Space-Based Domestic Spying: Kicking Civil Liberties to the Curb by Tom Burghardt

Dandelion Salad

by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, November 9, 2008
Antifascist Calling

Last month, I reported that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) space-based domestic spy program run by that agency’s National Applications Office (NAO) had gone live October 1.

Federal Computer Week reports that Charles Allen, DHS’ Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis, told the 5th annual GEOINT Symposium on geospatial intelligence in Nashville late last month that, “DHS’ imagery requirements are significantly greater, in number and scope, than they were at the department’s creation, and will continue to grow at an accelerating rate as the department’s mission-space evolves.”

Indeed during Hurricane Ike, U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the first time flew the Predator B unmanned aerial vehicle in “support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s relief efforts,” the insider tech publication reported.

As readers are well aware, the Predator B carries out “targeted assassinations” of “terrorist suspects” across Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. The deployment of the robotic killing machines in the United States for “disaster management” is troubling to say the least and a harbinger of things to come.

Despite objections by Congress and civil liberties groups DHS, in close collaboration with the ultra-spooky National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that develops and maintains America’s fleet of military spy satellites, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) that analyzes military imagery and generates mapping tools, are proceeding with the first phase of the controversial domestic spying program.

NAO will coordinate how domestic law enforcement and “disaster relief” agencies such as FEMA will use satellite imagery intelligence (IMINT) generated by military spy satellites. As I wrote earlier this year, unlike commercial satellites, their military cousins are far more flexible, have greater resolution and therefore possess more power to monitor human activity.

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Space Wars – Coming to the Sky Near You?

Dandelion Salad
By Theresa Hitchens
After Downing Street
Scientific American
February 18, 2008

A recent shift in U.S. military strategy and provocative actions by china threaten to ignite a new arms race in space. But would placing weapons in space be in anyone’s national interest?

“Take the high ground and hold it!” has been standard combat doctrine for armies since ancient times. Now that people and their machines have entered outer space, it is no surprise that generals the world over regard Earth orbit as the key to modern warfare. But until recently, a norm had developed against the weaponization of space—even though there are no international treaties or laws explicitly prohibiting nonnuclear anti­satellite systems or weapons placed in orbit. Nations mostly shunned such weapons, fearing the possibility of destabilizing the global balance of power with a costly arms race in space.

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Real-Life Star Wars: The Militarization of Space by Stan Cox

Dandelion Salad

by Stan Cox
Global Research, November 19, 2007
Alternet.org – 2007-11-15

Last January 11, a missile launched from China’s Xichang Space Center destroyed a satellite 537 miles above the Earth’s surface. Although the target was a weather satellite belonging to China itself (shot down ostensibly because it was obsolete), the act clearly rattled the U.S. space establishment.

Said one observer, The new space policy says we can defend the heavens with technology. But we can’t, and the Chinese just proved it.”

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