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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  October 17, 2014 8:00pm-8:57pm EDT

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overseas. the c city tour takes booktv on
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the road. we went to green bay, wisconsin. >> we make the most and best cheese. the industy developed in wisconsin from what was a homestead cheese for everybody. each farm family made cheese for their own use. it was recognized we had an ideal environment for raising dairy cattle and cheese was a way to take that product before refrigeration would only last about three days, if you make cheese into it, yeah, cheddar cheese can last for a decade. this was late 1880's had the industy got started in wisconsin. farmers would form a co-op, build a factory and the cheese
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maker worked for the co-op. the cheese makers moved around a lot and there were thousands of them. as transportation and the road system improved they consolidated and that continued until 1990 when there were only about 200 left in wisconsin. >> watch this sunday afternoon on c-span 3. now, journalist richard whittle on the predator drone and how the military technology has become the primary weapon in the war on terror. he spoke at the army navy club in washington, d.c. this is an hour. >> technology we will talk about today has impacted the political
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environment in a sway where who knows what further opportunities these technological advances bring. they may transform the logistics sector and that is we are interested to learn more about richard whittle's research. equally important, however, is the fact that richard and i have been close personal friends for a little more than 30 years. we have worked together on a number of projects. i am delighted and this is a real privilege i can welcome our author, richard whittle, and you are interested in his work product, and this most recent book on the development of
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drones. richard whittle is a global fellow at the wilson center. and a research associate at the national air and space museum where we finished writing this book as a fellow during the academic year '13-'14. richard has written about the military for more than 30 years including 22 as a core correspondent for the dallas morning news. this book that came out two weeks ago has accumulated very different accolades from different authorities, writers and media outlets. amazon selected the book as one of the best 15 history books recently.
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it was given a star reserved for great work. the "washington post" said richard's reporting is methodical and creditability and no small feat given the little silence the airforce and the administration has welded under their drone operations. the post review added that whittle's best material appears in the final chapters when he delivers action-packed details about how the cia and the pentagon used armed predators to hunt for predators after 9/11 based on interviews with numerous participants. we are in for a special treat, ladies and gentlemen. and richard, welcome, the floor
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is yours. [applause] >> thank you for that introduction. i think we need to point out the fact it is coincidence that your partial copter isn't armed. i am grateful for your hospitality and your friendship and thank you all for coming to hear about my new book, "predator: the secret origins of the drone revolution," it is an honor to speak to an audience like this. especially when we have two former air force leaders. whit peters and jack rides are
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here with us. i am honored you are here today. and i am honored retired general jack daley is here. he is a former deputy of nasa and director of the national air and space museum where i have been enjoying his hospitality so to speak since the fall of 2013 first as a research fellow and now as a research associate. thank you for being here, general, i appreciate it. let me add that near the air and space museum, nor general daily bear responsibility for anything in my book or anything i will say today. they are innocent. it is also an honor to talk
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about the drones that have been doing what others have been talking about. and i hope that in addition to delivering medicine, maybe you will deliver books. my book tells what i thought would be the story of an extroidinary airplane but turned out to be a story of invention, war, airforce and the cia and i believe a story about how a new age of aviation began. i started to write the book five years ago and thought i would take look at unmanned systems or uav's as experts like to call them. but then, i read an article in air and space smithsonian magazine describing ten aircraft that changed the world and the
