Late Night: A Helicopter Named after a Serial Killer

In the wake of the Osama bin Laden killing, the media seems to have pretty much given itself up to “war porn” or at least something very close to it. I have to admit it’s starting to creep me out.

There is one article after another describing the bin Laden takedown and tons of articles glorifying the Navy Seals who pulled it off. This breathless piece at CBS News gives a blow by blow account of the raid on the home where bin Laden had been living. According to this account the Seals turned off their video cameras (on their helmets apparently) during the most intense violence.

The raiders trying to get into the house breached three or four walls, Panetta said, not specifying whether they scaled them or blew holes.

On the first floor, the SEALs killed the courier and his brother, and the courier’s wife died in crossfire. They shot open some doors.

They then swept upstairs and burst into a third floor room, entering one at a time, said Carney. There all the U.S. intelligence, the surmising and the guesswork paid off.

Bin Laden’s wife charged at the SEALs, crying her husband’s name at one point. They shot her in the calf. Officials told AP that one SEAL grabbed a woman, fearing she might be wearing a suicide vest, and pulled her away from his team. Whether that was bin Laden’s wife has not been confirmed….

The first bullet struck bin Laden in the chest. The second struck above his left eye, blowing away part of his skull.

Oooooh….just like in the movies!

There are countless video reenactments of the raid floating around, like this one from The New York Post.

And then there are the stories about the supercool equipment the Seals used to get public enemy number one. Here’s an example: 9 Tools That Probably Helped the U.S. Military Take Down bin Laden, including the drone that spied on the bin Laden compound, the assault rifle and submachine gun used to kill him, the image sensors, the grenades, and coolest of the cool, the previously super-secret Stealth Black Hawk Helicopter the Seals arrived in. According to Gizmodo:

MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters played a key role in the success of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, especially ones that were heavily modded for stealth movement through Pakistan. Designed for use in special forces missions, these Night Stalker helicopters can carry 11 soldiers, come with three types of guns (mini, chain, gatling), and come equipped with infra-red jammers to mislead missiles.

Yes, the Seals’ method of transportation and surprise attack shares a nickname with a serial killer–actually two serial killers.

Isn’t that inspiring? Here is some more information about these killer machines, plus the Chinook helicopters that were also used in the raid. It’s from AP, so I’m not going to link.

The two choppers evidently used radar-evading technologies, plus noise and heat suppression devices, to slip across the Afghan-Pakistan border, avoid detection by Pakistani air defenses and deliver two dozen Navy SEALs into the al-Qaida leader’s lair. Photos of the lost chopper’s wrecked tail are circulating online — proving it exists and also exposing sensitive details.

See what I mean? War porn.

The reason one of the helicopters crash landed at the bin Laden compound has not been disclosed, but Daniel Goure, a defense specialist at the Lexington Institute think tank, said Friday it might be explained by the unusual aerodynamics resulting from the aircraft’s modifications….

Night Stalker pilots also fly other, publicly acknowledged versions of the Black Hawk that are specially equipped with advanced navigation systems, plus devices allowing for low-level and all-weather flight, day or night. Those are rigged to permit occupants to “fast rope” from the helicopter as it hovers just off the ground — a technique used in the bin Laden assault.

Now watch the “Night Stalker” in action and tell me these videos aren’t designed to turn on people who fantasize about violence.

It appears that the Obama administration hasn’t yet slaked it’s thirst for blood, because a drone strike was used today in a failed attempt to kill Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen whom the President has targeted for assassination.

According to a Yemeni account of Thursday’s strike, the U.S. launched two separate attacks within 45 minutes aimed at Mr. Awlaki in the southern province of Shebwa, which is considered an AQAP stronghold….

In the first strike, the U.S. fired three rockets at a pickup truck in which Mr. Awlaki and a Saudi national and suspected al Qaeda member were traveling outside the village of Jahwa, located some 20 miles away from the Shebwa provincial capital, said local residents and the Yemeni security official. Those missiles didn’t hit their target.

