This is from Newsmax, so control yourselves:
The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into whether Democratic Senators Dick Durbin, Jay Rockefeller and Ron Wyden leaked details about a secret “black ops” CIA satellite program last December in a move that may have seriously compromised national security, former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Jed Babbin said on Saturday.
“The CIA made a request to the Justice Department to investigate and possibly bring criminal charges against these three [senators],” Babbin told WABC Radio host Monica Crowley. “My information is that investigation is ongoing.”
Rockefeller is the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Durbin is the No. 2-ranking Democrat in the Senate.
Media reports on the satellite leak last December indicated that the Bush administration was concerned about public comments by Durbin, Rockefeller and Wyden and that the CIA had requested a Justice Department probe.
“The formal request for a leaks investigation would target people who described sensitive details about a new generation of spy satellites to The Washington Post, which published a page-one story about the espionage program Saturday [Dec. 11, 2004],” a Justice Department official told The Associated Press at the time.
Personally, I need a more reliable source.
Here is something from December in the WSJ:
U.S. intelligence officials are likely to seek a criminal investigation into disclosures about a top-secret and increasingly expensive spy-satellite program that several lawmakers have sought unsuccessfully to kill.
Bush administration officials were angered by leaks about the program, which current and former officials said is developing a new generation of satellites that are intended to orbit undetected and has been plagued by cost overruns. One person with knowledge of the program said the cost estimate had recently increased to more than $9 billion, making it one of the largest single programs in the intelligence budget. The program is managed by the National Reconnaissance Office and is still years away from deployment, the person said.
A leak-inquiry request could come as soon as this week from senior intelligence officials and would go to the Justice Department, which would have to rule on whether there are grounds for opening a criminal probe, officials said. Last year after a similar request from intelligence officials, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into the leaking of the identity of Valerie Plame as an undercover agent of the Central Intelligence Agency. That probe is still under way.
Details about the satellite program spilled into the open last week after Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.Va.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) spoke on the Senate floor calling it an expensive and unnecessary intelligence acquisition program. None of the lawmakers identified it as a satellite program nor gave other details and Mr. Rockefeller said in a statement that his remarks had been cleared by Senate Intelligence Committee security staff.
A report in the Washington Post following the floor speeches, however, identified the program as a satellite system, and it and some other news stories alleged that there are shortcomings in the program, such as that it is useful only in daylight and in good weather. Such details, while sketchy, suggest that people with knowledge of the program may have shared information on it.
This appears to be a hot button issue for Babbin, as he wrote about it in the American Spectator here, too:
How long are we going to tolerate senators and congressmen who divulge our most closely-held secrets to the public in search of cheap political gain? We have laws that make those leaks serious federal crimes. We’re spending enormous resources on finding out who leaked Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA agent to the press. Leaks that are vastly more important — and which should be pursued with no less determination and resources — are regularly ignored because the culprits are sitting members of Congress. These leakers should be thrown out of office and prosecuted.
It’s been about two years since Sen. Richard Shelby blew one of our most important secrets — that we were bugging Osama bin Laden’s cell phone, a fact that could have led to the capture of America’s most wanted terrorist — by bragging about it to a reporter. Shelby’s action (if it really was him) has never been prosecuted. Why not? Now, another huge leak comes in the form of the disclosure by members of the Senate of a highly-classified satellite program. Three members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence have apparently committed a very serious crime by blabbing about a highly-classified satellite program to the press last week. If these men actually did what it appears they did, we ought to throw the book at ’em for divulging one of our most-protected secrets: stealthy reconnaissance satellites.
As to why this is in Newsmax yesterday, I have no idea, as it does not seem like there have been any developments. Probably just Babbin spouting off at the mouth on Crowley’s show, and Newsmax picked it up…
I am fighting a mighty urge not to say something like ‘the CIA referred it, so it must be serious.’ Woops. Apparently, I didn’t fight hard enough. Seriously though- could everyone in Washington just learn to shut their damned mouths? As a general rule, if you even think it might be sensitive information, don’t blab it? Is that too difficult a principle for everyone in DC?