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predator was one of the ten and the only uav. that brought things into focus for me. the predator was the uav that changed the world. i thought about what that meantime and it seemed to me more and more evident that the it not only changed the world of warfare but opened the door to the unmanned civilian revolution and that was the story i wanted to write. the story of the predator and the drone revolution. as i found out in the five years writing this book took me, the story of this little drone that changed it world is as strange as the aircraft itsself. -- itself -- and many that created this technology were just as unorthodoxed as the predator. aberham carom is the inventor. abe was born in baghdad in 1937
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but grew up among the social idealism that characterized israel in the late '40s and early '50s. he worked at the country's most important aero space manufacturer. but abe was frustrated by the corporate client he saw in the early 1970s and after working on a drone decoy he was inspired to strike out on his own and develop uav's. he immigrated to the united states, the land of opportunity, and like all great american inventors he went to work in his garage. [laughter] >> his was in los angeles. as a young man in israel, abe
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was a free flight modeling competition and the goal in the competition was to make a model airplane that can be launched by hand or towed into the air on a rope like a kite and then sore as long as possible within a time limit without any remote or auto mated controls to help keep it in the air. abe knew all of the trick toes make a plane that can soar well. he built what he called the albatraz naming it after the soaring bird. it offered up to 48 hours without refueling which was far longer than any military uva flown up to that time. based on the demonstrator, he got a contract from the defense advanced research agency to develop a larger uav in a
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similar con figeration for the armed service. that little drone was named the amber. and a senior official wrote it provided an order of magnitude and led the joint chief of staff to establish a new endurance theory. for reasons i detail in the book, he was unable to sell the drones to the defense department and the company he recruited to build them went bankrupt in 1990. but thanks to other unorthodox thinkers, his ideas didn't die. they were rescued and hired pie
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a pair of brothers who had genius for business and matched their genius for aero nautics. neal and linden blue were their name and they were the private owners of the company that built the predator, general atomics. they are in their late '70s now but still active and fascinating in their own right. in 1957, when the blue brothers were in their 20's and at yale they made the cover of a magazine by flying a trap around latin america and decided to make the trip before their first flying lesson and that is because they were not just sight seeing. the blue brothers were born and bread business makers and they hoped to find business opportunities they might pursue after college in latin america. as al result of the trip, after
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graduating from jail, they established a banana plantation on the east coast of nicaragu. it only lasted a couple years but it was the first of many that by the 1980s had made them uncommonally wealthy. as the name suggests, general atomics started as a nuclear energy company and it still is. but the blue's brothers brought it from chevron in 1986 and switched over to drones then. among the motives were a desire to help the rebles overthrow the people who had overthrown there blue brother's former business partners. their first attempt was a modified aluminum plane they
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tried to guess with a gps guided pilot. their idea was the contrast or an ally could pack the plane's nose with missiles and use it against the enemy. he thought they could deter the soviet invasion in western germany as well. he wanted to call it the birdie because it was going to be priced cheap cheap cheap. but i was surprised and not amused to learn as i dug in the history that the man neal blue hired to run the operation was a retired pilot name thomas jay cassi cassidy. he first gave it the name predator. this unmanned kit plane had
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nothing to do with the predator we know today except that name. nothing in common. but tom cassidy who proved as as marketing and lobbying said he liked both and broadcasted them brother. as with many technologies, especially aviation technologies, war created the necessity that gave birth to the predator and the key invasions that made it revolutionary. the war in bosnia and the difficulty of finding serb artillery led to the development of the second drone called predator, which in fact was a derivative of a smaller, less capable, uav abe had designed called the nat 750.
