New drone being deployed to Afghanistan can cover 36 square miles in a single blink
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
Amidst massive domestic problems which include a populace upset with so-called representatives who in fact represent corporate interests, a debt so large it is hard to grasp and a looming conflict with Iran, the United States military has deployed yet another advanced battlefield device in Afghanistan.
This serves as just another piece of evidence which proves that the United States has absolutely no interest in leaving the region any time soon, as was made clear by the secret negotiations at the Afghan loya jirga last year.
The new drone helicopter – three of which will be deployed to Afghanistan – is equipped with one of the United States military’s most powerful sensors.
The Boeing A160 Hummingbird helicopter will be remotely piloted and able to monitor ludicrously large areas with the Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System (ARGUS).
This is quite a menacing name for a disturbingly powerful imaging system, which easily could be deployed in the United States in conjunction with the growing domestic use of military drones.
The ARGUS boasts a mind-blowing 1.8 gigapixel camera package which is comprised of 92 imagers of five megapixels each.
Wired’s Danger Room writes, “One blink of ARGUS’ eye covers up to 36 square miles depending on the quality of the resolution; it will give its remote pilots at least 65 independent, scaleable video windows within that blink.”
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, originally developed the system for the Army Special Forces, although now it appears it will be used in a more widespread manner.
The capability of ARGUS gets even more mind boggling when one considers the fact that in a single day the system collects six petabytes of video, or the rough equivalent of 79.8 years of HD video.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Munster, ARGUS “has never been flown on this platform before,” meaning the Hummingbird which can remain in the air for 20 hours at altitudes up to 15,000 feet.
But ARGUS will not be relegated solely to the Hummingbird platform.
Indeed Danger Room writes, “Word is that the mega-blimp known as the Blue Devil 2, a flying panopticon that stays aloft for five days at a stretch, is interest in incorporating the camera package.”
Most Americans likely do not see any problem with this technology being deployed in Afghanistan, and despite the absurd costs which we cannot shoulder and the fact that the war is wholly unnecessary and should be ended immediately, I do not see a problem with better surveillance systems.
In fact, such systems might help improve the intelligence passed down through the so-called “kill chain” in order to help prevent the killing of innocent people.
However, even if it didn’t cost countless taxpayer dollars and wasn’t being used to support a drawn-out conflict which should have been called off years ago, this technology still has the dangerous possibility of being deployed on American soil.
Through programs like the Pentagon’s 1033 program, domestic law enforcement agencies are regularly given military technology to use in routine law enforcement tasks.
The militarization of what should be forces that “protect and serve” the people is quite troublesome and the unregulated usage of drone technology should not be taken lightly.
Even if military drones are not used in an offensive manner, they still can be used as pervasive surveillance devices, as I have previously covered.
With ARGUS, it would be even easier to monitor people and/or groups across large areas and track the movements of individuals and groups of people across an entire city or region.
The problem here is that these invasions of privacy can occur without consent or even knowledge on the part of the subject and thus can occur with little to no oversight, operating outside the bounds of the Fourth Amendment.
Furthermore, it represents a larger dangerous trend of the militarization of domestic law enforcement through blurring the line between military and police.
The fact that the NDAA hands over a great deal of power to the military is also quite troublesome as this technology could even be used against Americans by the military themselves, completely bypassing what minuscule semblance of separation still remains.
It is quite unfortunate that more people don’t realize the immense threat posed by domestic use of drones and military technology in general.
Indeed, an attempt at a large-scale protest against the United States’ drone war abroad was called off due to lack of interest.
This is a sign that the covert use of drones in undeclared wars in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere is being effectively hidden from the American people, which is nothing short of tragic.
Please do your part to help raise awareness of the drone threat both at home and abroad by sharing articles like this one with your friends, family and anyone else who can muster the cognitive fortitude to deal with such troubling issues. I sincerely appreciate every single person that you help inform by sharing this article and this information.
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