Patterico's Pontifications

6/22/2019

Questions about Trump’s Account of Iran Attack

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 8:32 am



[Headline from DRJ]

Trump’s Account Of Iran Attack Plan Facing Scrutiny:

Early in the day, the president said he called off the attack at the last minute because it would have killed 150 people in retaliation for the downing of the drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.

But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran were carried out and that he had given the green light that morning to prepare the operation.

Related: Trump: Iran ‘very wise’ not to shoot down manned plane:

President Trump said Saturday Iran was “very wise” not to shoot down a manned plane when it decided to down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that’s a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn’t shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn’t do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters Saturday.

— DRJ

147 Responses to “Questions about Trump’s Account of Iran Attack”

  1. The media is running out of ways to say Trump lied.

    DRJ (15874d)

  2. Oh, a pseudo-event.

    SGT Ted (c9a5ed)

  3. I added another link about Trump’s comment that he is glad Iran did not shoot down a nearby American plane and crew. If the drone shooting is a pseudo event, Ted, does that mean the live crew is a pseudo crew?

    DRJ (15874d)

  4. Or are you claiming the report is questionable because it is based on “Administration sources”? If so, please review how many different versions Trump has told on this topic in his own words.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. It’s a pretty big if, but if that drone was in Iranian airspace, Trump could have provoked a major international incident (and let’s face it, probably a hot shooting war) by retaliating for that drone shootdown. And if that drone was indeed spying, it’s probably pretty safe to say that our stealth capabilities — at least on that particular model — aren’t worth a bucket of warm p**s.

    Gryph (08c844)

  6. @ Gryph: That drone isn’t intended to be particularly stealthy. It’s intended to carry surveillance gear, report what it sees, stay aloft a long, long time (gigantic wingspan), and risk no humans. It wasn’t hard to shoot down — if the country shooting it isn’t afraid of a reaction from the United States.

    Which the Iranians, correctly as it turns out, weren’t.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  7. Trump seems more and more like Jimmy Carter every day. They don’t physically resemble each other — gaunt Carter couldn’t look much different than blimp Trump — but both men share an anatomical abnormality, a tragic one for any U.S. president, and I don’t mean bone spurs in the ankle:

    They both suffer from a total absence of a spine.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  8. *”much more different,” that ought to have read.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  9. Trump is managing to make Bill Clinton look positively resolute.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  10. 6. The people in charge are now saying it’s a model of drone that wasn’t intended to be particularly stealthy. Forgive me if I don’t trust our government to be telling me the truth.

    But even if they are, it’s still possible that drone was in Iranian airspace — purposely or not. And the reason I think that’s a very real possibility is that this scenario accounts for Trump’s reluctance to retaliate even if he really wanted to. Also very telling that if we did get caught with our hands in the cookie jar somehow, I would think we lose some of that moral high ground in our negotiations with Iran going forward.

    Gryph (08c844)

  11. The drone was shot down near the Strait of Hormuz and I read that it fell into Iranian waters, but the Straits are relatively narrow and Iran claims its waters extend across much of the Strait. Even if the drone was not over Iranian waters, its debris would probably fall into them.

    Also, there are new reports that this drone had an enhanced surveillance platform and cost $220M. We probably don’t have many of these so its loss is significant. The Global Hawk relies on its ability to fly extremely high and is not stealthy:

    While it can fly as high as 65,000 feet, beyond the reach of many air-defense systems, the BAMS-D is subsonic and lacks stealth features, making it vulnerable to the most powerful surface-to-air missiles. Iranian forces claimed they used a version of the Buk M1 road-mobile SAM to shoot down the BAMS-D. The IRGC also possesses Russian-made S-300 air-defense systems.

    Since the drones “swoop between high and low altitudes, alternately scanning wide areas for ships then individually identifying them,” they are at risk to air defense systems.

    DRJ (15874d)

  12. 11. Again, that suggests to me that being in Iranian airspace was a definite possibility at the moment that the drone was shot down. If so, spying from within national boundaries (no matter what your altitude is) is an inherently aggressive act.

    That something like this could have happened is not what I find alarming. What bothers me is that it happened with Donald J. Trump in charge.

    Gryph (08c844)

  13. The Air Force has a stealthy unmanned vehicle in the pipeline.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. 13. Then the guys in charge had better make damn good-and-sure it’s actually stealthy before they start sending it within 12nm of a potentially hostile foreign shoreline.

    Gryph (08c844)

  15. Here are maps showing the dispute. It could be lies or one side may have less sensitive GPS so they both think they are right.

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. We deployed the Global Hawk in November 2001. It may not have been perfect but it was needed, and still is. Creating a stealthy version that can go that high with those payloads is not easy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  17. 15. So here are the million(s) dollar questions, then: To what degree of risk was that drone subject to when it was sent? Did our people in charge figure that Iran would be within their right to shoot it down, but that it would be beyond their capability to do so? The more I think about it, the more it looks to me like somebody really screwed the pooch here.

    Gryph (08c844)

  18. U2 redux, baby. And I don’t mean the Irish band.

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. They do this daily. There are all sorts of manned planes there, too, plus Naval vessels. It is a constant battle, here and in almost every area of the world. That is why it is important to have a President who doesn’t tempt certain countries to test our leader.

    DRJ (15874d)

  20. 20. Spying has been a fact of life throughout virtually all of America’s existence. We spy on enemies and allies, and we are constantly pushing the limits of technology to enhance our espionage abilities (which I think is really what Area 51 is all about).

    What I find troubling is that Donald J. Trump is at the helm. He doesn’t deserve to be elected Podunk County dog catcher.

    Gryph (08c844)

  21. The Air Force is moving more assets into Syria to control ISIS but likely also to watch and patrol Iran. My guess is that Iran noticed and is sending a message they noticed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  22. Further, I think the military told Trump this was the message, which is why Trump keeps thanking/complimenting Iran for targeting an unmanned plane instead of a manned plane.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. 22. Just because there’s “us” and “them,” it doesn’t mean there are “good guys” or “bad guys.” My rose colored glasses are getting darker and darker with each election cycle here.

    Gryph (08c844)

  24. I believe in America. Americans typically want to be the good guys and do good. I think that is why some “Administration sources” pushed back on Trump’s claim that no one told him about casualties until the last minute.

    He probably talked to Tucker Carlson, decided this would hurt his reelection chances, and seized on that excuse without thinking it through. He doesn’t seem to think through much.

    DRJ (15874d)

  25. President Trump-Making America Look Weak Again.

    Rip Murdock (b482cd)

  26. My “glasses” tell me Trump needs to shut up about manned planes or Iran will decide that Trump will do nothing if they hit them. He did nothing so far so Iran may be tempted to continue escalating.

