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L-3: the $15 billion defence contractor that will be scanning us

27 February 2012 (Original: 2012-02-08) | Source | Permalink | comments: 0
By Bernard Keane

Categories: [ Full Body Scanners ]

Part two of a report by Crikey political correspondent Bernard Keane on the awarding of an airport body scanner contract by the Australian Government without conducting a risk analysis

So who is the real beneficiary of the government’s decision to impose body-scanning technology on international passengers?

Step forward L-3 Communications, a key member of the US defence establishment and one with links to some of the worst scandals of the past decade.

The company will reap $28 million dollars from the government’s obsession with security theatre that has no demonstrated security benefits, through its provision of body scanners.

L-3 began as an orphan company after a Lockheed merger saw several business units sold off to two former Loral executives funded by Lehman Brothers, which still has a big stake in the company and a board seat. Since then, L-3 has grown into one of the top 10 US defence contractors. The company earned nearly a billion dollars in profit in 2010, from revenues of more than $15 billion.

Along the way, it has been involved in some of the US’ biggest defence and procurement scandals. In the late 1990s, the company’s lobbyist Linda Daschle helped the company get a Federal Aviation Authority contract to supply airport baggage scanners courtesy of legislation passed by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. The scanners were later revealed to be faulty, but the FAA was obliged by Daschle’s legislation to continue to purchase them.

The company later acquired defence contractor Titan, which has been implicated in several procurement scandals. Titan provided “interpreters” at the US Army’s Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and the company was sued by a victims of US torture and abuse there, until the US Supreme Court finally dismissed the case in 2011. In 2010, a division of the company was suspended from providing any services to the US government after it was found using US government networks to spy on competitors. There have also been several lesser procurement scandals typical of the US defence industry.

But even as the US looks to cut back defence spending, with flow-on effects for big suppliers such as L-3, the fertile field of security theatre has opened up as a revenue source — there’s little or no political will to cut war-on-terror funding. By 2010, the company had provided nearly $US40 million worth of body scanners following the “underwear bomber”, having massively ramped up its lobbying effort. Not unhelpful is the fact that several US congressional representatives have big L-3 shareholdings, including former 2004 Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry.

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Andrew Adams,

you have argued that there would always be natural clouds present if conditions were right for persistent contrails.

In my reply I quoted an atmospheric scientist who spends his life with researching contrails. He says that persistent contrails can form in levels of ice supersaturation that are not yet high enough for natural cirrus formation.

Do you think he is wrong?

By Josh on 2014 11 01 - 18:54:22
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Wayne Hall,

what is your evidence for the aerosol spraying that you are referring to?

By Josh on 2014 11 01 - 18:39:28
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

There is no reason on earth why one should keep on talking about contrails vs chemtails just because those who launched this aerosol spraying decades ago thought that it would be nice to have the contrails cover story. The starting point for discussion is the claims by geoengineering advocates (such as Clive Hamilton in Australia) that solar radiation management would be a good idea and that aerosol spraying for geoengineering or other undisclosed purposes is not already a global reality. And the onus of proof is on them, i.e. those that are making this claim.

By Wayne Hall on 2014 11 01 - 16:42:00
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

josh dumdum,
you still seem incapable of comprehending the simple fact that i consider engaging seriously with you a complete waste of time..

your only qualification from the school of sophistry does not qualify you to pretend you are some sort of expert on anything, and again, nothing you say is of any interest to me. you have failed time and time again to prove people should not be concerned.

i dont need you to tell me anything, nor does anyone else. there are plenty of qualified experts who are not afraid to put their names to their claims who id trust way before someone who spends an inordinate amount of time on nondescript websites trying to “debunk” the truth…

that is the lie.

 

 

By Andrew Adams on 2014 11 01 - 10:20:15
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Andrew Adams,

you say “if that were the case.. there would be other clouds present”.

And there often are other cirrus clouds around when contrails persist for long! In clear blue skies, contrails are quite often not persisting. Both does not always apply though; see quote further below which has the reason for that.

The process I described is how persistent contrails form; it’s not just a claim I make. Read NASA’s contrail pages for a starter. It has to say:

Persistent contrails are ice clouds, so they are mostly made of ice. They also are likely to contain aircraft exhaust products (including soot and dissolved gases like sulfur dioxide), but they are overwhelmingly made from moisture condensed out of the surrounding air.” (Emphasis is mine)

Or read Ulrich Schumann’s concise 2005 paper on contrails, which contains this sentence:

Contrails evaporate quickly if the ambient air is dry; they persist, evolve into more extended cirrus clouds and grow in particle size by deposition of ambient water vapour on the ice particles in the contrails if the ambient air is humid enough.” (Emphasis is mine)

In the conclusion of the paper, you’ll find a hint why it’s quite possible that there may be persistent contrails without surrounding clouds:

Many aspects of contrail formation are well understood. Contrails from for thermodynamic reasons when the ambient air is cold enough. Persistent contrails form in ice-supersaturated air masses. In such cases often contrail cirrus forms where no cirrus would form otherwise because ice supersaturation is often too low for natural cirrus particle nucleation.” (Emphasis is mine)

Now can you tell me where you think there is a lie?

