Air Farce

Phew! bAdmin didn’t let me down. Plus, I don’t feel the temptation to write about the 4,000th soldier to die in Iraq or the related burping and farting from the Shithead in Chief. Still, this is military related (via The Washington Post):

The U.S. Air Force mistakenly shipped fuses that are used in nuclear weapons to Taiwan in 2006, believing the crates contained helicopter batteries, officials at the Pentagon announced this morning.

I’ve never been in the military or worked logistics, but it strikes me as rather odd that crates which contain helicopter batteries and crates that contain nuke fuses don’t have some sort of label so you can tell one from the other. Maybe an explanation is in the article. (Spoiler Alert – There isn’t.) Onward. And downward:

The error — undetected by the United States until last week, despite repeated inquiries by Taiwan

However, both he [Ryan Henry, principal deputy undersecretary of defense policy] and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne added, more than a year passed before the United States realized what had been shipped and moved to get the fuses back. [emphasis added].

Now this civilian is really confused. How the fuck does that go?

Ring Ring!

Pentagon: Yo! Hang on aminnit! (Dude, turn down the music, I can’t hear). Hello? United States Pentagon.

Taiwan: Yes, there seems to be some sort of mista-

Pentagon: Duude, Taiwaaan! (Turn it down you dickhead!) Where the hell’s our pu-pu platters? (Dude I asked him about our pu-pu platters.)

Taiwan: I beg your pardon?

Pentagon: Whatever dude. [click]

Repeat the above scenario for a year.

Again, only a civilian, always been a civilian, but assuming there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the label mix up, shouldn’t you react quickly when the people who got the shipment tell you that instead of helicopter batteries you sent them nuke bits? Maybe an explanation is in the article. (Spoiler Alert – There isn’t.) Into the abyss:

“It wasn’t until this week that we became aware that they had something akin to a nose-cone assembly,” [Henry] said. “There were early communications, but we thought we were hearing one thing, and in reality they were saying something different.” [emphasis added.]

Here are your choices:

1. All of the bi-lingual military personnel on both sides of the Pacific were having their pubes waxed during the “early communications” so it fell to a couple of guys from the cafeteria to try to sort things out using Berlitz phrase books.

2. Every last person at the Pentagon and DoD is consuming more than his fair share of Afghanistan’s most popular export.

3. After years of tongue washing the pResidential testicles, the Pgon and the DoD have caught the Shithead in Chief’s lunacy.

4. Naughty little boys are lying through their teeth.

There are no other explanations for “We thought we were hearing one thing,” and we all know it is Number 4. For some reason they don’t mind looking stupid stoned or crazy.

“Our policy on Taiwan arm sales has not changed. This specific incident was an error in process only and was not indicative of a policy change,” Henry said. “We made an error in execution, and we notified them as soon as we were aware of it.

Whatever dude.

Special Bonus Flashback Section (via CNN on 6 Sept 07):

Six nuclear warheads on cruise missiles were mistakenly carried on a flight from North Dakota to Louisiana last week, prompting a major investigation, military officials have confirmed.

Once the mistake was discovered, the Air Force immediately began an inventory of all of its nuclear weapons, a military official said.

Looks like they missed a few items.

Update:

The Washington Post link now takes you to a different article. This one has graphics and a quote from Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund.

…the nose-cone incident underscores how Washington has “too many nuclear weapons with too little control over them.”

“Imagine how we would feel if the Russians accidentally shipped warhead fuses to Tehran,” Cirincione said. “We’d be going nuts right now. It would be hard for them to convince us that it was an accident.”

Pentagon: Whatever dude.

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