Friday, May 05, 2006

CNN's Jamie McIntyre is an incompetent buffoon 
Here's CNN Senior Pentagon Correspondent Jamie McIntyre, commenting on Zarqawi's inability to fire a captured M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

"This weapon is an American weapon. It's called a SAW, or Squad Automatic Weapon. It's a very heavy machine gun which has a very heavy trigger. It's not easy to fire, and in fact it might be quite understandable that anyone - even someone with weapons experience - wasn't familiar with this particular weapon might have trouble firing off more than one shot at a time."

Jamie MacIntyre, friends, is an incompetent buffoon. There's no way around it. This short paragraph has a number of glaring factual errors which are obvious to anyone with even a modicum of weapons experience.

In fact, the ONLY thing that McIntyre got right was that it's an American weapon called a Squad Automatic Weapon. That's it. Everything else is 180 degrees wrong:

1. There is nothing heavy about the SAW. It is the only commonly fielded machine gun in the US inventory (other than a machine pistol) that is small and light enough to be manned and operated by one soldier, not two. The next heaviest gun in the US inventory, the M240B, is considered a "crew-served weapon," and and is considered a 'light machine gun."

The M240B is substantially heavier than the SAW, fires a much larger cartridge (the SAW fires the same 5.56mm round as the M16, while the 240B fires a 7.62.

The SAW is the only belt-fed, fully automatic weapon commonly fielded in the Army's inventory that can be fired from the shoulder in a pinch. The M240B light machine gun cannot.

There is nothing "heavy" then, about the M249 SAW. If the 240B is a light machine gun (and it is) then the SAW must be considered a sub-light or ultra-light machine gun - if it is considered a machine gun at all. More properly, it is generally considered an automatic rifle, and generally used as such, except when it is used with a tripod and T&E (traverse and elevation mechanism.)

2. If the SAW cannot be described as a "heavy machine gun," then it certainly cannot be described as a "very heavy machine gun." The only thing the intensifier intensifies is the ignorance of the correspondent.

3. "It's not easy to fire."

Fact: When properly assembled, the M249 SAW is just as easy to fire as an M16 or any other fielded weapon. In fact, judging from the number of accidental discharges the M249 SAW generates, it can be argued that the weapon is TOO easy to fire.

4. "It has a very heavy trigger pull"

Fact: It's not too heavy for a 5 foot, four inches, 120-pound woman. In fact, it's no heavier than the trigger pressure required to fire an M16. The spring mechanism in the trigger assembly is roughly the the same size and tension as the M16.

5. "Even someone with weapons experience - wasn't familiar with this particular weapon might have trouble firing off more than one shot at a time."

False. The M249 does not even have a semiautomatic selector. You CAN'T fire one shot off at a time unless you are a pussy who's so frightened by the weapon that you take your finger off the trigger immediately, or you're an idiot who doesn't have the God-given sense to clean it once in a while. Otherwise, the M249 will fire continuously as long as you keep your finger depressing the trigger.

Now, this man with such careless disregard for factual accuracy, this man who's fundamental ignorance of one of the most common weapons in the Army, after the US has been engaged in infantry wars for 5 and a half years, is CNNs SENIOR Pentagon correspondent.

I'm frightened to reflect on how ignorant our junior correspondents are.

I don't know how CNN recruits and retains its correspondents on the Pentagon beat. But obviously competence is not a criteria. After all, the former CNN Pentagon correspondent Wolf Blitzer thought a Humvee would have withstood a shape charge better than a 31 ton armored vehicle -- and he's got his own show.

If this guy can't be bothered to do a little homework after 5 and a half years, he needs to be fired or kicked back to cover the Little League World Series - along with the producers who tolerate this appalling lack of quality.

I mean, geez...it's one thing not to know. But clearly, this correspondent isn't only incompetent about the basic facts on his own beat, but he was too stupid, lazy, or careless to bother ASKING someone who might know what he was talking about, before he went on TV to spread bad information to hundreds of thousands of viewers.

No wonder CNN is getting its ass kicked by Fox News. It deserves to.

