Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

Calling A Spade A Spade

Outgoing Joint Chiefs chairman Mike Mullen finally said, in public, what everybody already knows, Pakistan is the enemy, not our ally.

Mullen Blames Pakistan Intelligence for Attack

The top U.S. military officer on Thursday accused Pakistan’s powerful intelligence agency of backing extremists in planning and executing the assault on the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan last week and a truck bomb attack that wounded 77 American soldiers days earlier.

In his last congressional testimony before he retires next week, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted that the Haqqani insurgent network “acts as a veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, undermining the uneasy U.S.-Pakistan relationship forged in the terror fight and endangering American troops in the nearly 10-year-old war in Afghanistan.

See also:
Mullen says Pakistani spies are tied to U.S. Embassy raid
Panetta, Mullen hammer Pakistan over Haqqani network
Mullen Accuses Pakistan’s Intel Service of Aiding Attack on Embassy in Kabul
Mullen, Panetta slam Pakistan over attacks
Mullen blames Pakistan intelligence for attack
Mullen Accuses Pakistan Of Exporting Violence To Afghanistan
Mike Mullen: Pakistan is ‘exporting’ terror
Cell phones link Pakistan to U.S. embassy attack
U.S.-Pakistan Ties Plunge to New Low After Mullen’s Testimony
Mullen’s comments about Pakistan are baseless: Mukhtar
Pakistan fires back at Mike Mullen
Pakistan’s Army Head Blasts Mullen Comments as ‘Baseless’
Pakistan army chief denies US claims of complicity with militants, calls charges ‘unfortunate’
Pakistan Outraged Over Admiral Mullen’s Accusations of Terror Link
Pakistan says US risks ‘losing an ally’
Pakistan warns U.S.: “You will lose an ally”
Is Pakistan America’s Ally?

Pakistan can deny, protest, and be outraged by the truth all they want. The evidence is overwhelming that the ISI aids and harbors terrorists that are constantly attacking, wounding, and killing U.S. forces in the region. There’s enough smoking guns to fill a National Guard armory. Need more proof that the ISI cooperates closely with terrorists? Just remember where and under what circumstances Osama bin Laden was found, ’nuff said. Pakistan is threatening to cease being our ally? Well, with allies like Pakistan, who needs enemies?

/by the way, the attack on the U.S. Embassy was a blatant act of war, the road to victory in Afghanistan clearly winds through Pakistan, do we want to win or tuck tail like the Soviets?

Our Friends The Pakistanis

Is this the thanks we get for our billions of dollars in annual aid?

Report: Pakistan gave China access to ‘stealth’ chopper in bin Laden raid

Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

. . .

“The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” the paper quoted a person “in intelligence circles” as saying.

Pakistan, which enjoys a close relationship with China, allowed Chinese intelligence officials to take pictures of the crashed chopper as well as take samples of its special “skin” that allowed the American raid to evade Pakistani radar, the newspaper reported.

See also:
Pakistan lets China see US helicopter
Pakistan let China see ‘stealth’ chopper from bin Laden raid: FT
Report: Pakistan Gave China Access To US Chopper
Pakistan let China see crashed US “stealth” copter – report
UPDATE 1-Pakistan let China see crashed US “stealth” copter-FT
Pakistan let China see “stealth” chopper from bin Laden raid
Can We Please Have Our Wreckage Back?

Well, kiss that technology goodbye, and China didn’t even have to steal it, Pakistan handed it to them.

/tell me again why we give Pakistan billions of dollars and pretend they’re our ally?

Where In The World Is Mohammed Omar?

Is Mullah Omar dead, alive, kidnapped by Western Intelligence, the ISI? No one seems to know, yet, or they’re not telling.

Afghanistan confirms of Taliban leader Mullah Omar’s disappearance

Afghanistan’s intelligence services on Monday confirmed that the one-eyed Taliban leader Mullah Omar, with a US$10 million bounty on his head, had disappeared from his Quetta hideout in Pakistan.

“We can confirm about the disappearance of Omar five days ago from his Pakistani hideout,” said Mashal, spokesman for the National Directorate of Security (NDS).

