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
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail