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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post


Brought to you by Christopher Rake
















PostWatch
 

Thursday, October 17, 2002
 
1:29 PM

The Washington Times is no better, running a sidebar with a graphics box on the RC-7. What are these guys thinking?

It's actually funny if you don't mind being killed. One of the Times' front-page stories has this bewildering transition in Police lack clear picture of sniper:

The Pentagon is planning to send up planes with high-tech surveillance equipment to help track the sniper, who has eluded law-enforcement officials for two weeks.

The number of planes, their high-tech capabilities, and when and where they would fly is was not being released, officials said.

The planes could provide high-resolution imagery and night vision for such things as tracking the light-colored van that authorities say was seen at one or more of the shooting sites. Infrared sensors that can detect flashes of gunfire on the ground also could be used, officials said.


So the Pentagon officials would not release details on the planes. Great! Sneak up on the bad guys. However, officials said they can do high-res, night vision, infrared, etc. Damn! I'm dead again!

Now, why did I not provide a link to this story? Because the section above is available in Dead Tree Format, as bylined by Ellen Sorokin and Arlo Wagner. The online version has the same hed, Police lack clear picture of sniper, and is bylined only by Ellen Sorokin. The same general area reads thus:

President Bush yesterday authorized the deployment of military surveillance aircraft, specifically the twin-engine U-21 reconnaissance aircraft and the four-engine Army RC-7B Airborne Reconnaissance Low aircraft. The RC-7B plane has been used to hunt drug traffickers in Latin America and monitor the North Korean military from South Korean airspace....A senior defense official said U.S. military and civilian crews would relay surveillance information obtained with sophisticated sensors to help local and federal law-enforcement officials more quickly track the shooter if there is another killing.

However, much of the detail missing from this story is still available online at the Times in Looks of spy plane are deceiving:

The new and modified version of the original four-engine, turboprop De Havilland Canada Dash-7 airliner is packed with sophisticated surveillance equipment. It can track people and vehicles on the ground day and night... Used in recent years to hunt for drug smugglers in Latin America and to look closely at the military in North Korea, it also carries computer-enhanced, long-range camera equipment.... It could provide high-resolution imagery and night vision for such things as tracking the light-colored van that authorities say was seen at one or more of the shooting sites. Infrared sensors that can detect flashes of gunfire on the ground also could be used, officials said.


I think the Washington Times is playing catch-up as far as helping the killer is concerned--this stuff was blabbed all over the place by the Post and CNN and others starting two evenings ago. I do not think it's a coincidence that there hasn't been a shooting since then. I also think one credible theory is that this is a terrorist cell doing market research. I will link to that stuff later--the computer I'm working on is unbearable--but you can find it at Instapundit.com and World Net Daily.com (WND.com)

The funny thing about this Pentagon plane angle is that I watched the first reports earlier two days ago, and the reporters were being very careful not to go into detail, and explained they'd been asked not to divulge the capabilities or type of equipment involved. I believe I was watching CNN and ABC news at the time. Something changed overnight.

UPDATE: Here's a World Net Daily story on the "market-research" theory.






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