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U.S.: No Indication of Shuttle Terrorism
AP | 2/01/03

Posted on 02/01/2003 7:38:23 AM PST by kattracks

WASHINGTON, Feb 01, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Bush administration officials said they had no immediate information Saturday that terrorism was involved as NASA lost contact with the space shuttle Columbia.

President Bush, who was at Camp David in Maryland, was informed about the situation and awaited updates from NASA.

"There is no information at this was a terrorist incident," said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department. "Obviously the investigation is just beginning but that is the information we have now."

A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was no threat made against the flight and that the shuttle, at an altitude of 207,000 feet over north-central Texas when it lost contact, was out of range of a surface-to-air missile.

Bush was told about the situation by his chief of staff, Andrew Card, and waited for more information from the space agency, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

On a normally slow day, White House officials were scrambling to get into the office. It was not immediately clear whether Bush would remain at Camp David.

"We're all watching TV and devastated and concerned," said John Marburger, head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.



TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: columbiatragedy; feb12003; india; israel; nasa; spaceshuttle; unitedstates
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1 posted on 02/01/2003 7:38:23 AM PST by kattracks
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To: kattracks
some idiot on cspan already said BUsh did it
2 posted on 02/01/2003 7:40:10 AM PST by Kewlhand`tek
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To: Kewlhand`tek
People at DU are saying Bush/Rove orchestrated this. How sick!!
3 posted on 02/01/2003 7:44:21 AM PST by nwrep
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To: kattracks
After having the government prematurely declare that there were no terrorist links for the DC area sniper and the LA Airport shooter, I'm beginning to take a tinfoil hat view of such pronouncements.

That having been said, hopefully security at the Cape is good enough to prevent such things.
4 posted on 02/01/2003 7:49:37 AM PST by applemac_g4
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To: Kewlhand`tek
lol who knows? That's the conspiracy theory in my house--that this is all Bush and he's just trying to get votes. lol (and my parents are Republicans)

Personally, I think it's someone down in NASA who passed the Columbia off as safe but it wasn't. Hmm...

5 posted on 02/01/2003 7:51:08 AM PST by Rackle
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To: kattracks
This was the shuttle carrying the first Israeli astronaut... one of the men who flew in the bombing raid over Iraq in the 1980's...
6 posted on 02/01/2003 7:52:35 AM PST by SunStar (Democrats Piss Me Off !!)
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To: kattracks
I hate to bring this up but we know at that speed and altitude, a conventional attack is impossible - is it possible that someone could have hacked NASA's flight control computer?
7 posted on 02/01/2003 7:55:37 AM PST by Chi-townChief
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To: kattracks
What about the astronauts on the Space Station? We can't leave them there for 10 years while we try to figure out what happened.
8 posted on 02/01/2003 7:56:30 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: All
Bottom line: Anybody wanted to hit this thing at 207,000 feet, they'd have to have technology good enough to be in our missile defense system.
9 posted on 02/01/2003 7:57:42 AM PST by Mr. Silverback (The surly bonds of Earth have been slipped.)
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To: SunStar
DAMN YOU SADDAM!!! We will get you for this!!

I wish everyone would relax on the he did it, they did it ... Arab Muslim Jihadists did it.

Can't we all just have a moment of silence that lasts longer than a minute?
10 posted on 02/01/2003 7:58:45 AM PST by Middle of the Road
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To: kattracks
Appears that the shuttle suffered exterior damage on launch that was amplified on re-entry.
11 posted on 02/01/2003 8:00:09 AM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: SunStar
Except by the media with the Palistine TX report, That is a MAJOR Crime. Go Find it on Mapquest. How on earth does this kind of Crap get out? It is a spec on the map. And the Shuttle was thousands of feet up... Put two and two together and you will see that the US has lost interest in LACI and the News jerks need a new story.

DO not spread this garbage around please!!

Be Smart and respectful.

12 posted on 02/01/2003 8:00:23 AM PST by Afronaut
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To: Rackle
you better be f*cking joking. If you are not you are F8cking moron! I have not seen one Freeper saying hitlary and her bunch did it. maybe dasshole has something do with it hows that moron
13 posted on 02/01/2003 8:01:33 AM PST by Kewlhand`tek
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To: kattracks
WH says no sign of terrorism. This time I agree with them (as opposed to AA Flight 587). The only possibility of terrorism is that the debris which flew off the shuttle at launch was intentionally loosened.
14 posted on 02/01/2003 8:02:00 AM PST by ez ("If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning." - GWB)
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To: kattracks
The news stations should have cameras running in the Arab world .... you know they will be cheering.
15 posted on 02/01/2003 8:04:30 AM PST by Centurion2000 (The question is not whether you're paranoid, but whether you're paranoid enough.)
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To: kattracks
While I don't suspect anything connected with terrorism, it was an event like this that brought about the Spanish American War.

(USS MAINE BLOWS UP IN HAVANA HARBOR)

16 posted on 02/01/2003 8:04:39 AM PST by Experiment 6-2-6 (Meega, Nala Kweesta!!!!)
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To: SunStar
This was the shuttle carrying the first Israeli astronaut... one of the men who flew in the bombing raid over Iraq in the 1980's...

Which is a remarkable curiousity in this tragedy, given the imminent war with Iraq.

Still, I can't imagine how any foreign power could have brought the Columbia down, flying at Mach 7 at 207,000 feet. I'm left, in the sadness of the moment, scratching my head at whether there is a deeper meaning, beyond human intervention, behind it all.

My prayers and sympathies to the families and loved ones of all the astronauts.




17 posted on 02/01/2003 8:06:46 AM PST by Sabertooth
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To: kattracks
I'm speculating, but if this was a terrorist act
its concievable that one or more tiles could have
been impregnated with explosive material that would
be ignited by the heat of reentry. All the explosive
would have to do is dislodge the tile, just a few grams
would be needed.
18 posted on 02/01/2003 8:10:43 AM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: kattracks
God bless there brave souls! I wonder if the new Quark Gluon sattleite technologys have any thing to do with this tragedy?
19 posted on 02/01/2003 8:12:20 AM PST by BossyRoofer
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To: Kewlhand`tek
some idiot on cspan already said BUsh did it

Figures! I had just told my hubby that would be happening! I am sure we will hear a lot of that before this is over!

May God be with the families of the crew.

20 posted on 02/01/2003 8:15:12 AM PST by ladyinred
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To: kattracks
Did this shuttle go to the station? If not were any spacewalks performed from it. Seems like the opportunities for close inspection of the exterior in orbit were not available in this mission.
21 posted on 02/01/2003 8:15:44 AM PST by Fitzcarraldo
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To: Dog Gone
The Space Station has a 10 year supply of Tang.
22 posted on 02/01/2003 8:19:08 AM PST by Edmund Burke
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To: kattracks
Any indication what the mood is like in Jenin today?

ML/NJ

23 posted on 02/01/2003 8:20:50 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: All
No way this was a shoot down, not possible at that altitude and speed.
An onboard explosion or catastrophic failure would shread it like we observed.

Who are the remaining crew on the ISS and where are they from? Anybody?

24 posted on 02/01/2003 8:20:56 AM PST by WhirlwindAttack (now is not the time for comedy)
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To: nwrep
People at DU are saying Bush/Rove orchestrated this. How sick!!

Kind of like the idiots that blamed the death of anyone Bill Clinton ever met on Bill Clinton.

25 posted on 02/01/2003 8:22:21 AM PST by Dave S
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To: kattracks
An American spacecraft carrying an Israeli astronaut crashes and burns in Palestine, Texas............ Is this a sign, Luke? Bet the muslims are dancing in their streets.
26 posted on 02/01/2003 8:22:30 AM PST by Lexington Green
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To: Kewlhand`tek
NASA TV on the Web

Watch NASA TV Now! Pick from several links.

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Web.html
27 posted on 02/01/2003 8:22:58 AM PST by fight_truth_decay (Occupied)
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To: Lexington Green
very eeerie.......! Officials say there is nothing to show this involves terrorisms..Facts are the terrorists are not that Smart!..they only strap bombs to people and donkeys!
28 posted on 02/01/2003 8:25:09 AM PST by fight_truth_decay (Occupied)
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To: All
The shuttle was much lower than 200K feet. The video camera used wouldnt be able to record it starting to break up at that altitude. Also, if you notice on the video furnished by TV station WFAA....the video camera's "battery" graphic was on.

Its best never to rule out anything...although those nuts on DU and their Bush conspiracy can be safely eliminated.

