Saturday, October 04, 2008

Exploding Gift Baskets

Ever since Bob Woodward released The War Within, an inside look at the war in Iraq, everybody has been speculating about the secret weapon he claims is responsible for the current period of stability. Certainly the cash we've been paying the insurgents has something to do with the success, but in a recent 60 Minutes interview, Woodward revealed something much more sophisticated:
"This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders. That is one of the true breakthroughs."
So when Bill Maher jokingly suggested "exploding gift baskets," and Woodward told him he was "close," I realized that this recent Wired article might have some merit:
I'm going to make a wager about what I think Woodward is talking about, and I'll be curious to see what Danger Room readers have to say. I believe he is talking about the much ballyhooed (in defense geek circles) "Tagging, Tracking and Locating" program; here's a briefing on it from Special Operations Command. These are newfangled technologies designed to track people from long distances, without the targeted people realizing they are being tracked. That can theoretically include thermal signatures, or some sort of "taggant" placed on a person. Think Will Smith in Enemy of the State. Well, not so many cameras, maybe.
I think we need to learn everything about this new weapon before the police state really kicks in. And please, would the next person who interviews Bob Woodward ask him how long until this new weapon is used against American citizens?

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