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Why Is A Gigantic War-Blimp About To Fly Above the Skies Of Suburban Baltimore?

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

One of the most disturbing and relentless trends over the past several years has been the redirection of war technology and equipment from the battlefield abroad toward domestic use in the USA. This has resulted in a militarization of police across the nation and has encouraged small towns to use Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to purchase ridiculous items such as tanks.

Sadly, it appears this trend is only accelerating. With billions of dollars already spent, and failed wars abroad, the military-industrial complex needs to continue to generate cash flow. May as well just use it against the American people.

 

We find out from the Washington Post that:

They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above I-95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war.

 

The aerostats — that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground — are to be set aloft on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, near Aberdeen Proving Ground, for a three-year test slated to start in October. From a vantage of 10,000 feet, they will cast a vast radar net from Raleigh, N.C., to Boston and out to Lake Erie, with the goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft so they could be intercepted before reaching the capital.

Interesting, I didn’t realize we were at war. When was the last time cruise missiles were shot into the United States?

Aerostats deployed by the military at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan typically carried powerful surveillance cameras as well, to track the movements of suspected insurgents and even U.S. soldiers.

 

Defense contractor Raytheon last year touted an exercise in which it outfitted the aerostats planned for deployment in suburban Baltimore with one of the company’s most powerful high-altitude surveillance systems, capable of spotting individual people and vehicles from a distance of many miles.

 

The Army said it has “no current plans” to mount such cameras or infrared sensors on the aerostats or to share information with federal, state or local law enforcement, but it declined to rule out either possibility. The radar system that is planned for the aerostats will be capable of monitoring the movement of trains, boats and cars, the Army said.

“No Current plans.” What a bunch of assholes. You know they can’t wait to attach an ARGUS surveillance system to these puppies.

“That’s the kind of massive persistent surveillance we’ve always been concerned about with drones,” said Jay Stanley, a privacy expert for the American Civil Liberties Union. “It’s part of this trend we’ve seen since 9/11, which is the turning inward of all of these surveillance technologies.”

 

The Army played down such concerns in written responses to questions posed by The Washington Post, saying its goal is to test the ability of the aerostats to bolster the region’s missile-defense capability, especially against low-flying cruise missiles that can be hard for ground-based systems to detect in time to intercept them.

 

The Army determined it did not need to conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment, required for some government programs, because it was not going to collect any personally identifiable information, officials said in their written responses to The Post.

Did the FISA court rubber stamp this assessment?

Technologies developed for battlefields — weapons, vehicles, communications systems — long have flowed homeward as overseas conflicts have ended. The battles that followed the Sept. 11 attacks have produced major advances in surveillance equipment whose manufacturers increasingly are looking to expand their use within the United States.

 

Aerostats — basically big balloons on strings — grew popular in Iraq and Afghanistan and also are used by Israel to monitor the Gaza Strip and by the United States to eye movement along southern border areas. Even a rifle shot through an aerostat will not bring it down, because the pressure of the helium inside nearly matches the pressure of the air outside, preventing rapid deflation.

So equipment used to control people in war zones are coming to America and there’s nothing to be concerned about?

The Defense Department spent nearly $7 billion on 15 different lighter-than-air systems between 2007 and 2012, with several suffering from technical problems, delays and unexpectedly high costs, the Government Accountability Office found in an October 2012 report.

 

“They are bringing this to the East Coast, close to Washington, to get the Pentagon guys and Congress to say, ‘Whoa, we could really use this,’?” said Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute, a military think tank with ties to the defense industry. “This is re-purposing. You’ve already spent the money.”

Have fun Baltimore.

Full article here.

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Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:54 | 4359206 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Detecting cruise missles? For cripes sake now I've heard everything.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:59 | 4359219 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Welcome to Blimpmore, hon.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:08 | 4359271 pods
pods's picture

Can we paint the Eye of Sauron on the sides of it?

Can't wait to drive past that with the kids.

Dad, what is that?

"It's the government, spying on you. For your own good."

pods

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:14 | 4359298 Four chan
Four chan's picture

nice big target.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:16 | 4359304 Charles Nelson ...
Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

what.... those cans in your avatar or the blimp?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:20 | 4359328 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

HE!! IT'S THE STAR WARS PROJECT YOU'RE MOCKING!!

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH IT COST?
HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:57 | 4359500 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

Do they still use helium?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:26 | 4359617 Ranger_Will
Ranger_Will's picture

Coming to Los Angeles in 2019!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZNzz4SaTYk

"A new life awaits you in the off world colonies, the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure."

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:59 | 4359753 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

"Blade Runner" Best science fiction film ever! "I only do eyes, just eyes."

"I want more life, fucker!" Best movie line in history!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:03 | 4359767 Ranger_Will
Ranger_Will's picture

The originial line was actually 'father' not 'fucker.'  When the Final Cut version came out a couple years back it blew my mind. 

Apparently, 'fucker' had been dubbed in later.  Not sure which version I like better to be honest, both have pros and cons.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:42 | 4359929 Four chan
Four chan's picture

those of you who saw blade runner on vhs can thank me because i made it for you.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:13 | 4360408 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

When my daughter was 15 years old I sat down with her one Saturday night and played the Final Version for her. I explained a lot of the plot and things to look for during the movie. I explained to her that when that conversation took place, that the line "I want more life, fucker", was really the line that man would use if he ever confronted god and could ask why we were mortal. We would likley ask why we are not given more life.

For years others have copied everything about Blade Runner and tried to make similar movies or use similar settings for a sci fi movie. Nothing can touch Blade Runner for originality and thought provoking film making. The scene where he shoots the stripper as she runs through glass display windows in an attempt to escape was probably one of the best done scenes in modern movie making, the music, the visuals and the plot behind here killing all came together for an epic scene. There were others too, like th ending when Roy finally shuts down. Amazing stuff, one only wishes more quality like that would come back to hollywood movies.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 18:52 | 4360549 Taffy Lewis
Taffy Lewis's picture

When Roy Batty meets Chu he says to him: "if only you could have seen what I have seen with your eyes"; in the final scene, he says to Deckard "if only you could have seen what I have seen with my eyes"... He realizes at the end that he is just as human as anybody else.

 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 20:53 | 4360909 theprofromdover
theprofromdover's picture

Aaaahh, "Revel in your time, Roy"

 

Good advice that a lot of us might soon be considering.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:42 | 4359927 duo
duo's picture

There's been one of these near Marfa, TX for years, watching the border.  It's shown as a restricted area on aeronautical charts.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:30 | 4359647 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

USA...USA...USA....

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:12 | 4359285 Charles Nelson ...
Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

thank god we sold our house in South Baltimore over the summer.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:13 | 4359287 Looney
Looney's picture

We are exceptional!  ;-)

Looney

 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:51 | 4359462 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

And this is just a few weeks after we had the navy blimp overhead supposedly checking radiation levels. way too many blimps over bmore.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:05 | 4359539 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I can't believe nobody has said it:  Baltimoar!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:31 | 4359646 Waterfallsparkles
Waterfallsparkles's picture

No it is Balmore.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:07 | 4359269 Spanky
Spanky's picture

Perhaps they're worried about other countries' drones targetting terrorists in the DC - Hamptons corridor...

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:09 | 4359272 HelluvaEngineer
HelluvaEngineer's picture

That's some amazing 1930's technology right there.  What's one of those cost - about 2 billion each?  How much to dock it overnight at the Empire State building?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:14 | 4359291 nuclearsquid
nuclearsquid's picture

467 million, if you believe the article.  Our government builds a fucking blimp for half a billion... we are so screwed.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:01 | 4359760 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Imagine, In World War One the Germans built blimps 4 times bigger and could aford dozens of them to bomb England. Fast forward a century, and America takes a 1/2 billion to build a pussy ass blimp! Fuck, America is a doomed dieing state!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:03 | 4359774 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Not my government!

Protip: not yours either.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:52 | 4359961 KnightTakesKing
KnightTakesKing's picture

At $467 million it better be a steampunk blimp.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:28 | 4359318 GooseShtepping Moron
GooseShtepping Moron's picture

There once was a great man, John Reilly, a friend of mine; sadly he passed away a year and a half ago. He ran a blog and a message board called The Long View which was devoted to metahistorical topics. In his more jocular moods he would often remark that airships were a Fortean technology, the actual appearance of which indicates that history has gone off the Main Sequence.

It seems like he had a point.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:43 | 4359438 atomicwasted
atomicwasted's picture

Ah, just like the alternate Manhatan of "Fringe" where they had rockets but never figured out heavier than air flight.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:09 | 4359273 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Those pesky Canadacoms with their cruisemissles...

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:19 | 4359324 alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Correction, moosemissiles.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:23 | 4359620 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

I've seen the silos ... up there by Elsinore Brewery ...

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:48 | 4359709 Agent P
Agent P's picture

jelly donut comin'

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:22 | 4359339 stant
stant's picture

heisenberg omen, but it needs a iron cross

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:38 | 4359418 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Shoot the motherfuckers down..

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 13:51 | 4359468 HoofHearted
HoofHearted's picture

I didn't have a good reason to own a semi-automatic 50 BMG before now. But now I think there may be a good reason. Sure, one shot might not do much, but if I'm willing to spend $100 on 20 rounds with all the expensive optics, then just maybe....

Honey, I'm going to need a bigger gun safe.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 14:15 | 4359574 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Your BMG got a range > 10,000'?  Remember that it's 10k feet if you're directly below, more if not.  True Distance = cos(elevation)*Height

You're gonna need a bigger gun.

If we think outside the pillbox, it's always possible to get close enough to the Umbilical chord (near to its base station) with that BMG...

Basic Fighting/War Principles:  Analyze opponent, and ID all weak spots.  Exploit, plan and act accordingly.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:06 | 4359782 BeansMcGreens
BeansMcGreens's picture

Home built drones could get right up to it. Any angry enigineers without borders out there. They could make them look like the rebel fleet in the first Starwars.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:30 | 4360075 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

Or maybe just a well placed, well focused, parabolic mirror array........

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 23:25 | 4361468 XitSam
XitSam's picture

I assume they reel it out and back sometime. Like a WWI observation balloon.  Small drone with acid payload could make an annoying hole to repair.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:17 | 4359830 Overfed
Overfed's picture

A hobbyist's RC airplane could be used to defeat that. The police state is ever encroaching, and totally retarded.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:19 | 4359836 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

Even from directly below 50BMG wont make that distance.   

 

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:21 | 4359844 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

Hindenburg omen.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 16:29 | 4360066 ebear
ebear's picture

Oh, the humanity!

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 15:30 | 4359884 Wahooo
Wahooo's picture

BFTs - big fuckin' targets.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 17:14 | 4360224 midtowng
midtowng's picture

It' s a lot cheaper to destroy American by crushing its economy. Or buying its politicians.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 20:03 | 4360772 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"Its a Bird, No, a Plane, No a Blip, No its Governor Christie Flying into Baltimore!"

 

Fri, 01/24/2014 - 05:09 | 4361933 limit_less
limit_less's picture

Fitting in sound weapon to defeat invading infantry. Then you have heard everything.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:54 | 4359208 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

And the American public yawned at the ever encroaching police state.

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 12:58 | 4359217 OC Sure
OC Sure's picture

Their bread and circuses will keep them gazing at totem poles.

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