Saturday, November 24, 2007

More Than a Coincidence: Blackwater´s Airship Program

According to the Virginian Pilot, for nearly two years, Blackwater has been developing an airship to tap into future Government Contracts relating to patrolling our US borders.

Officials with Blackwater Airships, a business unit of the Moyock-based tactical training and security company, say they successfully field-tested a 170-foot prototype on the grounds of a former Navy air station here.

Called the Polar 400, the non rigid blimp is designed to be unmanned and remotely controlled from a ground station. It would carry aloft such payloads as intelligence-gathering cameras, radar, communications gear and infrared sensors.
Is it more than a coincidence that Rep. Shuler, who is championing the SAVE Act and Blackwater, Erik Prince are both based in the same state, North Carolina? If HR4088 is passed, Blackwater plans to be the Contractor who will "carry out the Integrated and Automated Surveillance Program" to supplement the Border Patrol and Border Security. Can we as a Nation accept additional No-Bid Crony Contracts costing taxpayers millions to billions of dollars when the contractor has a record such as Blackwaters?

More News:

Houston´s Local 2 News Reported on 11-21-07: WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- Houston police started testing unmanned aircraft and the event was shrouded in secrecy, but it was captured on tape by Local 2 Investigates.
Neighbors in rural Waller County said they thought a top-secret military venture was under way among the farmland and ranches, some 70 miles northwest of Houston. KPRC Local 2 Investigates had four hidden cameras aimed at a row of mysterious black trucks. Satellite dishes and a swirling radar added to the neighbors' suspense.

Then, cameras were rolling as an unmanned aircraft was launched into the sky and operated by remote control. HPD Chief Harold Hurtt attended, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and dozens of officers from various police agencies in the Houston area. Executive Assistant Police Chief Montalvo told reporters the unmanned aircraft would be used for "mobility" or traffic issues, evacuations during storms, homeland security, search and rescue, and also "tactical."

The Houston Chronicle reported today: Houston is one of two cities chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration to test whether unmanned aircraft can be used safely in an urban environment, authorities said.

During the testing period, expected to run at least until next June, HPD and the Miami-Dade Police Department will help the FAA establish national flight guidelines, such as how the small aircraft can be deployed and what training is needed to operate them.
(Shades of 1984!)

18 comments:

ultima said...

The positive view of this is that any company is free to develop products for which it thinks there will be a market. It is also clear that if quick action is needed then the early bird will get the worm. I am not in favor of no bid contracts for GOP or Dem cronies but I am in favor of action long overdue.

Furthermore, if one is in favor of border security then the necessary tools must also find favor. It is not possible, as demonstrated by the 12-20 million illegals already in this country, to stop border violations with half measures.

If you believe in border security then you must provide the tools or you are wasting everyone's time.

Anonymous said...

911, unsecure borders and an overwhelming illegal invasion call for desperate measures.

Dee said...

I am in favor of secure borders and the use of technology.

I am not in favor of providing no bid contracts to unsrupulous crony contractors like Blackwater. Look at their performance in Iraq.

Look at what they did in N.O.:
Of its own volition, Blackwater moved about 200 personnel into the area hit by Hurricane Katrina. Most of the 164 employees eventually were working under a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to protect government facilities, but the company held contracts with private clients as well. Overall, Blackwater had a "visible, and financially lucrative, presence in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as the use of the company contractors cost U.S. taxpayers $240,000 a day." There has been much dispute surrounding governmental contracts in post-Katrina New Orleans, especially no-bid contracts such as the one Blackwater was awarded. Blackwater's heavily-armed presence in the city was also the subject of much confusion and criticism.

patriot said...

No matter what plan is implemented to finally secure our borders, you would find something wrong with it and you would object, dee. You know it, I know it and so does everyone else who has been in this blog for awhile.

Just like you claiming you wanted the employers sanctioned. But the minute that the raids occured, you cried foul because you only wanted the employers punished but not the illegal employees.

Dee said...

Pat,
Blackwater has a history of bad performance and you know it. These no bid crony contracts are what has hurt the detention centers and now for blackwaters involvement, what always occurs is they overcharge and they abuse the people all with NO Accountability!
That is what I disagree with! So should you!

patriot said...

dee, read Ultima's response in this thread. It also explains my position on this and I am in full agreement with him.

Dee said...

Pat,
As I said to Ultima, I am in favor of secure borders and the use of technology.

I am not in favor of providing no bid contracts to unsrupulous crony contractors like Blackwater. Look at their performance in Iraq.

patriot said...

You put limits on what we should do to secure or borders though, such as the double layer fence and it is critical to assist the Border Patrol. As Ultima said, "if you believe in border security then you must provide the tools or you are wasting everyone's time."


There is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water in regards to the SAVE ACT either. You are using Blackwater as your total argument against it. You don't even know that we would use Blackwater in any way, you are assuming it.

Also, you oppose the employer verification system, why? Shouldn't employers have only legal workers on the payroll?

Dee said...

Pat,
I believe in increased trained Border Patrol agents.

I believe in technology at the border and secure borders.

I do not agree with Blackwater receiving a no bid crony contract. They have proven to be much too abusive in the past. We need a fair program with humane treatment, not Gestapos at the border!

patriot said...

But trained BP can only do so much without a physical barrier to assist them. You know that and that is why you object. You want to leave some sort of opening for some of the illegals to get through. A fence would decrease the need for any Blackwater personnel.

Again, in the SAVE ACT there was no absolute plan about who would be used at the border. What do you mean by Gestapo at the border?
Illegals are being treated humanely already so why would that change? Do you not think that our government wouldn't monitor what is going on at the border or send trained personnel? You are just using your usual excuses to not "really" secure the border.

Dee said...

I am in favor of secure borders and the use of technology.

I am not in favor of providing no bid contracts to unsrupulous crony contractors like Blackwater. Look at their performance in Iraq.

patriot said...

dee, why did you just repeat yourself from one post ago? If you have nothing new to say why repeat yourself exactly within a few minutes? Are you a parrot or a person?

Dee said...

Given your previous response, it appeared the message did get to you. Hence, I repeated it.

patriot said...

dee, you do this all the time instead of addressing someone's remarks that are pretty damaging to your views, you just repeat the same old lines over again without addressing them.

Dee said...

Pat,
Let me ask you a question.
What does the SAVE Act mean to you?
Additional Detention Centers, Additional Contractors to conduct the surveillance? What does this mean to you.

Tell me what do you think about Blackwater and their new center close to the border? Their non manned surveillance? Tell me what you think.

patriot said...

The SAVE ACT means to me that we will finally have real border security. It also means that anyone working in this country illegally by using SS numbers that don't belong to them will be fired.

If additional detention centers are needed for those illegals that don't go home voluntarily then so be it. I am for anything that returns this nation to the rule of law and decreases our population by those who shouldn't be here.

Whatever it costs us initially will be cheaper than continuing down this road for years.

Hopefully we will have trained, honest people to secure our borders even if it is thru private enterprise. I don't want so see anyone abused but right now I am not going to worry about "what ifs". Just get r done!

Dee said...

So what do you think about Blackwater given they have built a center near the border and are positioning themselves to serve as border contractors and non manned flight air comman? Should they get a no bid contract given all of their past abuses?

patriot said...

"Alleged" abuses. If they are proven, our government won't use them anymore.

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