|A US Air Force surveillance blimp, soon to lose funding|
Grits has gotta say, if the federal government must reduce spending, cutting the budget for surveillance blimps to me seems like a good place to start. (Reminds me of the alternate universe from Fringe.) Bellow reports that the contractor sent out an email to its employees, which he reprinted in full, announcing that the Air Force would cease funding for the project as of March 15, 2013. An employee who (understandably) insisted upon anonymity told Bellow that "Without these defense radars, low flying aircraft will go undetected. It will be open season for any drug/gun/slave smugglers, terrorists flying in with nukes, low altitude missiles, or even a full scale low elevation invasion/attack against America.” Uh huh. Those blimps and the Rio Grande were all that stood between us and a "full scale low level invasion/attack," says the anonymous guy who'll lose his job if the contract runs out. Lucky the river's still there. In reality, given the actual nature of border violence and the intense buildup of Border Patrol, customs agents and, often redundantly, the Department of Public Safety, along the Rio Grande, it's laughable to give this contractor's surveillance blimps much credit. One imagines the US Air Force feels perfectly secure they're up to job of stopping a "full scale invasion/attack" from the south without this company's services, since they're the ones who cut them loose. If you do call your Senator or Congressperson, as per Mr. Bellow's request, Grits would suggest telling them, "Support the Air Force's decision and don't spend one more dime on surveillance blimps."