Note: Annie Jacobsen author of "Area 51 The Uncensored History Of America's Top Secret Air Base was an associate producer on this National Geographic program about Area 51.
Although the history of Area 51 and interviews with pilots and former workers at the base are accurate - Jocobsen's book has been widely discredited due to wild stories concerning the connections between 51 and Roswell. Fortunately NatGeo decided to not include the stupid Russian/Joseph Mengele/Horten Brothers disc claims Jacobsen sites in her book.
Great interviews with the Roadrunners and Peter Merlin are highlights of this program.
Monday, May 23, 2011
CBS News) Nearly two years before 9/11, America's largest intelligence agency had recordings of three of the al Qaeda hijackers plotting an attack. But the information, obtained by the National Security Agency, wasn't analyzed in a way that could uncover the plot.
Inside the super-secret NSA, several analysts and managers believed the agency had a powerful tool that might have had a chance to head off 9/11. But it wasn't used.
One of those agency insiders was Thomas Drake, who thought taxpayer money was being wasted on useless intelligence gathering projects while promising technology was ignored.
Drake tried to get the word out. But now, as a result, he has been charged under the Espionage Act of 1917 and if convicted of all charges could spend the next 35 years of his life in prison. The government says he betrayed his country.
Drake says the only thing he betrayed was NSA mismanagement that undermined national security.
After a long career in U.S. intelligence, Drake never imagined he'd be labeled an enemy of the United States. As a young airman, he flew spy missions in the Cold War; in the Navy, he analyzed intelligence for the joint chiefs at the Pentagon.
Later, he worked for defense contractors in the highly technical world of electronic eavesdropping. He became an expert in sophisticated, top secret computer software programs and ultimately rose, in 2001, to a senior executive job at the NSA.
Drake told correspondent Scott Pelley his first day on the job was Sept. 11, 2001.
"NSA went into immediate crisis management mode. We had failed to protect the United States of America," he told Pelley.
Asked if he felt that was a failure of the NSA, Drake told Pelley, "The entire national security establishment - it was a failure, a fundamental systemic breakdown."
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Posted by Steve Douglass at 11:34 AM
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 10 members of Pakistan's military were killed in a gun battle between security forces and Taliban militants at a naval base in the coastal city of Karachi, authorities said Monday.
The clashes raged for hours after attackers with guns and grenades stormed the compound Sunday night. By Monday afternoon, the base had "been cleared from the terrorists," a Pakistani navy spokesman said.
In addition to the 10 dead, at least 15 other Pakistani troops were wounded in the fighting, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Investigators have found the bodies of three attackers and believe a fourth is buried in debris, he said. They suspect two militants escaped, he said, citing witness reports.
The Pakistani Taliban said the attack at the Mehran naval air station was to avenge the killing of innocent civilians. The group's spokesman, Ihsan Ullah, told CNN on Monday that Pakistani security forces are carrying out those killings on the instruction of the United States in the name of a "war on terror."
One of the attackers had detonated a suicide jacket, Malik said, and another one was found wearing an undetonated jacket.
"We have daily 9/11 in this country. You see how we are suffering," he said. "And therefore, this is my appeal to the international community ... trust us, trust us, because this is a time we need you to support us morally."
Authorities said militants wielding rocket launchers, automatic weapons and hand grenades attacked the base about 11 p.m. Sunday. They used ladders to scale a wall at the back of the base and jumped into the compound, Malik said.
Two witnesses -- Amjad Bashir and Talha Hashmi -- reported at least 10 explosions in the subsequent hours.
Each blast was typically followed by a sustained exchange of gunfire, Hashmi said.
He said that several of the explosions -- thought to be the result of at least one military aircraft and a fuel tank catching fire and releasing plumes of smoke -- were particularly large.
Malik said the attackers destroyed two aircraft at the base.
One damaged plane is a P-3C Orion, according to Pakistani navy spokesman Irfan Ul Haq. Supplied by the U.S. government, the P-3C Orion is a "four-engine, turbo-prop, anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft," according to the U.S. Navy's website.
The nation's military personnel responded with what an Malik called a "major operation" at the base, which is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Karachi's main airport.
READ MORE AT CNN
Posted by Steve Douglass at 7:41 AM
By Stephen Trimble
THE DEW LINE
Boeing graciously heeded my pleas to interview someone about their 1/16th scale model and poster (above) at Navy League displaying two concepts for an all-new fighter jet that would appear after 2025.
I admit the idea of launching a development program for a new, at least optionally-manned fighter seems ludicrous after the early termination of F-22 production -- not to mention the ongoing concerns about F-35 cost and performance.
But a Boeing official told me the acquisition process for a new fighter for the US Navy and US Air Force has already begun. The navy has renamed its program from F/A-XX to next generation air dominance (NGAD) as it enters the analysis of alternatives stage. The air force, meanwhile, also is starting an alternatives study for an F-22 replacement.
As far-fetched as the idea seams, there is a real need. After the F-35 replaces the navy's F/A-18Cs and the air force's F-16s and A-10s, something has to replace the F/A-18E/F and F-22.
Boeing is betting that something will be a clean-sheet, tailless fighter design. Concepts displayed at Navy League show off a 40,000lb-class fighter for carrier decks. The air force would likely need an airframe at least 50% larger to replace the 60,000lb-class F-22. If the airframes are not common, the air force and navy would likely be pressured to share the cockpit avionics and -- possibly -- engines.
READ MORE AT THE DEWLINE
Posted by Steve Douglass at 6:36 AM