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in 1993, the cia bought two nat 750s from general atomics to use in bosnia. the man to the right is abe and to the left is thomas tweet n who was the cia's deputy director of operation and went to california to seal the deal from jim who had known abe for years. at about the same time, after conversations which jim, under secretary of defense for acquisition john deutsch created a program to develop an induranced airmanned vehicle for the military. -- indurance -- they stipilated it must be finished within six weeks -- endurance -- they came up with a advance concept
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technology developments. known as actd's. in january of 1984, general tom atomics got their first contract with the government and redesigned the item and six months later the new predator made their first flight. i would like to elaborate on why i said the book tells the story about the air force and cia. one of the first things i did when i started working on the book in 2009 was to find officers who had flown the predator or been involved in some other way and interview them and the more air force people i interviewed the more i heard i need to talk to a former kernel with an unforgetable nickname and as i soon found out
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unforgettable personality. snake clark knows more about the predator than anyone else. what is his real name i would say? i don't know. everyone calls him snake. well his real name is james and his air force title is detectir of intelligence and surveillance. here is how i describe him in the book. in reality clark worked -- this is what i say in the book -- clark worked for the services two-top leaders. the four starr chief of staff and the civilian secretary of the airforce. he was their favorites fixer and
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he relished getting things done as he liked to put it quick and dirty. this was partly why clark encoura encouraged everybody to call him by his nickname snake or if regulations colonel snake. he had a reputation to intimidate real opponents. clark was an acquired taste. he spoke in a pruning pattern and when someone was in his way he loved playing what he called pentagon poker. i will see you a three starr and raise you a four star. i met him in 2009 and back again a month later and then again a
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month after that. as i talked to snake clark, i began to understand the predator was unusual in not only how the pentagon bought it but tht way the capabilities were improved and refined. initially as secretary peters pointed out, the predator like the first potential computers was a new technology that some people found interesting but most were not sure how to benefit from it. but over time, a few interested innovators came up with new software, new hardware, new communications architectures that transformed the computer from a novelty to a necessity and that is what happened with the predator. many were not quite sure at first what it could do for fr them. it offered phenomenal flight
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endurance and it could stay up 40 hours shooting video in color or infra red. and while still photographs taken by sr-72 and u2s and satellites were familiar tools in the early 1990s, full motion video wasn't. when the predator made it's debut in 1994, being flown by the army, it was just a platform for a camera whose image was sent back to a nascar-style trailer at the time and went no further. but by 2001, three years after the air force took charge, it was the first time in history where you could stalk and kill someone on the other side of the planet. that was accomplished by a
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special unit snake clark introduced me to. a unit i had never heard of before. it is officially the 645th aero nautical space group head quartered in dayton, ohio. since established in the 1950s it has been called big safari. here is how i describe it in the book: created during the cold war to help the air force, cia and other agency's keep an eye on the soviet union big safari e evolved ved. and it was like the james bond movies. big safari didn't fix snazzy sports cars or shoot tier gas but like 007 it was staffed with
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clever engineers whose mission was to device ways quickly. it was more specialized beginning with its first assignment in december 1952 installing the largest camera on a plane called pie face. it was tricking out the special aircraft. usually in a hurry and for special missions. big safari's director, when the air force took charge of the predator was bull grimes. that is him on the right -- bill -- with secretary peters and snake clark. another retired colonel who stayed on his job as a civilian. and i reveal how bill grimes maneuvered on capital hill.
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another person that changed it pivotal role in bring on the drone is someone whose photo i cannot show you. he was interested in the predator when a test product and flown by the army. clark calls him the man of two brain. i have described the major innovations he came up with. and they include figure out how to stream predator video live to the pentagon from anywhere in the world. mapping out a big setup so they can fly over thousands of elevations. and creating a new communication architecture that made it possible in 2001 for crews in the united states to fly armed predators over the other side of the globe for the first time
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ever. that is a little hard to see but that is a diagram of how the system works. as i explain in the book, making that link to a uav on the other side of the earth isn't as simple as subscribe to satellite. you cannot just shoot it up and bring it back down on the drown. and you cannot hopscotch the signal from one satellite to another without the distance the signal travels and the processing requiring along the way introducing enough latency and delay in the signal to make it difficult for a crew to fly the drone remotely and probably impossiblely to accurate aim missiles. but he figured out how to rig the systems that holds latency to acceptable levels and the air force is still using that essential architecture today to
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ply remotely piloted air craft that are a world away from bases here at home. and that brings me to why the book tells the cia story as well. vander came up with the split operations only so an air force team in germany could fly an unarmed predator over afghanistan in the fall of 2000 to help find bin laden. they did indeed find him for the cia and less than a year later they had remote split operation and that gave the cia the option of using an armed predator to kill bin laden. i explain why moving the ground control system out of german
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ar ar y was vital. the initiative to arm the predator was done by the air force general john jumper in may of 2000 not long after he took over air combat command and for reasons that had nothing to do with the cia or bin laden. here is what general jumper told me in one of our interviews. are l all i wanted to do was cure the problem we had and that is someone is looking at the predator and why can't you put something on there that does something about it instead of looking at it. it is true the project to arm the predator gained momentum after it found bin laden in the fall of 2000.
