Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Terror from the skies -- falling onto my house

By Aussiegirl

Oh great!! Not only has our senate been taken over by the seven living dead (read the Zombie Seven) Republicans (they walk, they talk, but they are simply soulless corpses revivified by democrats to stand in the limelight of television cameras and spout the requisite malarkey about "preserving years of senate tradition and comity, etc. etc. etc") -- but now -- the gang who couldn't shoot straight -- otherwise known as the Department of Homeland Security -- has decided that maybe, just maybe -- they would like the have authority to SHOOT DOWN!!! civilian aircraft which stray into protected airspace over Washington. That's SHOOT DOWN -- as in -- over MY HOUSE!! -- or someone else's house -- only to find out what -- ooops -- it was all a mistake.

Yesterday afternoon (AGAIN) I heard jets scrambling and zooming over my suburban Washington home. Here's me anxiously scanning the skies thinking -- I hope they don't shoot this hapless fool out of the sky right over my house -- I just got it clean for the first time in ages -- and my tomatoes are just starting to show signs of life after a cold start to the growing season. (Where's global warming when you really need it?)

And now here's this article about the two pilots who strayed into our airspace -- and how close they both came to being shot down.

Meanwhile, not that I like to stand between a man and his mountain bike, but do you think the Secret Service could have thought enough of the president -- much less the country -- to bother to inform him that our planes were getting ready to shoot down an unarmed civilian aircraft over the peaceful skies of Washington, thereby inflicting certain casualties - in the air and on the ground? You don't have to be a democrat to find this profoundly disturbing.

The bad news here is that the pilot of the first plane was instructed to turn his radio to a military frequency WHICH WAS NOT WORKING at the time -- so -- they would have possibly shot down this incompetent fool after having given him incorrect orders. How can we entrust these Keystone Kops who can't even be bothered to get their frequencies right (what's the frequency, Kenneth?) with the decision making responsibility to shoot down planes without either military or political approval.

Meanwhile -- I hope the president enjoyed his bike ride through a nearby Washington wooded area -- perhaps they might make sure that at least the debris of the blown up plane doesn't land on the president's bike.
Beyond my ire which is at a terror level of RED today, there are real questions of how much more secure we are all these years after 9/11, and how prepared we really are to deal with unexpected terror attacks.

The Washington Post has the article, here's a taste:

A new system of lasers designed to warn pilots that they've entered restricted airspace wasn't turned during the latest airspace violation for the same reason the radio of the wandering plane didn't work: the weather.

F-16s were scrambled on May 11 to intercept a plane that flew unusually far into the restricted zone _ about three miles from the White House. The FAA revoked the pilot's license on Monday after determining he was so careless that he "constitutes an unacceptable risk to safety in air commerce."

The pilot, Hayden L. "Jim" Sheaffer, said Tuesday he thought he was going to get "shot out of the sky."

He said he turned to a frequency that military authorities had asked him to call but that he could not get through.

The New York Times, in Tuesday's editions, reported that the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that Sheaffer was instructed to use a frequency that was not available at the time.

Meanwhile, an internal Homeland Security Department document obtained by The Associated Press indicates the agency is considering whether it should seek authority for its pilots to shoot down errant planes around the nation's capital. Putting the Coast Guard on air patrol duty in the Washington area, however, could raise questions about whether Homeland Security or the Pentagon would give an order to use lethal force in an emergency.


Post a Comment

<< Home