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The Alex Latifi trial was potholed with crazy.

The Curious Case of Alex Latifi. "We don’t care if Latifi is innocent. Our goal is to put him out of business." Feds knock; a business is lost: all charges dropped years after the company was charged with violating U.S. export law by sending to China classified drawings of an Army Black Hawk helicopter part and falsifying related tests. "It appears that the principal offense committed by the defendant, Alex Latifi, was breathing while being of Middle Eastern extraction.” [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Apr 1, 2009 - 17 comments

Crashing Australian Army Blackhawk

On 29 November last year an Australian Army Blackhawk helicopter crashed while attempting a landing in strong winds on the HMAS Kanimbla. Two soldiers died in the accident, with the airframe and the corpse of one Trooper later being recovered from the seabed 3 km down. The Board of Inquiry opened today, releasing graphic video footage.
posted by wilful on Jun 18, 2007 - 35 comments

Another Blackhawk Down

I was in the Blackhawk mentioned in the above story, which is mostly accurate. I, along with six others, were on a mission last night heading into Mosul. An Apache was flying next to us. Some say that the Apache took evasive action after being targeted by an RPG. Unfortunately, in doing so, it collided w/ our helicopter and tore off our rotors completely. The Blackhawk then fell to the ground. Good thing was that we were pretty low to the ground when the collision occurred. Otherwise, there's no way I'm here right now. So begins a letter home from my brother, a grueling first-hand narrative from the front, so-to-speak. I have been putting his photos and letters home online for family and friends and thought some of you might appreciate reading what it's like to be over there.
posted by Qubit on Dec 10, 2004 - 35 comments

Somalis cheer at bootleg "Blackhawk down" screening

Somalis cheer at bootleg "Blackhawk down" screening Somali citizens paid the equivalent of US $.10 to see a bootleg copy of the movie in a playground in downtown Mogadishu on Monday. The audience cheered at scenes where American troops were killed and American choppers were shot down. Somalia may be the next target in the 'War on Terrorism'. "As you can see, Somalis are brave fighters," one man said. "If the Americans come back to fight us, we shall defeat them again."
posted by SpecialK on Jan 22, 2002 - 51 comments

"Leave no man behind"

"Leave no man behind" is the tagline for the new Scott/Bruckheimer battlepic, Blackhawk Down.

In October of 1993, US Rangers and Delta Force personnel stationed outside of Mogadishu, Somalia, launched what should've been a 30 minute grab-and-go mission to capture higher-ups under the command of Mohammed Aidid, a Somali warlord. Before it was all over, many hours later, 19 US servicemen and 1000+ Somalis were dead.

PBS has a decent writeup on the Bakara Market ambush, but I still feel like I am missing something. Some sources share the movie's claim that the US was there to support humanitarian relief efforts, that Aidid was preventing the distribution of food. Others say we were there to protect American oil interests.

So what really happened on that day in October 1993? The movie opens on Friday, I saw it last night, and I am still exhausted. Admittedly, this film is far better than Pearl Harbor (no contrived love-triangles are used as a framing device here), but for all the simulated shooting and on-screen heroism, it still seems hard to make out the truth through all of the Hollywood dust. So I guess I am wondering, can we prevent Hollywood's versions of history from replacing the truth (or even the truth-as-we-knew-it)? Should we even try? Is it even possible?
posted by grabbingsand on Jan 16, 2002 - 39 comments

Father's day is almost here, and I KNOW that I deserve a great gift for being such a good Dad!

Not buying it, are you? Neither are my kids, which is probably why I won't be getting one of these. Any other fathers out there with a wish list?
posted by Sal Amander on Jun 13, 2001 - 17 comments

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