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but that was due to the fact the counter terrorism director, richard clark, and a senior cia official, charlie alan, came to the conclusion the united states need today kill bin laden before they killed more of us like they have done in the past. the airforce conducted the first test on january 23, 20001 and in the spring of that year top cia officials warily agreed to considering using the new armed uav to kill bin laden. despite the fact they say they
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were a addicted to using them but before 9/11, controlling a weapon like this and a headline that might be said such as usa uses drones to assassinate islamic militants. even so, the early part of 2001 was spent preparing for a mission and by the first week of september that year most of the elements were in place. this slide is difficult to see from the back up here. these are google earth photos that show the langley campus of the cia on december 12th, 2001. there is a double wide mobile home that serve as the predator's command center. that small white rectangle next to were stations put there to
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fly the first arm drones over afghanistan. they were painted white to d disguise them. my book talks about the early events that took place and i describe them by those that conducted and commanded them. that is including the escape of the leader of the taliban who you may have known almost became the first high value target every killed by an armed predator. my book includes what i believe to be the most accurate account of the predator's role in the al-qaeda's third leader.
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now, i would like to explain why i believe the predator game birth to the drone revolution. drones have been around for a while and have been attempted for a wide configeration. the military was working with several types but they were still a niche. lightweight materials, digital communicati communication, gps and i think it is likely uva's would become more than a niche in any event. but as i said, if necessity is the mother of invention then war is the mother of necessity. they physically armed predator 3034 which is hanging in the
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national air and space museum starting in january of 2001 and tested it that spring starting with ground test and then firing at missiles and target tanks in the desert and then firing them into a building the cia con constructed to fire at tanks will kill bin laden. the contractor didn't read the instruction and built something like that that had little similarities to the houses. so they named it taco bell and put this soon on it. they were in a hurry so helping measure inside the building they had to use the ballistics and instead, as you can see, they used ply wood and watermelons to
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stimulate people. but while they were getting prepared to sent the armed predator after bin laden, clark was having trouble getting the focus he thought on the administration. they talked about this first on september 4th, 2001 and many of the preparations were made, the ground control station was at the campus, neither the cia or the military wanted to take responsibility for pulling the trigger so they decided to wait. one week to the day later, of course, everything changed and the day after that three armed predators were on their way to take off and land over afghanistan missions. predator 3034 bearing no markers and controlled from the trailer park at the cia launched the first hell fire predator strike
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in afghanistan on the first night of the war there, october 7th 2001. a strike i describe in some detail. three days later, president bush asked why couldn't we fly more than one predator at a time. we taught to have 50 of them. and in december of that year, bus bush gave a speech in south carolina and said before the war the predator had skeptics because it didn't fit the old way and now it is clear the military doesn't have enough unmanned vehicles. as i said earlier, it is certainly a given that drones would have developed into something more than a niche. but a breakthrough moment that
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disrupts thinking and offers unprecedented ideas, it seems this was among us and what followed it was a tech revolution. the cia weighs heavily on a weapon they were once unsure of using. as 2001 began the entire military owned 82 unmanned vehicles. the predator, still unarmed and two small drones the navy marine core pioneer and the army's hun hunter. pentagon study, a few months before 9/11 it was estimated they might have 280 and three
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types. but whether that arrived they own many more types and numbers. today it is close to 14,000. army is flying its own predator derivative. the navy and air force are developing unarmed combat vehicles and as many as 80 nations are building their own military uav's and civilian use of drones has already outstripped the ability to regulate it. in short, i think air and space and smithsonian magazine got it right. the predator changed the world because it disrupt thinking and offered unprecedented ideas. thank you for listening and again, i thank the dhl and my great friend for inviting me to
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talk at the army/navy club. it has been an honor. and whatever time i have remaining i will do my best to answer your questions. thank you. [applause] >> let me add to additional aspects for this debate. there are legal implications, there are implications from an ethical point of view, moral point of view, is this all fair to go after people who may not have committed any crime when you anticipate they will? how do you look at all of this? and what about the authorization