29 posted on 02/01/2003 8:28:57 AM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (UCFRW)
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To: Fitzcarraldo
explosive tiles

That would be all it took. But this is an old vessel and as we learned from the O-Ring debacle NASA does have periodic lapses of judgement, particularly at the top and particularly when there is political pressure to "stop the engineering gloom and doom BS and get on with the mission".

A Microsoft "perfection is the enemy of the good" mentality can easily cause disasters like this.
30 posted on 02/01/2003 8:29:56 AM PST by cgbg
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To: Sabertooth
This was the shuttle carrying the first Israeli astronaut... one of the men who flew in the bombing raid over Iraq in the 1980's...

Which is a remarkable curiousity in this tragedy, given the imminent war with Iraq.

Talk about curious, consider this. This tragedy occured just four days after the anniversary of the Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986. The Challenger in turn blew up, nineteen years and one day following the fire on Apollo One which killed astronauts Grissom, Chaffee, and White on January 27, 1967. Who said that coincidences never occur.

31 posted on 02/01/2003 8:31:06 AM PST by Dave S
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To: Fitzcarraldo
Did this shuttle go to the station? If not were any spacewalks performed from it. Seems like the opportunities for close inspection of the exterior in orbit were not available in this mission.

I heard that it did NOT go to the space station and that there was no space walk because the long arm that teethers the astronauts was removed to make room for the experiments.

32 posted on 02/01/2003 8:33:13 AM PST by Dave S
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To: applemac_g4
" ... I'm beginning to take a tinfoil hat view of such pronouncements."

I never took it off since WACO ...

My first thought was electronic warfare.

Isn't there some kind of 'pulse bomb' that targets electrons/communications?

33 posted on 02/01/2003 8:41:57 AM PST by knarf
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To: UCFRoadWarrior
The shuttle was much lower than 200K feet.

The shuttle was at 203,000 feet at the time it broke up. The reason you could see it so clearly is that it was glowing with heat as it entered the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

There were threads earlier this morning giving people in California heads up to see the Shuttle reenter. BTW, that height over Texas fits the flight profile.

34 posted on 02/01/2003 8:43:19 AM PST by TomB
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To: kattracks
They should line all NASA ground workers up, like the maids, butlers and nannies in a murder mystery - and see if anyone is missing, FIRST. If anyone is - could have been a bomb obviously. Airport & NASA security is not 100%, - 1000's of employees work on the shuttles...
The dems better HOPE OBL or his ilk don't claim credit by the end of day. They'll never see election again, if they do.
An Israeli and an Indian were also on board. Terror could have come from Pakistan.
35 posted on 02/01/2003 8:43:59 AM PST by 4Liberty
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To: Fitzcarraldo
Did this shuttle go to the station? If not were any spacewalks performed from it. Seems like the opportunities for close inspection of the exterior in orbit were not available in this mission.

This mission was pure science, and was the only Shuttle in the last couple of years that did not go to either the ISS or the Hubble. Hence, no close in-flight inspection of the exterior.

36 posted on 02/01/2003 8:46:03 AM PST by BlazingArizona
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To: kattracks
The same week as the Challenger explosion in 1986.
Days after the Sate of the Union Address.
Same week as Hans Blix report.
First Israeli astrronaut in space (who took part in the Osirak reactor strikes against Iraq in 1981).
Falls on Palestine, Texas.

Too many coincidences?....
37 posted on 02/01/2003 8:50:17 AM PST by ConservativeConvert
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To: kattracks
If there were lost tiles, this fact would be hard to detect retrospectively. Perhaps the debris that sits on the ground could help determine whether there was a bomb of some kind on board.

Assuming that lost tiles were the cause of the re-entry explosion, it would be hard to figure out how, exactly, the tiles were lost.

A few of the tiles have fallen off on prior flights, so the loss of several, I'm guessing, would have been required to cause the catastrophe.

We won't know very much for some time. Perhaps they'll never be able to piece together the accident.

NASA has said that there might be "toxic materials" on some of the debris. Unlikely. Maybe the fuel tanks would have survived intact long enough to leave some fuel on pieces on the ground, but almost certainly not. NASA has issued this warning, I assume, to scare people away from taking debris that might be useful as evidence.