However, the NDS spokesman did not confirm a previous claim of an Afghan intelligence source of Omar’s assasination by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

Taliban, meanwhile, brushed off rumors of their leader’s death or disappearance.

See also:
Mullah Omar: Dead or alive?
Mullah Omar dead? Widespread sources skeptical
Afghanistan: Is Mullah Omar dead?
Mullah Omar killed?
Mullah Omar dead???
FO says it can’t confirm killing of Mulla Omar
Taliban spokesman denies leader has been killed
Leader still alive: Taliban
Chief missing, Taliban say he’s fine
Taliban denies reports of Mullah Omar’s death
Mullah Omar ‘disappears’ from Pak hideout: Afghan official
Intel agency claims Taliban chief has disappeared
Taliban chief has disappeared in Pakistan
Mullah Omar left Pakistani hideout: Afghan intelligence
KABUL: TALIBAN LEADER MULLAH OMAR NOT SEEN IN TWO DAYS
Mullah Omar mystery: Afghan official says ISI took him
Mullah Mohammad Omar: profile of the one-eyed Taliban leader
Mohammed Omar

Obviously, capturing Mohammed Omar alive and holding him in Western custody would be the ideal state of affairs here. Shot dead or blown to smithereens would be the second best outcome, although some concrete proof of death would be nice to have. And who’s going to believe the Taliban that he’s still alive and free without proof of life? In any case, every day Omar stays missing is a good day for civilized people everywhere. If Mullah Omar disappears into thin air and there’s no one around that knows where he is, is he still the Taliban leader?

/I wonder how long you have to be missing in Pakistan before you’re declared legally dead?

Can We Please Have Our Wreckage Back?

Hey Pakistan, we’re really sorry that we violated your sovereign airspace without so much as a captain may I, but that helicopter wreckage we left behind is top secret and we’re afraid you’re going to give it to the Chinese. We realize that you’re throughly embarrassed and really pissed off at us, but can we please have our helicopter pieces back?

Top Secret Stealth Helicopter Program Revealed in Osama Bin Laden Raid: Experts

Before an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs executed a daring raid that took down Osama bin Laden, the commandos were able to silently sneak up on their elusive target thanks to what aviation analysts said were top secret, never-before-seen stealth-modified helicopters.

In the course of the operation that cost the al Qaeda leader his life, one of the two Blackhawk helicopters that carried the SEALs into bin Laden’s Pakistani compound grazed one of the compound’s wall and was forced to make a hard landing. With the chopper inoperable, at the end of the mission the SEALs destroyed it with explosives.

But photos of what survived the explosion — the tail section of the craft with curious modifications — has sent military analysts buzzing about a stealth helicopter program that was only rumored to exist. From a modified tail boom to a noise reducing covering on the rear rotors and a special high-tech material similar to that used in stealth fighters, former Department of Defense official and vice president of the Lexington Institute Dan Goure said the bird is like nothing he’s ever seen before.

See also:
Mission helo was secret stealth Black Hawk
Secret Stealth Helped U.S. Accomplish bin Laden Raid
Did U.S. forces use secret stealth helicopters in bin Laden raid?
Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid’s Mystery Copter
New top-secret stealth choppers used on bin Laden raid
‘Stealth chopper’ helped hit Bin Laden
Speculation is rampant when it comes to the secret copters used in Bin Laden raid
Stealth Blackhawk Used In Bin Laden Raid?
Could the bin Laden Raid Have Revealed a Secret New Helicopter?
US: Helicopter Used in Bin Laden Raid Could Fall into Enemy Hands
MH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter
MH-60K/L Black Hawk
MH-60 Black Hawk

Yep, looking at the available photographs, that’s not an ordinary MH-60 Black Hawk and what’s left of the top secret variant is in, or on the way to, enemy hands, shades of the F-117 lost over Serbia in 1999. Now we’re reduced to begging the Pakistanis for our wreckage back.

/the SEAL operators must have known it wasn’t completely destroyed before they left the scene, would it have killed us to send a follow on airstrike to complete the destruction?

