Tag Archives: Dept of Defense

Military has a robot that's creepily human

DARPA or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies which have had a major effect on the world, including computer networking (note: Al Gore did not invent the Internet. LOL).
DARPA has been at work designing sophisticated military robots. Here’s the creepy-looking PETMAN, a robot developed to test the performance of protective clothing designed for hazardous environments. The Daily Bail aptly puts it: “Imagine this guy knocking at your door to conduct a police manhunt for a suspected terrorist. Say hello to the future.”
The PETMAN robot was developed by Boston Dynamics with funding from the Dept of Defense’s Chemical and Biological Defense program. It is the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person. The video shows initial testing in a chemical protection suit and gas mask. PETMAN has sensors embedded in its skin that detect any chemicals leaking through the suit. The skin also maintains a micro-climate inside the clothing by sweating and regulating temperature. Partners in developing PETMAN were MRIGlobal, Measurement Technology Northwest, Smith Carter, SRD, CUH2A, and HHI.
On the other hand, this pack mule robot, LS3 (Legged Squad), is kinda cute:
Working with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), DARPA developed the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) program — robotic “pack mules” that one day would carry gear for a squad of Marines or Army soldiers. The robots are able to get back up from a fall by itself, interpret verbal and visual commands, and autonomously follow people (i.e., independently make “Follow the Leader” decisions) through rugged terrain.

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Obama regime supplies military-grade arms to police

During the 2012 campaign season, a friend told me that his police contacts said Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seemingly is so flush with unlimited funds that it’s giving away “goodies” — guns and bullets — to local police across America.
Now we have confirmation that the police in at least one state, Georgia, has acquired from the Dept of Defense not just guns and bullets, but military-grade vehicles and weapons, including armored trucks and grenade launchers.
That is why bloggers who casually speak of an armed uprising by citizen militias are at best, grandstanding, and at worst, dangerously naive.
See also FOTM’s posts colored red on our “Police State/NWO” page.

Cobb County Police Department's armored personnel carrier (Image credits: End the Lie compilation/CrooksandLiars/CobbCountyGA.gov/TheRealIsraelites)Cobb County Police Department’s armored personnel carrier (Image credits: End the Lie compilation/CrooksandLiars/CobbCountyGA.gov/TheRealIsraelites)

Georgia police acquired $200 million worth of military-grade vehicles and weapons through DoD

By Madison Ruppert, Editor of End the Lie
Feb. 1, 2013
Some 600 police departments and sheriff’s offices in Georgia have joined the many law enforcement agencies nationwide using military-grade equipment, once again raising concerns around local law enforcement’s need for such heavy duty weaponry.
As I reported in 2011, the Pentagon gives away military equipment to law enforcement agencies under the 1033 program in addition to military robots provided by the Department of Defense, police use of armored surveillance vehicles provided for nearly nothing by corporations, law enforcement use of tanks and armored personnel carriers and drones.
According to Georgia’s Department of Public Safety, the military equipment and weaponry owned by law enforcement agencies in the state is worth some $200 million, some of which is possessed by tiny departments with less than 20 officers.
In an attempt to justify this militarization, Bloomingdale Police Chief Roy Pike told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “officers ‘are armed to meet any threat,’ so criminals should just stay away. Having the equipment precludes having to use it. In the 20 years I’ve been here, we haven’t had to use deadly force against anybody.”
Yet Pike’s department, with a mere 13 officers, acquired a grenade launcher for shooting tear gas, two M14 semiautomatic rifles and two semiautomatic M16 rifles all through the Pentagon’s 1033 program, according to the Journal-Constitution.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, which had 117 sworn law enforcement officers as of 2010, according to their most recent annual report on their website, similarly obtained four grenade launchers.
Highlighting the absurdity and complete lack of necessity behind these acquisitions, the Journal-Constitution reported, “Several local law enforcement officials said if their agencies had to buy the stuff, they’d just do without most of it. But since it’s donated, they find a place for it.”
In other words, they really don’t need it, but since the military is giving it away, they take it anyway and simply “find a place for it,” whatever that means.
Emphasizing the absurdity of this type of activity, Tim Lynch, the director of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice said, “When this equipment is given away, police departments start saying, ‘Let’s grab it. Once the military equipment is in the hands of law enforcement agencies, we have militarized units going into the community in situations where they aren’t warranted.”
Lynch is also the editor of two books, has published articles in law journals and major newspapers, made appearances on national news shows, a member of the Wisconsin, District of Colombia and Supreme Court bars and is heavily involved with the Cato Institute’s National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
This is one of the most alarming trends in American policing,” Lynch said, referring to the increasingly common militarization of local law enforcement. “We used to call them peace officers and they would treat people … with more respect and civility,” he said to the Journal-Constitution. “We’re getting away from that. We’re getting into these military tactics and mindset that the people they (police) come into contact with are the enemy … and part of this is the militarized units in police departments.”
Indeed, it is only logical that the militarized training and military-grade equipment would create a military mindset officers who should be trained to protect and serve.
According to Georgia state records, some of the acquisitions include:

