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?

What Was The [Expletive Deleted] Point?

First they promised to cut $100 billion, then said what they really meant was that they’d hold out indefinitely for $60 billion, then they totally caved in to the Democrats, compromising on $38 billion, and in the end all we got was a lousy $352 million in cuts. What a gyp, shame on the spineless Republicans.

Budget deal: CBO analysis shows initial spending cuts less than expected

A federal budget compromise that was hailed as historic for proposing to cut about $38 billion would reduce federal spending by only $352 million this fiscal year, less than 1 percent of the bill’s advertised amount, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Although that analysis dampened enthusiasm for the deal among many Republicans on Thursday, the House and the Senate approved the measure with bipartisan support. President Obama is expected to sign the bill Friday, officially ending the prospect of a government shutdown.

The findings from the budget office warned that the deal may never come close to delivering on its promises. The analysis found that $13 billion to $18 billion of the cuts involve money that existed only on paper and was unlikely to ever be tapped.

See also:
U.S. Budget Analysis Shows Smaller Savings
CBO Says Budget Deal Will Cut Spending by Only $352 Million This Year
Forget $38B: Budget only cuts $352 million this year
Deal Approved but Debate Continues Over Actual Extent of Spending Cuts
Budget cuts too small for many conservatives
Spending cuts fall short of $38 billion: CBO
How Washington Turned $38 Billion Into $352 Million
CBO: 2011 Budget Cuts Far Less Than Promised
Editorial: Washington’s $38 Bil In ‘Cuts’ Are Bogus

This is insane, the United States is $14 trillion in debt, the world bond markets could decide to cut up our national credit card at any given moment, the laws of mathematics dictate that the American economy will completely collapse by 2037, and these congressional buffoons spent the entire last month arguing over cutting $352 million?

The 2012 elections can’t come fast enough. We need to start with a new President and Republicans taking control of the Senate and keeping control of the House. It’s apparent that one party rule, with a party that’s serious about restoring fiscal sanity (and that ain’t the Democrats), is going to be required to stop this country from careening off the cliff of financial ruin.

/and, if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to get us some new Republicans starting in 2014