White House and Air borne threats: Drones & Secret Service response

Okay, here is a shorter piece this time.

It looks as if it might be time for the Secret Service (USSS) to make some additions to the White House roof (to cover 360 degrees) and other sensitive buildings in the federal space.

— Something like a roof top laser weapon system to respond to small to large drones. i.e. drones carrying cameras or weapons – chemical, biological, radiological or kinetic (nuclear, bullets, missiles).

Since no one wants a uniformed/plain clothes secret service agent taking shots (no matter how good they believe they are) at a drone with the bullets falling to ground, likely killing someone by mistake.

And the roof top missile system may be too bulky to deal with drones of most sizes…

The laser system would be one that has:

a) A computer automated radar tracking system – since human aim/shooting at night, in the dark, may not be good enough or fast enough

b) A radar powerful and fast enough to track & target in milliseconds (if not microseconds)

c) Low power to fry the drone’s circuitry and bring it down, likely with a range for under 1/2 a mile or something like that – we don’t want the laser blinding someone a mile away

d) Power enough to destroy it if the drone is weaponized (why we need it computerized, to detect weapons – of multiple varieties)

e) Or, what about a microwave weapon on the White House, with a limited range, specifically for drones

f) Or at the very least, a frequency jammer that kicks in for any object that crosses specified borders/fence layouts

— DARPA might have something up their sleeves to help with this – a place I would give my left AND right arms to work at doing creative work…

And as to a target being too small, all they would need to do is tune or ensure they have radar capable of a small aperture to target and acquire the very small targets – hard plastic or metallic. We have the tech to target small items in a rapid fashion and take it down.

Then too, this is the one we know about. What about the ones we do not know about…

At any rate, who in the un-privileged world knows who else was playing around with drones, around the White House, where it is illegal to fly drones anyway – it would not be publically announced…

And who in their right mind ‘tests’ drones, at night, at 3am – around the White House? A simpleton? A foreign adversary? In doing some critical thinking, as far as I can determine, either way, we have a choice of:

  1. Stupid or
  2. Spy…

That is enough food for thought for now… Besides, would the Secret Service deign to listen to any of us in the public sphere (even if some of us do work in Intelligence) unless we are a security threat to the President that is!  And you would have to be off your rocker to make threats of any kind publically, in the age of digital technology, such as datamining…

 

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Decapitating ISIS & Terrorists and American & Western Interests…

Decapitating ISIS

It seems that some folks want to decapitate ISIS and that is a good thing. But doing it is going to be difficult, especially if the U.S. is going to go about it seemingly by ourselves. {UPDATE 9/6/2014: As many of you are well aware by now, there is a much broader coalition of other nations, via NATO, joining in to work on stopping ISIS, using strategic and tactical efforts…}

Leaders in other Western countries, mid-Eastern countries and their people as well, appear to not want to help quash this growth of barbaric thugs using religion as a cover.

It is quite likely a large number of Americans also do not have the heart to want to stop this group of zealots in a foreign country because it is not in the U.S. of A…

American / Western Interests

The issue of this ISIS problem and translating how it is a danger to American and/or Western interests is not one of presenting it to the large urban cities of the U.S. and Wall Street and the media.

We have to translate this issue for the folks of the mid-West, the Bible Belt, the Rust Belt – basically the people of Main Street.

Sure, talking about decapitating ISIS is one thing but we have to give more concrete examples of how purging ISIS would help American interests.

Now, I mean no disrespect to all but surely many people of Main Street understand that there are a large number of American interests to watch over in the various mid-East countries:

  • Embassy/Consulate personnel (and their families) who are possible targets
  • American businesses attempting to create harmonious opportunities between the country in question and the U.S. are targets
  • American businesses such as FedEx, UPS and others who fly into and out of some of these countries affected by Jihadist bent individuals are targets, especially for those zealots attempting to covertly ship explosives into the U.S. and
  • Peaceful American businesses attempting to expand around the globe (even oil companies)

And let’s not forget the American interests in the Homeland due to terrorist trained individuals. Those Americans and/or individuals from Western allied countries who convert to Islam in order to join the Jihad and easily (if they are not on any watch list) bring newly gained Jihadist skills back to the U.S. or throughout Europe to:

  • Because of our openness, create targets out of shopping malls, banks, office complexes and other venues which have a large potential in causing massive panic and fear
  • Need I go on as to what some idiot suicide bomber could do to American interests, within the U.S.? The converted Islamist zealot does not have to go to a major U.S. city to create havoc, they could go to any or several Main Street U.S.A.(‘s) to cause significant pain for our country.

Any and all conceivable American interests are in jeopardy of ISIS now that they have the funds (I talked about that in another writing), seized weaponry and it seems quite a large number of people to create massive turmoil throughout the mid-East, the E.U.

In addition, ISIS could very possibly, support/supply any American converted idiot/Islamic zealot who for whatever reason (low self-esteem, feeling slighted by some American policy or agency) wanted to create ‘pay-back’ for their individual problem(s).

The American convert does not have to carry any money with them as they return to the U.S. after being trained – Western Union is still one of many ways to transfer money to the converted Jihadist, even if it is via multiple small amount transfers (ie: $3 – 4,000 at a time).

So, do your own thinking of other American interests (in the Homeland or abroad) as to what might be a juicy target for these religious ragamuffins…

Asymmetric Warfare

In performing strategic and tactical moves against ISIS (and Boko Haram – they need some love as well) we have to consider moving to more asymmetric guerilla warfare efforts. If ISIS is doing it, we sure as, ahhh, S**T (or rain) had best be doing the same maneuvering as they are. Besides, did we NOT learn anything from Vietnam and our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 20+ years???

We ‘do’ need to consider more and better ways of tagging and tracking those wanna be American Jihadists before they cause death in this country. And whatever we do decide, we have to be clearly conscious of American and EU privacy issues.

We have to develop better intelligence sources to combat this scourge of evil before they go even further.

We have to develop better relations, somehow, with countries in the mid-East, better than what we have in place now.

We have to get better at communication to be sure what we are saying is coming across clearlyFROM the perspective of those in the mid-East, not through the blinding filter of our Western perception.

But, overall, if we have to fight ISIS and Boko Haram type groups without significant help from other Western or mid-Eastern countries, then we had best become even better at asymmetric guerilla warfare and wipe out these individuals.

For one, we have to cut off the flow of individuals from Syria, at the border there, into Iraq and then create a massive pincer movement (guerilla style) around those fighters within Iraq.

Because if we do not do something now, it will only become worse as time goes on.

Again, there are many who myopically do not see the danger to American interests at this time – those short-sighted individuals (American or European or mid-Eastern) want to be complacent until it is too late.

Or the complacent will decide to leave it to others to fight ISIS. But if it is not the U.S. then who else is fighting ISIS, besides the Kurds who are out-armed…???

Yes, it would be quite nice to decapitate ISIS but we need a major concerted effort to do so. The decapitation of James Foley should have been an eye-opening wake-up call for the faint at heart and weak of will.

So…. wouldn’t it be great in preventing:

  • yet another genocide from occurring (the Yazidis) and/or
  • the forced conversion of people to another religion or else face mass murder…?

Last of all and even more importantly – there MUST be TIMELY and equitable sharing of intelligence information between all law enforcement (LE) and intelligence agencies within the U.S., Interpol and several other Western LE and Intel organizations.

That sharing HAS to happen for any of this having any chance of working. FBI cannot stonewall DHS, nor can DEA block needed intel amongst LE agencies around the country (only two examples here).

ISIS, Boko Haram & Home Grown Terrorists – in the U.S…. Surveillance time?

**** moved from http://patrick642.wordpress.com ****

It appears that we are entering another era of pain and trouble, globally.

When I say we, it is not the ‘Royal “We”’ but we as in citizens of the world, in the Western developed countries and most especially those of us in the U.S. 

We, the United States, have stepped into a situation in the mid-east that should have been handled by that country’s own military and security forces. That country, yes, is Iraq.

Due to Nouri al-Maliki, of the Shia sect, Prime Minister of Iraq being ‘unwilling’ to logically, diplomatically, politically and economically share power with the Sunni and the Kurds of that country – he failed on a massive scale. So, as a result, we now have the outrageous growth of a group of religious zealots – the Islamic State, formerly ISIS, formerly ISIL and even further back, an off-shoot of al-Qaeda (or al-Qaida or even al-Qa’ida – depending on your viewpoint and background).

 

In doing our humanitarian bit of sending our resources (men, women, financial, materiel, etc.) to willingly go into harm’s way to help those that cannot help themselves, we may have painted another bulls eye on our collective back. ISIS is easier to type than writing out their latest and newest name, kinda like some rock star constantly changing names depending on where the moon is in the sky…. so, I will continue using ISIS.

As it stands, there is no other country willing to step as far forward and help other countries with the advancements of equality, democracy and openness. These other large countries only make token drops of assistance during times of disaster or humanitarian need.

Yes, yes, yes, the U.S. – we DO still have problems but we are continually working on them, much better than many other large countries seem to be doing. For example, we do not censor or block Internet access just because some official (or government) does not want transparency and/or takes offense at someone or some group making disparaging/revealing remarks/statements …

 

A couple of days ago, Abu Mosa, a spokesman for the terror group ISIS, in talking about America made this statement (1): ““We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House,” he added.”

Now what does that tell you? Keep in mind, this group of zealots has taken over banks and control of vast amounts of money to fund their growth. Also keep in the forefront of your thoughts, the world community cannot willy nilly freeze the Iraqi currency, the dinar, to keep it from being used…

And in addition, remember, these zealots have taken over Iraqi bases and armories, facilities full of weaponry that can be moved across borders. The weapons I refer to are things that can easily be smuggled, RPGs, grenades, mines and other projectile bombs and mines.

Think about it, if people and other illicit items (drugs, alcohol and cigarettes) can easily find their way into the U.S., so too can this kind of weaponry find its way onto American soil – for a price, via down on their luck (or not) traitorous U.S. citizens.

Many of you out there already are aware of the ‘Home Grown Terrorist’ growth in the U.S. and how so many people want to be part of a Jihadist movement – for whatever reason. These ‘home grown’ individuals are from many parts of America and take many forms as you have seen:

  • Mexican American
  • White American
  • Black American and all the
  • Displaced/Immigrated – legal/illegal mid-easterners – Iraqi, Palestinian, Syrian, Jordanian, Yemeni, Saudi and on and on and on…

Now that ISIS has their hands on quite a bit of money, manipulative propaganda and weaponry, the next step you have to take is in asking yourself, “How much of these new resources can ISIS move into the West (and the U.S.)?”

Then you have to ask yourself “How fast can they do it?”

Following these two basic questions, you should be thinking, “Can we see this movement in real time and stop it, using tools like the power of the SWIFT network (2). Will we possibly use the power of our intelligence agencies to take peeks into the meta-data of phone, internet communications “BEFORE” something catastrophic occurs in the U.S., similar to our 9/11 rather than attempting to connect the dots “AFTER” whatever happens, happens.

The only snag here is, will the American people and people of other western countries be willing to allow tighter surveillance and scrutiny to stop the growth and insidious spread of ISIS and whatever harm they will continue to do…???

We now, more than ever, will need to strategize on how to counter a newer crop of home grown terrorists in light of the funding that ISIS has on hand and is getting. Some of that funding is and/or was purportedly from some U.S. allies – Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, I have no way of corroborating this other than going with content from several news outlets, two included below (3,4).

Will the Western world be willing to have tighter security in advance of ISIS or wait and see what happens, after it is too late? We, the U.S. will need law enforcement in conjunction with intelligence agencies, local/state/federal governments to develop and implement even better strategies on dealing with a ‘possible’ slew of more new home grown terrorists…

We already know that this group wants to put its imprint on everything and force everyone to bow to their way of life – sharia law, follow Islam or die, the continual destruction of ancient artifacts and buildings simply because they are not Islamic.

We also already know that the mass number of Muslims around the world do not stand for this brand of Islamic beliefs. However, I am very surprised that many more Muslims are not helping to stop this cancerous growth or condemning what ISIS is doing.

 

Boko Haram is likely hitching, or probably willing to hitch their wagon to ISIS, though I have no way of knowing if either group wants to be connected to the other.

 

No one should be fooling themselves into thinking that ISIS will never create trouble (or death) on the homeland that is just a waste of brain cells. These people are serious, deadly serious.

And I have not heard it yet but I would not discount anyone stating that these people have airplanes (after taking over so many Iraqi facilities) they can use as a form of WMD…

 

Is anyone willing to believe that ISIS could not make it to the U.S.? Is anyone going to be foolish enough to make a bet on that? Because as far as I know, no one on planet Earth is omniscient, at least not until someone reaches the long heralded Singularity…

Is anyone foolish enough to believe that we should not be making “better” preparations for Home Grown Terrorists ahead of ISIS aiding any maladjusted, misguided and dare I say ‘crazed’ individuals?

We already saw a significant spike in militias and sovereign citizens since our 44th President took office – we do not need more.

 

And hopefully I do not come across as a dogmatic scare-monger; I am just looking at the landscape and down the road – especially if the people of the mid-Eastern countries cannot take care of this ISIS problem…

 

References

1 – ISIS Threatens America: ‘We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House’, http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/08/isis-threatens-america-we-will-raise-the-flag-of-allah-in-the-white-house/, 8 Aug 2014

2 – SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), http://www.swift.com/about_swift/index

3 – America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/14/america-s-allies-are-funding-isis.html, 14 Jun 2014

4 – The United States’ biggest ‘allies’ are funding ISIL, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/08/374537/americas-biggest-allies-funding-isis/, 9 Aug 2014

 

Vehicle to Vehicle conversations – are most of you ready for this?

I’m hoping that many of you have heard about this by now, about how the Dept of Transportation is pushing to mandate a law for Vehicle to Vehicle communication to avoid/reduce accidents.  (Here’s a few links – www.politico.com/story/2014/02/sources-dot-to-announce-mandate-on-talking-cars-103022.html & http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57618258-76/us-to-push-for-mandatory-car-to-car-wireless-communications/ & http://thehill.com/blogs/transportation-report/automobiles/197265-dot-clears-the-road-for-smart-cars)

Well, here we go, down a possible slippery slope.

It will be a great technological plateau to reach as it will reduce vehicular fatalities (very possibly), bodily injuries (again, very likely), accidents and expensive body work repair – even on older cars for which many people cannot afford to fix in some of the dire paycheck to paycheck situations.

However, you just know Homeland Security: Dept of Justice, law enforcement / State, County & City officials, et al, are all going to be salivating, errrr, looking at this as well. Even though, at this point, there is supposedly no data collection.

But, suppose there will ‘also’ be another mandate down the road where some officials believe that it will be beneficial to actually collect and store data – in order to begin data mining for:

  • Criminals and parolees to see who is violating or has violated their probation/parole status (we might really want this one),
  • People with outstanding parking and speeding tickets
  • People (male or female) who are skipping out of their spousal/alimony support
  • People who are violating restraining orders
  • People who are violating the laws/rules of being too close to children at grade/junior/high schools.

I mean, this list could go on and on – do you owe money to the IRS? And let’s not forget about those boyfriend/girlfriend and/or spousal issues where one is spying on or stalking the other and uses this information for mischief or harm.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have my car converse with another car or truck or bus to avoid getting ‘me’ T-Boned. But I would only love it if I know that there is no data mining of my privacy.

I would especially love this tech if I knew that it was not going to be hacked and used to my detriment by petty or serious criminals.

I would NOT love this tech if we are entering the true era of BIG Brother or of 1984 (the movie) and/or the danger of people who believe they can completely rely on this tech without using their own eyeballs, brains and commonsense… Rear end collisions and T-Boning could still occur but let’s hope not. Then there are the folks who constantly and illegally use their cell/smartphones for texting while driving – they are going to erroneously think they will have more warning time to write “one more” sentence without looking up and around.

Drones. Really?

Need for Drones 

So, we are going to see the commercialization of drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), throughout the country in a couple of years.

Do we really need UAV for everything? Have we come to the point of civilization where we are becoming ever lazier?

Is it truly “All about Me” in our, or I should say for many of our citizens and of inhabitants of other countries around the world…?

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely see the need for drones – but there is a time and a place AND a need for them.

 

Noise

Has anyone considered how noisy these devices are going to be? They are not quiet, they are like lawn/leaf blowers – humming, whining and sending angry chills down your spine because of the noise. Those whirring and whirling copter blades are not silent.

Imagine, sitting out on your balcony, patio, poolside, wherever and lo and behold, a drone comes zipping along, blowing your tranquility to hell and back. And here you were, thinking you had the afternoon off and just wanted to zone out while everyone else is at work.

Then, imagine that picture magnified several dozen times as multiple UAVs flit across the sky, back and forth making deliveries to multiple locations – obliterating the afternoon quietude.

Drones are not quiet buggers at all…

 

Privacy

Now, think about the actual delivery made by UAVs. Is it being driven remotely by a human or by GPS?

If it is driven by a human, it will need, in addition to GPS, a camera. Now, suppose you or your partner or children are running around in your underwear or are going through your place in the buff – butt naked. And the delivery drone is bringing a package to your place or delivering a package to another place nearby – is that human looking through your windows, into your home as it flies by? Is it pausing ever so slightly to get a good look at something interesting inside…?

If it is being driven by computer and GPS, it still needs to record (for legal reasons) where it is delivering the package and to whom (??) it is delivering the package. What if the onboard camera inadvertently catches and records some of your private space (and private activities) in the process.

 

 

Criminal Hi-jinx

Next, what about the unsavory criminal element – you think they are going to stand idly by and not enjoy this manna from joy-joy land (or heaven if you’re of the religious slant)? Criminals are going to exploit the heck out of drone delivery, using their own drones in the mix as well, covertly disguised as USPS, FedEx, Amazon, etc., etc., etc.

Suppose criminals use the ‘new’ methods of delivery to deliver drugs throughout the neighborhood but something goes haywire and the drone drops its drug payload in your backyard or balcony?  And those low lives come looking for the drugs.

What about mischievous kids (or adults) knocking UAVs out of the sky with shoes, bricks, bats or whatever – just to empty the payload from that drone.

What about malicious individuals with the wherewithal to target UAVs and query the onboard computer as to what is in the payload and to where it is going?  And then show up at the destination to steal the payload…

Or worse, to hack in and overwrite the computer instructions, rerouting the drone to a new delivery location.

 

Liabilities

Then there are going to be the intermittent (hopefully intermittent) drone crashes, which may or may not harm (or kill) bystanders or folks walking along below the falling drone.

There had best be multiple redundant / backup systems to account for failures.

 

The Need

Definitely do not get me wrong. The need for commercial UAVs is here, I can see them being put to legitimate use for:

  • Delivering emergency medication to the sick and elderly
  • Law Enforcement purposes, with the correct and explicit warrants and oversight
  • EMS
  • Border Patrol
  • Aiding in forest fire fighting
  • Park Rangers looking for lost, stranded or missing hikers/vacationers
  • Local and National news?  I’m not quite sure on this one because of the paparazzi experience and the NEED to get that extra special shot or ADDITIONAL coverage – the use of drones could run amuck by overzealous UAV operators…

So, do we really need drones delivering everything?  Beer and bourbon to the neighborhood drunks; pizza to the massively overweight (I am not judging, just stating a point) or the high cholesterol person in danger of a heart attack; and on and on and on…