  • One armored truck, 106 M16s and eight M14s for the Cobb County Police Department (in addition to a second armored vehicle purchased using federal grant funds)
  • One armored personnel carrier, 15 M16s and 12 M14s for the Newnan Police Department
  • Two armored personnel carriers and 16 M15 rifles for the Waycross Police Department
  • One armored personnel carrier and 17 M14 rifles for the Cartersville Police Department
  • One helicopter, one armored truck, 11 M16s and five M14s for the Clayton County Police Department
  • One armored personnel carrier for the Doraville Police Department
  • One armored truck for the Georgia Department of Corrections
  • Seven armored vehicles for the Georgia Department of Homeland Security
  • Armored trucks for the Sandy Springs Police Department and Pelham Police Department along with the Gordon, Morgan, Oconee, Pickens and Walton county sheriff’s offices

Overall, some 600 law enforcement agencies in Georgia have obtained 3,532 military-grade rifles, eight grenade launchers, 26 armored trucks/personnel carriers and 26 “unaccounted for weapons,” according to the Journal-Constitution.
According to state records, the U.S. Department of Defense values each of the armored personnel carriers at nearly $245,000 and each of the armored trucks around $65,000.
State records did not list a value for the rifles or grenade launchers, although one can assume that they’re not all that cheap.
Unsurprisingly, proponents of the program claim they save lives – even though, as shown above, agencies say they could do without it if they had to actually buy it – and there is a waiting list of agencies itching to get their hands on armored vehicles and military weapons.
“It gives the … SWAT guys a protection to where they can get closer to the folks shooting at them,” said Don Sherrod.
Sherrod is the Director of Excess Property for the Georgia Department of Public Safety and overseer of the program for the Department of Defense.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety, “Excess Property was formally created in 1991 to provide a coordinated means for state and local law enforcement agencies to obtain excess Department of Defense (DOD) equipment.”
Excess Property also assists law enforcement agencies in purchasing equipment using Federal government contracts.
“When you pull up in something … and the bullets start bouncing off, they (criminals) give up,” Sherrod said.
While the Cobb County Police Department said their SWAT team uses their armored vehicles to remove people from a “hot zone” or get officers closer to a “volatile situation,” other agencies have not even used their equipment.
Captain Craig Dodson of the Carroll County Sherrif’s Office, for example, said they haven’t used their grenade launchers or any of their 65 M16 rifles.
“Our goal is to try to equip every patrolman in the law enforcement division with a rifle,” Dodson told the Journal-Constitution.
“The M16 … gives you more capability to penetrate body armor or to make long-distance shots if you are not able to get closer,” Dodson continued. “It’s a safety blanket. We ask people to go out and do a job, and we want to give them the tools to be safe and do the job.”
The Journal-Constitution cites several local residents who are quite concerned by this military buildup.
“What are we headed to?” Asked Candace Garrett Daly, a Cobb County resident. “Whatever it is seems to be already in motion at a breakneck speed. The police are preparing for an enemy. My question is, ‘Who is the enemy?’”
UPDATE: The Journal-Constitution article states that the M-16 rifles were converted to semi-automatic.

