this? (And yes, I find it good those things are *now*, better: *finally*, used for science)
No, some shady agency does not have two. They have two surplus and obsolete (for their purposes) telescopes that were never launched. The NRO had many, many more than two such satellites in actual operation, and now we are being told those are no longer cutting edge, so they definitely have something much better.
There is a saying in astronomy that you cannot compare ground-observatory project costs to space-observatory project costs (every grad student ever has pointed out "for the cost of HST, imagine the huge telescope we could have built on the ground!" only to be rebuked with "space dollars are not the same as ground dollars). Similarly, military dollars are not the same as space dollars are not the same as ground dollars. Otherwise, one could naively say "for just the cost of one F22, we could have paid for XYZ science program by now."