Leak investigation? for the PUBLIC comments of the Senators? Interesting use of language.
the friendly grizzly
Gads! You mean there are TWO of us who do not take what NewsMax says as gospel?
Looks like, for now, we may be out of luck.
(same result for every permutation of search terms I tried, by the way)…
I have to second the wait and see attitude. This is Newsmax we are talking about, for pity’s sake. Still, Senators, as a whole, are media whores, and have a problem keeping their mouths shut.
Joe- That is how the article characterized it.
Would this follow under the same watchamacallit code that everyone is citing in reference to Rove? i.e., is the outing of a program the same thing as the outing of an individual agent?
I know someone will make the argument that if outing a program, in turn, outs individuals, then yes it is the same thing; but that is not what I am asking nor is it the same thing in THIS particular case (the outing of a satellite program in today’s times I would assume does NOT out individual spies; perhaps, if we were in a cold war and stealing technological secrets to build this thing, then yes, but this is not the case).
If there is a CRIMINAL investigation going on, then there must be a law/code/etc that has been broken in order for the investigation to be CRIMINAL. So does anyone know what law it is? If it is the same one in reference to Rove/Libby/et al, then I would be absolutely shocked.
Here is a bit from the original Washington Post article:
I agree, better sources are required. One can only hope it’s true, at least as it concerns Durbin.
All kinds of potential good news tonight.
Looks like Hillary is supporting Roberts.
Looks like the AFL-CIO is coming apart at the seams.
All kinds of good stuff.
Outing a program probably does more damage than outing an individual unless that person is running a network.
Rockefeller is a pretty serious guy, and if what he said about the statements being clear is true then I’m not sure what the problem is here. I don’t think Wyden or Durbin would follow his example as to how to characterize their issue on the Senate floor. Maybe they or their staffers also talked to the WaPo.
There’s also the issue, as with Plame, of the CIA-NRO defending its turf, in this instance with respect to pet projects and appropriations. There’s also an issue of politicization present which was not in the Plame investigation but could be here. I don’t think that possibility can be rejected out of hand, especially if Shelby’s equally offending action was never punished criminally. I also thing we’d have heard more about the matter from gleeful SAO’s if the issue were as big a deal as Babbin suggests, because they’re the type of people who would love for details about the traitorous Democrats to get into the paper. In other words, we wouldn’t have to rely on NewsMax or partisan radio.
Ditto on losse lips sinking ships.
1. I don’t doubt it is being investigated. Don’t get your panties in a wad. Lots of things get investigated.
2. Babbin had the best description of the French (verified at http://www.snopes.com/quotes/babbin.htm): “Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind.”
3. Within the next 24 hours one or more of the Higher Beings will freak about a conspiracy of silence by MSM — and there will be comparisons to the Plame thing.
Shelby should have faced a firing squad. Warn them and then the next sneator/congressman who yaps gets popped.
The worst security leak in memory was Jimmy Carter, as president, disclosing the neutron bomb. We could have used one in Afghanistan.
Who’d have guessed that we had stealth satellites up there?
I’ll bet Osama Bin Laden and his fellow cave-dwellers is quaking in his shoes tonight.
Luckily, that means that they won’t work on Iraq. They only have about 350 days of sunshine a year over there.
No wonder we got it so wrong on that WMD thing!
“Sorry, sir, the biannual cloud is covering up that WMD location you wanted to see today.”
All those problems notwithstanding, we didn’t fail to track all those truckloads of oil that Saddam was selling illegally back in ’02, though. Got that pegged.
The most dangerous place in the world is between a Senator, Congresscritter, or bureaucrat and a TV camera or microphone.
Especially Joe Biden.
One plausible scenario is that whatever the Senators said on the floor was ok, but then afterwards someone told the WaPo “here’s what those Senators were talking about.” The CIA would ask the DOJ to look into the leak, but that doesn’t mean the CIA necessarily knows who was responsible.
Who’d have guessed that we had stealth satellites up there?
I’ll bet Osama Bin Laden and his fellow cave-dwellers is quaking in his shoes tonight.”
You do know there are other folks we might want to watch right?
