FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

And Now From Pork Central:

by Alexander Cockburn And Jeffrey St. Clair

As we go to press, pork dealers on Capitol Hill are locked in a titanicstruggle over the future apportionment of $27 billion. That is the estimatedlifetime cost of the nine B-2 bombers that Stealth partisans want the Congressto commit to in next year’s spending bills with an initial tranche of $331million.

This is a difficult moment for proponents of what is assuredly the greatestboondoggle of all time to be dipping their hands in the till. The normallyspineless GAO recently sat up in bed and reported that the B-2 ($2 billiona copy) can’t fly through a rainstorm without the fancy plastics that makeup the stealth coating on the plane “degrading”.

However, Norm Dicks, the Washington Democrat, and other partisans shouldnot lose hope. CounterPunch can reveal that the B-2 has a secret attributethat makes it absolutely unique in the annals of aerial warfare: it canactually manufacture its own ordnance (bombs) in flight.

This capability, unanticipated by the designers and now classified farabove Top Secret by the Air Force, came to light after a long range testflight over the Pacific last year. Post flight checks revealed an enormousblock of ice weighing 500 lbs had formed inside the aircraft during itsjourney.

The possibilities are awesome. Not only can the bomber re-arm itselfwithout having to touch the ground, but the ice bombs it drops on the enemywill, at least in warm weather operations, inevitably melt into the groundonce they have completed their destructive mission. A Stealth bomb!

Close examination of any modern aircraft will reveal the fuselage tobe pitted with tiny holes, known in the trade as “weeper holes”. These are necessary by dint of the fact that planes inevitably absorb moistureas they go up and down in flight. The holes are to allow the water to drainout again and not accumulate inside the hull. The essence of a stealthaircraft skin however is that it be absolutely smooth, with no breaks inthe surface — ie, no weeper holes. Thus water goes in, but has no wayout. The plane ascends to high altitude. The water freezes.

There is, unfortunately, one obstacle to be overcome before the stealthbomb can be made fully operational: there is as yet no way of ensuring preciselywhere the ice will form. Thus, when the plane landed after the above mentionedPacific flight, the ice had already begun to melt. The water was drippingdirectly into the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of avionics (electricalsystems) stuffed into the plane, with predictable results.

Discussing the issue, a senior Pentagon official and friend of Counterpunchsupplied the only word applicable to the entire B-2 program: “Fiasco.”The only problem is that the word fiasco is becoming grossly overused inrelation to the Air Force’s stealth program given the mid-air distentigrationof a Northrup built F-117A at an east coast air show on Sept. 14, 1998.CP

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His new book is Killing Trayvons: an Anthology of American Violence (with JoAnn Wypijewski and Kevin Alexander Gray). He can be reached at: sitka@comcast.net. Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail