The World’s Largest Spy Is Listening

Shhh, it’s a secret.

Spying from Space: U.S. Launches World’s Largest Satellite

The United States has just launched the largest satellite ever to orbit earth; while its exact purpose is secret, we know it’s not going to be monitoring the weather.

Its mission will be to gather intelligence for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

The satellite, dubbed NROL-32, was sent into orbit yesterday by a Delta 4 Heavy rocket —the largest unmanned rocket with the most powerful liquid-fueled booster. U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Director Bruce Carlson said the NROL-32 would be “the largest satellite in the world.”

All this superlative hugeness isn’t likely just a result of Americans’ obsession with size; in fact, the NRO launches almost as many small vehicles into space as it does large ones. More to the point, however, NROL-32 has a very important job: replacing a slew of Cold War-era satellites currently in orbit past their expiration dates.

Carlson gave an address (links to a PDF that’s a good read on the bureaucracy of space) last month in which he stated that the agency had adopted a new charter and “a remarkably aggressive launch campaign” to go along with it.

See also:
U.S. Launches Largest Surveillance Satellite
U.S. Launches Largest-Ever Spy Satellite: Report
World’s Largest Satellite Launched On Sunday
Classified spy satellite launched from Fla.
Delta IV Blasts Off with NRO Satellite
Spy satellite called world’s largest
‘Eavesdropper’ satellite rides huge rocket from Florida
Air Force Launches Massive, Secret Spy Satellite
US launches giant eavesdropping satellite
“National Reconnaissance Office Update”
National Reconnaissance Office
National Reconnaissance Office

My guess is that this is a very large communications vacuum cleaner and there’s a very good chance and that no electronic communication on the planet is safe from interception.

/of course, theoretically, the NRO isn’t allowed to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens, but can the satellite tell the difference?

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Enemy Of The Economy

Elizabeth Warren has never held a private sector job, never worked in the financial industry, and she hates banks, with a passion. So, what’s Obama’s brilliant idea? Let’s put her in charge of the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection bureaucracy! There’s only one problem, that position requires Senate confirmation and Warren is so toxic that even top Democrats know that there’s no way she would ever be confirmed. So, does that stop Obama, have Constitutional requirements ever stopped Obama? Hell no! Obama just ignored the Senate confirmation requirement and appointed her as his newest “czarina”.

Obama names Warren to new post

President Obama on Friday formally tapped Harvard Law Prof. Elizabeth Warren as a “special adviser” tasked with setting up a new consumer watchdog agency, sidestepping a thorny Senate confirmation battle and drawing the ire of Republicans.

Ms. Warren, who had been serving as head of the investigative board that oversees the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, is a hero to many progressives but is viewed coolly by financial firms turned off by her harsh rhetoric surrounding their role in the recession.

That’s likely one of the reasons Mr. Obama opted not to name Ms. Warren director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as that position would require Senate confirmation — something that even Democrats, including Sen. Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, have said may not be possible. Instead, she will take the lead in establishing the new regulator, serving as a special adviser to Treasury Sec. Timothy Geithner and a special assistant to Mr. Obama.

See also:
Warren takes post; liberals cheer
Hurdles for Warren in Agency Launch
Warren is named bureau adviser
Obama taps Elizabeth Warren to launch Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Barack Obama taps Elizabeth Warren for consumer watchdog job
What has Wall Street got against Elizabeth Warren?
Obama names consumer advocate Warren to new post
Obama makes it offical: taps Elizabeth Warren as financial consumer czar
Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren

Oh boy, just what this economy needs, a brand new gigantic government bureaucracy, created by someone with zero private sector experience, that will generate reams of onerous new government regulations. Is it any wonder why the United States has such an unfriendly business climate?

/somewhere in Germany, the Board of Deutsche Bank is smiling

Open Wide

Apparently, the Democrats are somehow under the mistaken impression that American citizens are still hungry for even more economy killing bull[expletive deleted] to be crammed down their taxpayer throats.

