From: email@example.com (Dwayne Allen Day)
Subject: Re: Cuba shoots down American aircraft
Date: 11 Mar 1996 04:10:30 GMT
: firstname.lastname@example.org (W.E. Nichols) wrote:
: >+W.E. Nichols (email@example.com) wrote:
: >+: networks reported on the "no-fly zone" around the WH. They also have SS
: >+: dudes stationed at various and sundry locations with Stingers. Lets just
: >+: say that there is a hellava lot of fire power on the roof tops in DC. The
: >+: key to this is "no fly zone" instead of "free fire zone." Now if you
: >+: violate the no fly zone it could very well become a free fire zone.
: >+This is an urban myth. But there are a heck of a lot of decently-sized
: >+buildings in DC (full of bottom-feeding lawyers) and they have nice cafes
: >+on the rooftops. Go up to one of them and look around and you see NO
: >+Stinger missile guys. If they exist, they're well hidden. But I doubt
: >+they exist.
: >No myth at all, Dwayne. As some one else pointed out, the "no fly zone" is
: >more properly titled, "restricted air space." I believe that you are in the
: >DC area. Ask around and "if they will answer your questions" you will find
: >that what is being said is true. A truly brave or stupid person could test
: >the air defenses around the WH.
I work five blocks from the White House. I was not contradicting that it
is restricted air space (indeed, I have stated so in other posts). I was
contradicting your statement that there are Stinger crews sitting
around. Like I said, there are plenty of buildings around DC that one
can go atop of and you can easily see the roof of the White House (heck,
you can do it from the Washington Monument with a pair of binoculars--or
from the Old Post Office Bell Tower). You won't see anyone walking
around up there.
There are not guys with Stingers atop the White House. Indeed, one only
sees Secret Service up on the roof of the White House when there are
demonstrations going on or during heightened tensions (like during the
Gulf War). Then they usually carry telephoto cameras and rifles. There
has been some discussion of putting a special warning radar on the roof
of the White House. I forget the specifics, but such a system was
seriously proposed over a decade ago but never installed. It would be a
short-range system that would warn of aircraft directly approaching the
building within about a one or two mile radius--just at the edge of the
flight path for National.
The Stinger myth existed for a long time. Indeed, even the
Washington Post did a small article on it a couple of years ago,
attempting to find the source of the rumor. Then that goofy drunk
guy crashed his Cessna on the lawn and rather put a hole in the myth.
The Secret Service won't comment on
security at the White House, but the problems with such an air defense
policy have been heavily discussed--if you shoot at a plane, you have to
be willing to have the missile miss and blow up a day care center in
Georgetown. The best way to protect the President from such an attack
is with a bomb shelter inside the building and good warning time (which
you will almost never have if the plane is taking off from National
Airport). But in the end, Camp David is a much safer area from which to
defend the President and in a much more dangerous world he would be
better moved there... It might happen someday.