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Saturday, July 14, 2012

"I Count The Bodies And Watch The Funerals"

A Drone Pilot Speaks Out

Robert Johnson | Jun. 9, 2012, 8:18 AM


There are two sides to President Obama's semi-secret drone war.
On the one hand Obama did exactly what he said he would by using drones to strike al Qaeda operatives where they live — international borders be damned. On the other hand the program has been shrouded in secrecy. Until now.


The drone pilots are now civilians, but most were former Air Force pilots who took offense at the notion they were armchair warriors so far removed from their mission that they felt nothing at all about the death and destruction they caused.
Klaidman says the lead pilot blew up on Koh and said:

“I used to fly my own air missions. I dropped bombs, hit my target load, but had no idea who I hit. Here I can look at their faces. I watch them for hours, see these guys playing with their kids and wives. When I get them alone, I have no compunction about blowing them to bits. But I wouldn’t touch them with civilians around. After the strike, I see the bodies being carried out of the house. I see the women weeping and in positions of mourning. That’s not PlayStation; that’s real. My job is to watch after the strike too. I count the bodies and watch the funerals. I don’t let others clean up the mess.”

Article quotes the new book:
Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency
by Daniel Klaidman

Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantánamo, put an end to coercive interrogation and military tribunals, and restore American principles of justice, yet in his first term he has backtracked on each of these promises, ramping up the secret war of drone strikes and covert operations. Behind the scenes, wrenching debates between hawks and doves—those who would kill versus those who would capture—have repeatedly tested the very core of the president’s identity.

Top investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a riveting Washington story packed with revelations. As the president’s inner circle debated secret programs, new legal frontiers, and the disjuncture between principles and down-and-dirty politics, Obama vacillated, sometimes lashed out, and spoke in lofty tones while approving a mounting toll of assassinations and kinetic-war operations. Klaidman’s fly-on-the-wall reporting reveals who has his ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama. Readers making up their minds about him during the 2012 election year will turn to Kill or Capture to decide.

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T H E   U L T I M A T E   S I N

2009 - 2047

See Figure 10 = Page 50


The final portfolio step leverages a fully autonomous capability, swarming, and Hypersonic technology to put the enemy off balance by being able to almost instantaneously create effects throughout the battlespace. Technologies to perform auto air refueling, automated maintenance, automatic target engagement, hypersonic flight and swarming would drive changes arose DOTMLPF-P spectrum. The end result would be a revolution in the role of humans in warfare.

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See Page 59:  POLICY: The National Defense Authorization Act FY09

c.  Identify technical, procedural, and policy solutions to achieve the increasing and ultimately routine access of such systems into the
 National Airspace System.

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WH rejects requests for
'targeted killing' papers


Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has rejected requests from The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union seeking information about its "targeted killing" program against suspected terrorists, saying the release of the requested documents would harm national security.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Times and the ACLU sought records regarding the legal justifications for the alleged U.S. government killing of U.S. citizens and others associated with al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

In a court document filed late Wednesday in New York in response to an ACLU lawsuit, the Justice Department said that "even to describe the numbers and details of most of these documents would reveal information that could damage the government's counterterrorism efforts."

The administration said the information requested is "highly classified," even though details of such operations have been leaked to the media.

"For example, whether or not the United States government conducted the particular operations that led to the deaths of Anwar al-Awlaki and the other individuals named in the FOIA requests remains classified," the government wrote. The U.S.-born al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September.


8 Creepy Spy Technologies That Can Be
Hitched to Your Neighborhood Drones

America's cities may soon be swarming with surveillance drones equipped with high-tech snooping tools.


AlterNet has assembled an incomplete list of spy technologies and surveillance programs, military and civilian, that can take to the air on drones. Here are eight things that could potentially be strapped to the UAV that may be flying over your head in the next few years.

1. WiFi and phone hacking: The Wireless Aerial Surveillance Platform (WASP) can break into WiFi networks and hack cell phones, according to Forbes. Jerry-rigged from an old army drone by two former military network security analysts, the spy plane comes with a Linux system and dictionary to help generate password-cracking words.

Plus, its antennas mimic cell phone towers, allowing the machine, allegedly, to tap into cell phone conversations and access text messages. "Ideally, the target won’t even know he’s being spied on,” one of the designers told Forbes.



