Dependable Erection

Monday, February 04, 2008

Shorter George W. Bush

L'etat, c'est moi.
The president signed a waiver Jan. 15 exempting the Navy and its anti-submarine warfare exercises from a preliminary injunction creating a 12 nautical-mile no-sonar zone off Southern California. The Navy's attorneys argued in court last week that he was within his legal rights.

. . .

When he signed the exemption, Bush said complying with the law would "undermine the Navy's ability to conduct realistic training exercises that are necessary to ensure the combat effectiveness of carrier and expeditionary strike groups."



  • And when some ship is sunk because the Navy doesn't know how to use their sonar because of the lack of training you'll be back to say that's George Bush's fault too. But that would be the goal wouldn't it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:25 AM  

  • No, the goal would be the "Rule of Law."

    In case you've forgotten American history, that's why this country was founded.

    But if you'd rather live under a dictatorship, why don't you move to Saudi Arabia? You probably like the way they treat women there, too.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 8:29 AM  

  • Rule of law. Kind of like in 2000 when the Supreme Court ruled on the Florida ballot counts. Didn't hear any bitching from the Bush haters about that one did we?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 AM  

  • bah! everybody knows that whales are the real enemy here.

    - itte kimasu!

    By Anonymous yokozuna, at 9:00 AM  

  • In case you've forgetten:

    Repbulican respect for the rule of law in Florida following the 2000 election.

    In fact, the Supreme Court was so confident that their 2000 election decision was valid that they wrote it could not be used as precedent in the future.

    That's what i call Rule of Law, eh?

    On the other hand, Al Gore did preside over the presentation of the Electoral College votes in the Senate in January 2001, and certified George W. Bush as the new President.

    So, to make this as simple to understand for my learning disable readers, bitching does not violate Rule of Law, signing decrees nullifying Judiciary decisions does.


    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 9:11 AM  

  • Yeah, "Selected not elected" has been the sore-loser Democrat battle cry for the last eight years. Too late to trumpet "rule of law" now.

    Maybe we should change the Constitution to make the SCOTUS Commander in Chief and responsible for defending the country and have the President as their mere lackey. How dare he try to defend the prerogatives of his office.

    How many sailors must die to satisfy the NDRC? Things are screwed up when a animal in the sea has a greater priority than our own service people. Many more whales die and beach themselves all the time without any help at all. So what? Next it will be military that aircraft can't fly because they occasionally hit the poor little birdies. Oh wait, that already happened and I don't even need to tell you where.

    So, to make this as simple to understand for my learning disable[d] readers..

    As opposed to the writing-disabled blog author. If you're going to insult a commenter you'd better get your own stuff right.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:33 AM  

  • Oooh, a typo. Mea culpa.

    Mea maxima culpa. But, hey, if you think i was referring to you, that's fine by me.

    So now you're saying that the entire down east of North Carolina is a bunch of pussies for opposing the OLF?

    Dude, you're clueless. You really would be happier in a country without a Constitution, wouldn't you? Where a single person decides all that is worth deciding.

    To refresh your memory, here's what the Constitution (that's the same Constitution that every US president swears to uphold when taking office, by the way) says on military matters:

    Article 1, Section 7

    To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

    To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

    To provide and maintain a navy;

    To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

    To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    Go live in your dictadura, if that's what you'd prefer. But you know damn well that if a Democratic president tried to do what George Bush has done, you all would be screaming posse comitatus till your lungs turned inside out.

    Washington - Most of the Republican presidential contenders continued a rolling drumbeat of criticism against President Clinton’s policies in Kosovo even after the NATO air war produced an apparent peace deal this week.

    Before the Yugoslavian Parliament’s vote accepting the Western alliance’s demand for the withdrawal of all Serbian troops from Kosovo, Republicans called White House military policies an “insane war” and the “result of a series of blunders.”

    There were few signs of back pedaling yesterday.

    “I say thank God it’s over,” television commentator Patrick Buchanan said. “We have killed 2,000 innocent civilians in Serbia. There are a million refugees that did not exist 12 weeks ago. Clinton may spin this as a political victory, but this is a disaster for everyone who’s been involved in it.”

    Buchanan focused much of his recent campaign speeches on Kosovo, which he termed an “illegal and unconstitutional war” because it was not authorized by Congress. He repeatedly said he is “unalterably opposed” to NATO air attacks.

    Former Vice President Dan Quayle also was unrelenting in his opposition. “A more feckless policy is hard to imagine,” he said last month. Quayle said yesterday that the settlement with Belgrade “could have been secured months ago” if Clinton had been more flexible in accepting a peacekeeping force under United Nations command.