/Michael Ramirez

Kerry’s Powerless America Act

Regulations: Call it cap-and-trade or bait-and-switch, but John Kerry and Joe Lieberman continue to tilt at windmills with a bill to restrain energy growth in the name of saving the planet.

The bill introduced Wednesday and sponsored by the two senators is called the American Power Act, an Orwellian phrase if ever there was one. Like President Obama’s offshore drilling program, for every “incentive” there is a restriction. It’s as if Hamlet were to be appointed Secretary of Energy.

The legislation has little to do with developing America’s vast domestic energy supply. It’s cap-and-trade meets pork-barrel spending. It’s about regulations, restrictions and research. It does not deal with exploiting America’s vast energy reserves but with finding ways to mitigate their alleged harmful effect.

To that end, the bill creates some 60 new agencies and projects to eat up our tax dollars and buy support (see list alongside).

See also:
Cap And Tax Bureaucracy
Senators Propose Emissions Reductions Bill
Boondoggle giveaway: A glimpse at the new Senate cap-and-trade bill
Senate Climate Bill: Last Chance for Cap and Trade
Climate change bill in a tough spot
Now Launched, the Climate Bill Faces Period of Hard Work
Kerry-Lieberman Bill Bad for Consumers
Joe Lieberman’s sad, doomed American Power Act
Cap and Scam
How To Strangle the Economy

Needless to say, not a single Republican is on board with this job destroying garbage dump. In fact, it’s really hard to find much Democrat support for the bloated, bureaucratic eco-scam either.

/so, Kerry’s Folly is probably dead on arrival for now, however, it’s still best to vote these Democrat nimrods out of majority control of Congress so they can’t resurrect it from the grave

National Security Policy In Wonderland

Jihad, what jihad?

EDITORIAL: Obama’s jihad on ‘jihad’

President Obama’s latest strategic innovation in the war on terrorism is to ignore jihad and maybe it will go away.

The Obama administration is removing terms such as “jihad” and “Islamic extremism” from the U.S. National Security Strategy in an attempt to convince Muslim countries that America doesn’t view them solely through the lens of counterterrorism. It’s reasonable to look beyond terrorism in developing relationships with Islamic states. Our assistance programs are based on humanitarian motives, for example, so they need not explicitly draw links between promoting good will and hopefully making it less likely that people will fly aircraft into our buildings.

But the National Security Strategy is not some kind of outreach initiative, it is the framing document for America’s global safety. The United States cannot effectively combat the root causes of Islamic extremism by ignoring them. The war on terror – rather, the “overseas contingency operation,” in O Force terminology – won’t be effective if this country overlooks the nature of the enemy and his motives. The U.S. strategic blueprint is not the proper place for a public-relations stunt.

Even the Muslim majority states in question understand the religious component of terrorism as a motivator, recruiting tool and strategic road map. They are threatened by Islamic extremism even more than the United States and have no problem describing the threat by its true nature, which must be understood if it is to be defeated.

The most troubling signal is the one being sent through the bureaucracy that any thoughtful discussion of Islamic radicalism and the global threat it poses will be hazardous to one’s career. Analyses of the extremist Muslim threat will be increasingly deleted from briefing papers, assessments and planning documents. Those who continue to spread the alarm will be marginalized and ignored. Such sanitizing may please the White House, but it’s likely to put the United States in more danger as threats that should have been detected in advance slip by because officials have been trained not to look for them.

See also:
Obama administration removing terms like ‘Islamic extremism’ from national security document
World must not ignore terrorism’s religious aspect
Will White House Tone Down Terror Terminology?
Obama moves to de-link terrorism from Islam
Obama talks less of terror in outreach to Muslims
Mush From the Wimp: Obama, Orwell and National-Security Psychobabble
War By Euphemism
Obama Administration Declares Victory In War On Semantics

Yeah, just ignore reality and it’ll just go away. We’re through the looking glass on national defense here people.

/gee, what could Obama possibly do to make America any more vulnerable to a catastrophic attack?