While the responsible types in the lame-stream media openly mock how the Conservatives and DND played Sun Media like a fiddle with their big scoop on the routine interception of turbo-prop Russian bombers by Canadian CF-18 aircraft (surely you mean had them perform their routine propaganda function? — ed.), generating barely-concealed sarcasm such as this…
While similar incidents occur 12 to 18 times a year, a story on the confrontation appeared on Friday morning in the Sun Media chain.
… the QMI team continue to try valiantly to maintain the credibility of their original overly torqued story. But in trying so hard to pretend they have super-duper inside sources, and aren’t just doing the bidding of their political masters, they come off looking silly.
Take this line from Brian Lilley’s follow-up, where he passes on information from his awesome secret sources:
Government and military officials told QMI Agency that more than one attempt to probe Canadian airspace has happened since 2007…
Really Brian, more than one attempt since 2007? Wow, impressive that QMI was able to pry such interesting information from the government.
I have my own source, however. It’s not a government or a military source. It’s called Google. If you don’t know what Google is, try googling it. With just a little googling, I found reports of many more than one similar attempt.
The Toronto Star reported on one such attempt in February of 2009 that was intercepted by Canadian CF-18s. And it shared this tidbit from the Star’s not so secret sources:
NORAD spokesperson Michael Kucharek said Canadian and U.S. fighter jets have been scrambled more than 20 times since early 2007 to perform visual identification of Russian bombers and to direct them away from North American airspace.
Wow, more than 20 times? Well, to be fair to Brian, 20 is most definitely more than one, so his super-duper sources weren’t lying to him.
Here’s a NORAD press release from 2006 on the launch of Canadian CF-18s and American F-15s in response to Russian TU-95 bombers. (Press release? Don’t they know offering gullible media routine information as exclusives will generate more coverage? – ed)
Another NORAD press release tells us the Rushkies got as close as 190 kilometers northeast of Tuktoyuktuk, Northwest Territories in 2008 when CF-18s from Cold Lake caught up to them.
Meanwhile, while Peter MacKay and QMI try to get us scared about the Rushkie threat to stop us from questioning the government’s decision to spend $16 billion on F-35s without considering cheaper alternatives or taking bids, NORAD will be conducting a “cooperative air defense exercise focused on combating terrorism” with the Russians next month.
So, if Lilley and Co. would like to get an up-close look at the re-emerging Rushkie threat first-hand, they can contact NORAD public affairs and head up to Alaska. Or they can go into the belly of the beast, and watch the exercise from the Russian Federation Air Force Control Center in Moscow. Apparently, you just need to e-mail them first before stopping by.
The Rushkies appreciate good manners.