Here’s an ominous one. We bet this won’t be the last we hear of this news item. Where the hell is “Southwestern Asia” and why the secrecy about the location of the crash? Doesn’t the secrecy combined with the unsubtle geographic hint pretty much make clear that it is Iran–where the US has admitted to using spy planes?
U-2 Spy Plane Crashes in Southwestern Asia, Killing Pilot
June 22 (Bloomberg) — A U.S. U-2 spy plane crashed in southwestern Asia, killing the pilot, the U.S. military said.
The pilot had completed a mission in support of the U.S.-led operation in Afghanistan, Enduring Freedom, and was returning to base when the crash occurred at 8:30 Greenwich Mean Time yesterday, the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, said in an e-mailed statement today.
The military didn’t specify the location of the crash or the plane’s base. The area has been secured to preserve the crash site for a military investigation into the cause, according to the statement. The pilot’s name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
“The airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing mourn the loss of a true American hero in the service of his country,” Colonel Darryl Burke, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, said in the statement.
The first U-2 went into service in 1955 and didn’t come to public attention until one of the planes, piloted by Gary Powers, was shot down over Soviet territory in 1960. Powers survived and served almost two years in a Soviet prison.
A U-2 was used in 1962 for surveillance that indicated the Soviets were basing weapons in Cuba, prompting the Cuban missile crisis.
The aircraft have been used in mapping studies, atmospheric sampling and for collection of crop and land management data for the Department of Energy, according to the Web site of National Museum of the United States Air Force.
But not to worry. George Bush says the notion that the US is planning air strikes on Iran is “rediculous.”
See also our last post on Iran.