Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DOD Forcing Out Combat Troops?

This Experienced Soldier will be forced out [TimeMilitary.Files]
Click here for related article {Army.mil}

This Administration seems intent on forcing out of the Army our elite, combat-experienced troops as it reduces the size of the Military.  When the Pentagon is finished, our Army will essentially be led by political generals with no combat experience, and populated by troops and officers equally deficient in combat experience or any semblance of esprit de corps.

With the new Military, however, we expect that leadership will not only be politicized, but will be well-represented by every level of unique sexual category -- to ensure there is no discrimination.

The most recent targeting process is the ban on tattoos -- which soldiers have embraced throughout history.  Notably, Rangers, Special Forces, and Airborne troops, not to speak of the majority of sailors, have traditionally added tattoos to arms, legs, chests, and backs to advertise their combat tours and particular expertise.  Just as the Green and Tan Berets added a level of pride to the Special Forces and Rangers, tattoos have set apart those who marked their experience and expertise [e.g., Combat Engineers and EOD specialists] with lettering and imagery which let their friends, peers, subordinates, and superiors know their history.

Now, we can understand some of the restrictions, e.g., ink on the eyelids and inside the mouth and on the face; and extremist, sexist, and racist tattoos which are also banned.

However, the new restrictions include tattoos on the neck, wrists, hands, and fingers.  Also, according to Army Pamphlet 670-1, forbidden tattoos include those
"... below the elbows and knees".
That pretty much rules out 50% of the existing tattoos, and most of our combat-experienced troops.

Now, here's the interesting part of this process.

1)  These restrictions apply to all soldiers, regardless of rank, to include officers, warrant officers, and non-commissioned officers in the Active Duty, Reserves, and the National Guard.
2)  Commanders must
     a)  perform annual checks for new tattoos and
     b) "... are required to document and photograph all Soldiers' tattoos above the neckline and
         below the elbows and knees, keeping that information in the servicememeber's official records.
3)  Enlisted personnel exceeding the limit of four [4] tattoos "... cannot request commissioning or appointment..." -- even if they are grandfathered, in accordance with the Pamphlet.

Senior soldiers interviewed, including officers and non-coms, advised that these new regulations will force out otherwise good soldiers -- particularly those with combat experience.

SGM-A Chandler listens to his Mom
Oddly, the soldier we'd expect to challenge the implementation of these new regulations, Sergeant Major of the Army Ray Chandler, seems to be going along with these new regulations with no challenge.

He did note, in a recent interview, that his children have tattoos, and that he promised his Mom that he would never get a tattoo.

And, we commend him for listening to his Mom.

But, we recall our time in the Military when soldiers tended to think for themselves, and to take pride in their specialties and accomplishments.

We'll cut him some slack though, since it appears that some of the initial requirements seem to have disappeared, perhaps due to his influence.  This included the requirement to surgically remove the existing tattoos.

We are, however, appalled that Secretary of Defense Hagel, whom we supported during his nomination based on his Enlisted Service, would allow these new regulations to be emplaced without regard to their impact on the combat readiness of our Army [yes, we said OUR Army, since we and OUR relatives continue to serve to protect OUR country!].

Those in my generation came into the Service pretty much on a non-volunteer basis - i.e., primarily via the Draft.  Nonetheless, a lot of us stayed in because we felt the Army -- and our country -- needed us.  So, we teachers, lawyers, engineers, and concert pianists -- stayed in and served OUR country, even though we disagreed with OUR country's leadership.

We do recall asinine regulations, enforced by our Academy company commanders, which required that sideburns not extend beyond the hole in our ears, or that we could not part our hair in the middle, or that our undershirts could not have V-Necks because the [West Point] Brigade Commander's wife objected to seeing the hair on our chests, or that we had to have shined boots even when we were in forward operating bases in mud up to our knees.  Soldiers in combat environments tend to operate in different modes than parade ground popinjays.

Now that the faux wars [the purpose of which we still ponder] have drawn down, and our Army is to be reduced to a strength of 420,000, we'll see the nonsense regulations once again take over as the spit-and-polish advocates from the academies demand, we expect to see less combat readiness, and an emphasis on parades and shiny uniforms -- and lots and lots of meaningless ribbons worn on the pretty new uniforms of senior officers and non-coms.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Maryland political extortion fails

House of Cards plays hardball with Maryland extortionists           [(c)   Reuers Photo: Mario Anzuoni]

Click here for related story [Jenna Johnson - Washington Post]

Maryland's Bait&Switch operation using tax credits to induce Netflix House of Cards producers to film in Maryland -- and then reneging on that promise by cutting the tax credits for this season drew a  hostile response from the show's producers.

