Stealth bomber crashes at Andersen AFB (Guam)

a B-2 stealth bomber crashed at Andersen Air Force Base this morning. The incident happened at around 10:45am Saturday, as information we’ve gathered so far indicates that a lead B-2 aircraft took off and became safely airborne, but when minutes later a second bomber took off for reasons that are unknown at this point, that aircraft crashed.

However, at least two pilots were ejected before the plane hit. Their conditions are unknown at this time. AAFB public affairs officials have not been able to be reached for comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, Yigo residents have reported that they’ve seen large plumes of black smoke coming from the nearby military base. Additionally, according to Guam Fire Department Angel Llagas, a large explosion was also reported to the island’s 911 service this morning, and two units responded to the area.

This is the second military aircraft that has crashed in the last 11 days. On February 12 a Navy Ea-6b Prowler attached to the U.S.S. Kittyhawk strike group went down about 20 miles to the north of AAFB. All four of the pilots in that incident were released from the hospital with minor injuries.

 
Click here to watch eyewitness video from “Citizen Correspondence” of the downed bomber

 

Still no mention at AAFB Website 

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Obama takes funds from lobby partners

By Jim McElhatton, Wash Times

– Sen. Barack Obama, who has refused donations from federal lobbyists and paints his Democratic presidential rival as a Washington insider for accepting their contributions, took hundreds of thousands of dollars from partners at dozens of firms that lobbied Congress in 2007.

The partners — who often share in a law firm’s overall profits — gave at least $214,000 to the Obama campaign from October through December, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records and lobbying-disclosure reports with the Senate.

Partners at the Chicago-based law firm of Kirkland Ellis LLP, which has a lobbying arm in Washington, gave Mr. Obama more than $70,000 in contributions last year. The firm represented a pharmaceuticals company and the Futures Industry Association.

Mr. Obama also has accepted tens of thousands from partners Covington & Burling, which was paid nearly a half-million dollars last year to lobby for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, or PhRMA. None of the donations came from three partners at the firm who worked as PhRMA lobbyists.

As a rule, the Obama campaign says it won’t accept donations from PhRMA, current federally registered lobbyists, or political action committees. It does accept contributions from state lobbyists, past federal lobbyists and employees of firms that lobby Congress.

“He’s kind of saying, ‘Look, I want to distance myself from the current system,’ but he’s not saying he’s not going to take any money from anyone who employs lobbyists,” said Steven Weissman, associate director of the nonpartisan Campaign Finance Institute.

“That was a sincere gesture but it’s a gesture, it’s not a significant subtraction from his money,” he said. “Lobbyists are only a very small part of the overall campaign money, but the ones who employ these people are more important. Nobody is willing to refuse their money.”

A campaign spokesman said Mr. Obama has done more than any other candidate to push for lobbying reforms and stronger ethics, and pointed out their opponent Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s penchant for accepting lobbyist largess.

“It’s not a perfect solution to the problem but it does reaffirm a commitment that isn’t shared by Senator Clinton, who’s taken more money [from lobbyists] than any other candidate,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said of Mr. Obama’s policy to turn down money from current federal lobbyists.

A spokesman for the Clinton campaign said Mr. Obama’s policy lacks substance.

“When Senator Obama is out on the stump, he works hard to give the impression that he has no relationship with K Street or the special interests,” Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said yesterday. “A little research into his record, however, makes it quite clear that his claims are really just words.”

One missile launched, one satellite destroyed

By John E. Carey
For the Washington Times

The U.S. Navy missile streaked to an altitude of 133 nautical miles and slammed into the fuel tank of a dying spy satellite traveling at 17,000 miles per hour with 1,000 pounds of deadly hydrazine fuel aboard.

Various sensors on land, sea and in space noted the explosion.  Initial reports said the satellite had been turned into what military analyst John Pike called “gravel.”

The ever cautious U.S. military said we needed to take a deep breath and await complete computer analysis.

The international news media erupted into an explanation of altitude, velocity, weight, payload, target angle and other details of the event.

But I could only think of one man: Ronald Reagan.

On March 23, 1983, President Reagan announced from the Oval Office, “I’ve reached a decision which offers a new hope for our children in the 21st century.” He explained his vision — and his defense budget’s inclusion — of the first funds to go toward this nation’s missile defense effort.

Liberals, and most of the media, derided the president’s project as “star wars.” Since 1983, America’s Missile Defense effort has become a multinational, multi-system effort: it has reached into space and it has come down to earth and the sea.

Before President Reagan’s “new hope” the national military strategy of the United States and the Soviet Union contained an unwavering commitment to “Mutually Assured Destruction.”

Mutually Assured Destruction meant that just one American or Soviet nuclear weapon-armed intercontinental ballistic missile headed toward the other’s adversary would result in a violent and unstoppable response of hundreds and perhaps thousands of nuclear warheads.

Millions would die in the exchange.  The strategy became know as “MAD.”

Ronald Reagan, when briefed on emerging U.S. technology for missiles, sensors, lasers and other efforts, saw the future.  He saw a new hope for our children and he committed himself — and his nation — to achieving that vision.

Ronald Reagan is gone.  Many of the initial advisors, technologists and engineers have passed away.  In congress, the issue of missile defense has been argued every year – and usually funding has been less than requested by the Pentagon.