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Enough with the U.S. military being police of the world!

America’s national debt is now 102% of GDP and at $15.904 trillion, is fast approaching $16 trillion with each passing second (see U.S. Debt Clock).
In fiscal year 2010, the Department of Defense accounted for 18.74% of federal government expenditure. That means the government spends nearly $2 out of every $10 on the military.
This morning comes news that the U.S. Marine Corps is creating law enforcement battalions.
Yes, you read correctly. Not military defense, but LAW ENFORCEMENT.

Julie Watson reports for the AP, July 22, 2012:
The Marine Corps has created its first law enforcement battalions – a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations.
The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs. … Marines have been increasingly taking on the role of a street cop along with their combat duties over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been in charge of training both countries’ security forces. Those skills now can be used as a permanent part of the Marine Corps, Durham said.
… The battalions will be capable of helping control civil disturbances, handling detainees, carrying out forensic work, and using biometrics to identify suspects. Durham said they could assist local authorities in allied countries in securing crime scenes and building cases so criminals end up behind bars and not back out on the streets because of mistakes. …
Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge who teaches law of war at Georgetown University, said Marines have already been doing this kind of work for years but now that it has been made more formal by the creation of the battalions, it could raise a host of questions, especially on the use of force. … “Am I a Marine or a cop? Can I be both?” he said. “Cops apply human rights law and Marines apply the law of war. Now that it’s blended, it makes it tougher for the young men and women who have to make the decision as to when deadly force is not appropriate.”
In his 2004 important and insightful essay for The Future of Freedom Foundation,The Bill of Rights: Antipathy to Militarism,”  Jacob G. Hornberger reminds us:
The Third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “no Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
Obviously, the Third Amendment has little relevance today. But what is relevant for us today is the mindset that underlay the passage of that amendment — a mindset of deep antipathy toward militarism and standing armies. Our ancestors’ fierce opposition to a powerful military force was consistent with their overall philosophy that guided the formation of the Constitution and the passage of the Bill of Rights. …
Historically, governments had misused standing armies in two ways, both of which ultimately subjected the citizenry to tyranny. One was to engage in faraway wars, which inevitably entailed enormous expenditures, enabling the government to place ever-increasing tax burdens on the people. Such wars also inevitably entailed “patriotic” calls for blind allegiance to the government so long as the war was being waged. Consider, for example, the immortal words of James Madison, who is commonly referred to as “the father of the Constitution”:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people…. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

The second way to use a standing army to impose tyranny was the direct one — the use of troops to establish order and obedience among the citizenry. Ordinarily, if a government has no huge standing army at its disposal, many people will choose to violate immoral laws that always come with a tyrannical regime; that is, they engage in what is commonly known as “civil disobedience” — the disobedience to immoral laws. But as the Chinese people discovered at Tiananmen Square, when the government has a standing army to enforce its will, civil disobedience becomes much more problematic.
Consider again the words of Madison:

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

The idea is that governments use their armies to produce the enemies, then scare the people with cries that the barbarians are at the gates, and then claim that war is necessary to put down the barbarians. With all this, needless to say, comes increased governmental power over the people.
Sound familiar?

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DARPA scientists: Young Obama went to Mars

Being a blogger, I’m constantly trawling the net for news. Rarely, however, have I come across a piece of news this bizarre. It does not appear to be a hoax.
There is an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, better known by its acronym DARPA.

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, DARPA is charged with developing new military technology. The agency focuses on short-term (2 to 4 years) projects and is independent from other more conventional military R&D, reporting directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has around 240 personnel and a budget of $3.2 billion. Since its founding in 1958, DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies that have had a major effect on the world, such as computer networking.
DARPA has six program offices, all of which report to the DARPA director. The current DARPA director (since 2009) is Regina E. Dugan.
Some of DARPA’s current active projects are:

DARPA (under its first name, ARPA) was created 1958 in response to the 1957 Soviet launching of Sputnik. Given its beginning and its mission to develop cutting-edge military technology, the news that two DARPA scientists claim they once served as chrononauts (time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents) may not be completely outlandish.
What is outlandish is that the two scientists say they had been accompanied on a Mars mission by a teenage Barack Obama, then named Barry Soetoro.

Finally the mystery of the Face on Mars is solved! It’s Barack Obama!

Spencer Ackerman reports for science and technology magazine Wired, Jan. 3, 2012:

As a young man in the early 1980s, Obama was part of a secret CIA project to explore Mars. The future president teleported there, along with the future head of Darpa.

That’s the assertion, at least, of a pair of self-proclaimed time-traveling, universe-exploring government agents. Andrew D. Basiago and William Stillings insist that they once served as “chrononauts” at Darpa’s behest, traversing the boundaries of time and space. They swear: A youthful Barack Obama was one of them. […]

As “Barry Soetero,” the 19-year-old Obama was one of 10 youths selected to secretly teleport to and from Mars, forming a band of interplanetary Teen Titans. Regina Dugan, the director of Darpa, was another member.

Between 1981 and 1983, Obama is supposed to have visited Mars twice, by way of a teleportation chamber called a “jump room.” Basiago, a fellow chrononaut, told the website Exopolitics that he saw Obama “walk back to the jump room from across the Martian terrain.” To acknowledge his comrade, Obama is said to have told Basiago, “We’re here” — apparently, “with some sense of fatalism.”

It is not known what exactly Obama did on Mars. […] “Simply put, your task is to be seen and not eaten,” an elder chrononaut, retired Army Maj. Ed Dames, is alleged to have told a young Obama.

Ackerman reports that “Officially, the White House says Obama never went to Mars.”
Maybe that’s why Obama ended NASA’s manned space program. He’s been there and done that! LOL

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Agenda 21 and Obama's Rural Council EO

Full Text of EO 13575

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U.S. Intelligence and Pentagon Clueless on Egypt

First it was our government’s intelligence agencies being caught surprised by the events in Egypt.
At a House Intelligence Committee hearing last Thursday, Feb. 10, CIA Director Leon Panetta told lawmakers “I have the same information you do.” Panetta then said he expected Egypt President Hosni Mubarak to step down soon, perhaps the next day. But the kick is this: Panetta based his prediction not on secret intelligence but on media broadcasts, the same information that you, I, and what CBS anchorwoman Katie Couric calls “the great unwashed middle of the country” have! 
Then, in the same House Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper inspires even more confidence [sarcasm alert] when he admitted that the U. S. intelligence committee was surprised by the protesters in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, but insists the same U.S. intelligence committee has been steadfast in monitoring events in the Middle East.
Now we are told that the Pentagon’s fancy-dancy computer models — which cost taxpayers $125 million for the last 3 years and are supposed to forecast political unrest — somehow failed to anticipate those same “events in the Middle East,” such as the huge demonstrations in Cairo which went on for almost 3 weeks and which succeeded in ousting a 30-year president dictator.
Way to go, CIA and Pentagon! Glad to know that, at a time when millions of Americans are unemployed and are on food stamps, taxpayers are pouring millions of dollars down rat holes.
~EowynPentagon’s Prediction Software Didn’t Spot Egypt Unrest

