Thursday, February 21, 2008

Navy Scores Pinpoint Hit On Wayward Satellite. That Satellite's Name Is John McCain!

Have you ever compared two news stories and see how ironically different but ironically thie same the story is? Well, check this out and see what I mean. Last night, a U.S. Navy cruiser blasted a disabled spy satellite with a pinpoint missile strike that achieved the main mission of exploding a tank of toxic fuel 130 miles above the Pacific Ocean. The New York Times suggested an inappropriate relationship between the Arizona senator John McCain and Vicki Iseman, a Washington lobbyist.

Destroying the satellite’s onboard tank of about 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel was the primary goal, and a U.S. official told NBC News that it "looks like the tank was hit." The New York Times quoted anonymous aides saying they had confronted McCain and Iseman, urging them to stay away from each other.

"It is still going to take some more analysis" to determine what happened to the fuel, but early indications were positive, the official said. In a statement issued by his presidential campaign, McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said: "It is a shame that The New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit-and-run smear campaign.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered the shootdown, which came late Wednesday as he began an eight-day, around-the-world trip on which he likely will face questions about the mission. "John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election" Hazelbaker said.

While Pentagon officials stressed that the satellite strike was a one-time incident, it certainly will spin off massive amounts of data and research that can be studied by the military as it works to improve its missile defense technologies. McCain defending his integrity last December, after he was questioned about reports that the Times was investigating allegations of legislative favoritism by the Arizona Republican and that his aides had been trying to dissuade the newspaper from publishing a story.

The shootdown, which was approved by President Bush, is seen by some as blurring the lines between defending against a hostile long-range missile and targeting satellites in orbit. The published reports said McCain and Iseman each denied having a romantic relationship, and the paper offered no evidence that they had, saying only that aides worried about the appearance of McCain having close ties to a lobbyist with business before the Senate Commerce Committee on which McCain served.

The goal in this first-of-its-kind mission for the Navy was not just to hit the satellite but to obliterate the fuel tank. Although the odds of that were small even if the Pentagon had chosen not to try to shoot down the satellite, it was determined that it was worth trying to eliminate even that small chance. "Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career."

Officials said it might take a day or longer to know for sure if the toxic fuel was blown up. As for the campaign of John McCain, it'll probably take some time to see if this missile from the Times will cause it to blow up.

Ironic hunh? well, that's the news. Funny how it looks the same depending on which glasses you're wearing and how many cups of Starbuck's coffee you've had! Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong!