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We previously reported on the troubling expansion of satellite offices of the Capitol Police being planned across the country.
Unlike other federal government-related police which are subject to FOIA and part of the executive branch, the Capitol Police are under the control of Congress and not subject to FOIA. So, basically you have a police force controlled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spreading out across the country.
I’m not a conspiracy fan, but you don’t have to be to find that problematic.
Now, there’s more that is setting off the alarm bells in my head.
Not only will they be setting up across the country, starting first with offices in California and Florida, but they will have military surveillance equipment as they become “an intelligence based protective agency,” according to the Washington Times.
Defense Secretary Loyd (sic) Austin recently approved the Capitol Police’s request for eight Persistent Surveillance Systems Ground – Medium (PSSG-M) units. The system provides high-definition surveillance video and is enabled with night vision. The system does not include facial recognition capabilities, according to the Pentagon.
“This technology will be integrated with existing USCP camera infrastructure, providing greater high definition surveillance capacity to meet steady-state mission requirements and help identify emerging threats,” the Pentagon said.
The technology, originally used by the U.S. troops during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, allows the user to monitor large areas 24/7 through extremely high-resolution cameras.
Oh, no problem there either.
In a wartime application, the persistent surveillance units were mounted on tethered blimps. The data could be stored, combined with sensor data from other platforms, and later referenced or rewound to track individuals or groups.
It could be used by the military to develop a “pattern of life” analysis on suspected enemy combatants or intelligence targets in war zones.
The Army is going to teach the Capitol Police how to use the technology.
It just looks tailor-made to spy on large groups of people, particularly events like protests. I’m betting they wouldn’t be aiming for leftist protests either. But, really, it can involve spying over a large area. What’s the justification for that, all of the sudden? All of this because of a three-hour riot? Why does this not sound like it’s just to deal with present threats against members of Congress? And can we talk about the problems of using such things to spy on Americans — and all the constitutional questions that might raise?
The Washington Times notes that a federal appeals court ruled against the use of persistent surveillance technology similar to “Gorgon Stare technology,” which they found to be unconstitutional because of the wide area of coverage allowing the tracking of hundreds at a time.
So, what’s going on here? And why is there so little coverage of this? Because whether you’re on the right or the left, this should concern both sides of the aisle.