    DRJ (15874d)

  27. Yes the two minute hate, I thought you didnt want a war
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Doranimated/status/1142447089840021504

    Narciso (e49d7b)

  28. We may have to go to war with Iran, North Kora, Russia or China someday, although I hope not. What I don’t want is an unnecessary war. Trump likes to provoke confrontation in his domestic politics and it worked with Republicans. He is doing the same now in his foreign policy, and it worked with our allies and neighbors. I don’t think that is wise as a permanent policy, especuially in conducting foreign policy with our enemies.

    DRJ (15874d)

  29. So this is not an example of Two Minute Hate on my part. Retract and apologize.

    DRJ (15874d)

  30. Let’s get into this with our eyes open, one strike will solve, two, ten, then what happens if they retaliate in kind and take out a naval base, we bomb bushehri bandar Abbas they target Riyadh dubai this isnt a mostly neutered animal like Saddam’s forces

    Narciso (e49d7b)

  31. 31. Get your head out of your keester, Narc. If we were flying surveillance in Iranian airspace (within 12nm of shore), we already committed a belligerent act. That ship may have already sailed.

    Gryph (08c844)

  32. No, we’re well within our rights, it’s not like the iaea is going to provide the info. You want to present a few airstrikes will Ailve the problem, or are you willing to go for full commitment

    Narciso (e49d7b)

  33. Purity of essence, people, purity of essence.

    felipe (023cc9)

  34. My question

    Is there any confirming evidence that the Iranian claim about the manned plane is true in the first place? Or just a bogus statement made to impress?

    Trump’s tweet is not confirming evidence. He might think publicly accepting the Iranian claim, and conplimenting them, is a way of buttering them up.

    Kishnevi (8d5c75)

  35. They had it in their sights and they didn’t shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn’t do that. I think that was a very wise decision. We really hope they don’t and just want to say thanks so much for not doing that and it’s ok they only blew up a gazillion dollar robot we needed. No big deal if you want to blow up the equipment itself, is the headline we want to send to our enemies” Mitt Romney told reporters Saturday.

    see how weak that sounds now? I can only imagine the 180s many would be pulling if anybody but Trump said that.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  36. In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

    Bruce (6f45b5)

  37. 35. Is there any confirming evidence that anything Donald Trump says is true in the first place? Or just a bunch of bogus statements made to impress?

    Gryph (08c844)

  38. so tell us what was the target, the journal, the times and the post are pinning tails on pinatas making a guess, I imagine it was one missile launcher, but which one, are there any intercepts between Tehran and the coastal station, questions no one even bothers to ask, the tanker operation was something else again,

    narciso (d1f714)

  39. We already have stealth recon drones, in fact, we crashed one in Iran 7 years ago. It’s the RQ-170.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  40. The real problem here is that we are not prepared to go to war with Iran. We could not go to war with Iraq until several months after we decided we would do so. We would have to build up significant strength in the area, would require resolute allies (Turkey, not talking about you), and would require a AUMF at some point. Iran could hurry up that AUMF by shooting down a plane with 35 Americans in it.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  41. Dustin, could you link to the quote in #36? Your quotation seems to conflate quotes by Romney and Trump.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  42. @11. “We probably don’t have many of these so its loss is significant.”

    Per Wikipedia, as of 2014, the U.S. inventory of operational RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs numbered 33 and were/are, [as of 2014,] dispersed in various configurations modified for operations with the services. Per the same source, in addition to the RQ-4 UAV ‘drones,’ the U.S. operates:

    7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AVWasp IIIs; 1,137 AV-RQ20 Pumas; 306 RQ-16 T-Hawks; 246 Predators & Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ Shadows.

    And these are just the systems there is public info on in the 2014 time frame; excluding any specialized black ops projects and, of course, space assets and undersea monitoring.

    And as a reminder, 20% or so of the world’s petroleum product passes through the Straits of Hormuz. This is the pool of gasoline where war hawks Walrus Gumbo and Pompeo want to light a match. They’re steering this mess, funneling preferred ideological options to a CIC they believe they can manipulate, a la Cheney. The big drones are bait.

    Fire Gumbo; castrate Pompeo. NOW.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  43. so seriously when the Russian proxies in the Ukraine, blew up an airliner in international airspace, that wasn’t a casus belli,

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. Wasn’t out airliner.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  45. *our

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  46. @40. Yes. Likely more stealth products in use as well. The Straits are monitored as well as- if not better than- air/sea traffic around Manhattan. NSAadvisor Gumbo is stage managing this show w/Pompeo’s help, not Trump. The ‘big, fat drones’ are part of it- they’re bait- in crowded airspace; easy targets and Gumbo wants to manipulate Trump into a ‘war or… war’ decision. Gumbo has already crossed Trump this morning warning publicly that not ‘punishing Iran’ invites more hostile acts. Trump announced stricter sanctions to into effect next week.

    Walrus Gumbo and his ideological like want war in a place where 20% of the modern world’s oil passes. He’s a ‘clear and present danger’ to the modern world. It may gall the anti-Trump crowd and you can argue over the tick-tock but the CIC actually made the correct call in this, as unbelievable as it may seem. He used some common sense; you don’t attack fixed assets in a sovereign state where a large percentage of the world’s oil flows and kill a lot of their citizens over the loss and dispute of one uncrewed drone. The next correct call is to fire Gumbo. Now.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. This is interesting (albeit from a highly partisan website that I generally don’t consider reliable; still, many details match or fit things I’ve read elsewhere including links here): The U.S. Drone Shot Down by Iran Is a $200 Million Prototype Spy Plane: The Navy now possesses as few as three of the high-flying, 737-size BAMS-D drones, which can theoretically watch over the Persian Gulf around the clock:

    The U.S. military drone Iran shot down over the Persian Gulf on Thursday was a high-flying prototype model belonging to the Navy.

    The Navy for years has deployed the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator, or BAMS-D, drones on an emergency basis, stationing the 737-size [Beldar sez: Accurate as to wingspan, not fuselage volume] unmanned aerial vehicles to watch over Syria and Iran.

    The Pentagon’s decision to deploy the rare BAMS-D underscores the military’s urgency amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. Prior to the shoot-down, the Navy possessed just four copies of the BAMS-D, which is a naval variant of the RQ-4 Global Hawk that Northrop Grumman builds for the Air Force.

    A single Global Hawk sells for more than $200 million, counting the cost of its sensors. Operators control the drone from work stations on the ground, beaming commands via satellite to the pilotless aircraft.

    ….

