Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Fascists Love Their Sky Toys


Powerful Senators Demand Giant Spy Blimp

"It’s a story so convoluted, only Washington could serve it up. Eighteen months ago, the Pentagon’s chief ordered the Air Force to start building a king-sized blimp that could spy on whole Afghan villages at once. That blimp is almost ready for flight testing. But the Air Force doesn’t want to deploy the thing, for reasons both sensible and not. So now a pair of influential senators are demanding that the Air Force send the blimp to the skies above the warzone.

“We believe it would be a significant failure to stop work and not deploy this much needed platform to Afghanistan,” Senators Thad Cochran and Daniel Ionuye complain in a Feb. 14 letter to Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (.pdf), obtained by Danger Room.

Just two small problems. These senators, though powerful, are pretty famous on Capitol Hill for backing some rather wacky and useless projects. Oh, and there’s a second giant spy blimp that is also scheduled for a flight test soon, and also promised to the generals in Afghanistan.

The airship that’s attracted the senators’ attention is known as Blue Devil Block 2. At 370 feet long and 1.4 million cubic feet fat, it is one of the largest blimps built in this country since World War II. All that size allows it to stay in the air for days at a time at 20,000 feet. And it enables the airship to carry an enormous array of cameras and eavesdropping gear — enough to keep tabs on at least four square kilometers at a time. No other singular eye in the sky could track insurgents for so far around."

Guess who it's eventually going to spy on?

"Most importantly, the Air Force insisted that the Federal Aviation Administration certify the blimp — since the thing had the option for a man in the cockpit, and since it was going to have to fly over the United States, at least in tests."


Blogger purrlgurrl said...

So, ya gotta wonder how much in campaign cotributions flows from this defense contractor's wallet into the pockets of these two "public servents" and how much of the work building this floating boondoggle is done in their home states.

4/4/12 6:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Good observation. Politics are so miserably corrupt but it's more than that. The vile corruption is in service to a nascent neo fascist thugocracy, smiling away at us.

4/4/12 7:44 AM  

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