I mean…you’re not that stupid are you?
Anyway, if the satellite doesn’t work, great cancel the program agree completely. But assuming this is true (and I’m not yet convinced) that’s not really the point now is it?
Mike, is it good news for you that the AFL-CIO is coming apart because you want a more active and radical labor movement? Or do you want the socks you buy at WalMart another nickel cheaper?
Who’d have guessed that we had stealth satellites up there?
I’m pretty sure Congress critters could start yelling the names of undercover agents on the floor of the House or Senate and be immune from prosecution under Art. 2, Sec. 6 of the Constitution: “for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.”
Disclosures they make in other places, however, are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.
I think the Speech and Debate Clause does not protect criminal conduct, but I could be wrong about that.
Mike, is it good news for you that the AFL-CIO is coming apart because you want a more active and radical labor movement? Or do you want the socks you buy at WalMart another nickel cheaper?”
They can be as radical is they like, long as they continue to lose members and lose elections. The general consensus is that this weakens the labor unions which is always good news as long as they continue to support the Left. As for the socks, I can’t stand Wal-mart so it wouldn’t affect me.
Here’s the part I like the best:
“Experts said the split might deepen labor’s woes.”
“Employer opposition to organizing might increase and I think that political opponents might feel emboldened, because they would see it as a sign of weakness,” said Gary Chaison, industrial relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.”
Of course hopefully this will pass as well:
“In California’s pending November 2005 special election, Proposition 75 would prohibit public employee unions from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior written consent each year. ”
Sounds good to me!
“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind.”
You know what, Don? I’m getting sick and tired of this juvenile, snickering right-wing France-bashing. I’m not French, but it is just plain stupid and annoying. First of all, if we had gone to the Revolutionary War without the French our national anthem would be “God Save the Queen.” Second, the French lost more than 1.5 million men in WWI – way more than the US – and about 250,000 (not counting civilians) in WWII – many more than the US on a per capita basis. Are you calling those soldiers cowards?
Maybe you and Mr. Babbin and your pals should learn a little history. I know it might force you to rethink some things, but that’s not all bad.
France bashing is our national pastime, why should we give it up?
Like I said several times before, Senators are the biggest bunch of blabber mouths I’ve ever seen. Can’t be trusted, and the Osama leak is one reason the Senate has to beg for info from the Administration. Can’t be trusted if their is a camera within 50 feet.
First of all, if we had gone to the Revolutionary War without the French…
Speaking of learning a little history, we did, “go to” the Revolutionary War without the French. They helped not out of regard for us, but as a way to screw the British.
Thanks and all that, but our Navy was tangling with France’s 10-15 years after Yorktown. C’est dommage.
Uh, right, Stormy. The White House, for example, never leaks anything.
They helped not out of regard for us, but as a way to screw the British.
Oh well, that doesn’t count then.
And we may have started the Revolution without the French, but we damn sure wouldn’t have won it without them.
Who said it doesn’t count? I say only that it wasn’t altruism. In the event, we amply repaid them in 1917-18.
More than amply, since we had no dog in that fight. “Soujourner” would call it going to war based on lies.
Don’t worry, Rick. The insurgency is in its last throes, just like your government tells you:
NYT July 24:
Of course, as a number of war apologists here have pointed out, it is “girly” to suggest any “understanding of terrorists.”
Lets face it. There’s a strong possibility that this story is the beginning of a counter narrative to the Rove thing. Right now, the administration needs something to get the spotlight off their troubles. If they can accuse Democrats of doing something wrong, say something similar as to what was done in the Rove case, everything could end in a wash publicly.
If they can accuse Democrats of doing something wrong, say something similar as to what was done in the Rove case, everything could end in a wash publicly.
Well, sure, if the case in point was just another fact-free kerfluffle driven by talking points, CNN, Rush Limbaugh, and BS.
There is, however, the matter of an attorney named Fitzgerald. And he’s not paying attention to the boob tube. If he’s drawing up indictments, we’ll know soon enough. All the hot air on cable and AM won’t mean a hill of red beans.
