Friday, April 10, 2009

Shameless Shilling For The F-22

This is depressing, yet entirely predictable. On Monday I wrote we needed to watch for those retired military “analysts” boosting the F-22 without disclosing their financial ties to military contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman.

As if on cue, Fox News brings us this:
Yesterday, Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney appeared on Fox News to discuss the Somali pirates situation, and managed to use it as an opportunity to shill for the F-22:
McINERNEY: I’d put F-22s and combat air patrol out there, two of them, with tankers. … The reason I’d put the F-22s is because they can go 1.6 to mach 2, and they have a very quick reaction time and a 20 millimeter canon.

“It doesn’t take an Air Force general to see how bizarre McInerney’s military reasoning is,” Gawker’s Ryan Tate writes, noting that the F-22 — an exceedingly expensive fighter jet designed for air combat — could do nothing to solve the current problem.

Indeed, McInerny spread good ol' fashioned propaganda and misinformation:

He neglected to mention virtually every U.S. fighter made in the last 30 years carries such a cannon (usually the six-barrel M-61 Vulcan), including the F/A-18 Hornet already in use by the U.S. Navy. He also fails to mention that, no matter how fast the F-22 might be, it can't be based off an aircraft carrier. So its reaction time could never be as good (from a land base on, say, the Arabian Peninsula) as a Hornet or other existing Navy jet floating in the waters nearest the pirates.

As I noted yesterday, we were attacked on Sept. 11 by the lowest of low-tech: men armed with box-cutters, slipping through lax airport security. It seems the world of warfare has changed and big, expensive weapons systems can’t combat the low-tech terrorism we’re seeing on the high seas or on the streets of Baghdad. I'm not saying we don't need any big fancy weapons systems, I'm just thinking we don't need any more.

And here’s Fox News putting an “analyst” with ties to a defense contractor on the air so he can pluck a piece of news from the headlines and fashion it into a talking point to save the F-22.

Utterly predictable.

How utterly reprehensible. He should have his “military analyst” pass revoked.