Accuracy in Media

On November 8, 2010, while conducting normal news coverage in the skies of Los Angeles, California, a helicopter from a local station (KCBS-TV) filmed the trajectory of a “mystery missile.” What was this mysterious object flying through the sky? Nearly three months later, the public has still not been informed. Officially, the projectile remains a mystery. There was a brief flurry of requests for information from the local CBS affiliate and for three or four days a few stories were seen in the national news.

Then came the black hole.

No stories, no answers, no explanations, no briefings from our government or the military. Nothing. You would think it was a bottle rocket that was fired off in some kid’s back yard. There has been no explanation and no pursuit of the answers. If you Google “California missile firing ,” you will be hard pressed to find any story after November 16, 2010.  Does anyone care to know the truth? Was it an airplane? A missile accident from the U.S. Navy? A Chinese missile fired inside our territorial waters? The “mainstream” media have dropped the story like the proverbial “hot potato.”

President Obama, who promised us an “open and transparent” government, has again, refused to tell us anything and the media could care less about challenging him on this matter. He does not have to answer questions about his college transcripts or his birth, so why be bothered with a missile firing? The only thing transparent and obvious is the lack of concern for the truth and a doting Obama press who simply will not ask him what happened that day 35 miles off the California coast just northwest of Catalina Island. Let’s not let Congress off the hook either as the silence of most of its members is deafening on this issue. Where are the hearings, investigations and demands for answers from them?

Is the administration hiding something? Since we cannot get an “official” answer and since the press will not insist on the truth, we must try to construct the truth by reviewing a smattering of comments and conclusions from others who are willing to go on the record. The first of these comments that we must immediately disregard are the feeble, sheepish and laughable attempts by some to say that it was a jetliner that made this contrail.

Former ambassador to NATO and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Ellsworth, after reviewing the footage said, “That is a big missile. We will have to wait for definitive answers from the military on this.”

The U.S. Navy made a point of saying, “It is not our missile.” However, one of the few media outlets that stayed on this story, “Real Media News,” found a U.S. Navy Fire Control Technician, whose job was to work on board guided-missile destroyers and is “platform certified” to fire them. He said, “It is certainly an ICBM or Cruise Missile.” Doug Richardson, the editor of “Jane’s Missiles and Rockets”, said “it might have been a standard intercept anti-missile weapon fitted to the U.S. Navy’s Aegis guided missile cruisers as part of the missile defense program.” So was it our missile as Mr. Richardson and the Navy Fire Control Technician have speculated? If so, were we testing it or was it an accidental firing? If not, then whose missile is it?

Retired Air Force Brigadier General Jim Cash was the Assistant Director of Operations for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) in the late 1980s. NORAD is located inside Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado and has a team of over 150 highly trained professionals who detect and monitor all missile activity 24 hours a day, every day. General Cash was quoted in an editorial he wrote (which was carried by AP) as saying, “In my opinion there is absolutely no doubt that what was captured on video off the coast of California was a missile launch, was clearly observed by NORAD, assessed by a four-star general in minutes and passed to the President immediately. That is the way the system works and heads fall if there is a failure. This is one of the most important tenets of national defense and its sole purpose of protecting the American people. Even the smallest failure in this system gets intense scrutiny at the highest level.”

General Cash also went on to say that “the question that still must be answered is why NORAD’s muted response was simply that North America was not threatened and later our government approved the lame excuse that the picture recorded was simply an aircraft leaving a contrail.” The general also said that the use of such language would have to have been approved by the President of the United States directly because “the system in place demands it.”

Could the Chinese have slipped a submarine into our territorial waters and fired off a missile at the very moment President Obama was touring Asia? Did the President cover up the truth about this embarrassing and devastating compromise of our national security?

The truth is this. I do not know the truth, but I do bring my own credibility to this subject, as I was the Chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee for two years in the late 1990’s. This committee had direct oversight over the budgets of missile defense technology and activity. During my 12 years of tenure on the Senate Armed Services Committee I have seen enough reports, films and classified information to know the difference between an airplane contrail and a missile contrail. Do not insult my intelligence, Mr. President. I demand to know what the hell happened on that day last November in Los Angeles?

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, do you care about the truth?  Why has your coverage died on this incident? Would the coverage have died if the President’s name were Reagan or Bush?




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