    In the end, the Air Force decided to keep the U-2 and build up a force of dozens of RQ-4s. The giant drones with the 131-feet wingspan have flown over Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2008, the Navy paid Northrop more than $1 billion to begin developing a version of the Global Hawk with modifications for tracking ships.

    Northrop built the four BAMS-D drones as prototypes while it worked on the definitive MQ-4C version. The Navy plans to buy as many as 70 MQ-4Cs. The first copy could deploy for front-line patrols as early as this year.

    But apparently only the BAMS-Ds were ready when tensions escalated between the United States and Iran this summer. A pair of the drones could, in theory, watch over the Persian Gulf around the clock, beaming intelligence imagery to ships and ground stations in near real time.

    ….

    The Thursday shoot-down reduces the Navy’s fleet of high-flying drones to as few as three and could compel the service to change how it deploys the aircraft.

    But the loss of one BAMS-D is unlikely to compel the Pentagon to ground its spy planes. Now that Iran has directly attacked U.S. forces, American commanders need intelligence more than ever.

    If true, then from a strategic point of view, the Iranians have just crippled our ability to surveil the Gulf, at the trivial cost of one missile — and instead of retaliating, Trump decided to praise them for their restraint.

    This is stomach-turning cowardice on the world stage by Cadet Captain Bonespur, Blowhard-in-Chief, Buffoon to the World.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  48. 48. The cowardice in the White House is a reflection of the cowardice of the electorate. We have the leadership that we deserve as a nation.

    Gryph (08c844)

  49. The drones work with satellites and surveillance planes so there probably was a manned plane in the area, kishnevi. This is the first publicly known downing of this type of vehicle.

    DRJ (15874d)

  50. Dustin, could you link to the quote in #36? Your quotation seems to conflate quotes by Romney and Trump.

    Kevin M (21ca15) — 6/22/2019 @ 1:14 pm

    It was sarcasm, not a genuine quote. My apologies for the confusion as I could have made that more clear.

    My point is that if Romney, Obama, Hillary, or anyone outside the camp said this stuff, acting like he won because Iran only blew up that one nearly priceless asset, and then pleading with them not to kill our troops, Trump’s fans would interpret this as weakness.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  51. Wiki says there are 42 of these Global Hawks, DCSCA, so it is not in abundance nor is whatever was on it.

    DRJ (15874d)

  52. Remind me again who had the defense budget, cut with the connivance of Paul Ryan of course.

    Narciso (e49d7b)

  53. Again, narciso, retract and apologize. Second and last warning.

    DRJ (15874d)

  54. Note: If we are suddenly in a shooting conflict with Iran, among the major dangers to the United States and its allies — who maintain freedom of the seas on this vital area of international commerce, which I henceforward shall call the Arabian Gulf rather than the Persian Gulf (because it pisses the Iranians off) — is from relatively small speedboats and patrol boat swarming and swamping our superior naval forces through brute force of numbers. Maintaining an ongoing patrol which can detect, precisely locate, and identify even small craft would be absolutely imperative to detect the build-up necessary to launch such a swarming attack, and to distinguishing between combatants and other traffic while an attack was going on.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  55. 50. The keywords there are “publicly known.” I don’t think our boys in charge are even being honest about the type of drone that was shot down. I don’t know how we can trust them to be honest about anything else.

    Gryph (08c844)

  56. And as a reminder to the blood thirsty war hawk camp, the fire at the Philly oil refinery yesterday– one fire at one domestic refinery- results in early projections of a rise in East Coast gasoline prices of a nickel/gal., on top of season supply/demand fluxuations.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  57. Having read Beldar’s comment and link, as well as other articles, I think losing this Global Hawk is not as inconsequential as DCSCA wants us to believe. Why do you want us to believe that, DCSCA?

    DRJ (15874d)

  58. Oh, “the blood thirsty war hawk camp”? I guess I have my answer.

    DRJ (15874d)

  59. @56. The base airframes can be modified for use in various theatres of operation. The Straits are monitored better than a heart patient in an ICU. My old man was a senior exec., at a major oil firm and ran/coordinated tanker trafficking ops through that region to keep the flow regulated so refineries at the other end could accept product at capacity as it came in. He spent a helluva lot of time conferring at the U.S. Embassy in London as well. There’s a lot of publicly ‘unknown’ assets at work in this. The big drones are bait.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  60. @58/59. See 60, DRJ.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  61. I’ll say it again in case DCSCA missed it the first three times:

    If that drone was within 12 nautical miles of Iranian shoreline, we already committed a belligerent act. My opinion of whether we should go to war or not (which I have not stated on this thread) is absolutely irrelevant as to establish that fact. Spying in foreign airspace or on foreign soil is an inherently hostile act, and while I am not sure whether it happened or not in this instance, I simply can not discount that possibility out of hand. There is no proof that we did so, but there is an equal amount of proof that we did not.

    Gryph (08c844)

  62. “The big drones are bait.” You know that from your father’s civilian Gulf experience of 20-30 years ago?

    DRJ (15874d)

  63. @52. Some of those are operated by non-military agencies; NASA, etc., DRJ

    “As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems (UAVs or Unmanned Air Vehicles): 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems.

    – source, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAVs_in_the_U.S._military

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  64. So “large number” equals “bait” to you?

    DRJ (15874d)

  65. Aren’t you assuming all systems are equal in what they can do? Beldar’s link suggests this one was special, and I really doubt they are all equal.

    DRJ (15874d)

  66. But even if they are all equal — which is unlikely — they are not bait. Being unmanned doesn’t mean we want them shot down.

    DRJ (15874d)

  67. 66. Think back to the big U2 debacle of 1960. Francis Gary Powers was sold up the river and spent over two years in a Soviet prison. Ever since then, unmanned stealth technology has been a holy grail of surveillance development and we’re not there yet.

    Gryph (08c844)

  68. 68. That should have been *almost* two years. Pardon…I can type.

    Gryph (08c844)

  69. Stop. No where did I say he said ‘drones’ were bait. I said that. The ‘drones’ of his time were different- some ballooned, some acoustic some breathing and eating. And his ops werent strictly ‘civilian,’ as I believe I made mention to you many, many months ago regarding a certain trip to Libya. Point is there ‘a lot going on there ‘under the radar’ most don’t generally know, to keep the oil flowing, the profits rolling in and your tank full at a reasonable price/gallon.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  70. @68. Powers. Research ‘Corona;’ then Rudolph Anderson. Then the U2’s replacement, the ‘SR-71.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  71. @67. They can be used as bait. And are.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  72. You said “The big drones are bait” in comment 43.

    DRJ (15874d)

  73. @58. Better question: why are you desperate to believe it is? Since you acknowledged the ‘blood thirsty war hawk camp’ comment, I guess I have my answer.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  74. And now you say they “can be” bait, so I give up.

