Saturday, November 21, 2015

When the going gets tough...

Hillary today:
"As I said this week, America must wage and win an immediate battle against ISIS, al Qaeda, and other terrorist networks, as well as a generational struggle against radical jihadism," Clinton added. "We face a choice between fear and resolve. Anita's murder should deepen our resolve. America must lead the world to meet this threat."
Hillary in 2011, as Secretary of State:
“In Iraq, almost 100,000 troops have come home and civilians are poised to keep the peace. In Afghanistan, integrated military and civilian surges have helped set the stage for our diplomatic surge to support Afghan-led reconciliation that can end the conflict and put al Qaeda on the run. We have imposed the toughest sanctions yet to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
So now Hillary talks tough about how we need to steel up and beat the terrorists, the same terrorists her policies were supposed to put on the run.  But she knows Americans have short memories, and she knows liberal journalists aren't about to do any reminding.

Friday, November 13, 2015


The following line in this CNN report sums up the UTTER FAILURE of our western leadership (emphasis added):
Scores were killed in the coordinated attacks late Friday, leaving a nation in mourning and the world in shock. CNN will update this story as information comes in:
How could any thinking, informed person consider this attack 'shocking' in any manner? If anyone is shocked then the politicians are to blame for bamboozling them into a false sense of security by pretending these Islamic terrorists are 'on the run' or 'contained' or 'JV' or just some 'deadenders'.

This is a very sad night for western civilization.  And make no mistake, that's what this was--an attack on western civilization.  Paris is symbolic and the targets were symbolic. Let's hope the response is appropriate.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

If it was a bomb...

The determination of what brought down Metrojet 7K-9268  has not yet been made, but everyone has seen the leaks coming from western intelligence pointing to a bomb.   So let's assume for a moment it was a bomb.

And let's assume it was planted by an operator on behalf of ISIS, due to the Russian connection.

Who might be the mastermind?   We know AQ has some good bombmakers.  AQAP's al-Asiri is notorious and a highly sought after drone target.  We know of bombmakers in the Khorasan Group in Syria (otherwise known as Core AQ).  One was reportedly just killed.   But we haven't heard of many bombmaker geniuses populating the ranks of ISIS.

What about this guy?    He's a little old, yes, but passing knowledge would be his main contribution.  He's a long-time resident of Iraq, still wanted years after creating a bomb that was placed on a Pan Am 747 flying to Honolulu in 1982.  At the time he was also working on a plot to bomb multiple aircraft before the plot was fortunately foiled.  This was years before the Yousef/KSM "Bojinka" plot was uncovered.   The Saddam government likely knew about this activity and looked the other way meaning they sanctioned it, for what it's worth. 

Ironically, ISIS is filled with ex-Saddamists.  Al-Umari is a Sunni loyalist, no doubt.  Many of the ex-Saddamists have taught their jihadist partners a few tricks of their former terror trade, which has resulted in a new, improved terrorist army featuring many of the same enemies Saddam had.  The only difference is the new group wears religious hats and dons beards.  

So it sounds reasonable to assume he might be working with them now if he's still active in the game.  At any rate, the United States has put up 5 million bucks in an effort to get this old man off the Arab streets, so they must have a good reason.   

MORE  11/9/15

One thing to note.  It's a bit strange how quickly and adamantly that "unnamed US security officials" have declared this a bomb.  Here's yet another story.  Even in the story the officials claim they are not directly involved in the investigation.  Others say they have terrorist chatter in the NSA intercepts, but that's something they will never release due to security.   Compare all that to the other mysterious aircraft crashes over the past 20 years, wherein officials went out of their way to deny terrorism was even possible.   Obviously a political component needs to be suspected.   This still could have been a mechanical issue.    

Side Tracks

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Aviation Update

Another passenger jet falls out of the sky at cruising altitude.  This is getting a bit weird.

Weird or not, the loved ones of those lost on Metrojet flight 7K-9268 deserve a factual investigation.   Lots of speculation now as in every aviation disaster--early claims of terrorism by the terrorists should be taken with a grain of salt until more facts are established.  That said, claims by officials should also be scrutinized for accuracy.  They may be lying (for a variety of reasons) or just bungling the facts.

For instance, there is already confusion about the final minutes of the flight.  Many news sources are reporting something similar to this:
Ayman al-Muqadem, an Egyptian official with the government's Aviation Incidents Committee, said air controllers lost contact with the plane’s pilot after he radioed that the aircraft was experiencing technical problems and that he needed to make an emergency landing.
At the same time the Egyptian "Civil Aviation Authority" has said that communications were normal until the moment the aircraft disappeared off radar scopes, giving no indication of any technical issue. 

The above is very easy to confirm since it should be available on ATC voice tapes. It will also be on CVR recordings and we know both CVR and FDR were recovered. The distinction is critical in this case since it could mark the difference between sabotage or terrorism, ie, the plane suddenly disappeared as in the MH17 shootdown case, or a plane having issues and in crippled flight, trying to find a place to land before catastrophic failure occurred.

At any rate, this does not appear to similar to a TWA-800 type event since the aircraft was confirmed to be at an altitude where only sophisticated anti-aircraft systems can go as with MH17. If the plane was shot down using such a system it was either inadvertent or something very troubling.  But there's a ways to go before anyone should be reaching such a conclusion based on open source info.

SPEAKING OF 800..  11/2/15

Here's an interesting comment in a WaPo article on the doomed flight:
Modern planes don’t usually fall apart in flight, barring an explosion caused by a bomb or missile..


This is now being reported:
CBS News' national security correspondent David Martin reports a U.S. infrared satellite detected a heat flash over the Sinai at the time the Russian plane went down. The data is still being analyzed in an effort to determine what caused the flash. One possibility is a bomb, but an explosion in a fuel tank or engine as the result of a mechanical failure is also possible.
Since it almost surely has to be associated with the jet it would seem to rule out a sudden structural failure of the hull due to the old tail-strike repair, as some in the aviation business are guessing.   It also seems to line up with the video shown by ISIS propagandists.   At the same time, it doesn't completely rule out a mechanical issue.  An uncontained engine failure could blow parts out of the turbine and perhaps cause some kind of flash of heat, especially if it somehow caused a fuel fire.

That said, if the ISIS video is real then why would someone be randomly photographing a passing jet at over 30,000 feet?   It's not as if the photographer heard something and began filming (since the speed of sound would prevent that anyway) or saw something and began filming (video shows a jet before a small explosion).  

These questions can probably be easily answered by analyzing the aircraft debris for explosive residue and performing autopsies on the victims.  Whether this analysis comes out anytime soon is another question entirely.  It may depend on the conclusion.  Lots at stake for Egypt, Russia, the airline, the victims' families, and perhaps regional security.   

Wednesday, October 28, 2015