Monday, May 02, 2011

Nit-picking

Sometimes, I'll click a link and end up at the Huffington Post. It's never a good idea...
Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had targeted bin Laden during their presidencies, and both had failed to either capture him or kill him. The failure to snare bin Laden weighed most heavily, perhaps, on the Bush Administration, which occupied the White House during the 9/11 attacks, and the al Qaeda leader’s killing falls exactly eight years to the day when Bush famously declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.
Bush didn't ever declare "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq. The words never came out of his mouth. He did declare an end to major-combat operations, when major-combat operations had concluded, but the "Mission Accomplished" was a banner hung on the USS Abraham Lincoln by the crew of the USS Abraham Lincoln when Bush gave a speech on the carrier, as it was heading home, its "mission accomplished..."
Details about the fight itself are still difficult to come by. According to local reports in Pakistan, a helicopter involved in the attack had a mechanical problem and crashed. U.S. forces intentionally destroyed the remainder of the wreckage to reduce signs of their presence in the area...
How does a bombed, destroyed helicopter represent a "reduce[d] sign of [its] presence in the area"? It doesn't. They destroyed the wreckage to prevent any usable technology from getting into the wrong hands. The idea that the American presence could be hidden by blowing up the downed helicopter is so silly that I'm amazed anyone would print it.

I've had conversations on this topic with someone who's been there and knows all about this. Helicopters do go down. When that happens, other helicopters go in and put a sling around them and lift them out. When that is not possible, the downed helicopters are stripped of weapons and communications equipment and then destroyed so that there aren't any usable pieces left. Which makes sense.

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