America’s $1 Trillion Target Barge

The NYT has a story about a mock US aircraft carrier Iran is building, its sources say, so Iran can blow it up for the propaganda value.

Iran is building a nonworking mock-up of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that United States officials say may be intended to be blown up for propaganda value.

This has set off chatter about how weird and dumb Iran is for building this giant toy boat, which US sources call the Target Barge.

But pretty soon after I started reading the article I found myself applying the phrases in it to America’s F-35 program which, in many ways, is an even bigger propaganda prop. See how it looks when you swap out Iran’s barge for the F-35?

Intelligence officials do not believe that the US is capable of building an actual F-35.

“Based on our observations, this is not a functioning plane; it’s a large spending program built to look like an plane,” said Cmdr. Jason Salata, a spokesman for the Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, across the Persian Gulf from Lockheed. “We’re not sure what the US hopes to gain by building this. If it is a big propaganda piece, to what end?”

[snip]

“It is not surprising that American military forces might use a variety of tactics — including military deception tactics — to strategically communicate and possibly demonstrate their resolve in air power,” said a Chinese official who has closely followed the construction of the F-35.

[snip]

[T]he Pentagon has taken no steps to cloak from prying Chinese hackers what it is building in pork-laden building sites across several countries. “The system is often too opaque to understand who hatched this idea, and whether it was endorsed at the highest levels,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an American expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

See what I mean?

Opacity of purpose.

Failure to provide adequate security.

Probable impossibility to bring to completion.

Abundant propaganda.

I’m not all that sure what distinguishes the F-35 except the cost: Surely Iran hasn’t spent the equivalent of a trillion dollars — which is what we’ll spend on the F-35 when it’s all said and done — to build its fake boat.

So which country is crazier: Iran, for building a fake boat, or the US for funding a never-ending jet program?

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bmaz @adamliptak @espinsegall I would have thought so until recent comments by RBG, who I believe was behind failure to decide Perry on merits
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JimWhiteGNV RT @Ibrahimhalawi: A brilliant photo from in wall st. today #FloodWallStreet http://t.co/50i4yot6A9
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emptywheel Adding to my rule: Feds can have right to effective search when 1 comply meaningfully w/FOIA 2) comply meaningfully w/criminal discovery
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JimWhiteGNV RT @gatorgoat: .@CoachWMuschamp your quarterback is bad and you should feel bad #FreeTreon
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emptywheel RT @the_intercept: Apple Still Has Plenty of Your Data for the Feds: https://t.co/ZPLTaNSzLz by @micahflee
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emptywheel @pwnallthethings An impact. Not clear it'll be major, as most of this will be on Cloud. Where warrant will be served in more controlled way.
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emptywheel Maybe the Feds can have a "right" to an effective search when they start complying meaningfully w/FOIA.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @cocktailhag: Very infuriating to see, in the age of austerity, such a show of lavish gov't spending, on tools of oppression. Priorities…
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emptywheel Seriously, if THAT's "most alarming" thing tech companies have done since Snowden, if it's "outrageous" tech cos need to step it up.
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emptywheel Ferfucksake. It's as if these anonymous people have neverever heard of the Cloud.
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emptywheel "most alarming consequence to date of frayed relationship bt federal govt & tech industry since Snowden revelations" http://t.co/Ob1HkCmIj7
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emptywheel Wahhh! Boohoohoo! DOJ says! Apple and Google are competing on privacy!!! Wahhhhh! http://t.co/LxyatmTVcy Why does DOJ hate capitalism?
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