    “The Clinton administration squandered substantial resources and, far more importantly, our nation’s credibility in the pursuit of matters wholly unrelated to America’s vital national security interests. It was a terrible mistake that has established a troubling precedent,” Quayle said.

    The two frontrunners in the crowded GOP field, Texas Gov. George W. Bush and former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, had generally supported the use of American warplanes in Yugoslavia. But they found cause for concern with the apparent conditions of the impending peace.

    “I would strongly urge that if there are U.S. troops involved, they be under U.S. command or NATO command,” Bush said Thursday. “I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they will be involved and when they will be withdrawn. If there needs to be a residual force, it is important that over time U.S. troops are withdrawn and our European allies carry the majority of the load.”

    “It is inconceivable to me that the Clinton-Gore administration could even ponder a command structure that is not under NATO control or that they could accept a settlement that does not guarantee the deportees a safe return to their homes,” Dole said. “The Clinton-Gore administration has been very vague about the terms of this proposal, and I’m worried that we are on the verge of a sellout.”

    Magazine publisher Steve Forbes had earlier suggested the U.S. arm and train refugees in Kosovo. After the apparent peace deal, Forbes criticized Clinton’s decision to use Americans in a new peacekeeping mission “with no real explanation to the American people and no exit strategy. Nothing could be more misguided.”

    Clinton’s policies received support from Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. McCain criticized fellow Republicans for using the war in Serbia for partisan political gain.

    “We shouldn’t be in any hurry to end the air campaign,” McCain said Thursday. “Milosevic might appear to comply with the agreement only up to the point that NATO ceases bombing, and then invent some pretext to demand changes in the agreement, judging that NATO would lack the political will to resume bombing.”

    Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander also supported the air war and yesterday echoed the notion that “there should be no cessation in NATO’s bombing until the pullout is verified and both elements can be assured.”

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 10:50 AM  

  • S'OK.

    When an US Naval Vessel is sunk by one of the new quiet diesel electric submarines that we don't catch because of inadequate training you can accompany the President to give condolences to the next of kin. But you'll have the whales. Maybe you can take them with you and the bereaved will feel better. Then you can tell us how much you support the troops while screeching "Bush's fault, Bush's fault!!"

    Give me a President who's passionate in support of a well-trained military over one who's passionate in support of a few whales any day of the week.

    And this is coming through the Ninth Circuit and California District courts. And the judge is a Canadian appointed in the waning days of the Clinton administration. Those courts are overturned more than any other. When the SCOTUS eventually rules in the administration's favor, from which there is no appeal, and steam is coming out of your ears, I'll be back to remind you of the "rule of law".
    How close did Serbia get to having the bomb? Was Milosevic strutting around acting like he had one? I recall when he invaded both Greece and Turkey. How about his plan to murder a President? I remember his threat to nuke Germany in retribution for WWII if only he had the chance. Clinton sure put a stop to that. Glad he was there to protect our security.
    You must be thinking of a different posse comitatus. I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply in Serbia. The only recent violation I can think of was Bill and Janet's assault on the foreign soil of Waco, Texas.

    June 18, 1878

    CHAP. 263 - An act making appropriations for the support of the Army for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and seventy-nine, and for other purposes.

    SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section And any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment.

    10 U.S.C. (United States Code) 375

    Sec. 375. Restriction on direct participation by military personnel:

    The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to ensure that any activity (including the provision of any equipment or facility or the assignment or detail of any personnel) under this chapter does not include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps in a search, seizure, arrest, or other similar activity unless participation in such activity by such member is otherwise authorized by law.

    18 U.S.C. 1385

    Sec. 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

    Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of
    Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to
    execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:41 PM  

  • anonymous ignorantly proclaimed:
    And when some ship is sunk because the Navy doesn't know how to use their sonar because of the lack of training...

    Sonar has nothing to do with navigation, at least in this case and most modern USN vessels that aren't using a fish-finder. The sonar in question is active sonar, which operates by sending an energy pulse into the water and then listening for its return, to establish a) there is an object, b) how far away it is, c) it's rough outline and d) where it's going.

    In this particular instance, the sonar system is known as low-frequency active, which operates on a 100-1000Hz spectrum at an intensity of at least 235dB at the source (the actual figure is classified). Studies have shown that, those frequencies, at those power levels have the ability to damage or disable the biological navigation mechanisms of large marine mammals -- whales, dolphins, porpoises and other cetaceans -- leading to mass beaching events. The impact on cetacean populations is further amplified when LFA is used in shallow waters (such as on the continental shelf, which extends about 12 miles offshore) due to reverberations on undersea geological structures.

