Today news widely broke that the Army will be deploying blimps over Washington, DC for what it claims is a pilot program for its missile defense system. The high tech blimps are sophisticated stationary surveillance and targeting platforms known as the JLENS or specifically, the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System made by Raytheon Co. The problem is that Washington is at most under a minimal threat if under any threat of a cruise missile attack at all. Thus, one should question the true motives for installing a roughly $450 million surveillance system over DC. Our analysts believe that the system’s true mission has little to do with air defense and everything to do with monitoring, surveilling, and recording the movements of individuals and vehicles in real time, around the clock, 365 days a year.
The JLENS consists of a pair of blimps. One of the aerostats carries a powerful long-range surveillance radar with a 360-degree look-around capability that can reach out to 340 miles. The other carries a radar used for targeting. Operating as high as 10,000 feet for up to 30 days at a time, JLENS is meant to give the military more time to detect and react to threats, including cruise missiles and manned and unmanned aircraft, compared with ground-based radar. However, the system has more than one use and can carry a wide ranging payload of highly sophisticated surveillance equipment and weapons. Its manufacturer says JLENS “enables commanders to defend against threats including hostile cruise missiles, low-flying manned and unmanned aircraft, tactical ballistic missiles, large caliber rockets and moving surface vehicles such as boats, SCUD-launchers, automobiles and tanks.” The problem with this statement is that cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles, drones, and large caliber rockets pose no threat to DC and SCUD-missile launchers and tanks have never rolled down the streets of America. Considering this, the last couple capabilities are of note; in particular, boats and automobiles. In this small admission, you find the real use of these aerostats that will soon begin appearing all over the U.S.
Contrary to what the government claims, this Orwellian system has the combat proven capability to track, analyze, and record the movements of every single vehicle in and around the DC metropolitan area. Similar systems have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to identify, track, and kill insurgents and it is now being deployed above the streets of America. This “All Seeing Eye” can map the ground and identify even the slightest changes to the terrain such as a footprint or tire track in a field. It also can identify, track, and destroy targets from points far beyond DC to include areas from New York down to North Carolina. In fact, not only can the system map and store the movements of your car, but it can zero in on your license plate and even your face. Using facial recognition software and integrated search algorithms it can identify single individuals and unknowingly track them indefinitely through their day. The detail of the camera and radar systems are so precise that one could clearly identify if an individual is openly carrying a firearm or peer into your windows to see what you are having for dinner. In fact, using thermal and infrared sensors, the system is capable of actually seeing into your home and through foliage. Acoustic sensors can be tuned to the point it can identify a single gunshot and locate its origin or allegedly even record a conversation 10,000 feet below using high tech directional microphones. Integrating data, the system is capable of compiling mountains of data that can then be mined and used to construct entire daily routines of individuals without their knowledge.
In short, the JLENS provides the government with the ability to track, follow, and record your every move feasibly throughout your entire life. Misused, this system can obliterate perceived Fourth Amendment protections in your home as its technical capabilities allow it to pierce the privacy of your home’s walls miles away and see inside and listen to your conversations. Further, in the wrong hands, the information this system gathers can be used for a host of draconian purposes to harass political dissidents in manners far worse than witnessed with the on-going IRS scandal. This all raises serious civil liberty and privacy issues that must be addressed. No court would allow the government to set up a thermal camera to persistently look into your home and record conversations spoken in private with sensitive equipment without probable cause and a warrant sworn before a judge, but this is EXACTLY what this system can and will do to every single household and person within thousands of square miles around the blimps location. The government knows this and so is blatantly lying to the public about the JLENS’s true purpose. The government wants the blimps in place across the US before the public realizes what is going on. The government is in a full scale false information campaign to desensitize the public to this level of “total” surveillance. Not since Orwell’s prescient novel has the US come so close to a total surveillance state, but fiction is now fact.
Please contact your representatives and demand that JLENS be scrapped and funding for the unnecessary system be cut. Express your outrage and spread the word about what JLENS really is being used for. Get on talk shows, blog, and write to your local papers about the system’s true capabilities. The US doesn’t need to be spending a half “b”illion in your tax dollars to watch your every move. Resist the surveillance state now before it is too late!
By Guiles Hendrik
July 26, 2013
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