WTC 7 Evaluation is a study at the University of Alaska Fairbanks using finite element modeling to evaluate the possible causes of World Trade Center Building 7’s collapse.
The Air Force has hired civilian defense contractors to fly MQ-9 Reaper drones to help track suspected militants and other targets in global hot spots, a previously undisclosed expansion in the privatization of once-exclusively military functions.
For the first time, civilian pilots and crews now operate what the Air Force calls “combat air patrols,” daily round-the-clock flights above areas of military operations to provide video and collect other sensitive intelligence.
Contractors control two Reaper patrols a day, but the Air Force plans to expand that to 10 a day by 2019. Each patrol involves up to four drones.
Civilians are not allowed to pinpoint targets with lasers or fire missiles. They operate only Reapers that provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, known as ISR, said Air Force Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command.
“There are limitations on it,” he said. The contractors “are not combatants.”
Nonetheless, the contracts have generated controversy within the military.
Critics, including some military lawyers, contend that civilians are now part of what the Air Force calls the “kill chain,” a process that starts with surveillance and ends with a missile launch. That could violate laws barring civilians from taking part in armed conflict.
The use of contractors reflects in part the Pentagon’s growing problem in recruiting, training and retaining military drone pilots for the intensifying air war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. It is several hundred short of its goal of 1,281 pilots.
The contractors are Aviation Unmanned, a small, 3-year-old company based in Addison, Texas, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., a far-larger firm based in Poway, outside San Diego, that is the only supplier of armed drones to the Pentagon.
La France maçonnique from TOPDOC on Vimeo.
La France maçonnique is the first episode in a series of documentaries entitled Apocalypse France. It’s currently only available in French, but will eventually be subtitled for the wider world.
The film takes a dim view of French Masonry, especially the Grand Orient, which is described as a lobby with strong ties to the Socialist Party and a
It was great at snooping but terrible at stopping terrorists.
On Sunday, the National Security Agency will have to shut down one of its controversial mass surveillance programs: the unlimited collection of the phone records of millions of Americans, known as bulk metadata collection.
That program allowed the NSA to collect information about citizens’ phone calls, including whom they were calling, when and where they made calls, and how long those calls lasted. While metadata collection doesn’t include what was said during those calls, the information can allow intelligence analysts to build up extensive profiles of an individual’s pattern of life. The New York Times first reported on the bulk metadata program, which was created under the Patriot Act, in late 2005, but it didn’t attract truly widespread outrage—or reform—until details of the program appeared in the documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013. A federal judge in Washington, DC, ordered the program to stop in a ruling issued later that year, but that didn’t happen until Congress passed a law this May that outlawed the bulk metadata program as of November 29. Under the new law, phone companies must now keep such records themselves, and intelligence agencies must seek permission from a federal judge to access specific data.