By Josh on 2014 11 01 - 09:25:53
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

“If a contrail persists and grows, the additional mass comes from the humidity that is already present in the air - just like when natural clouds form, seemingly out of nothing.”

if that were the case.. there would be other clouds present, ones that have not come out the back of an aircraft. if the humidity is there, you wouldnt need an aircraft going past in order for clouds to appear in an otherwise perfectly clear blue sky.

appareently fenton likes truth here, yet not only does he tolerate your lies, he encourages it.

not the first sign of hypocristy we see from him though. still cant tear himself away from facebook i see )

By Andrew Adams on 2014 11 01 - 08:34:00
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Burden of proof. Clever legal chess play.
Isn’t it the case that those that rule us do so in deference to our sovereignty.
Isn’t it the case that .many of us do not consent to the above mentioned rulership.
Isn’t it the case that if one were to ask one of the said rulers to write down and sign at their own individual unlimited commercial liability that geoengineering, including but not limited to “chemtrails”, for the purpose of weather manipulation is not being conducted that there would be a refusal.
Is it not the case that a refusal to the previous proposition would amount to tacit agreement that what is referred to is happening.
The burden of proof rests on him who affirms not on him who denies….but there are ways snaring the slippery.

By Cris on 2014 11 01 - 08:26:55
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

““i have been neither dictatorial, nor abusive” - yes, you have mate. Earlier you said “how about just taking a big gulp from the mug of STFU”. That is both dictatorial and abusive. We’ll now add “dishonest” to the list of your shortcomings. Have a nice day.”

i think you need to look up the definition of dictatorial fenton. banning people here simply because you can would more fit the definition than me suggesting someone take a drink from a mug.

as far as honesty goes, i really doubt you have a leg to stand on there, because if i were to believe you really want me to “have a nice day” instead of it being a smarmy glib sarcastic jibe, then id be as gormless as josh, who still cant seem to understand the fact that nothing he can say here, in his role as unqualified mendacious shill, is of any interest to me.

further on honesty, you say “i think we can all agree that a plane hit the pentagoin” - not verbatim, but its close - so perhaps you can show us what you base that falsehood on?

further on honesty you continue to pretend chemtrails are a non issue, disregarding the concerns of thousands more qualified than you.

further on henesty, you call this site truthnews…

have a shitty day <—- at least im honest

By Andrew Adams on 2014 11 01 - 08:26:21
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Cris,

the point that rational people make is that the stuff coming from the airplane exhaust stays indeed the same, but what’s changing is the situation around the plane. At one day there is dry air, at annother there is a lot of humidity. (See my explanation how the latter can happen when a front is approaching.)

If a contrail persists and grows, the additional mass comes from the humidity that is already present in the air - just like when natural clouds form, seemingly out of nothing.

By the way, that is a well-known plausibility argument against chemtrails - no plane is able to carry the mass equivalent of even a small persistant trail (search “ice budget”).

By Josh on 2014 10 31 - 23:46:16
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

Andrew Adams,

I don’t claim to be an expert. However, I have read a lot about both chemtrail claims and their dissection from a scientic point of view, from sources that are accessible to everyone.

If something specific that I wrote is wrong, I certainly welcome a correction. Usually, I’m giving references from actual experts, so it’s only fair that any rebuttal should include specific references too. Also, I’d welcome if we could stay polite.

The science of persistent contrails is well established. They were observed since the early days of aviation (see also the top article), and the conditions that favour them were researched in the middle of the 20th century (Schmidt and Appleman, see for instance the introduction of this paper).

The Appleman Chart is a rule of thumb for contrail prediction. It is not very intuitive, but there is a visualization available which allows to adjust the parameters and see how the contrail properties are changing (needs Java).

Any claim that a specific persistent contrail cannot be explained with this knowledge needs to be based on very good evidence. If the evidence is reviewed and still stands, science has to be corrected. That’s the whole idea about scientific research - but the burden of proof lies with the person who makes the claim.

By Josh on 2014 10 31 - 22:38:08
From the entry 'Contrails dissipate quickly whereas chemtrails linger?'.

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