Thursday, December 18, 2014

Surveillance Blimps are Big Brother's Eye in the Sky


The laundry list of gross injustices that have been perpetrated upon the American people by Emperor Barack Obama is long and growing by the day. While most of the sound and fury will be directed at Dear Leader’s stunning surprise 'normalization' of relations with Cuba the corrupt media continues to ignore the most enduring damage of all. That would be the vast expansion of the surveillance state under the Obama regime.

The NSA Stasi has engaged in an unprecedented attack on civil liberties and privacy rights by conducting warrantless spying and data-mining on millions of law-abiding American citizens. The mass surveillance should be as much as an outrage as Obama’s use of the IRS to go after political enemies and both are common traits of a totalitarian fascist state. Go and read up on some accounts of Stalin's Russia in the early years, the similarities are downright eerie.

Now get ready for Big Brother’s eye in the sky with the rollout of giant surveillance blimps in the domestic United States. As reported by the website The Intercept in a story entitled “Billion Dollar Surveillance Blimp to Launch Over Maryland”:

In just a few days, the Army will launch the first of two massive blimps over Maryland, the last gasp of an 18-year-long $2.8-billion Army project intended to use giant airships to defend against cruise missiles.

And while the blimps may never stave off a barrage of enemy missiles, their ability to spot and track cars, trucks and boats hundreds of miles away is raising serious privacy concerns.

The project is called JLENS – or “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System.” And you couldn’t come up with a better metaphor for wildly inflated defense contracts, a ponderous Pentagon bureaucracy, and the U.S. surveillance leviathan all in one.

Built by the Raytheon Company, the JLENS blimps operate as a pair. One provides omnipresent high-resolution 360-degree radar coverage up to 340 miles in any direction; the other can focus on specific threats and provide targeting information.

Technically considered aerostats, since they are tethered to mooring stations, these lighter-than-air vehicles will hover at a height of 10,000 feet just off Interstate 95, about 45 miles northeast of Washington, D.C., and about 20 miles from Baltimore. That means they can watch what’s happening from North Carolina to Boston, or an area the size of Texas.

The JLENS program is the latest expansion of the high-tech Orwellian surveillance state and as it has been since the government went totally rogue after September 11, 2001 the two things that are certain is that there will be no oversight and it will all be top secret. The Army Times confirms the launching of the spy blimps in an AP story from their website “Army's blimp-like airships get East Coast test” which quotes Major General Glen Bramhall who is commander of the 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense. The General offers the reassuring words that: "the mission is not to spy on U.S. citizens. It is not designed for that".  Considering the information already available about NSA-FBI surveillance programs I would no sooner believe General Bramhall than I would buy a used car from former NSA boss Keith Alexander or any other of the big government apparatchik.

It has taken many years but it is now clear that George Orwell was an optimist.