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Dutch Radio Geek Tracking Libyan Airstrikes

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the enforcing-transparency dept.

Government 187

jfruhlinger writes "The days when citizens could only learn about a distant war from the government or the institutional press are long over. A Dutch ex-military geek exemplifies the new way information comes out, tracking attack flights on Libya, and even tweeting messages to the US command responsible for the strikes."

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187 comments

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Will he be able to track the missile (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561894)

Hitting his house in 3... 2... 1...

Re:Will he be able to track the missile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35561938)

Sorry, I'm at my work :-) They will never track me he $^$^&*%^67

@FMCNL

Re:Will he be able to track the missile (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562476)

wherupon he changes his handle to @FML

Re:Will he be able to track the missile (4, Insightful)

rednip (186217) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562794)

Yea, because he 'intercepted' an open frequency call for ships to stay in port, this was deliberately broadcast to keep people from traveling. Next up 'man who hears siren' will be going to jail for knowing where the police are.

If the Pentagon had transmitted that encrypted, it'd be pretty useless as a general warning.

Re:Will he be able to track the missile (0)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563158)

In all seriousness, the men in black might come after him, and could technically, silence him, as this is major issues (military) and classified and he has no status like that of Assange to help him stay alive....

Now that (1)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561900)

is what I call real geek!

Respect, meneer Huub!

Count down till.... (3, Insightful)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561972)

The US military wants to "talk" this guy for his "spying".

Re:Count down till.... (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562692)

Assuming the US isn't releasing precisely the information it wants to - probably accurate without the no-fly zone, possibly inaccurate within - and just happy that there's another repeater of (mis)information for the enemy.

The conspiratorial extreme would be to assert that this Dutch fellow is knowingly cooperating with the US. The more likely truth is that fortune has just provided the US with another useful tool. If he soon goes quiet... well, we still cannot say for sure.

Re:Count down till.... (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562974)

quite litterally anyone with the right radio could pick up this info.
he's not disclosing anything secret.
This is what the planes are shouting out to the world.

any libyan loyalist could be sitting 2 streets over from him with the same equipment passing on the same info quietly.

Re:Count down till.... (5, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562886)

He did the same thing on forums during the '98 raids on Iraq, '99 in Serbia/Kosovo, some of 2001 in Afghanistan, IOF in '03, etc.

If the US military wanted to "talk to him" they would have before.

Some of the stuff he passes on is helpful, like identifying a plane that has a transponder set to the wrong setting, and passing it on to Africa Command.

Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561976)

Some bastard could come along and accuse him of unauthorized "retransmission" of "illegally" intercepted signals

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (5, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562010)

Even worse... Copyright infringement.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562272)

Hope that was a joke, because the US gov't doesn't get to copyright anything -- it's all public domain.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562338)

The US government effectively includes a set of permanent privatised contractors who are allowed to put Intellectual Property[tm] protections their work. Wouldn't apply here, of course.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (4, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562364)

Hope that was a joke, because the US gov't doesn't get to copyright anything -- it's all public domain.

Works by the US government are only non-copyrightable domestically. They can certainly hold foreign copyright on them, which would apply to a Dutch radio geek.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562562)

Tell Bradley Manning and Julian Assange that.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562970)

This is why the state of Copyright is so screwed up; people just don't know what it is. There's a difference between classified material and a copyright.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563016)

Or get him under the DMCA for illegally decrypting the double rot-13 encrypted signals.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (0)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562170)

Several have already called him on it:

"Huub, who ordinarily spends his days as a digital forensics manager in the town of Hilversum, has lately spent up to 16 hours a day, scanning for clues about the attack on Libya..... 'If you are not delaying your tweets by a WIDE margin, you are putting the pilots in harms way!!!!' tweets @Joe_Taxi. 'When the sounds of the #operationoddesydawn aircraft are heard in #Libya it should be a complete surprise.'"

16 hours a day. So the guy quit his job? Hmmm.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562296)

Maybe he does not sleep some days

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562304)

How are the pilots going to be put in harms way when the Libyan regime forces were too ignorant to immediately surrender and flee when the US announced their involvement? If the army had been reading Twitter the ground troops would have deserted before the UN attacks.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562464)

Because, even though the US spends more on the defense budget than any other country in the world (combined?), the US is a joke, right? Right?

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562520)

So far he's intercepted some sloppy links and one that is clearly open so that Libyan forces can hear it and do what it tells them.

He is likely not causing anyone serious grief (and I'm not counting a navigator getting dressed-down for leaving his transponder on as serious), as he is unlikely to be breaking into any comms that really are secured.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562986)

By broadcasting when planes are leaving airfields and identifying airfields and runways being used.

There were rumors about plane spotters in Italy telling Serbia when planes left airfields in '99.

