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* Posts by Alan Maher

1 post • joined 17 May 2007

US spy chief wants 'some control' over satellite imagery

Alan Maher

Sigint

Technological advances, are not concurrent with advances in human nature or intelligence.

There are so many satellites whizzing above our heads providing imagery, and weather, and terrain data, that I am surprised that more have not banged into each other, and provided us with the sight of unearthly firestorms that might frighten horses.

In my humble observation, many of the things that have been described as intelligence coups, or events that support the "conspiracy theorist" allegations, are just the normal ebb and flow of human intelligence.

In the end, it is a subjective judgement that decides to take some action based upon an observation from a great height, in a one dimensional aspect.

It is a more intelligent, and objective decision, to take some action based upon practical and demonstrable evidence provided by individuals who are on the ground and know their turf. Sure, a few spy satellite photos might add weight to the evidence, but to rely on these images as the primary source of intelligence, is completely foolhardy.

I very much doubt that terrorists use satellite imagery as a means to discover the weak points of their protagonists, although they may use it as means to reinforce whatever point of view they are attempting to "market" to their leaders.

I am more inclined to believe that they use it like most people, a quick and free map of the area that they are in. And possibly a clue to the local weather forecast.

What amazes me is today's news that Iran has done a test launch of a new North Korean missile.

How did it get there? Did the spy satellites not observe it being shipped? Who was the middleman- given North Korea's status as the odd man out lately?

I suspect good old human intelligence might be needed to work that one out.

Those questions will not be resolved by satellite imagery.

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