    How current is your personal knowledge (through your father) of this region?

    DRJ (15874d)

  75. @73. Yes. I said it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  76. 71. The SR-71 is at the forefront of stealth technology today, but its stealth capabilities come at the cost of some surveillance capabilities when compared to the U2. If we could somehow figure out how to make a drone as stealthy as the SR-71 with a surveillance package akin to what was in the U2, America’s airborne espionage ability would be top-rate and virtually unrivaled.

    I am of the considered opinion that’s what is really going in Area 51: stealth surveillance research.

    Gryph (08c844)

  77. I am afraid of Iran and I don’t want it to get nuclear weapons. I don’t want war but it may be inevitable.

    DRJ (15874d)

  78. 78. I’m more afraid of what happens if Iran gets belligerent on Trump’s watch.

    Gryph (08c844)

  79. I think what we are seeing are the problems that go with large, fast build-ups of military men, materiel, and assets in remote areas. Things don’t go smoothly when you put a lot of resources into a small area with hostile forces.

    DRJ (15874d)

  80. It is why we need calm leaders and why they need good relations with our allies, so we can work together and they trust us when problems happen. I don’t think Trump has good relations with our allies because he hasn’t made the effort.

    DRJ (15874d)

  81. But he is quick to use the military to try to get results. That comes at a cost and this may be an example. Sometimes it can be hard to back down.

    DRJ (15874d)

  82. @78. No.

    War is not “inevitable.”

    Diplomacy. Besides, there’s lots of covert methods and procedures, cyber and otherwise, to avoid a shooting war. Iran has been ‘close to getting nukes in six months’ literally for years. It’s a McGuffin. Like WMD. Like the Gulf of Tonkin… ‘Guns of August.’ 20% of the world’s oil supply passes through than region. America isn’t going to disrupt that all on it’s own because of some zealous ideologue. Fire Gumbo. NOW.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  83. Do you see everything as a movie or a movie script?

    DRJ (15874d)

  84. 83. Do you actually think that Donald Trump is a diplomat? Or that he even has the wherewithal to let his diplomatic corps do their jobs without interference? SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  85. Questions about Trump’s version of events? Heavens that’s unheard of.

    Orange man Bad – Volume LCX, attack no. 1,235

    rcocean (1a839e)

  86. @84. That’s a tad snarky, DRJ– and beneath your usual level of respectful discourse. [And BTW, President Kennedy reference Tuckman’s ‘Guns of August’ in Cuban Missile Crisis deliberations.] We simply disagree on this. But as galling as it is to anti-Trumpers, ideological warhawks hellbent on regime change and as surprising as it may be given Trump’s history–despite the ‘tick-tock’- he exercised some common sense and made the correct call.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  87. @85. Certain the Walrus isn’t; fire Gumbo. NOW.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  88. @84. Postscript; Had to chuckle… “Reagan.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  89. The Triton is based on the Global Hawk, but the Navy only ordered their’s a few years ago, and the Navy version has just entered service, and will be getting around 70.

    The BAMS-D isn’t a production aircraft, it’s a prototype. With UAV’s, we have a tendency to use the prototypes in service even before the production versions are complete since most of them are a super/sub-set of functionality that already exists, in the form of other production UAV’s, or COTS designs, in this case both. I haven’t seen any details on whether the prototype sensor suite will be fitted back on the production versions, as the P-8 already hosts the same suite, and 737’s are cheap, but manned.

    The Navy isn’t targeting using the Triton in contested airspace, it’s just a fast acquisition program, not cheap but available today, as they’re betting the future on the MQ-25 Stingray. They’ve de-scoped the stealth requirement on those, as the initial deployment will be as a tanker/sensor platform, but a future variant will include both stealth and attack packages. None of which a Triton will do. The Stingray will also be carrier launched, which is a huge benefit. They’ll be replacing a bunch of on-board aircraft with it eventually, eventually meaning 25 years typically.

    The Navy’s having a bit of a challenge with the acquisition of F-35’s, so adding another attack “aircraft” when the really expensive new one doesn’t fly far/fast/stealthy/armed at the same time. Plus all of the production issues.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  90. @90. The Navy doesn’t depend on one pair of binoculars, either. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  91. @ Gryph, who wrote (#49, in response to my #48):

    The cowardice in the White House is a reflection of the cowardice of the electorate. We have the leadership that we deserve as a nation.

    I wish I could dispute this, brother. Oh, how I wish I could.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  92. From what I’ve read, the Navy prototype version is fitted out with gear intended specifically to track surface vessels; it can loiter at 50,000 feet but, unlike the much more numerous Air Force version, it can dive to 10,000 feet for a close look, then climb back to 50,000. It is a different tool for a different application, which is why it was ordered by the Navy. Every source I’ve seen, including DRJ’s link above, describes these four (now three) drones as prototypes intended as a stopgap until the long-term replacement if finished, of which the Navy has ordered a number comparable to the Air Force’s fleet for its needs.

    DRJ, I don’t read anything written by the commenter to whom you were replying to in your #59 — and have not, since the night during Hurricane Harvey, just after I posted a comment about my ex-wife and one of our children watching TV coverage of heavy flooding and boat rescues four blocks from them, when he wrote that those Texans afflicted by Hurricane Harvey should “swim for it.” I can’t say more about my feelings toward him without violating blog policy. Perhaps you’re right that he’s intending to argue with all who are in “the blood thirsty war hawk camp.” But I suspect, frankly, that he wants to show me, in particular, up — a goal at which he has, again, failed miserably.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  93. From the Wiki linked by DRJ above (#52):

    United States Navy version:

    The United States Navy took delivery of two of the Block 10 aircraft to evaluate their maritime surveillance capabilities, designated N-1 (BuNo 166509) and N-2 (BuNo 166510).[12] The initial navalised example was tested at Edwards Air Force Base briefly, before moving to NAS Patuxent River in March 2006 for the Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) program, operated by Navy squadron VX-20.[13][14] In July 2006, the GHMD aircraft flew in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise for the first time; although it was in the vicinity of Hawaii, the aircraft was operated from NBVC Point Mugu, requiring flights of approximately 2,500 mi (4,000 km) each way to the area. Four flights were performed, resulting in over 24 hours of persistent maritime surveillance coordinated with USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Bonhomme Richard. For the GHMD program, the Global Hawk was tasked with maintaining maritime situational awareness, contact tracking, and imagery support of exercise operations. Images were transmitted to NAS Patuxent River for processing and then forwarded to the fleet off Hawaii.[15]

    Northrop Grumman entered a RQ-4B variant in the US Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) UAV competition. On 22 April 2008, it was announced that Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4N had won and that the Navy had awarded a US$1.16 billion contract.[16] In September 2010, the RQ-4N was officially designated the MQ-4C.[17] The Navy MQ-4C differs from the Air Force RQ-4 mainly in its wing. While the Global Hawk remains at high altitude to conduct surveillance, the Triton climbs to 50,000 ft to see a wide area and can drop to 10,000 ft to get further identification of a target. The Triton’s wings are specially designed to take the stresses of rapidly decreasing altitude. Though similar in appearance to the Global Hawk’s wings, the Triton’s internal wing structure is much stronger and has additional features including anti-icing capabilities and impact and lightning strike protection.[18]

    Beldar (fa637a)

  94. Colonel Klink, thank you for your #90. It makes sense to me and fits with what I’ve read elsewhere. If you happen to have any supporting links, I hope you’ll share them too.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  95. So many intense POVs; we need a musical interlude:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xry0_-1kqdk

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  96. That would not be surprising, Beldar.

