The Pentagon is likely to be sidelined from decisions on determining which terror leaders are targeted for attacks by drones. It's a change that would concentrate the power to strike with lethal force outside war zones within one small team at the White House.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan wants to scrap the more inclusive yet cumbersome process run by the military. That's according to officials aware of his review. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to publicly discuss the classified targeting program. The White House is reviewing the plan.
Officials say the changes would establish a more permanent process to govern lethal targeting.
A small surveillance drone flies over an Austin stadium, diligently following a series of GPS waypoints that have been programmed into its flight computer. By all appearances, the mission is routine.
Suddenly, the drone veers dramatically off course, careering eastward from its intended flight path. A few moments later, it is clear something is seriously wrong as the drone makes a hard right turn, streaking toward the south. Then, as if some phantom has given the drone a self-destruct order, it hurtles toward the ground. Just a few feet from certain catastrophe, a safety pilot with a radio control saves the drone from crashing into the field.
From the sidelines, there are smiles all around over this near-disaster. Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin's Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.
More and more it is becomming more apparent that we don't have a President anymore but our own version of Hugo Chavez. OBama the dictator bypassing Congress now the Pentagon, what a POS.
What are you talking about? The Pentagon and *both* parties agree that we need these drones to fight the illegal immigration flood, among other homeland security threats. On domestic issues Obama is a downright socialist but on homeland security issues, he's basically just continuing the Bush/Cheney era which is fine by me. Kill terrorists overseas, implement technology to attack criminals at home, and send ships to the Pacific to counter the Chinese threat.
Do you think the current system is working down south? We got governors claiming they know the answer to illegals but they are not doing sh*t. Brewer in AZ is mad about the SCOTUS ruling but how many illegals has her administration caught? Maybe a few thousand. They bitch and they whine, and it's about time we have an army in the sky to locate and eliminate the illegal threat across the border, which is going to be the first zone of implementation for these drones.
My preference is to arm them with missiles and attack on sight, but I suppose that might anger Rick Perry since he wants them to have state tuition at our universities and dead bodies earn no degrees.
The U.S. government, understandably, doesn't want its drone technology to fall out of the sky and into other peoples' laps. But being able to hijack a drone and control it? That's even worse. And a team of researchers has done it for 1,000 bucks.
The University of Texas at Austin team successfully nabbed the drone on a dare from the Department of Homeland Security. They managed to do it through spoofing, a technique where a signal from hackers pretends to be the same as one sent to the drone's GPS.
Over at Picatinny Arsenal, the research and development facility and proving ground for the U.S. Army's weaponry, engineers are developing a device that shoots lighting bolts along a laser beam to annihilate its target. That's right: lighting bolts shot down laser beams.
The Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC) can be used to destroy anything that conducts electricity better than the air or ground surrounding it.
It works off of some pretty basic principles of physics, using a laser to carve an electromagnetic path through the air that accommodates a high-voltage beam. Create that path, crank up the voltage, and your target is toast.