Monday, February 11, 2008

Regurgitation is not reporting.

The Associated Press reported today that Russian bombers recently "buzzed" a Navy aircraft carrier:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers flying unusually close to an American aircraft carrier in the western Pacific during the weekend.

A U.S. military official says that one Russian Tupolev 95 buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 2,000 feet, while another bomber circled about 50 nautical miles out. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.

The Saturday incident, which never escalated beyond the flyover, comes amid heightened tensions between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Flying over a ship at an altitude of 2,000 feet is not "buzzing" the ship, though the word surely provides the spin that the Navy wanted. I found it by clicking on the headline, "Low-Flying Russian Bomber Buzzes U.S. Ship," on a well-known blog. BTW, there's no good reason for the AP to give its source confidentiality here.

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