    DCSCA, I wasn’t being snarky. You seem to view the world as a movie.

    Great comment, Col Klink. Thank you.

    DRJ (15874d)

  97. @97. You seem to interpret it that way. And if Mueller had been little more media savvy, rather than going old school, the Trump Nemesis so enraging and feared would be running scared by now. Instead, he got the upper hand and will bet the rap. John Dean had a statement hundreds of pages long– and read it outloud for several days for impact. It’s the way of the world. In 2019, you don’t read the book; you see the movie.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  98. Heh. I “interpret” you constantly adding movie references to everything?

    DRJ (15874d)

  99. @99. A picture is worth a thousand words, DRJ: it’s a Twitter Universe today; how we communicate; w/familiar shorthand soundbites; shortburst copy.

    No time for long blocks of text that need revised and corrected to make your point.

    Few have read the Mueller Report; those interested will watch the movie/documentary when it comes out– and everyone will pay to see Trump: The Movie. Ah, but who will play him?!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  100. @99. LOL postscript, DRJ; don’t been too hard on film references. Reagan lifted ‘I’m paying for this microphone’ from Spencer Tracy in ‘State Of The Union’ and like to quote Eastwood’s ‘Go ahead, make my day’ often. And he regaled Carter with stories of Jack Warner on the way to the inaugural. Oh my…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. So you see yourself as a modern Reagan?

    DRJ (15874d)

  102. @102. Stop. He was proclaimed ‘The Great Communicator.’ So accept it. If you’re uncomfortable w/t shorthand methods the world communicates concepts, messages and ideas today in an era of hourly news cycles, internet sites, cellphone cameras and so forth, don’t use them. We don’t own cellphones; Beldar often boasts disdain for Twitter use; I don’t use it. There’s usually a newspaper around to read still, a typewriter or longhand to mail a message.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. Here’s the Boeing MQ-25 page, and the Wiki link, which is quite thorough.

    One of the issues with modern aircraft design, cars to, is with never ending capability creep that adds weight and complexity, which means compromises in function within an existing envelope, like in the case of an aircraft carrier. The F-35 was a perfect example of needing 3 air-frames for 3 services, and trying to do all of it on a single aircraft, compromising the design for each service and adding complexity. We’d been down this road before with the F-4, it ended up being fine, but never more than that.

    So, we were going to add an unmanned attack platform on the carrier, we’ve had open reqs for the better part of 20 years, but then kept adding requirements, no one being able to solve every problem, then reworking the requirements, on and on. There’s a good primer on the unmanned stealth combat and ISR program and how it devolved into a light surveillance and tanker program on wikipedia. It’s actually a good thing in my estimation, solve the immediate capability need of adding tanking range, and learning how to operate on a carrier deck.

    Of course, in the Straight of Hormuz, none of that is a problem, you can fly a Cessna across it in 8 minutes, so the air/sea traffic is incredibly dense, and Iran’s Talaash batteries range out to about 100km, more realistically 80km, all the way across the Straight, so anything flying is a target.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (6e7a1c)

  104. Stop what? Reagan used cultural references and so do you. Why would that bother you, and why do you act likely I am trying to stop technology? I love technology.

    DRJ (15874d)

  105. @105. ROFLMAO, you seem bothered. Quite content on this end. Trump was right: so much winning!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  106. There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that’s a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn’t shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn’t do that.

    Do you suppose he also gushes about how much “we appreciate” not having our cities nuked in his love letters to Kim?

    Dave (3c40e2)

  107. @107. Could be a throwaway line for blustering propaganda sake. Depending on the avionics of the aircraft, they might know if they’d been ‘painted’ as a target – see if there’s a crew debrief posted someplace.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  108. Do you see everything as a movie or a movie script?

    I think anyone who believes nominating and electing Donald Trump will usher in the Golden Age of Rockefeller Republicanism has some obvious problems distinguishing reality from fiction…

    Dave (3c40e2)

  109. Could be a throwaway line for blustering propaganda sake.

    Ya think?

    That would be so out of character!

    Dave (3c40e2)

  110. @109. Me too; but then, history doesn’t usually repeat; yet often rhymes.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  111. history doesn’t usually repeat

    Learn from history.

    :)

    Dave (3c40e2)

  112. @ Colonel Klink (#4): I may have told this story here before, and if so, any who recall it may wish to skip on.

    When I was the president of the Lamesa, Texas, Model Rocket Club in 1969, I wrote a nice letter to McDonnell Douglas asking them if they had any promotional materials or other interesting things I might share with our membership.

    A week later I received a fairly large, flat package in the mail from St. Louis. Upon opening it, I found a 16mm reel of color & sound film, and a letter thanking me for my inquiry and suggesting that my members might enjoy it, and to please return it in the enclosed packaging in few days after they’d seen it, with their best wishes.

    The local public library had a 16mm projector with sound that I could check out, and of course I immediately watched it. And re-watched it. And watched it again.

    It was a promotional film for the F-4 Phantom — made, I think, for the DoD to show congress-critters on the military appropriation committees. And it was a slick piece of work, with professional voice-over, stirring music, and incredible in-air sequences that featured interceptions and missile launches, a description of what the GIF and GIB did (guy-in-front/back), takeoffs and landings, carrier launches and recovery — even footage shot over southeast Asia. It was mesmerizing.

    The Rocket Club gathered in my living room in response to my urgent phone calls. And we watched it probably another 10 times. Then I showed it to the Science Club. Then I showed it to 20-30 other seventh- and eight-graders who’d heard about it, including my science and math teachers.

    I was very careful, never let it out of my possession, and never let anyone else mount or dismount it from the projector. But I’m surprised we didn’t wear that film out.