Still, countless hundreds of thousands of people: engineers, technologists, scientists, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines have continued the project, largely without complaint – continued to pursue President Reagan’s new hope and vision.

The U.S. Navy missile that slammed into the dead satellite, USA 193, was a product of that decades long effort.  The modifications to the ship that launched that missile and the training absorbed by those wonderful sailors – products of an American youth criticized by their elders for their frivolous and careless ways —  that carried out this mission all grew from President Ronald Reagan’s vision.

Today, the Soviet Union no longer exists.  But the threat posed by missile launched weapons of mass destruction; nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; clearly still exists.  Russia still has a robust nuclear and missile arsenal.  Add to that China.  North Korea has demonstrated advancing missile and nuclear weapon technology.  Pakistan and India have nuclear arsenals and long-range missiles. Iran has long-range missiles and the United Nations argues over how far they have advanced their nuclear weapon efforts.  And terrorists have boasted that they will have nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction that can soon wipe out Israel and threaten Europe and the United States.

Missile defense, the vision of Ronald Reagan and source of America’s ability to destroy a potentially dangerous satellite on February 20, 2008, remains viable, important and necessary.

We haven’t heard much about missile defense or other defense and international efforts in the current presidential campaigns.  We hear a lot about the economy, health care and other domestic issues.

No domestic programs count unless the nation can be defended.

We haven’t heard much about missile defense or other defense and international efforts in the current presidential campaigns but given the current state of affairs in the world: maybe we should.

John E. Carey is a former senior military officer who served in President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) and is president of International Defense Consultants, Inc

Weekend Linkage

The UN human rights experts have decided that the United States needs to do more to combat racial discrimination against African-Americans, Arabs and Muslims, Hispanics.

The ACLU is suing a city in Iowa that fines parents up to $750 if their precious little angel is suspected of breaking the law or violating curfew three times.

The driver of the van that struck a school bus in Minnesota and killed four students was in fact an illegal alien.

Democrats want every student in America to perform 100 hours of community-based service prior to high school graduation … in order to improve the country.

You’ll be happy to know that wolves have been taken off of the Endangered Species List … somehow the tax payers are still going to be paying $3 million a year to protect them.

What happens when the West underreacts to radical Islam?  We are seeing it happen in Europe right now.

Fake plaques were sent to a police station in Massachusetts in recognition of the officers being “corrupt.”

Imagine that one day you find out that your neighbor is a registered sex offender … suddenly, you are deserving of a tax credit.

A woman who pleaded guilty to drunk driving was ordered by the judge that her wrecked car remain in her front yard until she finishes her three year probation.

And now for some Muslim outrages …

A teacher was fired from an Islamic school after he complained about books that referred to Christians as “pigs.”

A woman in Iran was arrested and then beaten because she was not wearing a pair of socks.

A bank in the Netherlands has been giving piggy banks to young children for years.  Now the bank has stopped giving out the piggy banks because Jews and Muslims consider pigs to be “unclean.”

courtesy of Neal Boortz

Y’all have a great weekend!

Nuke

Calling BS on BO

Update2: Uncle Jimbo weighs in (via h/a)

The ABC report drops it from heinous to just ignorant. My main beef is that such a silly sounding story made it to the debate as Obama’s main point about the military. It was slanted and not an accurate portrayal, thus emphasizing his weakness for the CinC role.

Update: Jake Tapper says the story “Checks out

From last night’s debate in Austin:

BHO:

“I heard from a Army captain, who was the head of a rifle platoon, supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24, because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq. And as a consequence, they didn’t have enough ammunition; they didn’t have enough humvees.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisThey were actually capturing Taliban weapons because it was easier to get Taliban weapons than it was for them to get properly equipped by our current commander in chief. Now that’s a consequence of bad judgment, and you know, the question is on the critical issues that we face right now who’s going to show the judgment to lead.”

This doesn’t pass the smell test with me on several levels.

First, if there were any truth to this, the media would not have hesitated to use it to bash George Bush. It would have been all over the news.

Second, some of my military readers might want to weigh in here, but, how common is it for an Army Captain to be a Platoon leader? Captains don’t lead platoons, they lead Companies.

Third, how does a under-equipped, under-supplied, half-strength platoon capture munitions, weapons and supplies from the enemy? You mean the Taliban is just handing them over?

BHO is not only revealing himself to be a plagiarist and a demagogue, but a liar as well.

UPDATE: more at NRO

the Obama military anecdote was absolute rubbish on so many levels. First, on his understanding of the military: Captains don’t command platoons, Second, we don’t split platoons between Iraq and Afghanistan, not even companies, battalions, or brigades. Sometimes divisions but by then you’re talking about a 12-15,000 man organization so splits make sense. Done it since WWI at that level and even below. The idea that one of the lowest level organizations in the army (a 40 person platoon) is split between a war with 40,000 troops in it and another war with 120,000 is beyond silly. If Clinton knew better herself, she could have slammed him for knowing nothing about the military, but she’s not in much better shape there herself.

As for the substance, absolute crap. Lots of things happen in a complex theater like Afghanistan but I don’t know anybody who has heard anything even close to that story in 6.5 years military involvement there.

++++

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Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, Leaning Straight Up, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Conservative Cat, Adeline and Hazel, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Woman Honor Thyself, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Wolf Pangloss, , The Yankee Sailor, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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