Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Report On Brit Sailors/Iranians Due Out Today.

via Navy Times.

LONDON — Results of an inquiry that examined the capture of 15 British sailors and marines by Iranian forces is to be released Tuesday, along with a report on the decision by the defense ministry to allow the captives to sell their stories to the media.

The parallel inquiries were ordered by Defense Secretary Des Browne after the release of the seven Royal Navy sailors and eight Royal Marines in April.

Along with an inquiry into the decision to allow those involved to sell their stories, Browne also asked for a report on the “operational circumstances, consequences and implications” of the capture of the 15 sailors and marines.

That inquiry was led by Royal Marine Lt. Gen. Sir Rob Fulton, the Governor General of Gibraltar.

I'll be eagerly looking forward to reading this one.

Update: embarrassing, but not blameworthy. About what I expected.

Why I Hate The Media

Please read this story about a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan, the last survivor of a botched attack on the Taliban.

The SEAL and his comrades were faced with a tough decision: to kill three Afghani goatherds who might warn the Taliban of their presence, or let them go. The SEALs let the goatherds go, and were betrayed by them to the Taliban, who engaged the force in a firefight, killing all but this lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell.

Why didn't they kill the goatherds? Luttrell tells us the reason why:

Then, Luttrell said, Murphy then warned his men that if they killed the goatherds, they would have to report the deaths, and the Taliban would publicize them, as well.

“[T]he U.S. liberal media will attack us without mercy,” Luttrell quotes Murphy as saying. “We will almost certainly be charged with murder.”

And then, according to the book, Lt. Murphy turned to Luttrell, the petty officer second class. “Marcus, I’ll go with you,” Murphy said. “Call it.”

But, by Luttrell’s own account, Murphy put the petty officer in the position of casting the deciding vote. Swayed by Murphy’s warning that killing the Afghans would lead to the SEALs being charged with murder, Luttrell voted to free the Afghans.

He now believes that decision sealed the fates of his three teammates.

“It was the stupidest, most southern-fried, lamebrained decision I ever made in my life,” he writes in the book. “I must have been out of my mind. I had actually cast a vote which I knew could sign our death warrant. I’d turned into a f---ing liberal, a half-assed, no-logic nitwit, all heart, no brain, and the judgment of a jackrabbit.”

There ya go. Straight out of the mouth of a warrior, who knows well who his friends (and his enemies) are. And he's right; look at the Haditha case for a US media that made its mind up long before any investigation was concluded, and without giving the benefit of the doubt to its own country's Marines.

Old Warbird Flies To Europe.

via USA Today.

Plane salvaged from ice cap set to make trans-Atlantic flight

After a World War II crash landing in Greenland, 50 years under ice and nearly $7 million in recovery and restoration costs, Glacier Girl is about to complete its mission.

On Friday, the vintage P-38 Lightning fighter will depart from Teterboro Airport in New Jersey to finish what it started in 1942: a trans-Atlantic flight to England. This time, the only surviving relic of "The Lost Squadron" downed by bad weather will have thousands of people tracking its progress on the Internet.

Nearly 65 years after the Army Air Corps squadron of eight warplanes aborted its mission on Greenland's ice cap, Glacier Girl's week-long journey will bring closure to "an Indiana Jones kind of story," says Steven Hinton, the pilot who will fly the vintage warbird. He calls the flight a tribute to all World War II veterans and a way "to make everyone understand their story."

For Brad McManus, at 89, the sole surviving pilot from the squadron, "It's a thrill to know this is occurring and to think they are actually going to fly it over the same route that we flew in 1942."

I love stories like this. I remember that PBS broadcast a similar story about a B-29 Superfortress that was similarly stranded in Greenland: the Kee Bird. That plane was repaired on site, spiffed up and, with the engine running and preparing to fly out, caught fire and was destroyed on the ground, a total loss.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Stink-free Skivvies?

The Air Force is trying to develop them.

If a project sponsored by Air Force Special Operations Command succeeds, airmen soon may be able to wear the same T-shirt or socks for days without stinking up their tent, or own bulk-free cold-weather gear that’s light enough to cram into a small stuff sack.

At Hurlburt Field, Fla., home to AFSOC headquarters, Dan Beal coordinates a project he refers to as “austere environment undergarments.”