Outing a program probably does more damage than outing an individual unless that person is running a network.
if it was a real program that actually had some value, and wasn’t a super-high cost boondoggle, I might agree with you.
and the damage done by the outing of Plame was likely very significant — it wasn’t just a former NOC agent who was exposed, it was her cover, and the cover of lots of others, that was exposed. Human intelligence is the hardest type of intelligence to get, and the most valuable in stopping things like terrorists attacks.
the fact is that something like this “stealth satellite” program has nothing to do with the “war on terror” — its all about the militarization and weaponization of space (remember the good old days when we swore that space would be used for peaceful purposes only?)
I remember the stink about Durbin’s & Rockefeller’s comments a while back. It’s not shocking that the CIA would be flexing its muscles here – after firing a couple shots across the bow of the Executive Branch by sending Joe Wilson to Niger and mounting a whispering campaign against the WH, it’s now time for Congress to play the piñata. Besides, the CIA owes the Senate Dems a couple body shots for the Iran Contra hassle. (And didn’t Chuck Grassley have something to do with this too?)
FWIW, the disclosure of a new satellite program’s capabilities is a much more serious offense than outing a CIA operative under light cover.
If last week’s leaked (or disclosed) State Department memo is correct, the highest possible classification of Valerie Plame’s status was secret, with a No Foreign Dissemination caveat. Information classified as “Secret” is so classified because disclosure of the information would cause “serious damage” to national security. Information classified as “Top Secret” is so classified because release would cause “grave damage” to national security.
Most satellite specifications and capabilities are not merely classified TS. Most such information is retained in tightly compartmented programs, with access very closely controlled and severely limited. The reason for this is obvious – if the technical capabilities of satellite systems are revealed, the national reconnaissance system can be easily thwarted with other technical countermeasures. If the satellite is a straight optical system, then move at night, and so forth. Outing Plame injured a very lightly covered national asset who was 7 or 8 years past her last operational assignment. Outing the capacities of a new satellite injured a multi-billion dollar program that was probably 10 years in development, by a team of thousands of individuals. The loss of Plame’s ability to work undercover, while it is a bad thing, probably didn’t hurt ongoing operations. Outing the satellite system effectively blinded the U.S. – on the one hand, enemies now know how to evade the system. On the other hand, any information coming back via the system, now must be subjected to a probing counterintelligence analysis – can the gathered information be trusted, or is it deception materials fielded by the enemy to deceive us?
Like the stupid outing of our ability to tap into satellite cell phones, this one will hurt. In the operational sense, it’s one or two orders of magnitude worse than outing Plame. The Plame leak case needs to be pursued until the bitter end, but the satellite leak case does as well.
Of course nothing will convince any of the Bush haters that something Dick “Gulag” Durbin might do could be worse than the Evil RoveBushHitler Death Machine, but that’s fine. I don’t come here (or listen to the dedicated Bush bashers) for serious analysis or mature thought.
Hey, John! Remember the passage from Atrios you savaged yesterday? This is the kind of tomfoolery he was objecting to.
All that we know that was said on the floor of the Senate is that the project was classified, and that it had been struck from the budget twice by the subcommittee, and that the full committee had reinserted it. The people who talked about the actual content of the program were identified as “Administration sources”. Last I knew, none of the three Senators being discussed were in the current administration.
So all we have here is three people doing their jobs by expressing their dissatisfaction with an appropriation bill. Still, the Right is talking about the damage they’re doing to national security. Classic case: tell an uncomfortable truth, get pilloried as “anti-American”.
Now do you understand what Atrios was complaining about?
In Rick’s world, having no dog in the fight is the same thing as going to war based on lies.
Strange, strange boy.
I was referring to programs in general not the specific one.
I’d say the worst “leak” (and I mean this in a non-accusatory way) would be the fact that they learned we could tap their satellite phones.
I think the NYT story on the CIA airline was smaller but also in the category of “why are we handing this info out?”
But like the Plame affair, we are naturaly curious and like to solve little puzzles. If this were a life or death war to end all wars, we wouldn’t have the time or resources to be tracking down this stuff.
