The DHS, affectionately called the “Ministry” here because it resembles something out of Orwell’s famous novel, wants to fit airports with ray guns. I kid you not. “The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider fitting high-power microwave electropulse rayguns at US airports, in order to defend against the threat of terrorists firing portable anti-aircraft missiles at airliners,” reports Lewis Page for The Register. “American defense heavyweight Raytheon would partner with Israel’s Rafael and Kongsberg of Norway to provide the technology, according to a report in Flight International. The proposed kit is known as ‘Vigilant Eagle’, and is competing for DHS securo-dollars with defensive systems that could be fitted to the airliners themselves – for instance BAE Systems’ JetEye.”
Okay, tell me this does not sound like another “defense industry” scam, yet another scheme to make billions of dollars. Sure, there is the possibility somebody with a rocket launcher may take out an airliner. But if al-Qaeda hates our freedom, why haven’t’ they done this already? Is al-Qaeda conducting a war against the Great Satan, one with battles strung over decades? At this rate, it will take a thousand years to install the Great Caliph/Khalifah.
In fact, since 9/11, there has not been one single solitary attack against the Great Satan. Some will proudly state this is because of our vigilance and determination. It’s because Congress passed the Patriot Act and other Constitution bashing legislation and no shortage of presidential directives. Occasionally we get treated to a shoddily rigged case, such as the street kids in Miami who colluded with al-Qaeda – that is, an FBI informant – or the kids in Canada who had the government deliver a truckload of fertilizer, passing it off as a dangerous explosive. And then there was the patently absurd airliner liquid fiasco, when we were told miscreants would mix up explosives in the bathroom of an aloft airliner. However, my favorite is the Fort Dix pizza killers, Muslims who were going to deliver death instead of hands-tossed pies.
Now we’re going to get missile batteries at the airport. “Vigilant Eagle, unlike its rivals, would be sited at the airport. Light, portable anti-aircraft missiles of the type used by terrorists/insurgents lack the ability to hit a jet at cruising altitude, so such attacks would need to be mounted close to takeoff or landing,” Page continues. “Vigilant Eagle would detect any missiles fired using a network of infrared cameras to pick out the hot rocket exhaust plume. The system would then focus an intense microwave beam on the flying weapon, generated by a so-called Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) of the type used in the latest fighter radars.”
Man, what a deal for Raytheon. How many airports in this country? Do the math. Cha-cha-ching!
In fact, to simply roll this system out and test it for the Ministry, Raytheon wants a cool $10 million. It used to be a company built something, tested it, and showed it off to a prospective customer in anticipation of selling it. But that was before the “defense industry” (defense against illusory enemies and manufactured Goldsteins) captured a big chunk of the government, something Eisenhower warned about as he left office.
Get ready for airports to resemble firebases. Of course, this wonderful technology you are going seriously in debt to pay for will never be used because there are no terrorists with rocket launchers sitting at the end of runways. Maybe a demented pizza guy waving a Koran but not a Muji with a Stinger. Naturally, in a few years, Raytheon will come up with Vigilant Eagle II and we’ll have to pay millions to see how it works and billions to have it installed.
It’s a sweetheart deal for the death merchants. But then that’s why the Ministry was created in the first place – to allow death merchants and “security” corporations to eat at the public trough.
April 4, 2008