June 5, 2008
Faux News loves it. NYPD’s new unmarked snoop helicopter, the “birdy bird,” as the neocon network calls it. The birdy bird can “recognize a face from two miles away, peer inside a building from three to four miles away, and track a suspect car from 12 miles away,” writes Kim Zetter for Wired. It was “designed by Bell Helicopter and has infrared night-vision and GPS navigation that allows police to zoom in on a location by typing in an address. Live footage captured by the helicopter’s cameras can be transmitted to a police command center or to handheld devices on the ground.” In other words, it is a dream come true for our rulers and their control freak minions as they go about constructing a control grid and digital panopticon all around us.
If you want to see the Faux News video report on the Birdy Bird, go here.
Faux says this thing is intended to protect us from terrorists, although they do not define what a terrorist is. I guess they mean al-Qaeda, but this can’t be right since there is no al-Qaeda, at least not lurking around Manhattan. So they must mean that other kind of terrorist — the kind opposed to invading small countries and killing millions of people, and the “anarchist” sort Geraldo talks about on Faux, 9/11 terrorists fond of planting big firecrackers at military recruiting centers in Times Square, or so the talking head insinuates, minus absolutely any evidence.
If you think I exaggerate, recall the NYPD going convert prior to the 2004 RNC, attending “meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists,” as the New York Times reported. “They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms…. In hundreds of reports stamped ‘N.Y.P.D. Secret,’ the Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had no apparent intention of breaking the law, the records show,” including members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar organizations, as well as environmentalists and people opposed to the death penalty, globalization and other government policies.
Cops also used the Fuji blimp to photograph antiwar demonstrators. “Cops will be mobilized in radio cars and on bicycles, scooters and motorcycles all over the city. Some cops will be posted in the Fujifilm blimp to gain a bird’s-eye view of the city. Sharpshooters will eye any suspicious activity from rooftops,” the New York Daily News reported on August 29, 2004. “Radiation detectors and boom-sniffing dogs will screen delegates and politicians, and activities will be monitored from more than 100 cameras positioned at sensitive locations throughout the city, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street, which also will have beefed-up patrols.”
Now they can add the Birdy Bird to their arsenal. In addition to a “bird’s-eye view,” they can glean a bedroom view, as this thing is positioned to look through windows. I imagine it will only be a matter of time before the Birdy Bird — promised to spread across the country — will be looking through walls, something that is now technically feasible. “Computer scientists and engineers have developed a new technology for the purpose of seeing through walls. The new technological gadget boasts visual penetration through wood, plaster, brick and reinforced concrete,” Science Daily reported last year. It’s called Xaver and it is “designed to find people through walls and tell you where they are and how many there are…. The military and law enforcement agencies have orders in for the new technology.” Makes you think of a scene straight of Minority Report.
Faux tells us the NYPD is not interested in looking through your walls or following you around from miles away as you run your daily errands, that is so long you are a “law-abiding” citizen and not part of a “well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment,” as New York’s Intelligence Division characterized people exercising their First Amendment rights.
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