McIntyre needs to go.

Editors, when are you going to stop making idiots of yourselves and get some veterans in the newsroom?

Splash, out


Hat tip: Confederate Yankee

UPDATE: The New York Times refers to the weapon as a "heavy automatic rifle."

Hmmm. Automatic rifle is ok. But heavy?

ROFLMAO. Thanks for the buffoonery alert. I would point out that the M240 is a medium machine gun, though.

Maybe Jamie was confused and was thinking of the M2, which is a heavy machine gun and does have a single shot capability. Not!
Not to mention the concern about making excuses for the enemy. Here we see an example of an incompetent enemy, and CNN wants to make sure that he doesn't appear as bad as he really is. Who does CNN want to win this war?
Yeah, I didn't think too much of the "making excuses" angle. If I thought it was true, I'd point it out myself. I'm more interested in reporting facts than anything else, and if it were, indeed, the case that the weapon was notoriously tricky or difficult to fire, then that would be relevant.

It doesn't do any good to report that Zarqawi is a weaponry novice if he isn't. Of course, it also doesn't do any good to imply that Zarqawi is better with weapons than he is.

At any rate, if the weapon had a double feed problem, any idiot ought to be able to open the feed tray, yank back the charging handle, and extract the round or stuck brass. That's just basic.

Yes, I know the M240 is billed as a "medium machine gun."

If the M240 is medium, I'm the queen of Prussia.

The fact is that the M240 fires the same round and serves the same function on the battlefield as the M60 machine gun - which was considered a light machine gun.

The only thing heavier about the 240 is its weight, and nothing else. It's just a little bit harder to lug around in the boonies.

I would consider a light machine gun to be a crew-served weapon that is a single-man carry suitable for light infantry operations, which is almost always mounted on a tripod, even in the offense.

The M249, even though it is tripod capable, is not generally used in this role. People don't do crew drills with an M249. It is an individual weapon.

I would reserve the term "Medium Machine Gun" for something like the M2 .50 Caliber. It is man-portable in a pinch, but it is a two-man carry. A third man must carry the tripod. If used by dismounts, it must be reassembled on the objective. It is, however, such a pain in the ass, that you wouldn't want to do it if you didn't have to.

The round is capable of penetrating an engine block, and its penetrating power is an order of magnitude greater than that of the 7.62 and similar rounds.

It does not fulfill the same function on the battlefield at all as the M60 and other light machine guns. One does not replace the other - it is a very different spectrum of capability.

Weapons of this caliber are effective anti aircraft weapons, and massed .50 cal fire have been observed to bring down F4 Phantoms flying low-level CAS (cf., for example, Souy Cut, 1-2 January 1968 - a little-known but deadly engagement dramatized at the end of the movie Platoon.)

I would reserve the title "Heavy Machine Gun" for weapons such as the M242 Bushmaster, which is the main gun on a Bradley. This gun is capable of penetrating most Russian armored vehicles.

Another example would be the Mk 30 30mm chain gun, which comes as a standard feature on the AH-64 Apache.

It is chain operated, rather than gas-operated, and is always mounted.

The differences in mounting, portability, usage - and at the medium-heavy level, cyclical operation, are clear.

So I'm not buying the notion that the M240 is a medium machine gun. If the M60 was light, (And the M34 back in the WWII German army, from to which all these guns owe a lot), then so is the M240.

The M60 is a medium machine gun as well in US Army speak (which is why it's classified under the medium machine gun team).


This is the reason why so many people were upset when the SAW was introduced as a potential replacement for the M60 - replacing a MMG (7.62mm) with a LMG (5.56mm) didn't make sense in most cases.
Who does CNN want to win this war?

Ken, they want anybody but Bush to win.
New York Times defends Zarqawi here.

