Posted by jfb on December 11th, 2009 | 0 comments
Here’s a simple strategy to win in Afghanistan. What could possibly go wrong?
More about Blackwater:
Notice how carefully phrased the denial is:
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Blackwater, said Thursday that it was never under contract to participate in clandestine raids with the C.I.A. or with Special Operations personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else.
So did they do it without a contract? Or under contract to someone else?
Here’s a new stealth drone operating out of Afghanistan. The Wikipedia article points out the most salient question: what’s it doing there?
The fact that the UAV is deployed to Afghanistan, in spite of the Taliban not possessing radar, has led to speculation that the aircraft is being used to spy on Pakistan or Iran.
And finally tonight, this:
Posted by jfb on December 7th, 2009 | 0 comments
I ripped on Blackwater’s Erik Prince the other day at shutupyouareanidiot.com, but fortunately Jeremy Scahill has a more intelligent analysis at the Nation:
The term of art for what Prince appears to be doing in the VF interview is graymail: a legal tactic that has been used for years by intelligence operatives or assets who are facing prosecution or fear they soon will be. In short, these operatives or assets threaten to reveal details of sensitive or classified operations in order to ward off indictments or criminal charges, based on the belief that the government would not want these details revealed. “The only reason Prince would do this [interview] is that he feels he is in very serious jeopardy of criminal charges,” says Scott Horton, a prominent national security and military law expert. “He absolutely would not do these things otherwise.”
And here’s a story about pirates:
Two years ago, a teen named Adani lived on the streets of Bossaso. Now, at only 19 years old, he is a pirate and owns a big house and large truck. He says he has taken part in two hijackings that earned him $75,000, and plans to take part in one more high-seas heist.
“When you have nothing people despise you and if they see that you have money you will be respected,” said Adani, who gave only one name for fear of reprisals. “This next job will be my last in the piracy trade. I know it’s a big risk but I believe in gambling. If I win, I will get married and give up piracy.”
Posted by jfb on November 20th, 2008 | 0 comments
Still no pirates in space yet, sad to say.
And your space roundup today is all hands-on. No pretty pictures from Hubble or exciting new discoveries, just the work of making it all happen. Or not, as the case may be.
And as long as I’m here:
Posted by jfb on July 30th, 2008 | 0 comments
Some late arrivals for X-day? Sorry, guys. The beer is all gone.
Did you spot the mysterious lights over Sheffield?
Tens of People Witnessed UFO in Kaliningrad
Our garden was buzzed by a UFO!
VIDEO EXCLUSIVE! MY UFO EXPERIENCE: UFO Taped Over Topanga Canyon!
Yesterday I gave you jetpacks. Today it’s flying cars. Is that awesome? (yes/yes)
Transition roadable-plane/flyable-car prototype on show
Yesterday I gave you Sasquatch. Today it’s Yeti. Is Yeti awesome? (yes/yes)
‘Yeti hairs’ examined
Space is awesome too.
Cracks Appear In Ice Under Mars Lander
NASA Craft To View Solar System’s Invisible Frontier
At the edge of our solar system in December 2004, the Voyager 1 spacecraft encountered something never before experienced during its then 26-year cruise through the solar system — an invisible shock formed as the solar wind piles up against the gas in interstellar space. This boundary, called the termination shock, marks the beginning of our solar system’s final frontier, a vast expanse of turbulent gas and twisting magnetic fields.
Are crazy Russians with multi-barrel grenade launchers awesome? Depends which end of the launcher you’re on. This one earns a rare and coveted “mayhem” tag.
How to beat sea piracy: put grenade launchers on boats
OK, so the Arctic is definitely awesome. But militarizing it and digging it up for oil are not. Neither is global warming. Sorry, kids. Not everything can be awesome all the time.
Arctic sheds huge chunks of ice
Announcement: Arctic Oil Won’t Eliminate Our Energy Needs!
A separate USGS study estimates that a billion-barrel Arctic oil field would cost about USD37 per barrel to produce, plus about USD3 per barrel in exploration costs. It costs about USD2 per barrel to pump oil from the ground in Saudi Arabia and USD5 to USD7 per barrel in Venezuela and Azerbaijan.
And here are more well-armed Russians:
Russian warships resume patrols of the Arctic sea
And finally, just to keep it balanced, things that really suck:
Blackwater May Have Fudged Numbers to Get $100M in Contracts
Flint seeks sponsors for police surveillance cameras; some question whether it’s appropriate
Posted by jfb on July 23rd, 2008 | 0 comments
Dangerous criminals are loose upon the land:
Police arrest man accused of taking 42 cents from mall fountain
More updates on this one:
SF mayor gets codes to hijacked city network
Inside the mind – and config – of Terry Childs
Joint Manned Spacecraft Unveiled
European Probe Swings Close by Martian Moon
Here’s an older picture of Phobos from Mars Express:
NASA, USDA Sign Space Station Research Agreement
And this one is sort of vague and ambiguous, yet makes me think I should be preparing to smash things up:
Celestial Marketing Set to Take Brands to New Heights: Start-Up Agency Boasts New Space Advertising Model
And the usual other crap:
US diplomat says order must return to ‘lawless’ northern Kosovo
Blackwater’s All-Seeing Airships
This one doesn’t say much that’s new, but it’s interesting to get the Lloyd’s view:
Protecting against the modern-day pirates
As levels of piracy rise, so ship owners can expect insurance premiums to go up, with Ken Alston of risk specialist Marsh saying this was an eventuality to be ‘expected’. He added that the scale of the additional premium being charged at the moment is ‘unlikely to have an impact on the consumer’ but if the number of incidences increases, this may change. In May 2008, the Joint War Committee added the Gulf of Aden, located between Somalia and Yemen, to a list of places at high threat of hull war, strikes, terrorism and related perils. It is now comparable to the likes of Iraq in terms of insurance risk, according to the committee.
Posted by jfb on July 22nd, 2008 | 0 comments
Separated at birth?
Radovan Karadzic, the butcher of Bosnia, vs. Cesare Bonizzi, the heavy metal monk.
New Project to Develop GPS-Like System for the Moon
He described incidents during past lunar missions when astronauts were traveling to a target site such as a crater, and got within a few yards of it — but couldn’t see the crater because of difficult terrain.
“They were so close, but they had to turn back for safety’s sake,” he said.
Canada’s spreading cannabis crop
Somali pirates seize Japanese ship
US troops train Georgians amid tension
Georgia says S.Ossetia ‘kidnaps’ were arrests by police
Kosovo moves to issue passports
Blackwater Plans Exit From Guard Work
A cynic might wonder if they’ll just shift the security operations to a different subsidiary, or maybe a corporation that’s not legally connected at all, and keep a lower profile. Do you know a cynic like that?
Advertising: A Product’s Place Is on the Set
Read the article, folks. It’s about product placement on the news.