Netflix filming in Maryland "created hundreds of jobs and pumped millions into the local economies" -- creating personal and business tax revenues equal to or greater than the tax incentives, not to speak of creating an incentive for other film productions in the state.

But, then, the greedy thugs in the Maryland State Legislature went for the throat, and figured a deal really wasn't a deal, and they could extort Netflix into filming in Maryland with greatly reduced tax incentives -- down from $26 million to $ million and threaten to seize their sets if they left.

When Netflix producers [Media Rights Capital] sent a note to Governor O'Malley [D] to advise that "In the event sufficient incentives do not become available, we will ... have to set up in another state."

The Maryland House of Delegates then announced they would try to use Eminent Domain to
"... seize 'House of Cards' sets and property if filming were to move out of Maryland".   They now are considering that "... shows that receive tax credits commit to spending a certain number of years in the state."

Why, Chicago politicians would be proud with this extortion attempt [although Mr obama would likely have sent in some thugs to threaten the families of the producers].

Model for Maryland politicians              [Whatsupwiththat.com]
Hat's off to Maryland for demonstrating to the nation once again what a center of corruption and greed Annapolis has become through Democrat's domination.

To other film producers, we recommend they look across the Potomac at Virginia, which provides such tax incentives without threats or extortion.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Did USG hijack Flight 370?

Click here for related story [DCClothesline.com]

Who had reason to hijack Malaysian Flight MH370?
Was it the US Government, possibly working with the Israeli Mossad as a false flag operation?

We, along with many other professional analysts, had concluded early on that Malaysian Flight MH370 had been hijacked, but we weren't sure who was responsible.  Possibly Islamic extremists, linked to the jailed Malaysian opposition leader, whom the MH370 pilot supported, and whose political rally the pilot had attended not long before he piloted Flight MH370 into oblivion.  Would it seem logical to hijack an airliner to highlight Malaysian politics -- and trade the passengers for release of a political prisoner?

And, a number of former intelligence and military analysts from a variety of countries speculated it was a false flag hijacking with the objective of using the plane to create another false flag catastrophic incident such as 9/11; some speculated that the plane would be loaded with explosives and directed at a highly populated area, and then blamed on Iranian terrorists -- thus presenting the option to declare war on Iran.

And, that remains a workable projection
-- notably, Jonathon Pollard, the Israeli spy, is once again in the news as his release is being negotiated, perhaps as a trade-off to obtain Mossad's assistance in this hijacking.

But, still, what would be the rationale for this false-flag operation!

Buried in the Washington Post's weekend Health, Science & Environment section, we find a story calling for the modernization of tracking technology.

Just as 9/11 resulted in the creation of the Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act, and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security [with 240,000 employees and tens of thousands of contractors] to make us secure from "terrorists", will we now have legislation, or an Executive Order, which controls and monitors every airplane flight, private and commercial, in the world?

Is that what this is all about?

Notably, aviation safety advocates call for

1) Tamperproof equipment that would stream data in real time to satellites and relay a plane's position.

2)  Chris McLaughlin (SVP of Inmarsat, which tracked the flight path of MH370) advises:
"As a ticket-payer, wouldn't you like to know that the authorities know where your plane is at all times?" [Instituting such a process would net Inmarsat as much as $3 Billion per year.]

3)  Mary Schiavo, formerly of the Federal Aviation Administration, would like
     "full Black Box data streamed to ground locations during flight."
     She advised such information would have "helped in 9/11"
     a)  We're not sure how it would have helped;
          [perhaps creating a new federal agency like DHS to track all airliners taking off from Boston?]
     b)  Star Navigation Systems Group markets such technology at $50,000 per plane, and $10 per
          hour to track each plane (if installed, it would cost the airline industry $3 Billion per year).
          Think in terms of the airline industry which cuts costs by denying you a bag of peanuts on
          your flight.

4)  But, Sean Cassidy [Alaska Airlines pilot and national safety coordinator for the
      Airline Pilots Association, Intl, advised that his
     "organization is wary of such a sweeping change in industry practice."
     He notes rhetorically [as do we]
     a)  "How is the data being used?
     b)  "How is it being protected? and,
     c)  "How is it really driving up the safety case?
     d)  "If this is such an incredibly, exceedingly rare event [known in the industry as a "one-off"], 
           ... it's a bit premature to begin discussing why way we would transmit this data until we
           understand if that would have made much of a difference in how this flight [ML370] 
           ended up."

5)  The UN's International Civil Aviation Organization studied the overall problems and concluded that it would be a good idea to boost the battery power of the Black Boxes to increase the strength of the beacon signals.  [Hmm, how much did they spend to reach that conclusion?]

6)  As we've noted before, NASA boasts it can track a meteor the size of a grapefruit a million miles out; why can't our satellite systems - civil as well as intelligence, track a metallic object that is nearly 250 feet long.  There are hundreds of imagery satellites hovering over Earth, to include Google Earth relays, which can track an object under three feet in diameter.

And yet, our government tells us they can't find a 250 foot steel tube that weighs over 300 tons?

But, we've digressed.
We asked in our title:
Did the USG hijack Flight MH370?

And we tend to agree with professional analysts who believe this may be the case since precedents have now been established using 9/11 to dissolve the Bill of Rights and to establish DHS with its 240,000 employees, amplified by the expansion of police-state power engendered in the highly questionable "terrorist bomb attack" in Boston, and the "lone gunman" attacks in Aurora, Newtown and the DC Navy Yard which were used as the basis for mandatory registration of personal firearms and the outlawing of ownership of "automatic/assault weapons" by private citizens.

So, imagine our surprise at the announcement that IBM software engineer, Philip Wood, listed as passenger #171 on the MH370 manifest, had successfully transmitted a voice/text message via his iPhone 5, along with a black/obscured photo:
Philip Wood, IBM Engineer - Technical Storage Executive
"I have been held hostage by unknown military personal [sic] after my flight was hijacked (blindfolded).  
"I work for IBM and I have managed to hide my cellphone in my ass during the hijack. I have been separated from the rest of the passengers and I am in a cell.  
"My name is Philip Wood.  I think I have been drugged as well and cannot think clearly."

Diego Garcia       [Global Security]
The photo, though black [it was apparently taken in an unlit cell] carries a digital Exif signature and GPS coordinates [common to digital photographs taken with your cell phone], which placed his cell phone when the photo was taken within three (3) miles of Diego Garcia, a US Navy base with extremely limited access.

Now, if we are to believe other "truthers" [those with tin-foil caps], Diego Garcia was also the destination of the passengers who supposedly died in the crash of American Airlines Flights 11 and 77, United Airlines Flights 175 and 93.

DG Aircraft support facilities abound
We are told that Diego Garcia is one of the most closely guarded military bases in the world, and is fully equipped with radar and sophisticated surveillance equipment, plus a full complement of US Navy combat vessels, plus an airfield capable of accommodating the landing and subsequent takeoff of a commercial aircraft the size of MH370.

Rumors include stories of Diego Garcia being the site for covert interrogations of enemies of the US, but, we can't confirm such allegations; we simply don't know.

If this hypothesis withstands scrutiny, would the passengers still be alive?

Or, would they be summarily executed to avoid disclosure and potential embarrassment.

China, we've heard via the internet, is already investigating Diego Garcia as the possible secret destination of MH370, and will likely not be terribly receptive to such a hijacking, nor will it be amused by USG backpedalling since it will have already intercepted communications involving US complicity.  China's intelligence satellites would likely have tracked the entire flight of MH370 from the point it was hijacked until it landed -- perhaps in Diego Garcia.

We've also seen reports of replicas of MH370 which would be crashed into the sea to provide wreckage for the Media to swoon over, and spend weeks reporting on in the hopes some survivors might be found.  If bodies were found, it might be worthwhile to perform autopsies to see how and when these passengers were killed.

It seems the US Government is anxious to engage in another military action, what with the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, and North Korea just doesn't have the resources to sustain a military conflict in excess of 30 minutes.

So, it's been theorized that a war with Iran could be initiated by using MH370 as a False Flag Iranian attack vehicle on, say, a NATO city or military base.  The outrage might be as successful as the 9/11 attacks were in launching US attacks on the Middle East and the ethereal, trillion dollar hunt for Osama bin Laden [or, someone who looked like him].

The down side of that scenario would be a highly annoyed China, which would not be amused by the hijacking, and possible execution of a large number of its citizens by the USG.  We've already been involved in a land war with China, and continue to rue that event since we did not fare well at all.

But, if nothing else, this hijacking has certainly served to divert world attention from the Russian invasion of Crimea; but, that is a story for another blogpost.

#China #India #Malaysia #Korea #Hijack #370 #Afghanistan

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Where's Waldo [Malaysian Flight #370]! UPDATE

Kindergartner's Drawing of "Flight Path"     [Oh wait! That's CNN's analysis!]


1) The pilot, Captain Shah, a social activist,
     a) was a fanatical supporter of Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, 
         who was jailed for "homosexuality" just hours before Flight MH 370 disappeared.
     b) is believed to have attended a pro-Ibrahim rally at the courthouse hours before the flight.  
     c) moved his family from their home the day before the plane went missing
    ---- Are the passengers being held to exchange for Ibrahim?  -- A logical explanation.

2) The FBI has finally admitted the plane could have been hijacked.

3) All tracking information routes the flight path northwest across the Andaman Islands 
    with possible remote destinations in Pakistan or Afghanistan [see below].

4) Debris spotted has been in areas thousands of miles away from the most likely
     course of MH 370; the amount of debris spotted was enough to have built multiple
     passenger jets, or even another Space Station.  
     Yet, in all that debris, not one passenger seat spotted -- they are designed 
     to float following a crash in the sea.

5)  A satellite picked up a ping from the aircraft more than seven hours after it went missing.

6)  There are thousands of potential landing sites within the 7-hour fuel range of the aircraft


Click here for related article [WashPost

Speculation continues on the fate and current location of the missing Malaysian Flight MH370.  The Pentagon provided CNN the idiotic graphic above, which may have been produced by a kindergarten class. 
"Breaking news! Classified material indicates the plane may have turned North, or South, and it may have crashed into the ocean -- but was monitored to be flying for several hours after it crashed!"

You would think the folks at CNN would have been embarrassed to have put this nonsense on the air.

The Post reports that the Malaysian Prime Minister advised that satellites were monitoring the plane's mechanical signals for a full seven and a half hours after take-off -- which would put the fuel gauges near empty -- and would have placed it about 4,000 miles from the West coast of Malaysia at it's radar recorded location in the Strait of Malacca.

The path noted would have taken it in the direction of India, across the Andaman Islands.

That would put the plane as far West
as Iran or Afghanistan.

Of course, in that flight path, it would have crossed several international borders and, theoretically, would have been picked up on air defense radars.

According to the New York Times and Reuters, it was monitored by Inmarsat, apparently throughout the period during which it was missing; they have alluded to having its last airborne location, though they've not revealed it.

That would narrow the selection of hijackers to be from India [not probable], to Pakistan [not probable] to Afghanistan [possible] to Iran [not probable], to a false flag operation to make it appear that Iran had hijacked the plane.

What we find interesting is that, with all the technological prowess of US and foreign intelligence services, not one has offered up any information on this missing aircraft, even though it would be easily monitored by the full range of satellites -- ours, our allies, China, and Russia.

NASA brags it can monitor a meteor the size of a grapefruit from a million miles out; and, it seems only logical that our intelligence satellites, which monitor all forms of communications and electronic signals world wide, and which provide extremely high resolution imagery on all potential trouble spots, could pick up any and all signals emanating from this aircraft.

Of course, we are told that if these agencies revealed they were capable of such monitoring, the bad guys would be able to set up defensive measures to stay hidden. That would assume that the bad guys have never watched Jack Bauer in "24", and none of them is smart enough to read the newspaper or articles on the internet.  [Osama bin Laden, for example, was so ignorant that he only had degrees in civil engineering and public administration.]

Erstwhile investigators might go to Google-Earth or Landsat which use satellite imagery not terribly less capable than our intelligence satellites. Google Earth has resolution at 2.5', which would be  enough to capture the configuration of an airliner in the desert or in the jungle.

Remote Paved Road  =  Landing Strip

Our guess, exploring the topography of the region in which the plane was capable of traveling, would include western India or eastern Afghanistan.

No airports needed since a landing strip need consist of nothing more than a lengthy, flat surface, e.g., a road in a deserted area.

We discounted western India since there aren't enough deserted areas, but, Afghanistan is chock full of them.

