Sexing up the Headline


bunker-buster.jpg ran a story this morning on Israel's request for "bunker buster" bombs.

I read the story, and as any of you would also notice, the media got it wrong in trying to "sex up" the headline.

US to Sell Israel Bunker-busters

Well, not exactly.

The AP story is short on details, but a version run in the Jerusalem Post describes the order as one for about 1,000 GBU-39s. That's the small diameter bomb, which as you know was not developed to bust bunkers, but to give planes more munitions with the same lethality that they had before with 500 lb. or 2K lb. GBUs.

Now the J Post story says the GBU-39 can penetrate 90cm of "steel-reinforced concrete." According to our friends at, the SDB "has been demonstrated" to penetrate six feet of "reinforced concrete."

Seems to me the real "bunker buster" can do a heck of a lot more than that. And the idea that Iran's nuke program is sitting only six feet under (pun intended) the Earth doesn't seem logical to me.

The real bunker buster -- the GBU-28 -- (or at least the one I associate with "bunker bustin') can drill through 20 feet of concrete and 100 feet of Earth. So why is it that the story we ran leads the reader to believe that the GBU-39 is a bunker buster? As someone who's been reporting this kind of stuff for 10 years I'll tell you there's two reasons. One is that the editor doesn't know the difference and two is because they want to convey the idea that the U.S. is arming the Israelis for a strike against Iran.

Now, we may very well be arming Israel for a strike against Iran. But this SDB contract sure ain't for taking out the Mullahs' nukes.

-- Christian

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