2. NYPD sensor that sees through clothes: The NYPD, which is not known for its cautious approach to the use of surveillance, announced recently that it was perfecting a sensor that uses radiation to reveal weapons hidden under a person's clothes. The technology can clearly be put to good use, diffusing dangerous situations and saving lives. But as NYCLU director Donna Lieberman said in a statement, it would be helpful if the NYPD shared what the surveillance can do and its intentions for using it: “We have no idea how this technology works, if it is effective, and what its error rate is. If the NYPD is moving forward with this, the public needs more information about this technology, how it works and the dangers it presents."



3. Biometrics: Advances in facial recognition, iris scans and other identifying biometric markers are speeding along, with both police departments and federal agencies juicing up the biometrics industry by offering a welcoming market for its wares. This includes the MORIS device, spreading through police departments all over the country, which lets police capture iris scans and run image algorithms that can recognize a person from the geometry of his or her face. Biometrics like facial recognition (and eventually iris scans) are a natural fit for aerial vehicles, as camera zoom and image quality continue to improve.



4. Video analytics: The video analytics industry seeks to develop systems that can analyze and interpret data. So instead of a stream of raw footage, the camera itself can perform searches for people and objects of interest. One example is LPR readers that can read license plates and run them against a database, helping match identity and track location. Those are already in use all over the world, and more sophisticated forms of video analytics have also started to creep into metro areas. Chicago, which bears the honor of being called the most surveilled city in America by Michael Chertoff, has cameras that can track specific people or cars as they move around the city, according to the ACLU of Illinois (PDF).



5. Sense-through-the-wall (STTW) technology: For about a decade various branches of the military have been working to create sensors that can penetrate walls. DARPA's Visibuilding project is working on "surveillance capabilities to detect personnel within buildings, to determine building layouts, and to locate weapons caches and shielded enclosures within buildings," according to the DARPA site. The US Army's research arm (CERDEC) has also developed technology that can sense behind walls.



6. ARGUS-IS, the 100-eyed giant: The military's ARGUS-IS (Autonomous Real-Time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System) endows the A-160 Hummingbird, one of the military's newest, fanciest drones, with the power to stake out 36 miles of land from one spot. The sensors can absorb 80 years worth of footage in a single day, using 65 video screens capable of tracking different locations, according to Wired.



7. Gorgon Stare: The Gorgon Stare is similar to ARGUS-IS, except that it's named after a monster that can turn people to stone, rather than merely a giant with 100 all-seeing eyes. Hitched to Reaper drones, Gorgon Stare is supposed to collect information from an entire small town or city and send data to troops in the field and to ground stations for deeper analysis. "Gorgon Stare will be looking at a whole city, so there will be no way for the adversary to know what we're looking at, and we can see everything," an Air Force general told the Washington Post.



8. Wide Area Aerial Surveillance System (WAASS): ARGUS-IS and Gorgon Stare are planned for Afghanistan, but as Wired reported in January, the Department of Homeland Security has inquired about a similar system that can scan large swathes of land in the US. The agency has solicited industry feedback on the possibility of a surveillance system that does the following:

The primary objective of WAASS is to provide persistent, long-term surveillance over urban and rural terrain at least the size of 16 km2. The surveillance system shall have an electro-optical capability for daylight missions but can have an infrared capability for day or night operations. The sensor shall integrate with an airborne platform for data gathering. The imagery data shall be displayed at a DHS operations center and have the capability for forensic analysis within 36 hours of the flight.


As Spencer Ackerman points out, "If it’s starting to sound reminiscent of the spy tools the military has used in Iraq and Afghanistan, it should." 

EPA Drones Now Spying On Midwest
Farmers Livestock Activity

 Posted by Alexander Higgins    - June 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Congress has launched an inquiry into the EPA’s use of drones to monitor the
livestock activities of farmers in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.

In the latest escalation of the government’s all out assault on freedom and liberty in America farmers have become the latest target Uncle Sam’s multibillion dollar spy-machine.

The EPA is now using the same drones the military uses to track and assassinate people overseas to spy on the livestock activities of farmers throughout the Section 7 area of the midwest United States which includes Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and  Missouri.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is demanding answers about privacy and other concerns from EPA Director Lisa Jackson who defends the practice as cost-effective.

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MORE Article Here ~~~~~~~~~>

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