Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feith Based Competence Initiative At The Pentgon

(Cross Posted From Emptywheel)

Grover Norquist can pretty much pull the drain plug now; the job of eviscerating the United States Government "down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub" is about complete. The latest breaking news out of the Pentagon is that the US mistakenly shipped ICBM warhead nuclear triggering mechanisms to Taiwan.

The Pentagon announced on Tuesday that it mistakenly shipped non-nuclear components for an intercontinental ballistic missile to Taiwan from a U.S. Air Force base in Wyoming.
At a Pentagon news conference, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne said the misshipped items were four nose cone assemblies for ICBMs. He also said they were delivered to Taiwan in March 2005 and had been sent instead of helicopter batteries that had been ordered by Taiwan.
''It is a component for the fuse in the nosecone for a nuclear system,'' Wynne said. ''We are very concerned about it.''

Well, that's understandable. Because thermonuclear warhead triggers probably look just like helicopter batteries, right? Oy and ugh.

Apparently, the Cheney/Bush Administration planting of "the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the planet" at the Pentagon is paying dividends even after Doug Feith is long gone, because there seems to be some real competence issues over there, and, critically, with regard to our military's handling of it's nuclear weapons. As you might recall, it was not long ago that there were some empty quivers and bent spears out of another upper mid-west Air Force Base. In late August, 2007, six live nuclear cruise missiles went missing.

The nuclear weapons were “lost” for 36 hours after taking off on August 29 on a cross-country journey from the remote Minot air force base in North Dakota to Barksdale in Louisiana. Major-General Richard Newton, air force deputy chief of staff, said there was an “unprecedented” series of procedural errors, which revealed “an erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards”.

There is bound to be a lot of speculation and discussion on the latest incident that is just now being revealed in spite of the fact that it occurred all the way back in 2005. Hopefully, it will also renew the discussion of the Minot/Barksdale incident, which kind of faded from the national conscience (if you want a decent rundown on some of the various theories and weird facts on the Minot/Barksdale event, see here). So how will the Six Sigma management geniuses of the Bush Administration respond to these disturbing examples of incompetence with weapons of mass destruction? My bet is there is a big promotion and endowment with lifetime wingnut welfare in order for their top political lackeys in charge of Pentagon oversight.