One area that meets these conditions lies in southern Afghanistan; there are others, to include eastern Iran,

but we reckon the Iranian government would be keeping its radical elements in check these days to ensure it would not come under attack.

So, here's the summary of facts as presented in our three previous blogs:

1) 08 March: Malaysian Flight 370 "disappears" off the southwest coast of Vietnam
    Our assessment: 

    a)  Possible crash
    b)  Possible shoot-down

2) 09 March: Pilot aboard another flight reports "mumbling" from copilot of Flight 370
    Our assessment: Possible Hijack

    a) Possible BZ gas release on board, neutralizing crew and passengers
    b) Absence of Black Box transmissions indicate it was still airborne

 3) 10 March: Report that Flight 370 had changed altitude/course, but silent; still on radar
     Our assessment: Probable Hijack

     a) Massive search of suspected crash site
     b) No debris
     c) No Black Box signals

 4) 10 March: Reports that passenger cell phones still working - receiving calls, but no answer.
      Our assessment: Probable Hijack

      a) Plane is still airborne
      b) No visible debris
      c) No Black Box signals
      d) Functional cell phones
      e) Peter Bergen of CNN attempt at "Damage Control" to degrade those speculating on hijacking
          [Is CNN a government shill? Does anyone actually watch CNN these days?]

5) 11 March: India announces it is searching in its territory
    Our assessment: Hijack!

    a) Report that co-pilot had invited female passengers into flight cabin on earlier flight
    b) Transponder and all communications links cut;

Arc of Flight
6) Malaysian Military reports details of altered flight
    Our assessment: Government cover-up of hijack

      a) Vague references to "arc of flight"
      b) Contradictory statements by civil and military chiefs

      c) Flight path included climbing to 45,000 feet, then
          down to 23,000 feet, and then climbing back to possibly
          34,000 feet -- which sounds like the pilot reacting to
          BZ gas, becoming erratic before passing out, after which
          the hijacker[s] were able to seize the controls.
      d) Malaysia's head of civil aviation:
          "There are things I can tell you, and things I can't."

7)  Malaysian officials provide graph showing possible range of flight
     Our assessment/predictions:

     a)  Government seeks to show futility of search
     b)  Debris will magically appear in remote area and the search will end
     c)  Government will announce the Black Box is "irretrievable"!

8)  Reuters, perhaps in collaboration with British Intelligence, reports possible landing sites
     a)  The flight path was piloted according to navigational way-points leading to the region of the
          Andaman Islands.
     b)  Landing the aircraft in Port Blair would likely not go unnoticed; so, the plane would have to
          have continued on to a destination beyond the Andaman Islands.

9)  The reality?
     a)  False flag hijacking, with blame laid with Iran, to justify an attack on it for a heinous act.
     b)  Diversion from the Russian annexation of Crimea.
     c)  Political hijacking to exchange passengers for a political prisoner

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Malaysian plane Hijacked!

The "slight turn" was actually a U-Turn, heading West!

Click here for related story [ Reuters ]

New information released by the Malaysian military indicates the early reports on the disappearance of Flight MH370 were erroneous or false -- take your pick.

Initially, we were told it had disappeared two hours into its flight path to the southwest of Vietnam's south coast, bound for Beijing.

The Malaysian military now advises their radar tracked the plane, which, after only an hour, dropped from 35,000 feet to 34,000 feet in altitude, turned West, shut down its transponder and tracking systems, and headed into the Strait of Malacca -- quite a distance from Vietnam as was being reported earlier, and which has been the site of a massive multi-nation search operation. 

Versions of the flight path differ depending on which arm of the government is speaking
-- and, it appears the Malaysian government is withholding information. 

Malaysia's head of civil aviation, when asked why the Strait of Malacca is being searched advised:
"There are things I can tell you, and things I can't."

Meanwhile, Air Force Chief of Staff General Rodzali Daud noted there was an unidentified object on the radar at 2:15 am, roughly 200 miles northwest of Penang.

We have no actual or estimated location of the plane now, but presume it is intact and may have landed at a remote airfield. With 7.5 hours of fuel left, destinations would be numerous, ranging from Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, India, or virtually anywhere within a 5,000 mile range. 

Turning off the transponder and tracking systems made it invisible to commercial monitoring, but it still remained visible to military radar - and the military chose not to disclose their information.  The only substantive clue we had in early reports was the distress call from the co-pilot on an emergency channel, which a pilot in another plane describes as "mumbling". 

