Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Just to review yesterday’s excitement. A non-communicative aircraft busted through Washington, D.C.’s strict no-fly zone, passed over the vice president’s house, was making a beeline for the White House with a Black Hawk helicopter on its tail, and was within moments of being shot down out of the sky. Meanwhile, the Capitol and White House were evacuated, including Vice President Dick Cheney and First Lady Laura Bush, while Supreme Court justices were whisked to an underground parking garage. But President Bush, obliviously riding his bike at a Maryland state park, was not informed about the security breach until half-an-hour after it was over, because, according to White House officials, there was no need for him to know.
Raise your hand if you think that’s odd.
The aviation episode, which turned out to be a false alarm involving a student pilot who was just sent to the back of his flight class, sparked pandemonium inside the Beltway just after noon yesterday. “Alarms sounded and emergency lights went on in congressional office buildings about noon, as police shouted warnings and people hurried for exits and walked, or ran, down marble staircases and north toward Union Station, witnesses said,” reported the Washington Post.
At 12:03, with the plane apparently zeroing in on the White House, the compound went to “red” alert. “We have to remember that we are a nation at war,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. “And there are still people that seek to do harm to the United States and seek to carry out attacks on the United States.”
And so why was Bush kept in the dark, while his wife at the White House, not to mention centers of the U.S. government, faced a possible attack? McClellan explained that members of the presidential security detail, who were with Bush on his relaxing bike ride, decided that Bush did not have to be informed because he was not in danger and the Washington, D.C., mass evacuations at key government buildings did not require his authorization.
Said McClellan, “The president has great trust in his security detail. He was never in any danger, and the protocols that were in place were followed.”
What’s odd is that the New York Times was among the few major newspapers this morning that considered it newsworthy that Bush was deliberately kept in the dark about an unfolding terror evacuation. Right in the second sentence of its news account, the Times reported, “President Bush was not told of the threat until he finished a bicycle ride at a Maryland wildlife center, nearly 40 minutes after the plane had been forced to turn away, administration officials said.”
But for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, the White House’s bizarre don’t tell-don’t tell policy for Bush and possible unfolding terrorist attacks garnered just a passing reference.
Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."More Eric Boehlert.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.
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