Two Yemeni brothers, who were known by local residents for giving shelter to al Qaeda militants, rushed to the scene of the attack. Mr. Awlaki switched vehicles with them, leaving the two Yemenis in the pickup. A single drone then hit the pickup truck, killing the Yemenis inside.

Mr. Awlaki escaped in the other vehicle along with the Saudi. A Yemeni defense ministry official identified the two dead men as Musaid Mubarak Al-Daghari and his brother Abdullah.Unlike the bin Laden raid, which was carried out without Pakistani knowledge, the Yemeni government was a participant.

All this detailed information about the recent violent events hasn’t made them feel any more real to me. On the contrary, the media treatment makes it all feel like a big fantasy. I guess that’s why I want to call it war porn. Several real people were killed in these attacks–people who have families and children who aren’t vicious criminals. But what I see in the media is something akin to a Rambo movie or a video game. It’s all making me feel very uneasy.

What do you think?

21 Comments on “Late Night: A Helicopter Named after a Serial Killer”

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    Those animated videos are ridiculous. That one that was on CNN, with the little men running to the helicopter with bin Laden on a stretcher, looked like the animation of the aliens in Tim Burton’s When Mars Attacks.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know. It’s bizarre. Be sure to watch videos of the helicopter though. Those are creepy.

      • dakinikat says:

        reminds me of all those popular video games … all it needs is the disappearing body and the left behind treasure

      • Seriously says:

        I think “war porn” is very apt, and it is creepy. It reminds me of how the Army is recruiting people who are adept at violent video games to blur that line between fantasy and reality. Or how people during the Gulf War supposedly gathered in bars to cheer live footage of missile drops. Members of the media love to indulge their Rambo fantasies.

      • Adrienne in CA says:

        Welcome to Sparta, where only war matters.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Except that Sparta was actually a competent military power. The US just uses multi-billion dollar doodads to unsuccessfully try to blow up half-armed peasants.

  2. madamab says:

    Obama declared long ago that he had the right to assassinate a US citizen if he deemed the man was a terrorist. Now that he has gotten away with flaunting the rule of law by killing OBL, he figures he’ll double down by killing Anwar Al-Awlaki.

    Of course he’s so incompetent, he f*cks that up too.

    I despise this man so very much.

  3. Fannie says:

    Ha, is that night serial killer suppose to cure insommia or what? Can’t we at least provide some song and lighted candles for the next several days, as a go with?

  4. Fredster says:

    You had vids of two different helicopters there BB. In the first one you’ve got video of the Black Hawk and this little techie site drew up some ideas of what the stealth one might look like.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Thanks Fredster. What do I know?

    • Fredster says:

      No biggie, except I had kept seeing the Black Hawk referenced. It’s been the replacement for the Huey from the Viet Nam era.

      Also, wasn’t meaning to be snarky or anything on the names but the military is always going to use some big macho name for a piece of equipment. 😉

      • bostonboomer says:

        If you look at the article I posted from Gizmodo, it says the helicopter used was the MH-60, which is a greatly modified version of the regular Black Hawk helicopter. I just looked at a couple of other articles, and they all reference the same model number.

      • Fredster says:

        Okay but I was talking about the vids. The one had the Night Stalker/aka Little Bird the other names it’s been given.

  5. Fredster says:

    Here’s some info on the MH6.

    As for me personally I don’t care what they used to get him as long as the p.o.s. is dead. I want to see the pics to be sure of it.

    As far as the name of the aircraft, eh, they could have called it Night Killer or Night Mare. On version of it is called Little Bird.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Nailing Osama: The media’s delight

    The circumstances and timing of Osama bin Laden’s death can be explained by one word: Politics.

    • Fredster says:

      The day after OBL’s death I was saying:

      1. Birth certificate: Check

      2. Bin Laden dead: Check

      3. Reelection Check

      Not that I’m cynical or anything.

    • Fredster says:

      BB: Did you happen to see the video on ABC news last night about the dogs? Supposedly if they break off a tooth in bite training they are fitted with titanium crowns after.

      MB commented that they can’t get health care for women but they can give dogs titanium teeth.