The New York Times headline Nov. 16, read “A Russian GPS Using U.S. Soil Stirs Spy Fears.”
Fears, I guess so. The story, in brief, stated that the State Department wants to approve the Russian space agency, Roscosmos’ request to build a series of guided missile tracking and monitoring stations across the U.S. states. That’s right — Russian facilities on U.S. soil.
The official Russian name, Glonass (Global Navigation Satellite System), would permit Russia to monitor their space agency activities in outer space. Russia proposes to build six such facilities, secured behind electrified fences, in various locations around the U.S.
They already have such monitoring facilities in Brazil and what other counties I have not been able to determine. The word monitoring is what gets me. What else will they be monitoring? Remember the story about the building of the U.S. embassy in Moscow?
Back in 1986 we built a new embassy in Moscow. It was built to our specifications, construction managed by Americans and built with Russian labor. The end result? The building was loaded with bugs so Russians could monitor every word uttered by our ambassador and staff. We had to rebuild the facility to save our mission.
Russia says the proposed facilities will improve the joint Russian/American space exploration making monitoring more accurate and therefore they should be approved for construction. And our State Department believes this? Sure it will improve monitoring joint space agency launchings.
But the question is how do we stop it from monitoring our government’s every other move? We might just as well give them a few offices, secretarial staff and their needed electronic equipment in our State Department building in Washington, DC, and get it over with.
The Obama administration said that it will assist in improving U.S.-Russian relations that have been damaged in recent months with our opposing positions on handling the conflict in Syria. I guess so.
Are we that gullible? Could we conceivably believe that Russia wouldn’t take advantage of our joint space activity monitoring and expand it to include everything we do down to the purchase of toilet paper used in every federal government office building?
I have a question that wasn’t addressed in the several articles that appeared in the New York Times and the Miami Herald. Would the space occupied by the six monitoring facilities have the same immunity that is enjoyed by the world’s embassies in Washington, DC? If that is the case, we would be prohibited from entering their six facilities and inspecting the station’s devices to guarantee that they are restricting their activities to monitoring our joint space activities.
The CIA, Pentagon and members of Congress are deeply concerned, as they should be, and are asking the administration to explain what is really motivating the possible approval. If the answer is to improve relations with Russia I would suggest that we then ask Moscow permission to build like facilities all around Russia.
I can see that happening! What is wrong with our administration? What is Obama thinking? Or will he say that he wasn’t aware of their request? I can’t think of anything more important that resolving this matter — now.
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