    Also at issue is the fact that these extremely low frequencies have the ability to propagate for hundreds, if not thousands of miles (depending, primarily, on water temperature and salinity), which is why the Navy uses the neighboring VLF and ELF spectrums for broadcasts to submarines operating at a depth greater than 200 feet.


    Alternatively, most USN vessels employ passive acoustic sonar, which are essentially highly-sensitive microphones (hydrophones, in this case) along the bottom of the boat, to detect sounds in the water.

    The advantage of passive over active, which has rarely been used in actual combat since the days when the Kriegsmarine Wolfpacks prowled the north Atlantic, is that no one knows you're using it. Active sonar announces to every vessel within 30-50nm (at least) that you're there. Which is why it has little practical application, aside from area denial, when OPFOR already knows you're there.


    BTW, navigation these days is still done using depth charts. If someone runs aground, it's because they weren't paying close enough attention to where they were, or the chart wasn't accurate (which was the case of the USS San Fransisco (SSN-711), which slammed into an unmapped seamount during a 35 knot speed run).

    By Blogger Dan S., at 2:24 PM  

  • Please read what I wrote - the problem is finding the new generation of diesel electric subs as they move close to shore.

    U.S. Navy Sonar May Harm Killer Whales, Expert Says

    Gentry and others have provided the U.S. Navy with a map of beaked whale global hot spots to help mitigate further beaching incidents.

    "The problem is that we are seeing military sonar exercises … in habitats not used before," Gentry said. "Previously, antisubmarine sonar exercises were carried out deep offshore. But warfare has changed."

    Unclear Evidence

    The development of ultraquiet, diesel-electric submarines (which have the potential to travel undetected and fire missiles inland) has meant that military drills are required close to shore, Gentry said.

    Someone in a sub with bad intent already knows where the surface fleet is located. There is no point in the surface fleet trying to hide.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:48 AM  

  • Well, let's see... the Russians can barely even keep their subs afloat at the pier, let alone manned and mission-capable.

    The Chinese barely spend any time at sea, and though they may pose a threat in their territorial waters, the average PLAN sailor barely has any time at sea, and most of that is basic proficiency. Warfighting isn't their strength.

    The Iranians might pose a threat in the Gulf and, particularly the Strait, but their power projection capabilities are nil and, were they to definitively fire on a U.S. or allied warship, and possibly even a tanker, Tehran would be a parking lot sooner than you'd imagine.

    The North Koreans have a bunch of ancient postwar Soviet diesels, which are barely afloat.

    That's not to say that I don't think ASW is a vital mission that has been all but abandoned in the last eight years (the retirement of the S-3, the SH-60B, and a number of ASW vessels, as well as the reduced emphasis on ASW payloads in the MMA and the Knighthawk are of concern, in my opinion). Bush and Cheney (mainly as SecDef) have been responsible for many of the crises facing our military -- between short-sighted, emotionally-based decisions (A-6F and F-14D production), cronyism/nepotism (HMMWV up-armor contracts, the M4A1, DragonSkin) and sheer incompetence (combat rotation methodologies, equipment maintenance/spares budgets cuts and R&D budget cuts) our military is worn-out and myopically focused on the near-term threats with little or no regard to the way the world will look in 2015 or 2020.
    As for the whales, tell you what -- you go swimming near an Arleigh Burke while it's employing VLA and when you get out, if you can string together a coherent sentence, we'll have a big ol' whale barbecue. Until then, I suggest you consider the role of aquatic megafauna in maintaining the basic balance of life in the seas -- you know, where a majority of the world's protein is sourced from.

    By Blogger Dan S., at 4:18 PM  

  • Let me put that in terms that doesn't require more than a decade's experience in national security policy to comprehend.

    AIP is a frightening thought, yes. But only if we go to war with Sweden (or Germany or Japan). It's too damned expensive for developing (or imploding) economies to purchase or operate. Sure, Russia has built one 677/1650 in the last decade, for a grand fleet of one.

    But then again, if enemy subs were of concern, you'd think our brand-new Virginia-class submarines would return to an emphasis on ASW. (Here's a hint: they haven't.) Or, at least, the training scheme would place greater emphasis on ASW. (It hasn't.)

