Afternoon Cowbell | Main | Eric Alterman: Let's Not Rush To Judgment In London!
July 08, 2005

DefenseTech Goes To Iraq

Hired by Wired:

For the moment, I can’t go into too many details about what I’ll be doing there. It’s just too tasty a story to let out of the oven before it’s baked. But here’s what I can say: I’ll be embedding with a high-tech Army unit – one that’s playing an absolutely central role in the counterinsurgency there. If these soldiers fail in their missions, the entire coalition operation could go up in smoke. If they succeed, lots and lots of American and Iraqi lives will be saved.

That's a hell of a teaser. Based on his previous posts, I'd have to guess he'll be with a unit using some sort of medium/long-range bomb detection/detonation equipment. But that's just a guess.

He's also down on London's surveillance camera system, noting that as a preventitive system it had no effect on the terrorists. They knew they were being taped, but carried out their attacks anyway.

But he concedes the obvious-- as an after-the-fact forensic tool, the cameras will almost certainly put most or even all of the hands-on culprits at the scenes of the crime.

It's a debate I don't feel like getting into, really. I know libertarian-trending people get all up in arms about Big Brother and all, but honestly, what the hell do you care that you're being videotaped on your way to the dry-cleaners?

One of the libertarian complaints about pervasive surveillance -- no one is really watching the cameras anyway, at least not in real time, so what's the point? -- seems more or less directly at odds with their other complaint -- we've lost our right to move about freely, as we're being eyeballed constantly.

Well, no you're not, really. Unless you're a hot lipstick lesbian making out with a busty and coquettish cheerleader on the street, you're probably not being eyeballed much at all. And the tapes and hard-drives are periodically erased -- both to save money and to not keep permanent surveillance records of trivial events.

So, again, unless you're engaging in semi-legal-but-really-f'n'-hot behavior in public, you're probably just fine.

So many libertarian arguments, all about one's "right" to go to a Mr. Softee ice-cream truck without being spotted by a camera, seem awfully useful to criminals and terrorists. The don't mean to help criminals and terrorists, I know-- but that's the upshot.

All this worry about hypothetical invasions of privacy (while in public, mind you) and being watched performing utterly anodyne chores and commuting to work must be balanced against the fact that real criminals and murderous terrorists are being taped too, and videotape is a powerful law enforcement tool.


digg this
posted by Ace at 02:36 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Zettai Ryoiki: "First! ..."

Insomniac - Nobody in Particular: "Is this as simple as these Mooks didn't know how t ..."

Jeff SezZzions: "[i]Lefties HATE charities.[/i]They consider confis ..."

kraken: "I had heard that some in the Left were looking int ..."

no good deed : "Like people only give to charities because of a fu ..."

garrett: ">>Homemade peppermint bark. Mmmm. I had Peanu ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Booking Agent, Aero Pinochet: "Would be fun to hack/spoof Holder's Twitter. Mess ..."

Dack Thrombosis: "And, like they care. Lefties HATE charities. That' ..."

Brave Sir Robin: "There's more than one? Posted by: wth at December ..."

jakee308: "One major problem with declaring that you will not ..."

BJ "Cutter" Clintoon: "The hell with donating my underwear under these ne ..."

flounder, rebel, vulgarian, deplorable, winner: "Homemade peppermint bark. Mmmm. ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64