We speculated then that perhaps the crew and passengers had been overcome with BZ gas [or similar], allowing hijackers to seize control.

Co-pilot invites passengers in to cockpit
Adding to the mystery of the story line now is that First Officer Fariq ab Hamid had invited a woman and her female friend to sit in the cockpit during one leg of a flight three years ago; this allegation was supported by pictures of the four provided to Australia's Channel 9. 

If true, such conduct would literally open the door to hijackers to take control of the plane with a seductress -- and that could explain the co-pilot's mumbled transmission.

Tracking the true location of this aircraft theoretically should be a simple task given the sophistication of satellite imagery, and China has stepped up to the plate and advised it is employing ten satellites using high resolution imaging capabilities.  [we weren't aware they had 10 satellites]. 

We can track a small rock in space, but not an airliner!
We have yet to hear from JimmyBob Clapper, Director of US National Intelligence, to advise if the US has any assets capable of tracking this wayward plane.

We would think so, since NASA can track a meteor the size of a large grapefruit at a million miles, and NSA can monitor your whispers on your cell phones; so we'd hope they can track the cellphones of the passengers and crew on Flight MH370.

Oh wait, they only track US citizens these days since they have been designated "The Enemy"!

What were we thinking!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Missing Plane Damage Control - Updated


Click here for related story [CNN-Peter Bergen]

CNN is weighing in on the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 now to discourage speculation on the cause of the disappearance. 

Hijacking has now arisen as a possibility

Also speculated, and possibly connected to the hijacking theory, is the use of BZ gas, which would incapacitate the crew and passengers -- allowing hijackers to seize control of the plane, and which might account for the reported course deviation, as well as the co-pilot's mumbled call on an emergency frequency. 
1) The question then arises as to where a hijacked airliner might land
2) As of 11 March, there are reports that the cell phones of passengers and crew are still ringing -- improbable if the passengers' phones were at the bottom of the ocean.

Alternately, the release of BZ [or a similar agent] could cause the pilot to lose consciousness, plunging the plane nose first into the water -- leaving virtually no debris.
1) It would still be detectible by the P3 Orion's electronic detection systems; and,
2) The Black Box would still transmit signals via its ULB [Underwater Locator Beacon] - which can transmit from a depth of 14,000 feet, at temperatures as low as -55
° C.

Granted, we have no real facts to work from at this point, but, the Internet is fertile ground for educated folks with considerable expertise to weigh in with their opinion and theories -- based on what meager reporting is available.  But, we'll examine some of his ridicule of theories surrounding similar events to demonstrate that sometimes, these theorists have traction.

Bergen, a pseudo-Brit, who is CNN's National Security Analyst -- apparently based on his education at Oxford U, his British accent, and his membership in a variety of Liberal think tanks, is notable for his announcement following bin Laden's death:
"Killing bin Laden is the end of the War on Terror.  We can just sort of announce that right now."
[Quite articulate, isn't he? but not much hands on experience. And, we're glad he's dismissed the War on Terror; we can all rest more easily now.]

Bergen's Opinion piece attempts to debunk conspiracy theories on downed passenger planes with typical rolled eyes and ridicule, leaning to innuendo rather than fact to support his jibes.  That, theoretically, suffices to denigrate those who would opine their theories differing from official accounts - or his.

He cites these examples, and dismisses eye-witness or expert accounts as lacking credibility.

TWA 800:  Inexplicably crashed/exploded on take-off [17 July 1996]

The official government report advised that a short circuit had ignited a fuel tank, causing the explosion which destroyed the plane.

1) Accuracy in Media, citing aviation experts,  reported that it was virtually impossible for a fuel tank to explode in the manner described by the government report unless the jet fuel consisted of hydrogen and propane gas -- which was not the case.

2) A number of eye-witnesses [more than the one he derisively mentions] talked about a trail of fire going UP to the plane; they speculated it was a missile.
-- Bergen claims the witness[es] were unreliable.

Submarine launching SAM
3) Pierre Salinger, opined that it WAS a missile, fired from a US
 submarine in Long Island Sound.

    a) Salinger was Press Secretary to JFK and LBJ, a former WW2 Naval Officer, a news   correspondent, Vice President of Continental Airlines, and an investigator of the bombing    of PanAm 10, so, he did have quite a bit of credibility.  Nonetheless, Salinger was attacked from all quarters in a successful attempt to discredit him -- and his theory.

   b) Immediately after Salinger's allegations, President Clinton announced that Navy personnel 
        were not protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act, blocking any insider revelations/leaks.
        [nonetheless, more than one sailor came forward privately to talk to journalists].
    c) Bergen cites former vice chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board statement:
        "He was an idiot... He didn't know what he was talking about". 

