Thursday, August 30, 2007


Oh yeah, we have this thing practically wrapped up, don't we?

A military cargo plane carrying three senators and a House member was forced to take evasive maneuvers and dispatch flares to avoid ground fire after taking off from Baghdad on Thursday night.

The lawmakers said their plane, a C-130, was under fire from three rocket-propelled grenades over the course of several minutes as they left for Amman, Jordan.

"It was a scary moment," said Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., who said he had just taken off his body armor when he saw a bright flash outside the window. "Our pilots were terrific. ... They banked in one direction and then banked the other direction, and they set off the flares."

Sens. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and James Inhofe, R-Okla., as well as Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala., were also on the plane....

"We were jostled around pretty good," said Cramer, who estimated the plane had ascended to about 6,000 feet. "There were a few minutes there where I wondered: 'Have we been hit? Are we OK?'" ...

Ah, but:

Shelby, an original advocate of the invasion, said he would defer final judgment until Petraeus testifies on Capitol Hill. But on Thursday, after a meeting with Petraeus, he seemed inclined to let the current strategy continue.

"They have made a lot of progress with the surge. It's not definitive, but it's on the right track," Shelby said.

White House translation: Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah on the right track! blah blah blah blah blah....

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