Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In: "When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won't just get a new president; they might finally learn the full extent of George W. Bush's warrantless domestic wiretapping. Since NY Times first revealed in 2005 that the NSA was eavesdropping on citizens' overseas phone calls and e-mail, few additional details have emerged."

(Via Stories / Popular.)

Obama to be told U.S. missile defense capable

Obama to be told U.S. missile defense capable: "The outgoing head of the U.S. missile defense agency said he'll tell President-elect Barack Obama's transition team that missile defenses are workable and working.



Broken Arrow - 40 Years On

Broken Arrow - 40 Years On: "

New details of a ‘Broken Arrow’ incident in which a nuclear weapon was allegedly abandoned in the icy waters of a fjord near the US Air Force base at Thule, Greenland, have been unearthed by the BBC. The controversial January 1968 incident involved a B-52 which was carrying four B58 thermonuclear bombs while on airborne alert. During the mission a fire broke out beneath the cockpit and, when it began to get out of control, the crew issued a mayday and diverted towards Thule. With just a few miles to go before getting to the base, the fire became'too intense and the commander ordered the crew to abandon the B-52. The BBC story includes interesting interviews with two of the original crew as well as some of the Danish personnel on the ground who helped clean up the debris. A far more detailed account of the incident can also be found here.

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Is there a lost bomb down there? Greenland's west coast, 2008

(pic: Guy Norris)'

There is much speculation as to whether the B58 weapons, or significant parts of them,'could have possibly remained intact after the impact. Archive footage'shows the aircraft had disintegrated into small pieces which were scattered over a wide area. Six of the crew ejected and were recovered safely whilst a seventh was killed in the crash.

However, previously declassified materials obtained by the BBC appear to indicate that only sufficient debris was recovered to account for three of the four weapons.

Whatever the result of the latest revelations, if any, there was a more immediate and positive outcome from the original accident. Following the crash, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered the removal of nuclear weapons from airborne alert to the relief of'many USAF bomber crews these tedious missions were later suspended altogether.


(Via Ares.)

Obama’s Iraq plan about to meet reality

Obama’s Iraq plan about to meet reality: "BAGHDAD — Saad Eskander, the director of Iraq’s National Library and Archive, will never forget Nov. 20, 2006. That was the day Barack Obama declared Iraq was ‘descending into chaos’ and called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, in a speech that would define the war policy Obama carried into his historic run for president."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

Malmstrom missile wing fails nuke inspection

Malmstrom missile wing fails nuke inspection: "The 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., failed its nuclear surety inspection after inspectors found problems with the wing’s weapons storage area and its personnel reliability program, which monitors who can work with nuclear weapons, an Air Force official said."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

Iran tests new surface-to-surface missile

Iran tests new surface-to-surface missile: "TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has successfully test-fired a new generation of surface-to-surface missile that uses solid fuel, making it more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

X-Plane Crashes

X-Plane Crashes: "

Aviation historians Peter Merlin and Tony Moore have joined forces to produce a tour-de-force of'the aerospace archaeology of California’s high desert and its unique X-plane heritage. The book is inspired by their collaborative work as the ‘X-Hunters’, a group dedicated to re-discovering long lost crash sites of historic (and some not-so-famous) research and development aircraft. Lavishly illustrated throughout with archive and contemporary photos, graphics and some maps, the book takes the reader on a detailed journey through the background to the flights, the accidents and the detective work to find wreckage. Though journeying far and wide to Texas, and the fringes of Nevada’s Area 51, the bulk of the crashes covered are around Edwards AFB, California’s hallowed flight test site for more than 60 years.

Highlights include chapters on the Northrop flying wings and particularly the crash of the YB-49, finding tell-tale remains of the X-1, X-2 and X-15, as well as the awesome XB-70 which gets its own chapter ‘The blackest day in the history of Edwards.’

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Disaster strikes as a F-104N Starfighter'in the formation explodes in a fireball after hitting the tails of the'XB-70. (all photos: USAF)

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Within seconds, doomed and out of control, the XB-70 goes inverted.

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Fuel starts to stream from the broken wing as the XB-70 plummets earthward. Test pilot Al White would eject, but his colleague Maj. Carl Cross remained trapped and died in the crash.

Black world accidents also get their own section which includes fascinating accounts of early U-2, A-12, YF-12A and F-117A crash site discoveries. The chapter also includes finding the remains of a particularly rare D-21 reconnaissance UAV developed in the 1960s to piggy-back on the M-21, a variant of the A-12.

Also included is a potpourri of crash sites including the Hughes XF-11 reconnaissance aircraft which came down, with Howard Hughes at the controls, in the plush suburb of Beverly Hills, the X-10 drone and XB-51 prototype bomber. One of the most unusual is the story of finding traces of an F6F-5K Hellcat drone which caused havoc when it went out of control over the Pacific and flew inland over Los Angeles in 1956. The ensuing failed attempts by USAF F-89D Scorpions to shoot it down sent salvoes of Mighty Mouse rockets raining down over open countryside, the town of Newhall and even Palmdale itself. Amazingly no one was killed, but it took 500 firefighters two days to bring the subsequent wildfires under control.

Publishers: Specialty Press (

Price: $29.95. ISBN 978-1-58007-121-5


(Via Ares.)

Maybe not, Herr Obama

Maybe not, Herr Obama: "U.S.president-elect Barack Obama has made it clear he'wants Europe to do more to help out in Afghanistan, and, while still campaigning, used a visit to Berlin to call on Germany in particular to step up its efforts. 'But German defense minister Franz Josef Jung now signals that the Obama should not be expecting too much, or much more at all.'Jung told German television that German troops would continue to be deployed only in northern Afghanistan.'
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'(credit: Bundeswehr)
'Although Germany has suffered combat losses, the northern region is considered far safer than the south. '

The one area Germany may do more is increasing its effort to build up the Afghan National Army. Jung also suggests Europe may together find areas to do more.'


There's another reason Obama shouldn't expect Germany to do much more, something he should understand only too well: election politics. Germany is due for'a general election next year and deploying more troops isn't a vote winner in the country.


(Via Ares.)


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