4) Now, having been an analyst of Military and terrorist matters at the Pentagon and the State Department, we had occasion to review such issues in incidents throughout the world. 
    a)  Commercial airlines frequently advised they were being electronically painted by ground
          anti-aircraft[AA] positions; on further investigation, we learned that such "Notional Targeting"
          was routine --by both friends and foes, and the targeting was merely to keep their skills intact.
         (1) So, it was up to the analysts in the Intelligence Community to prevent over-reaction by
               US forces.
         (2)  We engaged in such a crisis when Libyan AA shooters targeted a US surveillance aircraft
                in the Mediterranean, and we engaged in a Community call to call off a Navy response.
         (3)  Unfortunately, in a later incident, the Navy used that same Notional Targeting as the excuse
                for an unprovoked attack on Libya.
    b)  Our assessment on the downing of TWA 800 was that, in fact, it was a missile which was
          fired from the US submarine submerged in the Long Island Sound.
          (1)  We concluded that an eager targeteer was conducting a routine Notional Targeting exercise,
                 but failed to notice the launch systems were active, thus launching a Surface to Air Missile
                 [SAM] and blowing up a commercial airliner.
          (2)   Of course, this would be an action for which the Navy was unwilling to accept
                  responsibility, or even acknowledge the possibility that it could happen.  Thus, the
                  ad hominem attacks on Salinger -- whose experience included covering up such SNAFUs
                  while he was White House Press Secretary.
                  [Salinger's credibility was significantly greater than Mr Bergen]

EgyptAir Flight 990:  Inexplicably crashed into the ocean shortly after take-off [31 October 1999]

We're not sure why Bergen included this in the "conspiracy theory" realm.
It was pretty cut and dried as the NTSB released the cockpit recordings of the Egyptian pilot reciting Islamic prayers as he plunged the plane into the Atlantic.  There was, however, no official follow-up news to determine his motive.  The Egyptian government advised its opinion that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure.

PanAm Flight 103:  Blew up in flight over Lockerbie, Scotland [21 December 1988].
PanAm 103 wreckage

The official [FBI] published report placed the origin of the bomb on Flight 103 as a rigged radio concealed in the baggage compartment.

   a) PanAm hired, Juval Aviv, a former Mossad counter-terrorist operative, is President of Interfor, a corporate investigations firm in New York City to investigate; he is frequently used as a source by the New York Times, Fox News, and ABC News -- but, oddly,
not by CNN [Bergen's employer].
       (1) Aviv claimed it was a CIA operation gone awry, in which they engaged the services of a
             Syrian heroin smuggler to coordinate with his Hezbollah contacts to arrange the release of
             "Western hostages"; in the CIA would facilitate the Syrian's drug operation.
       (2)  Aviv claimed Turkish extremists, working in Frankfurt Airport as baggage handlers,
              swapped out a suitcase packed with heroin and replaced it with a bomb.
       (3)  Bergen referred to Aviv's report as a "Fairy Tale" but had no basis for that categorization.
   b) Notable US government intelligence officials on board:
              (1) Matt Gannon, CIA Deputy Station Chief in Beirut
              (2) Army Major Chuck McKee, Military Attache in Beirut
              (3)  Ronald Lariviere, US Embassy Security Officer in Beirut
              (4)  Daniel O'Connor, US Embassy Security Officer in Nicosia
              (5)   Unidentified US government officer.
    c) FAA had issued a safety bulletin 15 days before the bombing warning that a Pan Am
              flight from Frankfurt to New York would be blown up by an Abu Nidal operative
              -- reportedly a Finnish woman married to an Arab living with an Arab in Helsinki.
    d) The Guardians of the Islamic Revolution claimed credit for the bombing as retaliation for
              the US Navy shoot-down of Iran Air Flight 65 in the Persian Gulf six months earlier.

Mr Bergen cites several other commercial crashes which received considerable attention by "conspiracy theorists" all of which he dismisses apparently based on his expertise in speaking with a British accent.  However, researching these other crashes, we've determined that the "conspiracy theories" held up much better under scrutiny than the official US Government reports. 

