Storming Heaven

Ready [Or Not] reagan-missiles-time-cover.jpg

Excited panting about missile defense, Star Wars, or for true believers “President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative,” will likely climax today, the 25th anniversary of Reagan’s speech unveiling the concept. reagan-sdi-coloring-book.jpg

The breathing is already labored in the wake of the February US shoot-down of a falling spy satellite over the Pacific.

Investors Business Daily whipped itself into a frenzy over the recent Dick Cheney speech teeing off Hillary Clinton’s 3AM-Your-Children-May-Die commercial. clinton-hillary-children-ad.jpg

cheney-semi-military.jpg The King of Mirthless Laughter charmed us all with his Darth Vader self depreciation, and said wistfully:

” the best tool we can leave to a future commander in chief is a weapon of defense to blow that missile out of the sky.”

In the Reagan manner, IBD took that dream, sprinkled it with pixie dust, and pronounced deal done!

“We don’t know who might pick up that 3 a.m. phone call, but 25 years ago Ronald Reagan made sure that if it’s about an incoming ballistic missile, the order will be: “Shoot it down.”..Today we can…Last month, the Aegis missile cruiser USS Lake Erie succeeded in shooting down a dying U.S. spy satellite, the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-21 Radarsat, before it could strike the earth with its deadly hydrazine fuel tank nearly full. It could just as easily shoot down an incoming nuclear warhead… thanks to Reagan, the next president will be able to give the order, in Cheney’s words, to “blow that missile out of the sky.” Happy anniversary, Ronnie.”

In the February shoot-down the actual “risk” posed by the falling satellite was overstated, leading many to conclude something else was going on. Critics pointed to …the near impossibility that the hydrazine tank would survive the 50 g-forces acting on it during reentry, putting the probability of killing someone on Earth below 0.01 percent–NASA’s baseline standard. In the absence of a credible rationale, suspicions of ulterior motives abound. Mainly, many believe that the shoot-down was a disguised demonstration of the U.S. missile defense system’s ASAT capability.”


The shoot-down didn’t tell us much about hitting missiles, but may show how we can take war to space.

“…taking out a crippled satellite and destroying an attacking ballistic missile are not the same thing. Most importantly, the satellite’s trajectory was known in great detail and it could not maneuver under its own power. That’s not the case for enemy ballistic missiles, which have unknown trajectories for large portions of their flights …[and] are likely to be able to maneuver themselves midcourse and release decoys to confuse the missile-defense interceptors. … Navy personnel were able to choose the location and timing of the intercept.. The satellite was also several times larger than a ballistic missile would have been and was therefore easier to see”

Let’s have Reagan Legacy Casper Weinberger Jr. bring us back to magic time:

“It took that great visionary, the true man with the white horse, that symbol of Twentieth Century strength and goodness, the ultimate cowboy of the Lord, Ronald Reagan, to bring it down from the heavens for us and fight right up to his death to make it a reality.”

Hi-Yo, Silver! reagan-white-horse.jpg

Out of Sight

Smokin! cheney-office-fire.jpg

The National Archives official who challenged Dick Cheney’s handling of classified documents and whose office Cheney then tried to abolish is quitting. And furthering our knowledge of Cheney’s machinations as he exits.

cheney-lurking-head-and-shoulders.jpg Ever Vigilant

J. William Leonard headed the Information Security Oversight Office [ISOO] at archives, which tracks Executive Branch practices dealing with classified material. When he discovered Cheney had stopped complying with the security regulations he went to the Justice Department seeking a ruling that the Vice President follow the law. Cheney’s office responded by trying to eliminate the budget for the ISOO.

Leonard spoke to Newsweek on how Cheney’s people made up their own make-believe classification system, which they claim they don’t have to report:

A number of people have noted that the vice president’s office stopped reporting to you and complying with ISOO in the fall of 2003 when the whole Valerie Plame case blew up. Do you think there was a connection?
I don’t have any insight. I was held at arms length [from that.] But some of the things based on what I’ve read [have] given me cause for concern. A number of prosecution exhibits [in the Plame-related perjury trial of I. Scooter Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff] were annotated, ‘handle as SCI.’ SCI is Sensitive Compartmentalized Information, the most sensitive classified information there is. As I recall, [one of them] was [the vice president and his staff] were coming back from Norfolk where they had attended a ship commissioning and they were conferring on the plane about coming up with a [media] response plan [to the allegations of Plame’s husband, Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson.] That was one of the exhibits marked, ‘handle as SCI.’

These were internal communications about what to say to the press?
Let me give you some the irony of that. Part of the National Archives is the presidential libraries….So we’re going to have documents [at the libraries] with the most sensitive markings on it that isn’t even classified. If I were going to do a review [of OVP], that would be one of the questions I would want to ask: What is this practice? And how widespread is it? And what is the rationale? How do we assure that people don’t get this mixed up with real secrets?

But in the spirit of the holiday season, let’s all enjoy another laugh about the Clinton papers and UFOs.

Behold, The George W.Bush Presidential Library!

bush-library-warehouse.jpg At least it has pillars.

The prolonged negotiations with Southern Methodist University have had no public result, and a man needs a place for his junk.

The National Archives has rented this handsome warehouse outside Dallas for the interim Bush papers dumping ground, a holding action until the finished library opens, somewhere.

The warehouse lacks even the limited romance lent by Bush Senior and Bill Clinton’s initial locations, a bowling alley and a former car dealership.

Nearby neighbors include a bush-spirit-haloween.gif Spirit Halloween Superstore, whose national sales for John Kerry bush-kerry-mask.jpg masks outsell their Bush Mask.bush-mask.jpg

That may not be a negative for Bush. The surprisingly life-like Cheney outsells him too. bush-cheney-mask.jpg

Kennebunk Kaves

bush-painting-artist-g-bud-swenson.jpg I’m Back!

The Maine artist whose Bush and Cheney murals were yanked from a Kennebunk art exhibit has won their return.

Painful local discussion panels to still follow.

“Anchor To Windward” Sinks Speech

bush-painting-artist-g-bud-swenson.jpg The Offenders cheney-painting-artist-g-bud-swenson.jpg

Flag Desecration OK, but don’t offend the Bushs.

We will probably have to wait until the next even numbered year for a stormy Congressional Flag Desecration vote, but George H.W. Bush’s inland neighbors in Kennebunk Maine are focusing instead on what really matters: caricatures of the current President and Vice President.

Artist and apparent local crank G. Bud Swenson bush-artist-g-bud-swenson-hanging.jpg makes paintings in part from cut up flags. A Kennebunk Free Library show was fine with that after some hesitation, but at the last minute demanded he yank two paintings.

The Library’s director told seacostonline that the paintings “crossed the bounds of acceptable community standards.”

The show went on without our leaders’ portraits, and the library hopes to bore everyone into silence with two “public forums” and a little dialoguin’