“I wore one of the T-shirts for three, four days,” said Beal, a civilian. “It wasn’t like wearing a fresh shirt, but it wasn’t bad.”

But a T-shirt that doesn’t need frequent washings doesn’t come cheap, at least when it is still in the developmental stages. Since 2005, Congress has set aside $2.2 million for testing and research on the specialized underwear. For 2008, the House of Representatives has requested $2.7 million.

Doesn't come cheap. Why do those words send a chill down my spine, and visions of $250 t-shirts dance in my head.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nifong Disbarred.

via Breitbart.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A disciplinary committee said Saturday disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong would be disbarred for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape—a punishment the veteran prosecutor admitted was appropriate.

"This matter has been a fiasco. There's no doubt about it," said committee chairman F. Lane Williamson.

*shakes head sadly*

Oops. Damn that water table!

via Reuters.

TULSA, Oklahoma (Reuters) - A car buried half a century ago in a time capsule had been transformed into a hunk of junk by the time it was unveiled on Friday as part of Oklahoma's Centennial.

The concrete vault, built in 1957 and meant to be opened this year to celebrate Oklahoma's Centennial as a state, has leaked in the intervening 50 years and most of its contents were ruined, to the dismay of those hoping to find a pristine, gold '57 Plymouth Belvedere.

Would-be auto restorers unwrapped 1950s-era protective covering from the mud-caked relic onstage Friday evening at the Tulsa Convention Center, revealing a ruined hulk with rotting upholstery, collapsed suspension, flat tires and an engine that appeared to be a solid chunk of rust.

Officials said they feared the worst when the time capsule was opened earlier this week to reveal four feet of standing water.

Funnily enough, a stainless steel can inside the car kept its contents pristine. Perhaps next time a stainless steel vault can be constructed, and vacuum-sealed to preserved most of the contents intact.

As it is, the winner of the car is probably just going to say Ah...gee, thanks, but I'll pass, if that's okay with you...

Calling John Kerry?

The US Navy is looking to rebuild its riverine force in Iraq.

The stuff in the water over there is wearing out, and they're trying out new designs. They'll be ready by the time that the war is over, if history is anything to go by.

Treasure! Part Deux!

More treasure from Spanish galleons found off the Florida coast.

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Salvagers discovered thousands of pearls Friday in a small, lead box they said they found while searching for the wreckage of the 17th-century Spanish galleon Santa Margarita.

Divers from Blue Water Ventures of Key West said they found the sealed box, measuring 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches, along with a gold bar, eight gold chains and hundreds of other artifacts earlier this week.

They were apparently buried beneath the ocean floor in approximately 18 feet of water about 40 miles west of Key West.

"There are several thousand pearls starting from an eighth of an inch to three-quarters of an inch," said Duncan Mathewson, marine archaeologist and partner in Blue Water Ventures.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nifong Resigns.

Right from the witness stand.

Drudge and everyone else are making this the headline of the night, and rightly so.

Nifong is obviously trying to play for sympathy in order to keep his law license. I don't think it'll work.

As I've said before, if bloggers ever receive Pulitzers, KC Johnson of Durham In Wonderland deserves the first one.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

lolcats jump the sharkz!

You heard it here, first. Watch for hucksters flogging lolcats, and for someone to try and trademark the name, and lawsuits to be filed, and movies to be pitched, and reality shows to be offered, and cartoons to be contemplated, and calenders for sale at Barnes & Noble, and......

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The New London Olympics Logo....

...looks vaguely like puzzle pieces that, when assembled, form a swastika.

Just sayin'.

Martian Cave Entrance?

A very dark spot on Mars could be an entrance to a deep hole or cavern, according to scientists studying imagery taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The geological oddity measures some 330 feet (100 meters) across and is located on an otherwise bright dusty lava plain to the northeast of Arsia Mons, one of the four giant Tharsis volcanoes on the red planet.

The hole might be the sort of place that could support life or serve as a habitat for future astronauts, researchers speculated.

I won't bother with the obvious knowing an ass from a hole in the ground jokes.

R2D2 In The Army

Military robots in Iraq.

h/t Hot Air.