We suggest Mr Bergen return to Oxford where he can practice his British accent.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Missing Airliner Mystery - UPDATED - [11 March]

Aircraft disappeared from radar two hours into flight

Click here for related story [CNN - Jim Clancy and Andrew Stevens]

Malaysian Airlines, Flight 370, a Boeing 777-200ER, flying from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing, broke contact with international flight controllers at 2:40 am, over the South China Sea -- approximately two hours into the flight of 2,300 miles.  There were 227 passengers; 12 crew.

Signals and oil slick reported here

Xinhua News Agency reported that signals [possibly from the plane's Black Box] were detected about 120 miles southwest of Vietnam's Ca Mau province.

And, the Guardian reported that possibly two 12-mile long oil slicks were confirmed in that same area.

The possibility that there were any survivors is almost negligible.

Two passengers were aboard using stolen passports - one Austrian, the other Italian.  Although one passport was reported stolen two years ago, and was in Interpol's database, many airlines reportedly don't check that database when issuing tickets.  At this point, terrorism is considered a possibility, but can't be confirmed.  If so, a bomb may have been placed aboard the aircraft and set to explode over open water to make recovery difficult to impossible.

Weather conditions were favorable, and pilots had reported nothing abnormal in their communications with ground controllers.  The flight captain has 18,000+ flying hours, while the First Officer has nearly 2,800 flying hours.

The abruptness of the end of communications and the disappearance from radar would indicate the plane exploded, or was shot down.  Since it was flying at 35,000 feet in uncontested airspace, the probability of it being a "shoot-down" is remote; leaving the probability of an explosion being fairly high.  FBI agents have been dispatched to investigate.
USS Pinkney

Rescue operations include ships, fixed and rotary wind aircraft, and satellite imagery. 

The US Navy has ordered the USS Pinkney [DDG-91], a destroyer to the southern Vietnamese coast to aid in the search.

P3 Orion

A P-3C Orion electronic surveillance aircraft is providing long-range search efforts.   It's designed to detect submarines via its distinctive tail stinger "MAD Boom" a magnetic anomaly detector -- which identifies anomalies in Earth's magnetic field -- a useful tool in finding metallic debris.

The design also allows extended loiter times of up to 21.5 hours over a target area.

Additionally, China, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia are participating in the search.

Of the passengers, only three were US citizens.  However, 20 of the passengers were employees of Freescale Semiconductor, an Austin, TX company. 

[Updates to this story will be added as available]

UPDATE [11 March]

Relatives and coworkers of passengers and crew are reporting that the cell phones continue to have ring tones - vs service provider message that the phone is no longer working.  If the plane had crashed into the ocean, the phones would not be functional.  So, we're concluding this may, in fact, have been a hijacking.

UPDATE [10 March]

The two men who used the stolen passports to board the missing plane have been identified as Iranians who had bought the stolen passports in Kuala Lumpur.  Their destination was Amsterdam, via Beijing.  According to their friend in Kuala Lumpur, they wanted to go to Europe to start new lives.

UPDATE [9 March]:

1) The two tickets purchased using the stolen passports were bought together, with a destination in Europe; thus, they would not have had to get Chinese visas, and the individuals would most likely have been Caucasians to match their passports.
2) One of the passports in question was stolen at a motorcycle rental shop in Thailand

3) Debris has been sighted off the coast of Vietnam which may be a door and the tail section.
4) A pilot in a plane in the general vicinity reported what he thought was a transmission from the missing aircraft's copilot; he described the transmission as sounding like "mumbling"

5) The missing aircraft reportedly went silent and disappeared from radar after climbing to 35,000 feet; if there were a bomb aboard, it could have been set to detonate with an altimeter fuse.
6) Alternatively, given the missing plane's copilot's mumbled transmission, and reports it may have been turning off course, it's possible that a gas agent, such as BZ was connected to the plane's air conditioning system, slowly incapacitating both passengers and crew over a period of two hours.  

     a) As a Central Nervous System depressant, it disrupts the functions of memory, 
         problem solving, attention, and comprehension.
     b) Higher concentrations produce toxic delirium, destroying a pilot's ability to perform 

          his flight tasks, resulting in mumbling and inability to function.  
     c)  BZ was used by the Russians in 2002 to capture the Moscow theater seized by terrorists.