This autumn, the Pentagon plans to deploy a pair of surveillance blimps which will float at 10,000 feet above the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The plan is to create a system that will be able to detect and destroy cruise missiles launched at the nation’s capital from offshore vessels. So far, so good. Since we have almost nothing in terms of ability to intercept such a threat, the idea makes plenty of sense.
However, given the administration’s atrocious record of domestic spying overreach, there is some cause for concern. As CBS News points out, the blimps are capable of carrying gear that could infringe upon the rights of virtually every American within a 140 mile radius.
The blimps carry radars that can search for hundreds of miles to detect the launch of a cruise missile and relay the data to interceptor missiles which have been positioned around Washington since Sept. 11, 2001.
But those same blimps can also be outfitted with radars capable of tracking vehicles on the ground and with cameras that can watch people, much like blimps already do at U.S. bases in Afghanistan and along the border with Mexico. That would give government the ability to follow American citizens as they go about their daily lives.
So far, the feds say they have no plan to outfit the aircraft with such devices.
Frankly, none of that is what I find interesting about this story. What I find most compelling is that it came from CBS News. Sure, the mainstream has picked up on the privacy rights issues generated by Obama administration overreach. At this point, the unconstitutional activities of the NSA are impossible to ignore. However, it’s telling that CBS News - a normally Obama-friendly outlet - heard of a military plan to launch blimps over DC and immediately ran a story about potential 4th Amendment transgressions.
If mainstreamers like CBS have a knee jerk reaction to question the motives of the federal government’s intelligence gathering operations, Obama & the NSA have truly led the left down a constitutional rabbit hole.
People in this country despise the surveillance state. So far, the only people who are are talking about reining it in are on the right. Conservatives need to hammer that message home because, if left-leaning media already understands the debate, it means pro-4th Amendment Republicans have at least a modicum of ready-made traction with voters on both sides of the aisle.
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