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West Wing – Charlie Brown of missile defence

West Wing – Charlie Brown of missile defence

Just time-sensitive what are you looking at your testing that preposterous
contraption again it’s preposterous, it’s not a contraction and mind your own business in my day we knew how to protect our selves well, in your day you could pretty much you could pretty much turn back the Indians with the Daniel Boone
musket Couldn’t you, ah, sarcasm the grumpy mans wit sharpen a pencil, would ya What’s up the target’s in the air. They’re going to launch the intercept any moment and i’m sure someone will come along soon thereafter and tell me it didn’t work why do you take that attitude? Cause it’s not going to work what do i get if it works? what do you get? yes well i cant make you thailand’s ambassador to the US cause I just signed that guys letter come with me to the situation room you know what you are you are the
Charlie Brown a missile defense the pentagon is Lucy I’m not familiar to the reference, sir Peanuts,Charlie Brown I’ve heard of them I’m just not
conversant in them. Why I never read the comics Leo we were born at the age of 55. I know that there’s a dog Charlie Brown wanted to kick a football
and lucy would hold it except she would pull away at the last minute and
Charlie Brown would fall on his butt that’s funny? no but each time Lucy would find a way to convince Charlie Brown that this time she wouldn’t pull the ball away but she would and once again Charlie Brown would fall
on his butt And that’s funny? its satirical. What’s it satirizing? the DOD bringing you to the Situation Room everytime they run a new missile test so that you can come tell me how great it works so I’ll put money in the NMD system. you should money NMD system.
Doesn’t work. It will work, one day soon. There’s a couple three-star generals in there call them Lucy and you’re on your own good morning mister president. hey where
are we? The kill vehicles on clear trajectory what’s its time to the target? 50 seconds colonel could you want the president through.
yes sir, mister president approximately three minutes ago a missile was launched
with a simulated nuclear warhead from the Kwajalein Atoll in the South
Pacific and it’s going to get my garage in new hampshire exactly when. Well sir
once the missile cleared cloud cover it was detected by the early-warning
satellites which launched an intercept or kill vehicle SRB Sep is solid rocket booster
separation that means high resolution radar on the
ground has gotten a lock on signal from the kill vehicle so what happens now in 20 seconds it collides with the nuclear warhead where
outer space seventeen miles above the Earth’s
atmosphere okay but we don’t have anybody out there right now do we? No sir when we stay at the Oriental in
Bangkok we have to check out James Michener’s typewriter. here we go Is that silence usually a pretty good sign. No
negative Intercept. Have we got sensor readings No. Negative intercept. the pm warhead has overshot it’s target It was just enthusiastic By how much? uh Leo. By how much did it miss the target.
Colonel? 137 we missed it by 137 feet miles. we missed it by a 137 miles? when you consider it size of outspace Leo not so bad Sir either way the words you’re looking for are “oh good

Reader Comments

  1. I've always remembered this scene. Leo has something like 2-3 minutes to walk from the situation room to the Oval Office, find the President and walk back. Cuttin' it kinda close there, if you ask me. 🙂

  2. I laughed so much when I first saw it. And, Mrs. Landingham (Peace & solace Kathryn Joosten) got in her 2 cents worth in the beginning. Great reference to Lucy & Charlie Brown. How about the F-35 program ?? Just Saying.

  3. ""Sorry for that intrusion with another intrusion." Haha. Sorry, thought that was funny. What's great is those anti missiles DO work now with like 70-90% success rates. Can shoot down satellites even.

  4. this show was prescient on so many topics. Didn't they just recently try that trick when simulating an attack from nut job Kim in the human tragedy also known as North Korea? What were the results there?

  5. I always thought this scene was retarded. People once thought the automobile or the airplane were ridiculous contraptions. Like Leo said, there was a time in the life cycle of every technological advance when the technology didn't work. Thank God people like Jed and Mrs. Landingham weren't in charge. We'd still be riding horses down to the docks to hop on a tall ship for a 6 week trip to Europe. That's assuming we survived the trip and didn't die of disease because this whole "penicillin" thing is just witchcraft.

  6. I was studying computer science at a university that I will not name, under a professor I will also not name but was a real cool guy. I was a little older and we hit it off on a personal level. I was sitting in his office one day and we were talking about Graphical User Interface design and he mentioned working on a system over the summer break in Huntsville, Al that had over 20 different visual representations of independent variables. I was working on biological programming (DNA analysis and such) and he thought I would find the information useful. He was describing the logic they used to come up with the different graphics (color, line length, line width, etc) when a question hit me.

    "Hey Doc, why would someone in Huntsville, Al specifically need to see over 20 independent variables in action?"
    "Well," he answered slowly, "There are many uses for such an interface."
    "At the Jet Propulsion Labs in Huntsville? (I guessed) You wouldn't by chance be working with the government trying to shoot down missiles would you?" I asked with a knowing smile.
    His entire demeanor changed. "I am not at liberty to discuss such matters any further with you."
    "But that IS what you were trying to do, right?"
    He cut me off, "AND, I have to inform you that if you ask any more questions, I am required by law to report you to the FBI. We can discuss the logic, but not the spefics."

    He was a pretty cool guy and was very nice about it, but it was still a little disconcerting.

  7. So technology will never advance? We will never be able to hit the missile, the President knows because he is Martain Sheen. This show is written for brain dead libs, they love it.

  8. One of the best West Wing episodes ever. And the thing is that US Missile Defence still cant blast down a Russian ICBM or SLBM if it was even trying to save itself

  9. The first time i saw that wen Bartlett said The words you're looking for are oh good grief i was dying laughing the whole scene was pure gold.

  10. Knew some missile techs while I was in the Navy. They had very articulate ways of describing the difficulty of this exact scenario, even with tech 20 years ahead of this.

  11. So, let me do the math. The intercept was supposed to happen in "outer space" (17 miles above the earth's surface, which is still not "outer space" [the SR-71 flew higher than that]), and the kill vehicle missed by 137 miles. So, in summary, would it have been closer had it never left the ground?

  12. I thought this was funny as hell. And, pretty perceptive of how advances in offense will always pass defensive efforts. Maybe I read too many comics.

  13. And now that North Korea has nuclear weapons and missile technology to actually deliver a nuke to our doorstep…this is what the Democrats want now.  Strange how the cycle has changed 180 degrees.  Kind of like how they were bloviating 10 years ago about the need for increased border security and a wall, but don't need it now?…hmmm.

  14. There was always such a great dynamic between these two. So often Leo had the upper hand in terms of knowledge and gently (usually) guiding Jed – this was a nice reversal to see Jed with the clearly superior role in the conversation.

  15. Funny episode, but it falls into the then wide spread belief that it's impossible to "but a bullet with a bullet." The TAAD system while not perfect is good enough to be deployed. No weapons system will ever be perfect except the ones that are never used

  16. I would cried out "You BLOCKHEADS!!" which is one of the reasons I'm not in the Pentagon…or the oval office, or in ANY office.

  17. This is where Leo takes the SECDEF, USAFMC commander, DARPA, and project manager into the other room and spank them all.

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