Uh, no. “Optical” and “visual” are not interchangeable.
I think Al Maviva might be exaggerating JUST a tad when he says “Outing the satellite system effectively blinded the U.S.,” considering the program is still under development, it seems to be only 5% of the way to completion, no operational details were disclosed, and so forth. Indeed, what was disclosed was essentially “we have started building a new stealth satellite to replace the old one whose existence is known.” Be that as it may, the principle is very clear that you shouldn’t go blabbing about classified programs, period.
What is amusing is that some people are already lined up along ideological lines when there is no evidence whether a Democrat, Republican, or a nonpolitical individual was the Post’s source. The Democratic Senators’ floor statements didn’t even reveal what they were complaining about, and those floor statements are obviously not the source of the leak. But if they can find the leaker, that person should be punished, whichever party they belong to.
“Outing Plame injured a very lightly covered national asset who was 7 or 8 years past her last operational assignment.”
Is “very lightly covered” an actual CIA classification or simply your spin?
“…7 or 8 years past her last operational assignment.” Really? You know this for a fact? Or is this simply supposition on your part? If the former, how did you come by such authoritative information? Do you know someone who has had a peek at Plame’s CIA case file?
Curious. It seems I’ve lived long enough to see the CIA move from being the boogeyman of the Left to being the boogeyman of the Right.
For my money, demimondian has nailed the essentials of this “story” thus far. There is nothing in the public record to indicate that the source of the leak came from Congressional or Senatorial sources. Doesn’t mean that it didn’t but it does mean that speculation in this instance is even further in the weeds than it is in the Plame case.
A satellite that requires “sunlight and good weather.”
One that uses visible light, then.
Which puts us at …. 1978?
I can Google my address, spark up Google Maps, flip to a satellite view that has enough resolution to let me count the trees in my yard, and ascertain if there was a car in the driveway when the photo was taken.
Can someone explain to me what is the “secret” nature of a satellite that takes visible-light images?
Should this investigation not be handled secretly?
The publicity about the investigation seems to be more politically-motivated than the questions raised in the Senate.
Besides the fact that it exists? How about its capabilities? Orbital parameters? Really, there’s very, very little about spy satellites that shouldn’t be highly classified.
Again, a satellite that requires low cloud cover to image doesn’t have to use visible light. There’s a whole lot of other spectrum out there, dontcha know.
That said, ppGaz, the capabilities of commercial imaging systems is so good that (I heard this somewhere; don’t ask me where) they’re getting taskers from the US government.
This is all old news (sorta old) Sealth in Space
Politicians have been blabbing about military secrets for generations (Jimmy Carter and the F117 stealth fighter for example)
Okay, not being a spy satellite wonk, I would have to take someone’s word for this. But a visible-light imaging satellite strikes me as something I’d have assumed was available for every square foot of the earth’s surface, twenty years ago.
As for the “undectable” part …. uh, okay. What potential enemy has the capability to see — and do anything about — such a satellite? What could they do, even if they could see it?
If I’m watching some nasty people out there — let’s say, North Korea as an example — why is it to my benefit to assume that they don’t know I’m taking the pictures? Wouldn’t anyone with a computer and an Internet connection assume that everything on the planet is already under imaging surveillance? Couldn’t any high school kid figure out that he might want to do his evil stuff at night, or under cloud cover, to avoid such detection?
What am I missing here? I guess I don’t read enough spy novels.
Al Maviva: FWIW, the disclosure of a new satellite program’s capabilities is a much more serious offense than outing a CIA operative under light cover.
I thought the Repubs didn’t like moral relativism.
Please go back and read my original complaint. Don said the French were useless in a war. I pointed out one rather important case in which they weren’t. I’m not talking about who owes who a favor.
I’m talking about the stupidity of this utterly tiresome “joke” about the French. It’s been repeated, with accompanying snicker, endlessly by right-wingers. It was never valid and if it were it would still be time to drop it. It’s insulting to lots and lots of people – remember those casualties I cited. It’s juvenile – a sort of in-group joke enjoyed by high school cliques who are convinced they know everything and love to mock outsiders. Which by the way pretty well describes the mentality of those who repeat it.
