Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday morning quick hits

The missileers badges are back
Don't get me started on what has gone wrong with the Air Force since SAC closed up shop on 01 June 1992. But one of the things that led to the problems with our nuclear arsenal and the security thereof was to take the emphasis off of the missile field. The specialists were forced to become generalists and, well, you know what happened - armed nukes flew over the heartland, and we shipped a nuclear trigger to Taiwan for some reverse engineering...the news that the 3,215 USAF officers who are combat-mission qualified can resume wearing their missile operator badges is welcome news indeed. The new policy, announced June 6, is part of a broader plan to reinvigorate the service’s nuclear community, which includes bolstering the nuclear career path and renaming certain space wings as missile wings. Resuming the emphasis on specialization and professionalism is a pretty solid first step to rectifying some of the problems.

IAEA reported finding a Japanese-made vacuum pump in NorK nuke facility
Police in Kanagawa Prefecture have raided the offices of the company that manufactured the pump, seeking records and evidence after the IAEA reported that the pump, manufactured by Tokyo Vacuum, was discovered by inspectors at a nuclear facility in North Korea. Following the U.N. nuclear watchdog's report of its finding to the Japanese government, police raided the offices on suspicion of unauthorized export, which is a violation of the foreign trade law, they said.

Marine incarcerated for refusing to testify to a grand jury
about the shooting deaths of unarmed civilians during the heavy fighting to take Fallujah in November 2004. Sgt. Ryan G. Weemer's attorney told the judge that his client opted not to testify for fear of self-incrimination. The sergeant did not speak before U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Larson found him in contempt of court. Weemer can be incarcerated for up to 18 months unless he decides to testify. He will be held at either a federal detention center in downtown Los Angeles, or in a San Bernardino County jail.

65 foreign ministers can yell at me for three minutes each if I can have $20 Billion dollars when it's all said and done.
President Hamid Karzai has returned to Kabul from Paris with pledges of $20 billion in aid and having been chastised soundly by most of the donor nations. Future payments to the Karzai government will be based solely on performance.

Way to secure your data, Sport
A senior British intelligence official has been suspended after leaving classified, top-secret intelligence related to Iraq and the activities of al Qaeda were left on a passenger train. The documents were later handed over to the BBC. Frank Gardner, a BBC Security correspondent, said one of the documents, commissioned by the Ministry of Defense to assess Iraq's security forces, said that the doci=ument was "damning." Another document, commissioned by the Foreign Office and the Home Office is reportedly entitled 'Al-Qaida Vulnerabilities'. Gardner said the seven-page document, classified as "U.K. Top Secret", is marked "for U.K./U.S./Canadian and Australian eyes only". PM Gordon Brown promptly announced that an investigation has been launched. "This is a very serious incident and we take it seriously we will have to trace where these documents have gone if they have gone anywhere other than in an envelope to a local BBC station," he said.

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