DEVGRU Puts The Hole In Jihadi Asshole

Osama bin Laden goes straight to Hell, does not pass paradise, does not collect 72 virgins.

/Michael Ramirez

See also:
Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU)
United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group
Death of Osama bin Laden

Old bin Laden bought the farm.

/EI EI O

With Friends Like Pakistan

Who needs enemies?

Pakistan wants to cut CIA drone strikes, personnel

The Pakistani government would like the CIA’s aggressive drone campaign “suspended” and only resumed under “new rules” and “formalized terms,” according to a Pakistani military official familiar with discussions between the two nations.

Only then, in the instances where there was “compelling evidence” that a militant “high value target” had been located and that the operation was jointly coordinated between Pakistan and the United States, would the Pakistani government sanction a drone strike in the future, the official said.

See also:
Pakistan threatens to impose new restrictions on CIA activities
Pakistan Tells U.S. to Halt Drones
Cut CIA ops, halt drone raids: Pak to US
In growing rift, Pakistan demands end to U.S. drone attacks
Can Pakistan force US to back off special ops and drone attacks?
U.S. Missiles Strike in Northern Pakistan as Relations Sour Over CIA Role
Pakistan, US tussle over drone attacks strategy
US-Pak ties facing biggest crisis since 9/11
US kills 6 suspected militants despite Pakistan’s demand for end to drone attacks
US concern over Pakistan-based militants’ ‘expansion’
Pakistani premier slams US strikes
Despite US-Pakistan Tensions Aired at CIA HQ, CIA Drone Strike Will Continue, Officials Say
CIA vows to tell more about its agents in Pakistan
Pakistan and Afghanistan: A New Strategy?
Is Pakistan Our Ally?
Should U.S. Cut All Aid to Pakistan?

The vast majority of our Taliban problem emanates from sanctuaries in Northern Pakistan. Not only does the Pakistani government do nothing worthwhile to stop or control the Taliban menace based on their soil, it’s a certainty that significant elements of the Pakistani government and intelligence services are infiltrated by and give support and succor to the Taliban.

Not allowed to operate overt ground forces inside Pakistan, U.S. drone strikes and covert CIA activity are the only tactics that are even somewhat effective at eliminating Taliban leaders and operatives. Forcing the CIA to curtail the drone strikes or give advance notice of the strikes to Pakistan, thus almost surely tipping off the Taliban, would be another crippling blow to our already faltering efforts in Afghanistan, nonsensical as they might be.

/if Obama has any balls, he’ll tell the Pakistanis to [expletive deleted] off, keep the covert CIA drone program operating as is and, if Pakistan keeps bitching about it, threaten them with the sledgehammer of cutting off U.S. aid

Syria Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve seen varying degrees of serious Muslim unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, and Oman. Now, it appears that Syria is also on the verge of descending into chaos.

Thousands continue protests in Syria

Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting “Syria, Freedom,” a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said.

The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed.

. . .

No additional violence was reported Thursday, but human rights activists said a number of Syrian writers and journalists who reported on the unrest in Dara had been arrested.

. . .

Presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban pledged to consider ending the emergency law in place since 1963 that has allowed the government to detain anyone without a warrant or a trial.

She said the government was also drafting a law that would allow political parties other than the ruling Baath party to operate, and loosen restrictions on news media. She also promised wage increases and health insurance for public servants.

But the human rights activists noted that the promises were not binding and pledged to move forward with their plans for Friday protests.

See also:
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure
The Syrian revolt
Syria: patience of people running thin
Thousands Protest At Syrian Funerals
Thousands of Syrians chant “freedom” at Deraa mosque
Reports of bloodbath in Syria
Syrian Police Kill at Least 15 Protesters
Syria changes tack, promises reform
Syria offers reforms to calm violence
Syria crisis: Can reforms appease protesters?
Obama administration condemns Syria crackdown
2011 Syrian protests

Like Libya, here’s another revolt that I can heartily root for. Bashar al-Assad has buckets of American and Israeli blood on his hands and I would thoroughly enjoy watching his corpse being dragged through the streets. Tomorrow’s planned Day of Rage, after Friday prayers, could be a tipping point as to whether the Syrian government will fall or brutally repress the protesters. Stay tuned.