Advance notice: I know you’re not going to drop this, no matter how inane and irrelevant the point you make. I’ve said what I have to say and will not respond.
It’s not so much “whether” as “when”. If you know when, you know when to cover up.
Not possible. Way too expensive; coverage at sub-meter resolution comes at the expense of field of view; you can’t get sub-meter resolution of areas hundreds or thousands of square miles. Plus there are non-negligible issues of optical path to consider; you don’t want to be looking through too much air, and you can’t “hover” over a given site because there are no non-equitorial geostationary orbits. So, to achieve anything like continuous coverage you’ve got to have dozens of satellites up for each surveillance point of interest.
Again, if all we ever built were visible-light imaging satellites, we’d have no coverage at all for several hours a day. Consider various infrared spectra, please.
Secrecy is a double edged sword. Hiding our capabilities helps us defeat our enemies. But, using secrecy classifications to hide that certain programs aren’t working hurts us all. It allows corruption and poor standards to rule military procurement. It leaves our forces (yes, “the troops”) with high-tech weapons that don’t perform as advertised. It wastes huge amounts of spending on flashy hardware that will never see a battlefield. It also doesn’t allow for realistic budgeting of military expenditures and the setting of priorities.
One of the main rules of warfare is that you can’t decide how stupid the other side is going to be. Of course we are working on a new satellite system. If we weren’t always working on upgrading our satellites, the military wouldn’t be doing its job. Revealing that we are working on a new satellite system is not revealing a secret to anyone.
Demanding that our satellite systems actually work as advertised, and demanding that they successfully pass tests to prove so, is a sign that someone is serious about defending our nation. Putting cronies ahead of country is not.
Unless somebody tells me otherwise, if I’m, say, Kim Jong Il, I assume that “when” is “all the time.”
Alright, if you say so. I have this picture of a nutty dictator, who can’t even feed his own people, arranging these large intiatives and scheduling them so adroitly that he evades detection. I am trying to have this picture of the large, powerful peacekeeping nation which has let the nutty dictator get so dangerous that safety now depends on catching the nut in a particular bad act. Oh, and I guess I should mention, this large powerful nation is watching a small Arab country like a hawk for 15 years and manages to completely screw up and get wrong even a gross estimate of that little country’s WMD capabilities. Hmm. Pardon me for being just a little skeptical here, because this just isn’t making sense.
But John’s original article said:
So, I’ll qualify my inquiry to say “usable only when there is visible light” but I don’t see how that changes the question.
It’s got nothing to do with my opinion; this is simply physics: we cannot put a satellite in an orbit that hovers over North Korea. And we never will be able to, either, unless the laws of orbital motion change drastically. And we don’t have very many spy satellites up; I believe we have fewer than a dozen. I could be wrong, but the kind of coverage you’re talking about would take dozens or more just to service North Korea. Each satellite only has a few minutes of viewing time for a given location, because they’re traveling at several kilometers per second relative to the ground and they’re generally at low altitude so as to avoid the need for even a more insanely high resolution.
Hmmm…maybe I’ve goofed, here, but a spy satellite that relies completely on daylight-level visible light is half-assed, IMO. But you’re right: if this is an accurate description of the satellite’s limitations, then “visible-light imaging” is appropriate.
Right, I’m not questioning the physics part, it’s just that the original story here (and we have to say, it’s not exactly reliable first-hand information we are getting at this point, so all of this may be moot) just doesn’t make sense. I can’t make it compute.
Yes, and that’s the part that has made me squint at this whole story from the moment John posted it. There is something wrong or missing here.
Thanks for the info. At this point I think I’ll wait and see where this story goes next, if anywhere. I smell a (government) rat …. but then, I usually do. That’s just me. I get cranky when they urinate on my leg and tell me that it’s raining.
ppGaz, actually, there are many activities that just cannot be hidden – huge earthworks, army excercises, assassination attempt via huge explosion etc. So,of course, Kim Jong-Il only has them work when his people THINK there is nothing watching. The Soviets did this too.
I don’t think the Al-Qaeda people are nearly as technical, and how would they be able to know the dead times anyways?
For the person who was worried about oversight of programs….that’s why the Senators sit on those ‘secret’ committees – NOT TO BLAB SECRETS, but to be trusted and to do their jobs of oversight and budget control THERE.
Yes, if only the White House knew that too.
It was never valid and if it were it would still be time to drop it.
In reference to learning from history, it is valid. The French left their military “game” on the field at Verdun.
If it’s “tiresome” to correctly note their ineffectuality, well, lie down until your energy is restored.
“In reference to learning from history, it is valid. The French left their military “game” on the field at Verdun.
If it’s “tiresome” to correctly note their ineffectuality, well, lie down until your energy is restored.”
The French military is at least as strong as that of Romania, Bulgaria, Thailand, or Denmark, all of whom contributed 400+ troops to our efforts in Iraq. Are they also “noisy baggage”? Would we have been better off without their assistance?
Personally, I don’t think so. When faced with a difficult job, I’m willing to take all the help I can get, even if the help in question does enjoy cheese and funny little black hats.
“One can only hope it’s true, at least as it concerns Durbin.”
In what world would it be good news if a Senator disclosed classified information and compromised national security?
I’d be willing to forfeit any partisan gain from the Rove mess, if it’d un-out Valerie Plame. It’s about the good of the country, you flaming ninny, not about the good of your party or my party or the party of the guy down the street.
The French helped in Afghanistan by refusing a direct order from our military. Why would anyone want the French to be involved with anything militarily? Besides, the French were mocked long before America was discovered, and the world-wide mocking continues to this day. It brings a tear to my eye, it does.
Slartibartfast is right about the orbits of satellites. Think about it: all orbits around the Earth are essentially planar. That means that if a sat in a circular orbit crosses a point at, say 48 degrees north latitude, then it must also cross a point at 48 degrees south latitude. Your mileage, however, will vary if your sat is in an elliptical orbit with high eccentricity. We used to use only circular orbits, but I don’t know if we still do.
There, by the way, is something which is, and should be, classified for any spy satellite: its intended orbital eccentricity, and that’s true no matter what sensor or sensors the satellite mounts.
“The French helped in Afghanistan by refusing a direct order from our military.”
I think you’re confusing Afghanistan with the Balkans. If I’m wrong, just point me to the reference.
Such confusion aside, why would you expect a sovereign military power to take orders from the military of another country? While an ally may or may not place it’s forces under a supreme comander from an allied military (e.g. Ike in WWII), it doesn’t follow that they are subservient to an order issued by any member of that military. General Patton didn’t outrank Field Marshal Montgomery or even Gen. DeGaulle and they were’nt obliged to take orders from him.
Besides, the French were mocked long before America was discovered, and the world-wide mocking continues to this day. It brings a tear to my eye, it does.
Care to provide some evidence?
You’re an idiot.
You’re an idiot.
In a separate development, a French newspaper says France has refused to allow its warplanes to attack some of the targets assigned to it by American commanders in eastern Afghanistan.
I put the blockquotes where they were supposed to be, but it reversed itself. Everything in white should be in gray, and everything in white should be gray. Up is down, black is white.
I can ignore you like I ignore Sojourner’s leftist ravings.
I have no doubt that you are fully capable of ignoring anything that suggests your view of the world might be even a tiny bit off.
Hell, you ignore reality so I’m not the least bit surprised you ignore my posts.
The beauty of your position is you absolutely refuse to look at any evidence that refutes your case. You’ve turned the motto “Ignorance is bliss” into a lifestyle.
Thanks for clarifying for me. I’m curious as to why you left out the context though. Here’s the full citation:
“In a separate development, a French newspaper says France has refused to allow its warplanes to attack some of the targets assigned to it by American commanders in eastern Afghanistan.
The newspaper, Le Monde, quotes unnamed French military officials, as saying that the French and Americans had a difference of opinion over some bombing missions because of the risk to the civilian population.”