By Noah Shachtman – Wired – Feb 11, 2011 
In the last three years, America’s military and intelligence agencies have spent more than $125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. It’s the latest episode in Washington’s four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.
Instead, the head of the CIA is getting hauled in front of Congress, making calls about Egypt’s future based on what he read in the press, and getting proven wrong hours later. Meanwhile, an array of Pentagon-backed social scientists, software engineers and computer modelers are working to assemble forecasting tools that are able to reliably pick up on geopolitical trends worldwide. It remains a distant goal.
All of our models are bad, some are less bad than others,” says Mark Abdollahian, a political scientist and executive at Sentia Group, which has built dozens of predictive models for government agencies. “We do better than human estimates, but not by much,” Abdollahian adds. “But think of this like Las Vegas. In blackjack, if you can do four percent better than the average, you’re making real money.” 
Over the past three years, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has handed out $90 million to more than 50 research labs to assemble some basic tools, theories and processes than might one day produce a more predictable prediction system. None are expected to result in the digital equivalent of crystal balls any time soon.
In the near term, Pentagon insiders say, the most promising forecasting effort comes out of Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. And even the results from this Darpa-funded Integrated Crisis Early Warning System (ICEWS) have been imperfect, at best. ICEWS modelers were able to forecast four of 16 rebellions, political upheavals and incidents of ethnic violence to the quarter in which they occurred. Nine of the 16 events were predicted within the year, according to a 2010 journal article [.pdf] from Sean O’Brien, ICEWS’ program manager at Darpa.
Darpa spent $38 million on the program, and is now working with Lockheed and the United States Pacific Command to make the model a more permanent component of the military’s planning process. There are no plans, at the moment, to use ICEWS for forecasting in the Middle East.
ICEWS is only the latest in a long, long series of prediction programs to come out of the Pentagon’s way-out research shop. Back in the early 1980s, products from a Darpa crisis-warning system program allegedly filled President Reagan’s daily intelligence briefing, with uncertain results. In the late ’80s, analyst Bruce Bueno de Mesquita began his modeling work. According to The New York Times Magazine, Bueno de Mesquita picked Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini’s successor five years ahead of time, and forecast Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s ouster — to the month.
One former CIA analyst claims that Bueno de Mesquita was “accurate 90 percent of the time.” It’s an assertion that no one — inside the government or out — has independently verified. Perhaps someone at the CIA really is relying on the model, and it really is that good. That hasn’t stopped the agency from swinging and missing for decades on Middle East intelligence estimates.
In 2002, the military’s National Defense University began tapping Abdollahian and his “Senturion predictive political simulation model” to forecast unfolding events in Iraq. According to Abdollahian, the model accurately predicted that Bush administration favorite Ahmed Chalabi would prove to be a lousy ally, and that both Sunni and Shi’ite insurgencies would grow to seriously challenge U.S. forces.
Both Abdollahian and Bueno de Mesquita take a similar approach to the prediction game. They interview lots and lots of experts about the key players in a given field. Then they program software agents to replicate the behavior of those players. Finally, they let the agents loose, to see what they’ll do next. The method is useful, but limited. For every new situation, the modelers have to interview new experts, and program new agents.
A second approach is to look at the big social, economic and demographic forces at work in a region — the average age, the degree of political freedom, the gross domestic product per capita — and predict accordingly. This “macro-structural” approach can be helpful in figuring out long-term trends, and forecasting general levels of instability; O’Brien relied on it heavily, when he worked for the Army. For spotting specific events, however, it’s not enough.
The third method is to read the news. Or rather, to have algorithms read it. There are plenty of programs now in place that can parse media reports, tease out who is doing what to whom, and then put it all into a database. Grab enough of this so-called “event data” about the past and present, the modelers say, and you can make calls about the future. Essentially, that’s the promise of Recorded Future, the web-scouring startup backed by the investment arms of Google and the CIA.
But, of course, news reports are notoriously spotty, especially from a conflict zone. It’s one of the reasons why physicist Sean Gourley’s much heralded, tidy-looking equation to explain the chaos of war failed to impress in military circles. Relying on media accounts, it was unable to forecast the outcome of the 2007 military surge in Iraq.
ICEWS is an attempt to combine all three approaches, and ground predictions in social science theory, not just best guesses. In a preliminary test, the program was fed event data about Pacific nations from 2004 and 2005. Then the software was asked to predict when and where insurrections, international crises and domestic unrest would occur. Correctly calling nine of 16 events within the year they happened was considered hot stuff in the modeling world.
But it doesn’t even meet the threshold that O’Brien, the Darpa program manager and long-time military social scientist, set for strong models. If “we cannot correctly predict over 90% of the cases with which our model is concerned,” he writes, “then we have little basis to assert our understanding of a phenomenon, never mind our ability to explain it.”
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