Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Big Brother's Big Boondoggle

This weekend, I was able to see Why We Fight (realplayer version available here), the 2005 Cannes Grand Jury Prize winning documentary. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it as it explains the reasons we have gone to war, not just in Iraq, but in every military excursion of the last half century.(Go watch it now. I'll be here when you're done)
The rise of communism following the end of WWII gave an oppurtunity for the growth of the military-industrial complex, the enforcer arm of the corpocracy. It has since tightened it's grip on the Congress, buying candidates who shovel money back into the companies which then open factories creating jobs in the congressperson's district. It was a good scam, allowing the US to outspend all other counntries combined. But alas, it was too good, and communism fell. How to justify immense defense spending now?
The neocons had a plan, they knew that the one thing, aside from blood and money, that feeds the war machine is oil. Unfortunately, we are depleting our own oil supplies as the world heads into peak oil. The bulk of the world's remaining supply is in a region of our planet hostile to and wary of US duplicity. In order to rebuild and recast America as the world's only remaining superpower, we needed to guarantee unfettered access to that oil. All we needed to get the American television-watcher behind their nefarious scheme was, as they clearly put it, a "New Pearl Harbor".
Fast forward to 2001, and the neocons are in the White House, with the means and ability to implement their grand design, when all of a sudden, they get their "New Pearl Harbor". Coincidence? I'll leave that up to you to decide, but somewhere someone gets a better idea. Homeland security.
The difference between the USSR and alQaeda is the USSR and the US only fought proxy wars, we never confronted them head to head. Although the prospect of nuclear annihilation at the hands of the Soviets loomed over our heads through out most of our formative years ( great to use as an excuse to get stoned or get someone in the sack :"We could all be nuked tomorrow so let's live for today!"), we never were attacked on our own soil. That all changed. And somewhere, someone said, "Maybe we could use this to our advantage".
So we were urged to purchase duct tape and plastic sheeting. We were told that our mail, our electronic communications, even our bank accounts needed to be constantly monitored, because now the presumption of innocence has been replaced by the presumption of guilt. We could all be aiding "the terrorists".
To aid in the constant surveillance of Americans, a new eapon has been introduced:the HAA, or High Altitude Airship, a $40 million ka-ching for Lockheed Martin, who are expanding their work in defense to include spying on American citizens. What does the HAA do? According to the Athens News:
It is essentially another blimp. A giant one. Seventeen times the size of the Goodyear dirigible.It's designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. It will be powered by solar energy, and will stay in a geocentric orbit for up to a year, undetectable by ground-based radar. You can't see it from the ground. But it can see you...

According to a summary released by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the HAA can watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter. That's everything between Toledo and New York City. And they want to build 11. With high-res cameras, that could mean constant surveillance of every square inch of American soil. "If you had a fleet of them, this could be used for border surveillance," suggests Dunlap.

So there you have it, the latest niche for the corpocracy to exploit. You can sleep better at night knowing that your tac dollars are being used to watch you. Constantly. And as long as there's money to be made spying on it's own people, you can rely on the people who have come up with creative ways to kill you to invent creative ways to watch you, forever.


Peacechick Mary said...

Excellent post, Lews. I'll go watch the movie tomorrow. Gotta go to bed now and try not to dream of big blimpy things hanging overhead. On the silly side, they never counted on the big bottles of shampoo threat.

Anonymous said...

It is a great show. they played it at the downtown theater in Fargo. Have you ever seen the Power of Nightmare? It is a three part doc. that they showed in the UK (and I think they aired it in Canada as well). you can download it for free
I don't believe you can buy it anywhere. It is really worth a watch. some great footage and it has some of the best info on the rise of Islamic extremism.

sumo said...

The blimp is really Karl Rove up there watching over us...heh!

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RoseCovered Glasses said...

USA Today reported on 16 January 2007 in its Washington Section that the CIA plans to utilize more open sources and blogs in its intelligence work and outsource more of its intelligence software development to commercial contractors in an attempt to re-establish itself as the premiere world intelligence agency.

The "Strategic Intent" is posted on the CIA public web site. Defense Industry Daily further reports that General Electric is gobbling up Smith's Industries for $4.8B.


Let's look at this for a moment and do our patriotic duty by reading along with the CIA (after all, they have announced they are reading this blog)

1. The new CIA approach comes exactly at the formation of the agency’s new "External Advisory Board", which consists of the following:

* A former Pentagon Chairman of the Joints Chief who is now a Northrop Grumman Corporation Board Member

* A deposed Chairman of the Board of Hewlett Packard Corporation (HP)

* A Former Deputy Secretary of Defense who now heads up a Washington think tank with Henry Kissinger

2. Northrop Grumman Corporation and Hewlett Packard are two huge government contractors in the Pentagon and CIA custom software development arena. Their combined contracts with the government just for IT are in the multiples of millions. I wonder what the advisory board is filling the CIA's ear with?

3. Washington "Think Tanks" are fronts for big time lobbies, sophisticated in their operations, claiming non-partisanship, but tremendously influential on K Street. If a lobby cannot buy its way in, why not sit on the advisory board?

4. GE already has the military aircraft jet engine market. In buying Smith's, it takes one more major defense corporation out of the opposition and further reduces the government's leverage through competition. GE now joins the other monoliths such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon with tremendous leverage in the $500B +++ per year defense market.

5. Note the synergy that now exists between the Pentagon and the CIA. Note the influence by the major corporations.

6. Also note the balance in your bank account and your aspirations for the generations of the future. Both are going down.

7. The huge Military Industrial Complex (MIC) continues to march. Taxes and national debt will be forced to march straight up the wall to support it. Do you have any "Intelligence” to offer the Pentagon, the CIA and the MIC? For further inspiration please see:


Anonymous said...

seen it - why we fight -- excellent

the military industrial complex is the reason that we haven't been able to shrug this war-playing yet...

we need to convert all the military complex jobs to peace time jobs in order for it to fully turn-around...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Lews. I'll go watch the movie tomorrow.

I agree with Peacechick. I've had 'Why We Fight' on my Netflix list for a while now. Time to move it up I think.

Anonymous said...

"U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command..."the military industrial complex"

Sigh. How did I end up in the belly of the beast?

Anonymous said...

Another great post, Lew. I'm glad Netflix carries this film. Watching movies on my computer screen gives me a headache.

You know, I've often made snarky remarks about the lack of brainpower in the Bush administration, but you gotta give them credit where credit's due. They're making money hand over fist off this war at our expense. We're the real dummies - or at least those among us who voted for them.

Snave said...

My god, wouldn't it be nice if we could elect some people who would make war profiteering a punishable crime...

I think AZGoddess is on the right track. Let's see what can be done to convert a lot of the military complex focus onto peacetime activities.