June 24, 2009
from AntiFascist Website
As the American republic's long death-spiral continues apace, newer and ever more insidious technologies usher us towards an age of high-tech barbarism.
"Nothing special" that is, until you took a closer look. What you then discovered was another quintessentially American innovation, all the more chilling for its bland ubiquity.
A silent, hovering sentinel linking commerce and repression; a perfect trope for our ersatz democracy.
"It doesn't have that Big Brother feel" and yet here, as elsewhere, the
"feelings of invasiveness" are implicit, unseen, invisible, the securitized
DNA giving form and structure to the Empire's "new normal."
Known as RAID (Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment) the system is kitted-out with "electro-optic infrared, radar, flash and acoustic detectors."
According to the firm, some 300 have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The same military version, as Newsweek reported and Raytheon confirmed,
Indeed Charles Burns, the director of Corporate Security for the Indy Racing League said in the company's press release:
Along with a suite of sensors and high resolution video cameras, RAID's digitized mapping tools are similar to those developed for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
In tandem with a preprogrammed mapping grid of the target location,
the system can scan a wide area and relay video clips to a
centralized command center.
agency along with its "sister" organization, the National
Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the
super-secret agency that develops and flies America's fleet of spy
satellites are also among the most heavily-outsourced departments in
the so-called Intelligence Community.
Self-described as a,
Since its formation, USGIF has expanded to some 154 companies and state agencies and has
an annual budget that exceeds $1 million.
Additionally, niche companies such as,
In this context, the public roll-out of RAID is all the more pressing for securocrats and the companies they serve since Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano,
That program, the National Applications Office (NAO) was first announced by the Bush regime in 2007 and was mired in controversy from the get-go.
As Antifascist Calling reported last year, NAO would coordinate how domestic law enforcement and "disaster relief" agencies such as FEMA utilize GEOINT and imagery intelligence (IMINT) generated by U.S. spy satellites.
But as with other
security schemes there was little in the way of oversight and zero
concern for the rights of the American people.
Chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee's
Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment
subcommittee, Harman introduced legislation earlier this month that
would have shut down NAO immediately while prohibiting the agency
from spending money on NAO or similar programs.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Napolitano reached a decision to cut NAO off at the knees,
Perhaps those "pressing priorities" could be better served by a
low-key approach, say the deployment of a system such as RAID? After
all, what's so threatening about a blimp?
Nathan Kennedy, Raytheon's project manager for the spy blimp told the publication,
While the company refuses to divulge what this intrusive system might actually cost cash-strapped localities drastically cutting social services for their citizens as America morphs into a failed state, municipalities,
Raytheon claims that local authorities fearful of succumbing to what I'd call a dreaded,
As conceived by the agency, ISIS will be a high-altitude
autonomous airship built for the U.S. Air Force that can operate at
70,000 feet and stay aloft for a decade.
Operating six miles above the earth's surface, well out of range of
surface-to-air missiles, the airship will be some 450 feet long,
powered by hydrogen fuel cells and packed with electronic
surveillance gear and radar currently being field-tested by
Under Bush regime holdover, Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, the military plans to leverage America's technological
advantage to improve intelligence and surveillance capabilities at
the expense of over-inflated big ticket items such as the F-22
Raptor or new Navy destroyers.
But military might and technological preeminence, however formidable, represented by the Pentagon's quixotic quest for total "situational awareness" promised by platforms such as ISIS and RAID, will no more ameliorate the Empire's extreme political weakness than putting a band-aid over a gangrenous lesion changes the outcome for a dying patient.