Wednesday, February 13, 2008
B-2 Bomber visits Oahu again, not first time as reported
Today's front-page Honolulu Advertiser story fawns over the B-2 Spirit bomber's visit to Hickam Air Force Base on Honolulu and states (see clip at left) that these war machines have never landed in Hawaii before. The caption on the 5-column-wide picture says: "Hickam personnel and guests marvel at the B-2 Spirit bomber that landed in Hawai'i for the first time. On earlier visits, the bombers flew over Hawai'i and even participated in mock air raids but never landed."
Wrong, big time.
The "Spirit of Hawaii" was exhibited to the public and christened in ceremonies at Hickam AFB, Hawaii on May 27, 1996 only to face more than 30 protestors who attended the public showing.
"The naming of a B-2 stealth bomber the Spirit of Hawaii is a reprehensible act, insulting to the people of Hawaii who have chosen to live the spirit of Hawaii in aloha," said protest leader Poka Laenui, also known as Hayden Burgess. [Star-Bulletin, 5/28/96]
I knew that the Advertiser story was incorrect because I was among the protestors.
Here is a clip from the Star-Bulletin coverage the next day. Second from left is Senator Daniel Inouye (click for larger). The bomber was quite novel in those days, yet the Star-Bulletin didn't drool over this deadly war machine the way today's Advertiser does.
Nor did their coverage today, Admiral touts B-2s.
The S-B story notes that reporters were not allowed to photograph inside the cockpit. If you feel deprived, check out this 360° panorama inside another B-2.
Both papers mentioned the B-2 bombing runs over the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii, and the Advertiser, at the very end of the continuation page, mentioned concerns:
Maj. Brian Bogue, who's with the 613th Air and Space Operations Center at Hickam, said some — including Big Island Mayor Harry Kim — have questioned the safety of using non-guided inert bombs at Pohakuloa during the Koa Lightning exercises.
Neither paper mentioned the growing protests against the use of these planes over Pohakuloa. The AP did a story (B-2 Stealth Bombers Hit US Targets) in November. The Advertiser and many other papers have covered the protests. Here is one article:
Although the Air Force has stated that the bombings involve dropping inert or “dummy” bombs that do not explode, increasing numbers of Hawaiians have begun a public crusade against the tropical island being used for target practice.
One concern held by Big Island activists is that B-2 pilots are not using the technology of the bombers’ weapons guidance systems that typically release bombs with precision and accuracy. Instead, pilots over Hawaii rely on gravity and wind alone to navigate the bomb drops.
The danger of un-guided bombs landing other than where intended concerns weapons expert, Bob Nichols, Project Censored Award winner, of The San Francisco Bay View. In written correspondence Nichols stated, "It is just a matter of time till the 376,000 lb heavy bombers hit a school playground or someone's house with the equivalent of a small car at 160 mph and kill no telling how many people." [OpEd News, 1/26/08]
The "Sprit of Hawaii," tail number 90-0041, was the 16th in a series of 21 B-2s manufactured. Nos. 22-165 were canceled. More than you probably want to know about this WMD can be found here. KITV identified the visiting plane as the "Spirit of Kitty Hawk", deployed in Guam and based in Missouri.
I have several unattributed pictures allegedly of the christening ceremony. They were possibly shot as postcards to send home from Hawaii (click for larger). Since the source is unknown, this is a guess. It may be that these pics are from Guam or elsewhere.
Curious how monthly B-2 raids dropping 2000 lb. "dummy bombs" on Hawaii Islands' Pohakuloa Training Area began shortly after the Army finally admitted that Pohakuloa was contaminated with depleted uranium radiation; coincidence or trying to hide the evidence?
We'll never know, along with surprised, lame duck Mayor Kim, whom the Army failed to notify of these monthly bombing runs.
to add insult to injury, many munitions buffs say these unguided "dummy bombs" also contain depleted uranium.
Enquiring minds want to know; why is the military trying to kill us when we pay for their deadly toys?
And why do we pay without a whimper?
DU will be this mutant generations' Agent Orange, only a gazzillion times worse. To re-fresh your outrage, google DU images.
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