Thursday, September 28, 2006
The Chinese use lazers in attempt to blind our spy sattelites
The Telegraph (the UK) has the story on how China is using powerful lazer weapons to try to disable American satellites by "blinding" their sensitive surveillance devices.
The guidance systems technology these weapons are based on came from - guess who?- Loral, the major military defence firm and heavy Democratic party donor in the 1990's who was allowed to ship previously classified military technology to the Chinese by the Clinton administration in exchange for campaign cash...yet another thing America owes to Mr. Bill.
The attacks have been kept secret by the Bush administration for fear that it would damage attempts to enlist China in diplomatic offensives against North Korea and Iran.
And to avoid disturbing all of the economic activity we have with China, naturally...
According to the military affairs publication `Defense News', there had been a fierce internal debate within within the Bush Administration over whether to make the attacks public. In the end, the Pentagon's annual assessment of the growing Chinese military build-up barely mentioned the threat.
"After a contentious debate, the White House directed the Pentagon to limit its concern to one line," Defense News said.
The document said that China could blind American satellites with a ground-based laser firing a beam of light to prevent spy photography as they pass over China.
According to senior American officials: "China not only has the capability, but has exercised it." American satellites like the giant Keyhole craft have come under attack "several times" in recent years.
Satellites are fairly vulnerable to attack because they have predetermined orbits, allowing an enemy to know when and where they will appear in range.
At the same time, China is engaged in a large-scale espionage efforts against American high-tech firms. Several spy rings have been cracked and the FBI is increasing the number of counter-intel staff tracking Chinese espionage, according to the article.
I would note that I personally think China is less of a threat to us then some other areas...everybody is making too much money, the Chinese have billions in our banking system and China has historically never been an imperialist nation, provided its borders weren't threatened.
Still, this kind of activity bears watching, to say the least. And we had better not repeat the mistake of declassifying and shipping years worth of state of the art defence technology to a potentially hostile nation..who might just decide to peddle it somewhere else.