38 posted on 02/01/2003 9:08:41 AM PST by Timm
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To: kattracks
I can't see how this could be terror related. With the height and speed when it blew up; I don't think the sand monkeys have anything that could have done so. In fact, I suspect the only thing available that could do so from the ground would be our developing program against missles.

Those who claim Bush did it are just morons (ie. Deomcrats).

MARK A SITY
39 posted on 02/01/2003 9:08:47 AM PST by logic101.net
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To: Sabertooth
I am with you, ST - it's too darn coincidental for me. I live near the Cape and watched the launch. Security was incredibly tight due to the Israeli astronaut being on board. Now it's coming out that he had something to do with the taking out of the Iraqi nuclear reactor?

I realize the odds are high, but what about the possibility that a bomb device could have been onboard set to go off at a certain altitude (and fixed so that it wouldn't detonate on launch?)

I probably read too many mystery/spy novels. God bless the astronauts and comfort and sympathy to their families.

40 posted on 02/01/2003 9:13:58 AM PST by The Right Stuff
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To: ConservativeConvert
Synchronicity.

Carl Jung defined the term synchronicity (in Synchronicity: An Acausual Connecting Principle, [with input from Wolfgang Pauli, who won the Nobel prize in 1945])to describe what he called the "acausal connecting principle" that links mind and matter. He said this underlying connectedness manifests itself through meaningful coincidences that cannot be explained by cause and effect.

Is synchronicity "real"? Well, the scientific perspective ranges from "its all occult psychobabble and not worthy of one iota of serious scientific study" (and they don't support the idea of teleology) to "it is quite real, but we don't really have a vocabulary to describe it."

My opinion - since I believe in a space-time continuum with more than 3 physical dimensions (aka superstring theory and hyperspace), I am comfortable with believing there is plenty of "space" for God, angels, devils, and other interesting entities. And I believe that some of them take an active interest in our 3-space world. And that synchronicity is easy to understand once that perspective is factored in.

41 posted on 02/01/2003 9:23:08 AM PST by dark_lord
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To: applemac_g4
Al Qaida probably managed to hack the NASA computers.
42 posted on 02/01/2003 9:24:40 AM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: Sabertooth
No terrorist could hit it with any kind of missile, but it would be possible to put an explosive device on board. That's not too likely though because security is very tight at the launch site and if it was an explosive device it probably would have detonated shortly after liftoff.
43 posted on 02/01/2003 9:28:14 AM PST by Brett66
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To: Brett66
I agree. The missile theory is absurd, for a variety of reasons. The only way this could be terrorism would be the old fashioned way: sabotage. I'm sure NASA is looking very closely at people who had access to the shuttle prior to launch. It takes very little to cause a catastrophic failure in a complex system if you know what you're doing.

That having been said, this is probably just a case of wear and tear on an old frame. Who here has a car 25 years old? Not many people, I'd imagine. Even with constant maintanence, heavy use will wear out the best of equipment.

44 posted on 02/01/2003 9:38:58 AM PST by Steel Wolf
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To: kattracks
When does the first FR conspiracy post happen....any bets?
45 posted on 02/01/2003 9:49:26 AM PST by zarf
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To: dark_lord
Another coincidence is that NASA's 2 other flight tragedies occurred around this time of year (Jan 29th 1967 and Jan 28th 1986).

Coincidence does not always point to direct causal links in occurence.

46 posted on 02/01/2003 9:49:57 AM PST by weegee
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To: kattracks
While I think it very unlikely any terrorists groups were involved, I'm sure the Arab and Palestinian radicals and many Islamic fundamentalists will rejoice at the news of this tragedy and use it in their propaganda.
47 posted on 02/01/2003 10:09:29 AM PST by The Great RJ
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To: Lexington Green
For this to be terrorist related, there would have to be Muslims working at NASA manning the controls, I'm sure with an Israeli and an Indian on board, that wouldn't have been allowed.
48 posted on 02/01/2003 10:14:20 AM PST by FITZ
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To: Dog Gone
They have an emergency Soyuz capsule docked to the space station if I remember correctly. They can return that way. It seats three, and there are only three up there now.
49 posted on 02/01/2003 10:17:57 AM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Middle of the Road
Amen...If this is terror the time for RAGE will come later.
50 posted on 02/01/2003 10:19:00 AM PST by Diana Rose
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