They sent reporters out to FIND these opinions. As RantingProfs puts it:

"What in God's name is the motive for the US media to let Zarqawi off the hook here?"
Boys, boys... The SAW is not 7.62, unless it's been retooled since I was a battery commander. The SAW is 5.56 and can use M16 magazines in a pinch. It most certainly is lighter than the M60. I saw a briefing right after the incident memorialized in "Blackhawk Down" in which the Ranger commander in Somalia decried the SAW as being way too light. His unit dug up M60's to replace the vehicle-mounted SAWs they had because the SAW would not penetrate the mud/adobe/cinderblock walls of the buildings the Somalis would snipe at convoys from, but the M60 would.
tbrosz - the NYTwits are citing COL Mario Costagliola, who served with the 42nd ID, as some kind of authority on what constitutes good IO? I the guy's name doesn't ring a bell, despite spending over a month working with the 42nd during their mobilization, so I don't know how he comes off as an expert. Maybe he's an expert because he can't fire the SAW, either. In any case, I certainly would never cite anyone from 42 ID as any kind of authority on the proper implementation of any kind of IO. And I'm in a position to know.

As for the other guys quoted, they all don't get it. They're looking at the video from how it plays to an American military audience. Those men are fools. They need to look at how this video can be portrayed to our advantage.

First, Zarqawi used this footage himself to portray himself as some kind of terrorist version of Rambo. We can use this video to completely undermine that attempted image.

Second, Z is sending other terrorists out against our troops to die. When they engage in firefights with our troops, they die. We can use this video to show that not only is Z sending others out to do the fighting for him, but he's incapable of engaging us himself. We need to use this to assault his manhood and his leadership.

Third, we need to attack him as the 'sheik' of the terrorists. How can a guy who can't even pull a trigger on a SAW without being afraid of it be considered a provider for his 'tribe'.

Finally, we can use it to explain why his most effective weapon is the cowardly use of IEDs - because if he's incapable of firing a weapon with any degree of skill, surely his cowardly soldiers can't do any better. That's why they sneak around in the dead of night like "ali babbas" planting booby traps that are as likely to kill children as they are to kill real soldiers.

We need not to overplay his idiocy lest it be used against us, we can certainly use it to undermine support for him.
Now just how do you supposed that CNN and the NYT put the same spin on this story ?
Heavy machine gun...

Heh, obviously the reporter never had to haul around a M2, M249, M60, or (as Jason commented above) hauled the freaking Bushmaster a half mile from my armsroom to the motorpool (the barrel alone weighs over a 100 lbs)..

The SAW only got heavy when I had to go on a road march. Otherwise it was easy to shoot, simple to clear, and was damned accurate.
"...too stupid, lazy, or careless to bother ASKING someone who might know what he was talking about"
Uh, what if he did ask someone? There's an even scarier thought.
That's just funny. Back in the day, when they first issued the SAWs, they had not pulled the M60's from the squads yet. (this was in Korea in the 1980's) Which meant we actually had too many weapons. But, the BC's order was that all automatic weapons would be fielded, which is how, I, as a platoon RTO, got to carry a SAW for 3 months. (and do both jobs).

It ain't that heavy, and sheesh, if Z didn't know how to clear the weapon, its pretty obvious that he doesn't use.

The whole thing was such a photo op, that I can't understand how anybody's defending the doofus, much less opining about the relative attributes of automatic weapons.
Jamie Macintyres opinion of a machine gun is irrelevant. He needs to practice on his lieing. He said he took pictures of the wings and fuselage of the huge plane that they claimed hit the pentagon. Where are those pictures?? We know, you cant take a picture of something that isn't there. This said 4 years after he admitted that there was nothing at the scene of the pentagon missle strike. Oh--I said missile, well thats what Donald Rumsfeld said to.
No wonder That close up picture of the cockpit did not come out on his camera.
ej -

Yeah, I saw that. I wondered too why he didn't haul out pictures. There was a picture shown of "fuselage" supposedly identified as coming from American Airlines which could've been twisted metal from anything comparable, as in a car, truck, etc.

And then I saw him again this morning on CNN talking with Joe Johns & Suzanne Malvau (sp)from Georgetown - and from his nonanswer (lying) to a question, I knew then...'just another MSM stooge collecting a paycheck from corporate media.'
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