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

Alexander Cockburn’s Guillotined! and A Colossal Wreck are available from CounterPunch. 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.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal