Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dereliction of Duty, Presidential Style

DiveMedic over at Confessions of a Street Pharmacist posts a link to a story skirting under the radar.  You should forgive the analogy because that's precisely what the story is about.  Market Daily News reports the administration is shutting down a major component of the southern US continental air defense system
Our southern border is, in part, protected by the Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which utilizes moored balloons hovering at about 15,000 feet to identify low flying aircraft and missiles that may penetrate the border and cross into U.S. airspace.
According to Exelis Systems Corporation, the company that built and jointly maintains TARS with the U.S. Air Force, the government has ordered a complete shutdown of Aerostat flight operations...
by March 15, 2013.  An employee of the contractor that runs the system said,
"These defense radars detect low flying aircraft infiltrating our borders.

Without these defense radars, low flying aircraft will go undetected.

It will be open season for any drug/gun/slave smugglers, terrorists flying in with nukes, low altitude missiles, or even a full scale low elevation invasion/attack against America."
The "Tethered Aerostat Radar System" is known locally by the nickname "Fat Albert" - the familiar big white blimps are visible at several locations around the southern US.  Originally used for drug interdiction, they're now part of the NORAD radar system used to watch for potential invasions of the Southern US.  They are not the only tools used in the air defense systems, with OTH radar stations covering southern approaches, and other options, but they are an integral part of it.

Still, it's hard not to notice that surveillance of the US population has increased with that massive data collection center the NSA is building in Utah, and the ongoing drills featuring helicopters flying low in Miami and Houston seem to presage some sort of coming military action in dense urban areas like, well, Miami and Houston.  It makes one inclined to think that the administration is more afraid of its citizens than invasion.  More concerned with enemies domestic than foreign.  I know I am.
(ITT Exelis)


  1. I guess the powers that be want to make it even easier for illegal aliens to sneak in from Mexico. Considering the Democrats aversion to any kind of real id for voters and how that block votes, I think I see the reasoning.

  2. Another view of the story

    I didn't follow the story closely, but in the back of my mind I heard someone who is about to lose some business complaining about how American interests are at risk. I'm not saying that thought is the whole explanation, or that the situation hasn't just become more dangerous.

    One question I have regards whether or not there is a replacement facility coming online, for instance all those drones we've paid for. I'm not expecting NORAD to have much to say about it, if so; fog of war and all.

    And really, if we aren't protecting our border anyway, why waste the money pretending we are? Fourth Protocol anyone?


    1. With all due respect to the author of that piece (it's the same one as I linked to on a different site), Marc Slavo, I think your second paragraph is the essence of it. The company saying that all hell is going to break loose is the one that runs the blimps. They might have a biased view of how important their system is - but I'm not going to say the situation hasn't become a bit more dangerous.

      We have HF Over the Horizon radars that cover the south, and I've heard of UHF radars at southern AF bases (Pave/PAWS? I think?). Plus we have satellites 24/7. I think the Pentagon figures they have enough capacity to cover the region. They probably don't care about small aircraft carrying drugs. And what's a few more Hezbollah guys coming over the border?

  3. Dereliction of duty doesn't cover it what it is ....High Treason.

  4. I think the signs are ominous that our government is preparing for a looming war against its own citizens.

  5. Well, he keeps saying he wants to 'level the playing field.'