    Interpreting a “few days” to be up to 13 (but not 14, which would be two weeks), I re-packaged it and sent it, insured, back to St. Louis, with my letter on behalf of the Rocket Club (et al.) thanking the folks at McDonald Douglas as heartily as I could.

    Years later, in college in Austin, I regularly saw RF-4s from Bergstrom AFB (now the Austin municipal airport) in the skies over the Hill Country, sometimes accompanied by T-38s that had flow up from Ellington Field in Houston. I know, from reading, about the teething pains it had, in particular the regret of fighter pilots that it relied upon air-to-air missiles to the exclusion of any guns, and the inability of raw speed to compensate for lack of nimbleness. But yes, it was used for years and years, is still in use by many current and former American allies (including Iran), and remains a genuinely bad-ass looking aircraft.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  113. (I was actually referencing Colonel Klink’s comment at #104, and meant to write “flown up from.”)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  114. When I was the president of the Lamesa, Texas, Model Rocket Club

    Do you still include that on your curriculum vita?

    Just curious…

    :)

    Dave (3c40e2)

  115. Back to war and diplomacy, DCSCA. Neither may be the answer but sanctions seem to work if Trump will stick with them and stop taking everything so personally. I honestly think he is doesn’t care what happens — war, a summit (like with North Korea) — as long as it lets him get the credit and he doesn’t have to share it with anyone. That is risky, which is of course his style, but a lot of innocent Americans could end up paying dearly if he fails.

    DRJ (15874d)

  116. I don’t think he likes sanctions because they take too long and he won’t get credit, so he may end up ruining the best option.

    DRJ (15874d)

  117. Do you suppose he also gushes about how much “we appreciate” not having our cities nuked in his love letters to Kim?

    Dave (3c40e2) — 6/22/2019 @ 7:04 pm

    Actually, yes.

    DRJ (15874d)

  118. I love your comments, Beldar.

    DRJ (15874d)

  119. As you may recall, I grew up in Lubbock and I can visualize every single person and moment you describe.

    DRJ (15874d)

  120. Sanctions didn’t stop Little Rocket Man, and they’re not going to stop Iran (a vastly richer country than North Korea) now that Trump has freed Russia to back them openly and told our allies to go to hell.

    Dave (3c40e2)

  121. The teachers literally had pocket protectors, DRJ. One of them was also a coach, so he had a whistle around his neck dangling next to his pocket protectors. And we had slide rules.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  122. @116. Interesting coincidence. Still have all my NASA/collateral from the 60s out in the garage– just began to get it out this week. Nostalgic. Saved every piece, too.

    But can top that, D; was back during the time of ‘the troubles’… while running the rocket club in London, where we’d fire them off in Hyde Park-we were ‘detained’ by the Metropolitan Police as possible IRA bombers; we’d ‘littered’ – in typical American fashion of the times – by leaving a pile of exhausted Eveready batteries- which were wired in series and the packaging was a bright orange in color– next to a trash can in Hyde Park across from the Dorchester Hotel. So picture a pile of jumbled orange rectangles with wires connected to them. We came back the next day w/fresh batteries to launch some more and discovered the police had roped off our trash… we fired off a bird and they told us to stop and especially to stop using our walkie-talkie radios- then one of the guys ran over, crawled under the police line and kicked the pile, telling them they were just dead batteries. Literally 50 cops hit the dirt; it was simply surreal to see. Long and short of it, we had to cop to leaving them. BA-ba-BA-Ba went the siren, police paddy wagon arrived and carted us off, rockets and all, to the police station ‘hidden’ inside Marble Arch. Was the responsible party so I had to try to explain the rockets, batteries, their method of propulsion and so forth to a room full of London bobbies and a very angry desk sgt., listening. Fortunately, we all has our ‘resident papers’ w/us at the time so it clarified who we were and so forth. We were told the Metropolitan police had contacted the British military and they I turn had a bomb disposal team in the air on the way there from Wales. Needless to say we were told in no uncertain terms never to fire them off in any of Her Majesty’s Parks ever again–but they let us have our equipment back… and as we left, we heard their nervous laughter. Turns out they had a reason to be on edge; some months later the IRA blew out the observation deck of what was then called the GPO Tower in Central London.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  123. @116. Just don’t think he wanted to kill people as a trade off for a pilotless drone, DRJ. For better or worse, he has a transactional mind; 150 dead for no dead didn’t tally w/him; a “bad deal.”

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  124. @ Dave (#115): I think the Model Rocket Club, Science Club, Math Club, Chess Club, Astronomy Club, Junior Civil Air Patrol, Young Republicans Club, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Order of the Arrow, DeMolays, and Debate Society had all dropped off my CV, for want of space, some time before I made my law school applications. Also “Miss Mascara” and, the following year, “Mr. Texas Tech Band Camp.” But I remember. It was a very small town, and I was a very active geek.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  125. My #123 for Dave’s #115. Sorry- typo.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  126. Oh! How could I have left out Editor of the Texas Tech Band Camp daily newspaper, for which I wrote a daily column entitled “Band Camp After Dark”?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  127. I was a very active geek

    “Was”

    LOL

    :)

    Dave (3c40e2)

  128. We need the story behind Miss Mascara.

    DRJ (15874d)

  129. We need the story behind Miss Mascara.

    I agree. And we need to know exactly how campy Mr Texas Tech Band Camp was.

    Kishnevi (573b0b)

  130. I attended Texas Tech’s marvelous two-week summer band camp for five consecutive summers, from the summer before my 8th grade year through the summer before my 12th grade year. It was a co-ed camp that drew campers from all over the state, with the boys and girls occupying two Tech dorms — respectively, Gates and Wall Halls — joined by a common lobby and cafeteria. I devoted myself to learning about flirting and romance with as much zeal (okay, more zeal) than I did to learning to be a better trumpet player.

    I was especially fortunate that the camp assistant director was the band director from Abernathy High School, who previously had been band director in Lamesa, and who’d married (after her graduation, of course) a high school classmate and dear friend of my big sister’s. My parents threw their engagement party in our back yard. (“Me, at about age 6: “Can I come to your wedding, Mr. B___?” Him: “Dyer, I couldn’t make it without you.”) Every morning of camp, there was an assembly at 10:00 a.m. in the Tech Student Union building, and Mr. B___ presided over these with what was basically an improv stand-up comedy routine — he was a close analog to Dom DeLuise in looks and comic style, and he sang, danced, made all the necessary announcements, and warned the campers to avoid being tagged with demerits for EPDAs (Excessive Public Displays of Affection, i.e., heavy necking on the benches and yes, in the bushes outside). Even during my first summer there, he’d find some excuse about every other day to work me into one of his gags; I was a willing straight man, and occasionally had a quip of my own.

    This raised my profile significantly among my fellow campers, even though the camp grew from about 300 in my first summer to well over 1000 by my last.

    For all five summers, I also volunteered for the camp’s daily newspaper, “The B.C.” — for “Band Camp,” but we also had a brilliant trombone-playing writer, photographer, and cartoonist from Big Spring High School who developed his own B&W film and could draw recognizable caricatures in the style of the Johnny Hart daily caveman comics that appeared all over America. Being on the staff was an excuse to stay up and about after the 10:00 p.m. curfew (when we wrote & produced the paper, to slip under every dorm door at 6:00 a.m. the next morning). And better still, it gave me a non-threatening excuse to approach, introduce myself to, and flirt with the girls hanging out in the lobby: “Excuse me, miss, but what’s your name and hometown, and do you have any comment on the rumor that Dr. Killian [the camp director] hurls lightning bolts down from heaven? It’s for my ‘Band Camp After Dark’ column in the BC.” Campers would collect every issue and take them back to their hometowns to circulate among their bandsmen there, which of course motivated them to attend camp the next year, so the camp administration supported us fully.

    During the summer before my sophomore year, I met and befriended, then romanced, a lovely young about-to-be freshman from Lubbock Coronado High School. (We dated off & on into college, and still are good friends; she is still lovely and has a beautiful family including grandchildren.) Each sex’s dorm was normally off-limits to the other, of course, but one evening there was an open house in both dorms, for which the campers were encouraged to collaborate in decorating the austere dorm rooms in some interesting style, with the most interesting to receive an award at the next morning’s assembly. There were lots of black lights and DayGlo posters (“Easy Rider,” Led Zeppelin, etc.). But this young lady and I and our respective roommates, with the connivance of her mother (who liked me), decided to decorate the girls’ room in a “Bourbon Street” theme, and my sweetheart dressed as a showgirl — and by general acclaim, nailed it. Our friend from the B.C. snapped this candid photo of us in her room, in which I was wearing a sash for a joke award given me by Mr. B__ at that morning’s assembly, “Mr. Bubbles,” and which appeared the next morning on the front page of the B.C. (That award never made my CV either, Dave.)

    The photo attracted, shall we say, an inordinate amount of attention. Her room didn’t win the prize, but Mr. B___ nevertheless yanked us both up on-stage the next morning for some good-natured ribbing.

    At the end of each summer’s camp, the campers would vote on a number of awards. The most serious was “Mr. & Miss Tech Band Camp,” traditionally reserved for students entering their senior years the next fall. But there were also less serious categories, like “Best Biceps” and “Best Hair,” “Biggest Male and Female Flirts,” and so forth. One pair of awards that year was “Most Handsome Eyes” (for boys) and “Miss Mascara” (for girls). Some of our friends decided, though, that based on this photo, they would organize a campaign to persuade campers to vote for me to win “Miss Mascara” — and they were successful, by a very wide margin in fact, which seemed to be hugely funny to campers and faculty alike. I had enough good grace to accept in stride. Two summers later, though, we were voted “Mr. & Miss Tech Band Camp,” which wasn’t as funny but was still pretty cool.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  131. That is a great story and with a photo, too.

    DRJ (15874d)

  132. Writing #131 triggered another great memory, if I may indulge myself in another “This one time, at Band Camp” story:

    Morning assemblies were held in a huge meeting room in the basement of the Tech Student Union, which had a small stage at one end, a first-rate PA system, and even a couple of spotlights. Still, as anyone who’s been to high school will recall, grabbing and holding the attention of 1000 or so kids that age for a 45-minute assembly was no small challenge. Mr. B___, the assistant camp director who was the band director from Abernathy, managed it by basically turning each morning assembly into a vaudeville show. He was the main comic and master of ceremonies, of course, and he used running gags to masterful effect in holding the campers’ attention. One such was when he’d be making a routine announcement, and he’d pretend to have a verbal slip-up: “When I get back home to Abernasty –” he’d start out, and the entire assembly would shout an instant correction to him, in unison: “Abernathy!!!” He’d blush and apologize and mop his brow and exhort us not to tell anyone back in Abernathy that he’d made that slip-up. But it was like the “It was so big”/”How big was it?” call-and-response gag that Johnny Carson pulled for years with Ed McMahon and the Tonight Show audiences — always good for a giggle and, more importantly, it kept us engaged.

    The campers at Tech Band Camp were, for the most part, their respective hometowns’ most talented band musicians, and as a group they were as clever, motivated, and competitive as you might expect. Individual campers, and pairs or small groups of them, would approach Mr. B___ beforehand with a skit or joke or talent or something to see if they could appear in that morning’s assembly, and he wove these into each day’s show. A lot was ruthlessly cribbed from old movies and TV shows: A friend and I did the old Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First” routine, which was new to most of the campers, and we followed it the next week with their “Slowly I turned” gag.

    (This friend also wrote a regular column for the BC, entitled “BC’s Fractured Fairy Tails,” a take-off on the Rocky & Bullwinkle show’s Fractured Fairy Tales. His columns each consisted of a long involved story ending in a terrible pun, like “Silly rabbi! Kicks are for Trids!” You can write the joke backwards from the punchline. He parlayed his column into meeting lots of girls, too.)

    But the best skit, bar none, during the five summers I was at camp was perpetrated by me and the above-referenced young lady, who enlisted the assistance of perhaps a dozen other BC staffers. Mr. B__ put on his most solemn face and announced, “And now, campers, we have a presentation by the camp newspaper staff. I give you … the Band Camp Monoliths!” — which caused some puzzled looks — and he stuck the microphone into a stand, and stepped off-stage, and the campers duly gave us a round of applause as my sweetheart and I led our group up the steps to the stage with absolutely solemn, straight faces of our own, all of us dressed in solid black.

    Two of our number carried 24-slot wooden crates of the sort then used to collect and return Coke bottles, and they set the crates on the floor, after which each member of our troupe collected a couple of bottles and joined the others in a semi-circle around the mic.

    The lights went down; the spotlight lit, in a tight beam, the fellow standing on the end of our arc, and he raised one of his bottles to his lips and began to blow an intense but steady airstream across the mouth of the bottle. Based on the amount of water in it, the bottle produced a clear, resonant concert middle C, which he maintained. There were a few giggles, but the assembly was mostly just watching and listening.

    The spot shifted to the next BC staffer in the line, who began likewise blowing a steady stream across the mouth of one of her bottles, which, based on a carefully calibrated amount of water inside it, added a perfectly in-tune concert G a few steps up from the first player. By the time the light shifted to the third guy in line, the crowd was beginning to get it — being musicians, of course — and they began to laugh and clap as he sounded a clear C an octave above the note being held by first guy.