I find it odd that you presented the citation in a truncated form. Did you have any particular reason for doing so? BTW, the sources cited in the story are described as “unnamed French military officials”. Did any U.S. source ever confirm this?
Which is why I said, I’m not arguing about the physics.
I’m arguing that a satellite that relies on visible light is old technology, and additionally that the whole story makes no sense.
AFAIC, it’s a Newsmax story. Which means, absent more useful information, I consider it suspect at best.
We got jerked around recently on a “leak” about the names of air charters that were being used by CIA. Turned out the information had been out there for at least a year before the putative “leak”; it wasn’t a secret.
If I want to be yanked around by rightwing pseudo-scandals, I’ll hang around rightwing tabloid sites. Plenty of people seem to enjoy that; good for them.
When this story shows up with some believable meat to it, I’ll take another look.
Oh, I agree, this is an “Oh, look, a rabbit!” story. It’s a more grown up version of some kid talking about the “Feminazis” when he’s confronted with the actual text (or lack thereof) of the core of Roe v Wade.
There’s only one way to work around the rhetoric when someone changes the subject that way: bring back your own point relentlessly. If you want to kill this story, then the best approach is to select a talking point which you believe to be true, and insist on talking about that first.
So here’s my talking point on this story…
I figured you can read the linked article to get the rest of the info. If the French agree to be put under our military’s command structure, then they will have to follow our orders. Those pilots would not have known the whole story, and their refusal might have gotten our people killed. Ask NATO about the perfidy of the French. The French have tipped off several war criminals in Bosnia, and they eluded capture because of it. I don’t hate France, nor do I boycott their products, but I would never trust them when push comes to shove. I will continue to mock the French.
Definitely a mature attitude coming from a blindered supporter of the Bush administration. Let’s ignore the fact that the French were right in refusing to go to war in Iraq. Don’t you just hate it when the people you disdain are right?
Soj ….. she’s in Houston.
Compare to Paris.
Need I say more?
Hello? I am not in Houston, I’m in Grapevine. Between Dallas and Fort Worth. What has Paris got to do with this? Do I have to live in Paris to opine on the French. If so, I would hope the French would leave off opining on Americans. Two way street, mon frer.
Grapevine, Houston, Fort Stockton.
Imagine a man who has never been oustide of his little town in, say, Mexico, finds a dusty lamp in a trash bin. He takes the lamp home and begins to clean it, and out pops a genie.
Who are you?
I’m the Travel Genie.
Can you take me anywhere in the world? I have never been outside of my little village.
Well, ordinarily, yes, but today, for reasons that I cannot explain, I can only offer you two choices: Grapevine, Texas, or Paris, France.
Need I say more?
Jealousy is very unbecoming on you, Stormy.
What the..? What am I jealous of here? I don’t get it. Are you saying I’m jealous of Paris? Just correcting the record of where I live, that’s all. Paris is a nice city, but I don’t want to live there full time. I like my income-tax free state.
TravelMania Inc offers two great packages:
(From Los Angeles)
Paris — $799 10 days 11 nights, hotel included.
Grapevine, TX — $37 10 days 11 nights, hotel included.
Grapevine — where they “mock the French.” Includes at least two mocking sessions.
The French military is at least as strong as that of Romania, Bulgaria, Thailand, or Denmark, all of whom contributed 400+ troops to our efforts in Iraq. Are they also “noisy baggage”?
The characterization of “noisy baggage” has nothing to due with force numbers, but rather value to the mission. The French are insular and spent, and their best contribution to any military mission can be counted on to be the Foreign Legion. Go figure.
The scary part is I’m confident she’s not jealous. She’s bought into the whole thing about Texas being the center of the universe.
“If the French agree to be put under our military’s command structure, then they will have to follow our orders.”
Uh, Stormy that’s your opinion. It’s obviously not the fact, assuming that the unknown French military sources were telling the truth.
As a practical matter, none of our allies are going to give our military absolute authority over their troops. Twas ever thus. Even Ike had to play politics with our allies during WWII. Expecting other nations to cede their sovereignity to the U.S. military is unrealistic to say the least. Worse, any such expectation will likely lead to losing what allies you have.