Operation Sentinel

(10:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

This hasn’t gotten near the coverage in the traditional media nationwide as it deserves:

NEW YORK (CBS) ?  It’s called “Operation Sentinel” and it proves just how far the NYPD will go to protect this city from terrorists. The plan involves some high-tech tracking that is coming under fire from some groups.

New York City is going to great lengths to make sure that bomb-toting terrorists can’t reach us.

This sounds great; a pro-active approach to stopping terrorists.

If you wish to understand the problem with this, follow me onward through the fog…

If we read the article, we learn:

As part of the plan the NYPD is creating a huge buffer zone, working with cops in a 50-mile radius of the city. Officials in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Long Island are given radiation detectors to stop terrorists as far away from New York City as possible.

This is not only unworkable and unsustainable, it is a funding nightmare that ensures more GOP welfare to crony companies.

First of all, we must look at just how well radiation detectors work.  I suggest starting here.  

However, surplus or auction acquired Civil Defense meters and dosimeters are often brought onto the market with little or none of their previous history known of their maintenance, repairs, last calibrations, and past storage conditions. Many of these units, unlike the reliability proven units described above and maintained on a regular basis, may have been out of that maintenance ‘loop’ for as long 10, 15 or 20 years. Or, they may be new-in-the-box units, produced in the 60’s or 70’s, that never even got into the maintenance ‘loop’. The functionality, reliability and accuracy of any particular individual surplus Civil Defense meter or dosimeter can not be assumed, until actually verified and proven to be so. We know this from the experience of culling out the bad units from amongst the good as we’ve evaluated, tested, and had calibrations attempted on literally thousands of these same surplus meters and dosimeters since early summer of 2001.

What this is telling us is that regular law enforcement and civil defense agencies are, and have been, being stocked with old, out of date, and potentially unreliable detection equipment.  But, don’t worry, we can be assured that there will be new detectors bought by our government.  

Second, we must look at how these detectors are used.  We are talking about hand-held portable radiation detectors.  This means that, in order for a 50 mile “security blanket” to be placed around New York City, every car, every person, every parcel, box, and briefcase must be scanned.  That means checkpoints — otherwise, this is simply a boondoggle.

Third, we must look at 9/11 itself.  We did not have terrorists running around with a dirty bomb, that is, a device with radioactive material designed to scatter that material over an area.  What we had were terrorists who managed to hijack airliners with box cutters and fly those planes into buildings.  But, if you were going to push fear into the hearts of Americans in order to justify imposing even more draconian measures, what is better than pushing the fear of radiation and dirty bombs?

Last, but not the least, we have this from the article:

Police also plan to track every vehicle that enters Manhattan.

“We’re going to be adding cameras as we go forward,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

That part of that plan calls for photographing and scanning license plates of cars and trucks at all bridges and tunnels. Even small ones like the Willis Avenue Bridge will also be used to detect radiation.

There will be a 50 mile “buffer zone”, but, only Manhattan will have every vehicle tracked by camera?  Hmmmm.  Let’s look at exactly how effective this is going to be, shall we?

Even the most basic of criminals know how to steal license plates from one vehicle and put them onto another vehicle.  In fact, these criminals are, in some instances, so careful that they find a license plate from the same type of vehicle.  What that means is that a cursory check of a license plate will only reveal that the plate is registered to a car of that make and model, has an up-to-date sticker, and that the plate has not been suspended for lack of insurance.  In fact, until that plate is reported as stolen, the only way for law enforcement to catch this practice is to match the VIN number of the car that the plate was issued to the VIN number of the vehicle it is on.  Surely security specialists know this!

As for being able to detect radiation from a moving vehicle by a stationary detector, I confess that technology may well have progressed where this is possible.  The problem with this, however, is shielding.  Any “terrorist” who is able to procure radioactive material will surely have the resources to obtain a way to shield the material from detection as well — it’s called lead.  Go for an x-ray at your local hospital and you will see the technician wearing a lead-lined apron to shield themselves from the radiation.  A simple lead-lined container around the device and the bridge detectors become virtually useless.

Think about what these individuals are looking to “protect” — Manhattan.  They aren’t talking about protecting the Bronx or Queens.  They are talking about protecting the money, the place where the elite live, where the rich people live.  Guess what is in Manhattan?  Wall Street.  You know, the Wall Street that just got bailed out by our tax dollars because they couldn’t manage money?

This, just like every other boondoggle to take away our rights and liberties, is nothing more than a slippery slope designed to get a little now and more later.  Think about it.  We will pay, by our tax dollars, to provide security for the rich in Manhattan.  When that fails, and, it will fail because this entire idea is unworkable, the government will need to do more, take away more rights and more liberties.  Then what?  Will they wall off Manhattan from the rest of New York to keep out the “riff raff” as they are doing in Baghdad?

This idea needs to be shutdown before it goes beyond a concept.  We already know that the NYPD used its power to spy on anti-war organizations and protest groups.  We already know that the NYPD abused its powers when they arrested hundreds at the RNC convention and put them into what can only be described as a make-shift concentration camp for “processing” and “holding”.  

Make no mistake, this “Operation Sentinel” isn’t designed to keep New York safe from terrorists because it can’t.  It is designed as a boondoggle to slide us further into a police state where the rich are “protected” from everyone else and the government can get more power to monitor its own citizens.


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  1. unfortunately.  

  2. Smoke detectors contain Americium, a radioactive substance.  The specifics on how to specifically keep these sensors on false high alert has not yet been completed.

    Anti spy camera devices.


    And a low tech solution.


    Laser pointers aimed directly into a camera will also saturate those pixels, aiming is a problem.

  3. about the NYPD….  I was living in the Midtown South precinct.  Cop is on 8th Ave., crossing street headed north.  I am crossing same street, headed south.  Cop is swaggering; I have to move out of his way (gods forbid he move one inch to accommodate pedestrians).  I mutter “asshole” in what was intended to be un-overheard…but he overheard it.  He gets to the curb and starts screaming at me: “Asshole!  Did you ever think that maybe you’re the asshole?!”

    As I mentioned, my word was sotto voce.  No onlookers overheard me; so I turn around and look at him and see gaping pedestrians who are obviously thinking “this cop is out of control.”

    Flash forward a couple of years.  His pic’s in the papers b/c he was … I dunno, precinct lieutenant or something … and just got busted for hanging out in, um, whorehouses on taxpayer time.  (It was quite the scandal: a bunch of cops got busted…the hookers were giving them free, ah, whatever.)

    Karma’s a bitch.

    But my larger point is: cops are not to be trusted.  Nobody with authority over is to be trusted.  That includes all politicians–ALL politicians–and especially all “law enforcement” groups.

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