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of drone strikes. who can do this? is this satisfactory today? and you mentioned 80-some countries developing drones. ten years down the road, boarding a united delta air flight is that safe? >> no, there is a lot there. i think the first question that gets raised is the fairness question that is raised about armed drones and the one question is is it fair for our military personal sit in perfect safety and kill people on the other side of the world. and my feeling about that is that if you accept the morality of war to start with, commanders
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have two primary obligations, the first is to win and the second is to protect their people as best as you can. i think fairness is as a concept that is very vital to sports but doesn't have a role in war. generals will say we are not interested in fair fight. so i say nothing at all -- i think it is just the red herring to say there is something unfair about using his in military operation. the whole area of drone strike killings raises different issues. the military operates under title 10. the intelligence agencies operate under title 50 and
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presidential findings and executive orders. i think for me as a citizen, one question i have is whether we need better checks and balances or not and more information about how people are put on the target list, watt the standards of evidence -- what the -- are and i would be personal more comfortable if we had maybe the kind of situation we had with the foreign intelligence and surveillance act where i believe there judge has to approve a warrant to wire tap and someone has to review the evidence. i have lawyers here who will correct me on the detail but i would like the executive branch to have more checks and balance on it then they have. they inform certain members of congress. i don't actually know whether they inform them before or
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after. it is my understanding the members of congress are not free. the question of targeted killings isn't just the question of using drones. the principle is when the obama administration issued a public memo on the legal justification for the killing of al-maliki much of it was redacted. but the justification was essentially that the government has public authority and right to kill people in certain circumstances. i think it is a whole tangled area. they didn't use the drone there. it talked about targeted killings and the point is you don't have the use the drone to
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target someone and kill them. you can do it with a knife, too. so we have to decide in a society if this is what we want to be doing. charlie? >> charlie stevenson. you have written about other air craft, the b-22 and now the predator, what lessons would you offer for how the united states government can do a better job dealing with revolutionary technologies. >> i assume you mean in the acquisition of them and why does it take us -- why do we have situations like with the f-35 that has been going on for years and years and why can't we get there? you know, i have thought about that a lot and i wish i had some good, easy answers. i think i would be a genius if i did because a lot of smart people work on the questions all
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of the time. the interesting thing to me about the difference between the offspring and the predator is you started off -- the b-22 tilt roader that takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane. i call it the ugly duckly that turned into a swan because it had a troubled development process but it is doing wonderful things for the marine core and air force now. it took 22 years, billions of dollars and lives lost before it became the airraft it is today. it started off with a joint project where all four services were to be involved and ten different missions that were supposed to list the requirements that went on and on and that the people designing it had to meet. with the predator, it was almost like build it and they will
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come. there was actually a very simple list of requirements. only 3-4 in john deutsch's memo and that simplify the process a great deal. writing this is where the system is bogged down because there is a temptation to ask for the imp possible. and i think the defense contractors have a great motive to say week do that easy -- we can -- cheap and it turns out not to be that way. one of the areas that should be focused on is the whole process of writing requirements. and thinking about big safari which developed the predator and one of their mottos is look for the 80% solution and that is not
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a bad motto. >> thanks for a great presentation. my question is given the extensive attacking me experience, target, home depot and the chinese hitting and the nsa as well. how can we make sure, and be sure, that these predators are not going to be controlled by a hacker and turn against another targeting, including ourselves? >> that is a question that is on a lot of people's minds. i would be lying if i said i know the technical answer because i am not an engineer. i am a story teller. i have told the story by interviewing people who are experts. i am told, however, by people
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who have signals for the major uab's and the large ones. and there is little to no danger of anyone being able to high jack or control them. or even see the data they are transmitting. >> i would like to drag back to wolfgang's question. as we know technology we thought was closely held soon finds its way around the world and various people getting ahold of the same
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technology. i am wondering how detectable is the predator for the radar used for commercial flights and what is the possibility that we could reach a point in time where someone could use that same technology against civilian aircraft? >> there are countries out there trying. the chinese have a predator knock off called the tear dactyl and if you have seen a picture it is similar. i think the aircraft technology isn't the secret. lots of countries may be able to duplicate aircraft like that. but the software and communication architecture is very special and i think that very few countries would be able
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to duplicate that. the predator, while fairly hard to detect, i told the story in the book about when captains got flu and they were piloting over afghanistan in the fall of september 2000 looking for osama bin laden and the swanson and the other members of the crew in the ground control station at ramstein air base were maneuvering the air craft to make it as small as possible and that jet fighter failed to see the predator and flew right by it. it cruises at roughly let's say 82 miles per hour. and if it is painted air superiority gray like it was
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when it was over afghanistan it is pretty hard to see. if you do detect it it is easy to shoot down. one air force general told me the best way to shoot a predator is fly next to it in a helicopter with a 12 gauge shotgun. so i think other countries may be able to duplicate aspects of the technology aircraft like this but i don't think they are greg to be successful in getting over our borders. we have the best air defenses in the world, i hope. we have great air defenses and i don't think we have to worry about people flying those kinds of drones over our territory. especially since the communication architecture is such. the signal has to go by fiber
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optic cable under the atlantic ocean to europe where it joins the satellite earth terminal and goes up to the predator. i think it is an ex pensive proposition and not many countries can do that. i think the greater threat to us in america from unmanned aircraft is from small unmanned aircraft even down to the size of the partial hell coughed -- helicopter if a group wanted to put it and put explosives on it but that would be a terrorism weapon. i rambled but hope i answered the question. yes, ma'am? >> thank you. i am from george washington university. let's following up on the last point and look into the future on the civilian uses of
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technology. can you comment on what you would expect the regulations to look like? how is that going to develop and how would it change the environment in which all of aircraft operate? >> i think there is a gentlemen at the federal aviation department named jim williams who would love if i had the answer to that. that is something the faa is struggling with. and one of issues and problems and technical hurdles for people in the unmanned aircraft use to get over is safety. for pilots, they have to be able see and avoid other aircrafts. there are lots of company and the defendant department is working on technologies to provide uav, an unmanned
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aircraft, the ability to sense and detect other aircrafts. and how heavy and expensive that technology has to be are questions we need to solve. and there are limits to what we will do with the technology because if you cannot just flood the skies with aircraft that might run into other aircraft or fall from the sky and hurt them. or cause damage to buildings or whatever. safety is a major concern and a major hurdle. we are not there yet. having looked at the story and in the book there is a story of how they came up with the remote sprit operations to solve a major problem that arose in the planned operation, i think i am
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hesitant to predict the future because i don't think a mont before this i don't think anyone would predict you can-control a uva from the other side of the global. all of the experts were saying this can't be done and we will have the shutdown the operation. but i am reminded also of the fact that when i wrote the book about the off spray i talked about the 1930's and the dream that inspired the tilt aircraft and the dream of developing an aircraft that could do everything a bird could do and the dream of flying cars. we are still waiting for flying cars and i don't know how air traffic control would work if we had the ability to decide i am sick of this traffic jam and i am going to fly over to the grocery store. there may be some problems in
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the end that are not solvable. hope that helps. yes, sir? >> thank you. in a way, this is the most specific question about dup ldug a strone and there is a thrown in iran and they are claiming the ability to recalculate that. to your knowledge, did they d duplicate the frame and the inside? >> you are asking me if they were able to? i don't know. but i doubt it. i think it was interesting to me when they held their news conference and they showed this is the rq 170-sentinel which was
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known to reporters as the beast of cond har because they would just get glimpses of it from time to time. but when it was put on display, they didn't show you the landing gear and they had a flag draped across the front. and i have talked to people who knew more about these things than i that suggest to them that air craft came in for a hard landing and it is unlikely it was in tact when they found it. but i don't know the answer to that question. that is a classified aircraft before the iraniano


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