    By Blogger Dan S., at 4:30 PM  

  • Or, at least, the training scheme would place greater emphasis on ASW.

    So the Navy is running these sonar exercises for what purpose exactly? I have some guy on the internet claiming credentials telling me "no threat" and I have the Navy telling me "threat, we're running exercises to counter the threat" and, through the President, fighting in the courts for the opportunity to do so.

    Guess who has more creditability - you or the Navy.

    Sensor-Enhancing Software Helps Detect Diesel Submarines

    The challenge of detecting diesel-electric submarines is best illustrated by an example from the Falklands War. During that conflict, the British Royal Navy could not defeat a single Argentinean diesel-electric submarine, although the British were highly experienced and released more than 150 weapons with no hits scored.

    That great naval power Argentina operated DE subs that the British couldn't find. I hear the Brits are real incompetents at sea. Maybe that's it.

    And I'll remind you that the whales were damn near wiped out (by whale hunters) and have now made a substantial recovery. The effect on the human protein supply by the whale population recovery is nil.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 PM  

  • Dud, are you seriously basing your argument on the credibility of George W. Bush?

    I mean, seriously?

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 5:56 PM  

  • You obviously meant to say: " That great naval power Argentina operated DE sub that the British couldn't find."


    I really should know better than to engage in a "debate" with someone who refuses to even sign their posts, but...

    I'm not sure that you (or the Navy) really want to use the Falklands "war" as an example of modern naval combat, particularly in regards to submarine warfare.

    First, the British throughly bungled the affair and showed an amazing level of incompetence in regards to naval planning -- their afloat fleet air arm consisted of one World War II era fleet carrier that was due to be decommissioned by the time the conflict began, the lead ship of their disastrous STOVL carriers and a converted cargo vessel. Their only fixed-wing carrier aircraft was the disappointing Harrier FRS Mk 1 and their sole organic airborne ASW asset was the Sea King helicopter. (Yes, they had some limited Nimrod ASW support, but the long flights from Ascension and the UK reduced time on station and aircrew effectiveness.)

    The grand navy of Argentine had a total of two subs afloat and in commission prior to Wideawake, until the Santa Fe (ex-USS Catfish (SS-339)), a Tang-class built in 1944 that was damaged by gunfire, while on the surface and was subsequently captured by British forces and scuttled pierside.

    The sole remaining Argentine sub, ARA San Luis was a Type 209 acquired in 1978. After the sinking of the General Belgrano, San Luis was the only Argentine vessel that didn't return to the safety of port. It scored zero kills, fired four torpedoes (of which only three left the tubes) and returned to port sixteen days after the rest of the fleet, and did not sail again until after the end of the conflict. Suffice it say, if the Navy is using the Falklands submarine threat as a prime example, they're really grasping at straws.

    Speaking of the Belgrano (ex-USS Phoenix) the much celebrated kill by HMS Conqueror was performed against a non-maneuvering target with three straight-running torpedos designed in 1925, only two of which struck the Brooklyn-class cruiser. The use of a 60-year old torpedo design over the more modern homing torpedos on board speaks volumes for the combat prowess of the Royal Navy in the Falklands.

    There were valuable lessons learned from Falklands Campaign -- first, the importance of damage control training (a lesson which the U.S. learned aboard the Oriskany and Forrestal); second, the importance of damage containment as a factor in ship design; third, even small combatants have need for anti-missile point defense systems and fifth, aluminum burns when a ship is struck by an Exocet or similar ASMs (a lesson repeated with the USS Stark, which was saved through effective damage control).

    I'm not saying that there isn't a threat posed by current-gen SSKs and SSIs, but it's either overplayed or our funding priorities need to be re-evaluated to better serve the ASW mission. Training with VLA is important, but the Navy isn't lacking for suitable locations to operate it in a littoral environment that don't pose significant threats to marine mammals.

    The reason that the Federal Judiciary's ban is such a hot-button issue for the White House is that it is a test case -- if a Federal Circuit can deny the Executive Branch the right to operate a non-vital mission in a particular area, then it can overturn other federal mandates granting land use, on the basis of environmental impact. On the other hand, if, under the blanket of a national security need, the Executive is able to force the courts to bow to its will, there's few Presidential whims that the court can deny.


    BTW, I should inform you that I'm a walking, talking Jane's yearbook. So much so, that I was bestowed the callsign "Google" by the then commanding general of the Air Warfare Center at Nellis -- as in, if you want to know something immediately, no matter the subject, consult "Google".

    By Blogger Dan S., at 12:18 PM  

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