I have some observations about how poorly the Press is doing their job. National Security is one thing,
but not telling it like it happened is a completely different issue. This is a pattern.
We are NOT talking about issues that are any great secret to those who
have eyes. This information comes
from a source that we will call "Bo" for the moment. He works for a Defense contractor intimately involved
with one of the airplanes in this little tale. This is widely known throughout this division of this contractor,
among other places. It is certainly NO secret!
On September 11, President Post Turtle made his way to Barksdale AFB
in his usual ride, AF1, a VC-25.
This is what we've grown accustomed to seeing him in...a modified Boeing 747. What the press hasn't told us,
or at least not in any forum that I have access to, is that when he moved from Barksdale to Offutt
(to hide in the Rabbit Hole), he was traveling on yet another plane, a National Command Authority E-4B.
This is one of 4 Boeing 747s that Boeing and other contractors have modified tremendously to act as an airborne
command post. You can see info about it at http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/E_4B.html. A cool ride, no doubt.
The press were secured safely in the back of what they thought was AF1,
"hey, two F-16s on each wing tip,
President P.T. must be upfront, right?" Yet Pres. P.T. was in one of the E-4Bs, now designated AF1
about 20 minutes ahead of them on the way to Offutt.
When the press started to leave the VC-25 at Offutt, they were told
to "hurry into that building. The President
is about to make a statement." Of course, they thought P.T. was upfront in THEIR airplane all the while.
Well, that didn't set too well with any of the White House Press corps. But rather than admit in public they'd
been fooled yet again by P.T. and Co., they've kept quiet the entire time about this little incident.
A couple of observations about some of the rhetoric from the Treehouse.
I recall this was mostly from others.
I'm too whupped to drag back through all the issues. Anyway, seems P.T. wanted to see what was going on
with the networks. But the E-4B for certain, not sure about AF1, satelite capability, forget about uplinking anything.
This ride was not designed for watching CNN or the NFL.
HOWEVER, since the 11th, a $30M contract has been issued to Boeing to
retrofit the four E-4Bs with the
air-mobile version of DishNetwork (yes, there apparently is one). That would be $7.5M per plane. Reason for
the high cost supposedly being, the only place left on the upper part of this aircraft to put the receive dish is in
the tail, which will require replacing skin with speed-quality fiberglass (or whatever composite is suitable).
All of this just so President P.T. can watch his same two lines running over and over on the toob.
Let's just say the level of acrimony on the military side of this project
is high. The Colonel in charge of this
project is calling Boeing 'pirates' for the way they are handling this. I'd love to be a fly on the wall during
some of those conversations!
Remember that this is just the downlink. We haven't even gotten P.T.
able to video uplink a speech yet!
But I completely agree with you in that he certainly could have dialed up the media on the phone and given a speech.
That in itself would have been much better for P.T., he would have never had to look up from his paper to talk!
One amusing part of this whole wretched day was shortly after take-off
from Barksdale heading to Offutt.
The pilot of the E-4B called Air Traffic Control to ask if 'they had received his flight plan'.
The controller replied, "Since this is your first time driving AF1,
let me tell you how this works.
You go where you want. My job is to keep all the other airplanes away from you."
I realize looking back up through this little piece of journalistic
trash that all this is just one ramble after the other.
But my basic premise still remains. BC, if we can't depend on the Press to report the facts, facts that do not
jeopardize National Security, how can we trust them with the "Really Important Stuff"?
Last Dem in Norman