Friday, March 06, 2009

Marines Investigate Marine Air Crash Into San Diego Neighborhood

Peggy Noonan:
He and his squadron were in range of San Diego television stations when they carried the report's conclusions live. He'd never seen "our entire wardroom crowded around a television" before. They watched "with bated breath." At the end they were impressed with the public nature of the criticism, and its candor: "There are still elements within the government that take personal responsibility seriously." He found himself wondering if the Marines had been "too hard on themselves." "But they are, after all, Marines."

By contrast, he says, when the economy came crashing down, "nowhere did we see a board come out and say: 'This is what happened, these are the decisions these particular people made, and this was the result. They are no longer a part of our organization.' There was no timeline of events or laymen's explanation of how a credit derivative was actually derived. We did not see congressmen get on television with charts and eviscerate their organization and say, 'These were the men who in 2003 allowed Freddie and Fannie unlimited rein over mortgage securities.' Instead we saw . . . everybody against everybody else with no one stepping forth and saying, 'We screwed up…'" There is no one in national leadership who could convincingly "assign blame," and no one "who could or would accept it."

This of course is true, but somehow more stinging when said by a serviceman.

The White House this week was consumed by extreme interest in a celebrated radio critic, reportedly coordinating an attack line with antic Clinton-era political operatives who don't know what time it is. For them it's always the bouncy '90s and anything goes, it's all just a game.
But is it responsible? Or is it only vain?

Anyway, all honor this week to the Marines, who were very much the former, not the latter.
In the moments leading up to this crash: an engine was shut down; then a second engine showed low on fuel, then flamed out; then the plane's entire electrical system went out; then the plane nosedived and crashed into the neighborhood (3 miles short of the Miramar runway).

There is probably a reason, yet I don't see how the pilot could've anticipated the electrical system going out. If the electrical system had stayed operational, couldn't the pilot have worked his flaps and glided the plane to a landing on the Miramar runway? I wonder: is the pilot being punished (scapegoated) more than is deserved?

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