/of course, the Muslim country government that I would most like to see circle the drain is the Iranian regime, directly responsible for well over 90% of all the terrorism on the planet, maybe, hopefully, soon

Oman Circling The Drain

We can now add Oman to the ever growing list of teetering or toppled Muslim country governments that already includes; Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, and Libya.

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

Two people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in the Gulf state of Oman, witnesses and officials said.

Hundreds had gathered for a second day in the industrial city of Sohar to call for political reforms.

At least five people were said to have been wounded when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Until now, Oman had mostly been spared the unrest which has affected other Arab states in recent months.

Demonstrations are also taking place in the southern town of Salalah, according to Reuters news agency.

See also:
Protests turn violent in Oman port
Deaths in Oman protests
Middle East unrest spreads to Oman
Oman shuffles cabinet amid protests
Oman police clash with protesters
Two Killed In Oman As Protesters Clash With Security Forces
Clashes Between Police, Protesters Kill 2 in Oman
Anti-Govt. Clashes Kill 2, Injures 5 in Oman
Protesters clash with police in Oman
Two dead as Oman police move to quell protests
Police station, state office burning in Oman town
Six killed in Oman protests on Sunday: government hospital
Factbox: Facts about Oman

Oman is yet another country in political turmoil that borders Saudi Arabia. If this unrest consumes Saudi Arabia, all world economic hell will break loose and you can expect to pay a lot more for a gallon of gas. Will the Saudis be able to keep the wave of regional ant-government rebellion from splashing across her borders?

/we probably won’t have to wait long to find out, youth groups and workers in that country now calling for a “day of rage” demonstration in the capital, Riyadh, on March 11th

Libya Circling The Drain

The anti-government fever that has so far infected Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, and Bahrain, has now spread to Libya.

Protesters die in Libya unrest

At least two people have been killed in clashes between Libyan security forces and demonstrators in the town of Bayda, east of Benghazi, the second largest city, as activists plan major anti-government protests throughout the country on Thursday.

The victims’ names were: Khaled ElNaji Khanfar and Ahmad Shoushaniya.

Wednesday’s deaths come as hundreds of protesters have reportedly torched police outposts in the eastern city of Beyida, while chanting: “People want the end of the regime.”

At least 38 people were also injured in the clashes, including ten security officials.

“All the people of Beyida are out on the streets,” said 25-year-old Rabie al-Messrati, who said he had been arrested after spreading a call for protests on Facebook.

Inspired by popular and successful uprisings in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, Libyan protesters are seeking an end to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year-old rule, one of the longest and most repressive leaders in the world.

Online calls of dissent have been growing rapidly over the past few days, with Facebook groups calling for “Uprising on February 17″ doubling in popularity.

See also:
Protests flare as Libya arrests activists
Protests Spread To Libya
Anti-government protests spread to Gaddafi’s Libya
Gadhafi next? Anti-government protests spread to Libya
Rioting hits Libyan city of Benghazi
Libyan police stations torched
‘Day of rage’ to confront Libya’s Gadhafi
Libyan online protesters prepare for “day of rage”
Gaddafi sweats as protest fever reaches Libya
As ‘day of rage’ tests Gadhafi, Libya’s future rests in military’s hands
Gadhafi’s regime is braced for a day of anger
Libyans Plan Rallies After One Is Quashed
Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured
Libyan forces take action against demonstrators
Protesters, Police Clash In Libya
Riots spread across Libya overnight
SNAP ANALYSIS-Riots break out in Libyan city of Benghazi
Unrest continues to sweep Arab world

So, now the street chaos has come to Libya. Well, here’s one country where I can, in good conscience, heartily root for the rioters. If anyone in this world deserves to be dragged through the streets, it’s Muammar Gaddafi. We still owe him big time for Lockerbie.

/of course, the rioters will first have to fight their way past Gaddafi’s infamous Amazonian Guard

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