    Yes, if you’re whistling along, we were doing the intro notes from Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, better known as the musical theme that accompanies the Monolith scenes in the score for 2001: A Space Odyssey. When the spot suddenly expanded to show the entire semi-circle, and we came in together with the forte chords that proceed the opening notes, some of them were climbing to their feet and beginning to cheer.

    What almost none of them had noticed, though, was the pulling of a small divider curtain at the back of the room while we were playing, behind which was an All-State percussionist on the tympani drums, who tattooed out the BOOM-BAAAH! BOOM-BAAAH! BOOM-BAAH! rhythm very loudly indeed. We did the next strain, and its concluding chords, and indeed (switching out bottles as necessary), proceeded to finish the entire introductory theme — by which the room was on its feet, cheering and singing along in complete tumult.

    We bowed politely, re-crated our bottles, and trooped off the stage and into Band Camp immortality.
    Thus ended the morning assembly that day.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  133. *chords that follow the opening notes, I meant to write.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  134. I remembered another of my friend’s punchlines: “Only Hugh can prevent florist friars.” Again, write the joke backwards from that.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  135. So, clearly, you have always been a fun, clever guy!

    DRJ (15874d)

  136. And a great storyteller.

    DRJ (15874d)

  137. I was the best Miss Mascara ever, DRJ.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  138. Only Hugh can prevent florist friars.”

    Good one.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  139. A story (or stories) in the New YBork imes of Saturday June 22, 2019 reported what happened.

    I speculated that Democrats had brought up the issue of Iranian casualties. Somebody must have.

    Now there was already a briefing at 11 a.m. which included potential casualties, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were apparently at a later briefing at 3 pm and they say they weren’t given a “heads up” but that doesn’t mean possibilties were not discussed. Some Democrats walked away from their breifings thinking probably nothing would happen.

    Senior Administraton officials were told at 7 pm the strike was on. The plan was for the early am hours before sunrise. This works out to between 9 and 10 pm in Washington. (Any later and they’d have to wait approximately 16 hours at least. The U.S. likes to bomb at night. Also. when there is no moon but I think the near full moon was already visible through the end of the night till dawn so I don’t think that was a factor.)

    The whole thing was developed or decided on very fast – too fast for too much consideration, but actually too slow for something that is supposed to be automatic.

    The proposed attack – the one of two final options that the response had been whittled down to from an list created a month before of about a dozen possibilities – would probably destroy whole buildings and kill everyone in it.

    This kind of target probably was chosen because the first thing the United States has done since 1991 when bombing is destroy the opposong anti aircraft defenses. So this would kind of gets proposed before any real target, if there was one they ahd in mind. Although in this case, anti-aircraft capability is of course a very logical target, but not whatever you might really want to bomb in Iran. That would be ballistic missiles, or something to do with the nuclear program or entrances.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  140. I really can’t find any evidence there was a strike contemplated,

    https://libertyunyielding.com/2019/06/22/on-iran-trumps-unready-government-does-the-right-thing/

    narciso (d1f714)

  141. OK, now where the figure of 150 dead Iranians came from:

    The answer is buried way down deep (23 paragraohs in) in this article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/21/us/politics/trump-iran-strike.html

    This number of 150 (which might have been higher than the number mentioned at 11 am) came from Pentagon lawyers, the ones who draft worse case scenarios (so doesn’t account for whether there is a difference between a strike at night during the day, for instance. The missile batteries are manned round the clock but stilll there should be some difference.)

    The casualty estimate was requested by some people in the White House (we don’t know who or why) but tehy were maybe trying to work around National Security Adviser John Bolton.

    It was passed on to the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, without going through either the
    Acting Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan (who had pulled out of a confirmation fight three days before and announced his resignation because of domestic violence accusations but was still i office) or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr.

    It was passed on to Donald Trump by a White house lawyer, not any general. Although it ultimately originated in the Pentagon.

    There is or was some kind of dispute as to whether it was already going forward when it wasa called off. Probably some parts were, and some other parts weren’t.

    By the way, there had been some opposition within the admnistration on other grounds. General Dunford had opposed this strike because he was worried about possible Iranian attacks on American soldiers. “A 6 p.m. meeting in Mr. Shanahan’s office at the Pentagon including General Dunford was described as particularly tense.” (NYT)

    There was some opposition on various other grounds. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, althoygh he supported strike, apparently did not support a big one, because he thought the sanctions were stopping Uran from selling out and the United States would prevail with them.

    Senator Lindsey Graham was maybe for it, but out of touch on plane heading to the west coast at the moment when Trump was informed of the 150 Iranian deaths estimate.

    The New York Times likes to connect Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who warned of a wider war, to the reversal, although the chronology doesn’t work. he was on TV at 8 pm after Trump had apparently already called it off. But they still put him at the start of the article.

    There was another factor. Iran let the United States “know” probably falsely, that the commander who had shot down the drone had acted rashly and that the commander of the Quds Force, Major Genweral Qasem Soleimani, was angry with him. Publicly, Iran is claiming that the drone was over Iran’s territorial waters (8 miles out and thus under the 12 mile limit) when it was shot down.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  142. Meanwhile, Donald Trump seems to have authorized another option, which had maybe not been brought to his attention before because maybe some people were skeptical.

    I would guess it would be like that and I would aslo guess the people involved with that, challenged, would be very cose to certain it would work before they would bring it up as aserious option.

    That option was computer sabotage of Iran’s missile defense command and control system.

    Reportedly, it’s working, so they didn’t even need to bomb it to shut that down.

    https://www.engadget.com/2019/06/22/us-cyberattack-reportedly-knocked-out-iran-missile-control-syste/

    Washington Post sources say the President greenlit a long-in-the-making cyberattack that took down Iranian missile control computers on the night of June 20th. The exact impact of the Cyber Command operation isn’t clear, but it was described as “crippling” — Iran couldn’t easily recover, one tipster said.

    June 20 is exactly the same he cancelled the bombing raid.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  143. narciso @142. How does that link say there was no strike contemplated?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  144. it’s been four days, sammeh, no publication has pointed out any target selection, the Sayyad 3c batteries are lightly crewed, so it’s unlikely there would anywhere near 150 casualties, the base at jask would have many more than 150 personnel, a mothership that would harbor the mine boats would have something near that complement,

    narciso (d1f714)

  145. narciso @146

    I think it’s easier to argue that the 150 casualty estimate was wildly off base, (and there’s ahint of that in the New Yrk Times article I linked to) than to argue that nothing at all was contemplated or in progress. A lot of people would have to be lying, and for what?

    I’ll try to see if any specififc target is mentioned in the media. Reports I heard said three separate places were targeted.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)


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