From Wired.com comes news of the US Army’s latest spy mobile — a high altitude, long-duration flight, combat airship, ominously nicknamed “The Unblinking Eye.” This sweet ride and its two sister blimps will cost taxpayers upwards of half a billion dollars. The 5-year contract calls for a mere $517 million, and we all know military contractors never experience cost overruns.
I love Noah Shachtman’s analysis of the propagandistic publicity poster by Northrop Grumman, the maker of the Army’s latest war toy:
God smiles when the Army spends a half-billion dollars on spy blimps the size of a football field. I believe that’s the message Northrop Grumman is trying to convey in this illustration. . .
The first airship is supposed to be inflated around 10 months from now. Eight months later, the Army hopes to have the first LEMV flying over Afghanistan. On that day, the clouds will part, the sun will shine, and the cherubs will sing as the unblinking eye begins looking for Taliban.
God bless America indeed.
The Unblinking Eyes of Sauron are intended for use over foreign soil. But with the increasing militarization of US borders and police, I wonder how long until they or their successors are deployed over our own heads? looking for brown-skinned interlopers, pot growers, and terrorists under every rock.
I’m reminded of a couple of pieces by heavy metal bands, though these work just as well for spy satellites. The first is a creepy intro, “An Eye Is Upon You,” by Powerman 5000 for their science fiction themed album Tonight the Stars Revolt! And the second is “Electric Eye” by one of my favorite bands, Judas Priest (their compilation album Metal Works is a good place to start).
Update: Apparently, Lockheed also developed a combat airship but was beaten to the contract by Northrop Grumman. Lockheed is still aggressively marketing the wanted-to-be military-industrial complex boondoggle. I’ll bet the DHS and DEA would just love to put them to use. Here is the marketing video:
Cross-posted at Is-Ought GAP.