File spoon-archives/baudrillard.archive/baudrillard_1995/baudrillard.07-95, message 17

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 1995 11:35:37 -0400
Subject:  radicality and poetry  

A follow-up to B-2 profligate-pol-mil artculture:

   The New York Times, July 15, 1995, pp. 1, 8.

   B-2, After 14 Years, Is Still Failing Basic Tests

   Washington, July 14 -- The $44 billion B-2 bomber has radar
   that cannot distinguish a raincloud from a mountainside,
   has not passed most of its basic tests and may not be
   nearly as stealthy as advertised, according to a draft
   report by the General Accounting Office, the independent
   auditing agency of Congress. ...

   After 14 years of work, including six years of test
   flights, "the Air Force has yet to demonstrate that the B-2
   design will meet some of its most Important mission
   requirements," the draft report said. ...

   Twenty B-2 aircraft are being built, at an overall cost of
   $44.4 billion. About $24 billion of that was spent on
   research and development. With the research costs included,
   each 70-ton plane costs more than $2.2 billion, making it
   the most expensive aircraft in history.

   Despite earlier votes to limit the fleet to 20 planes, the
   House of Representatives, led by conservative Republicans,
   is trying to revive the B-2 program, with an eye toward
   building 20 more aircraft at an estimated cost of $16
   billion. House Republicans reached a tentative agreement
   this week to spend an additional $493 million on the
   program. ...

   The B-2's manufacturer, Northrop Grumman, has mounted an
   extensive advertising campaign to try to sell the bomber,
   with images of the B-2 in The New York Times, The
   Washington Post and on Sunday morning public affairs
   programs like "Meet the Press and "Face the Nation." ...

   Defense Secretary William J. Perry, along with other senior
   Air Force and Pentagon officials, says the nation does not
   need more B-2's. ...

   "This is a flying computer with the temperament of a sports
   car," said a senior Pentagon official, who spoke on the
   condition of anonymity. "It's like owning a Porsche," he
   said, referring both to the bomber's potential capabilities
   and its need for constant fine-tuning.

   A spokesman for Northrop Grumman, Ed Smith, said the
   company would not comment on the draft report.

   "Drafts get changed," Mr Smith said "More significantly,
   the Air Force has indicated that they anticipate completing
   the program within the $44.4 billion cap. The flight test
   program is proceeding with no showstoppers.

   "I don't think one report or one study will determine the
   fate of this program."


Another story reports on a national arts conf in NYC, 
hand-wringing about NEA's demise, and lamenting inability to 
garner public support "by having to tell our story again and 

Forbidden elixir needed? A draft o'De Landa, a jeroboam o'JB?



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