Also, Gaddafi was alerted to the 1986 airstrike when he was called and told American planes had just overflown Malta.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562474)


16 hours a day. So the guy quit his job? Hmmm.

Maybe it's all a big cron job.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562642)

I don't understand the criticism. He can do the scanning but Libya and "unfriendly" forces have no idea how to do this?

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562912)

He isn't updating 16 hours a day now, he said he had to go back to work. Most of the traffic was during the weekend.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (5, Informative)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562328)

Some bastard could come along and accuse him of unauthorized "retransmission" of "illegally" intercepted signals

Extremely doubtful since the ATC frequencies he's listening to are specifically intended to be heard by public facilities. Anything heard on these frequencies are transmitted with the full intent and knowledge anyone and everyone can hear. Anything which is not intended for public consumption is transmitted over military frequencies and encrypted. The former is what he's listening to. The later would be completely unintelligible for anyone whos receivers have not been pre-programmed with the decryption keys. Programming with the proper keys is part of pre-flight procedures and handed out during the pre-mission briefing.

Absolutely nothing he's doing is secret or hard and is extremely unlikely to be illegal in any free country.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562718)

some people in a free country that likes to eat delicacies like spotted dick got in to trouble over exactly that
http://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/110433-legalities-atc-listening-uk-2.html

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562888)

Absolutely nothing he's doing is secret or hard and is extremely unlikely to be illegal in any free country.

I guess he better not visit US then.

Ok ok, I know flaimbait, but I just couldn't resist.

Re:Hope he doesn't get into trouble (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563082)

I guess he better not visit US then.

Ok ok, I know flaimbait, but I just couldn't resist.

Ironically, everything he's doing is completely legal in the US. But as others have pointed out, he better not visit the UK.

Pertinent part of the article (5, Informative)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35561984)

Military aircraft have to provide basic information about their position over unencrypted, unclassified UHF and VHF radio networks; otherwise, theyâ(TM)d risk slamming into civilian jets in mid-air. That allows savvy listeners like Huub to use radio frequency scanners, amplifiers, and antennas to capture the communications.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562128)

Military aircraft have to provide basic information about their position over unencrypted, unclassified UHF and VHF radio networks; otherwise, theyâ(TM)d risk slamming into civilian jets in mid-air. That allows savvy listeners like Huub to use radio frequency scanners, amplifiers, and antennas to capture the communications.

Which ultimately begs the question as to why ALL aircraft transmissions (civilian or otherwise) aren't encrypted.

Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of glad they aren't for cool hacking tricks like this, but seriously, kind of makes you wonder...I mean we're only talking about a few hundred tons of metal flying through the air with thousands of gallons of jet fuel. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562148)

http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

Re:Pertinent part of the article (3, Interesting)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562190)

I don't understand why that would help. You have to provide the information in order to not smack into another aircraft, so every other aircraft/ATC in the vicinity needs to know how to decrypt the information. This means that the decryption keys are effectively public.

Anyway, is the US still consistent with its rule about most of the spectrum being a-ok to listen in on? Unlike the UK's Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, where the default assumption is that you can't. And, of course, assuming he's in Holland... what about Dutch law?

(also, "begs the question" etc.)

Re:Pertinent part of the article (4, Informative)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562536)

Current US law allows people to receive and listen to un-encrypted radio transmissions, except for cellular telephone channels, as long as the reception is for personal use only and not to be used in the commission of a crime.

That means you can sit around listening to the cops all day long, as long as you don't say "Hey, I heard all the cops are at the donut shop on the north side, so I can go rob the southside bank". It also means you can't legally sit around at your taxi company office and listen to the competition's radio system and jump their calls.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (3, Informative)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562848)

Traffic handling at private airports rely upon a common shared radio band. If you're in a Cessna 150 doing touch and goes at your local uncontrolled airport, and someone in a King Air announces on direct approach and a 3 mile final, this is useful information that keeps you both safe. Technically the lower of the two planes on approach gets the right of way, but if someone's flying a plane that stalls near what's considered a moderate speed for your plane, you get the hell out of the way.

With the King Air's announcement you know which direction he's landing (assuming you don't already know from normal operations or cross-winds), roughly when he's going to get there, and that you need to either park yourself in the pattern* or land and get the hell out of his way.

Most people think there's air traffic control everywhere. There is not, so traffic follows a predefined pattern with customary entrance and exit protocols. If you need to stay out of the final approach for someone, you have control to do that without asking anyone else, assuming you follow the predefined rules.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562212)

We cant even convince all websites to use SSL, why do you think we could convince all aitlines to encrypt their data?

And lets not even get started on the antiquated ATC systems world wide. (US included)

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562542)

They're not as antiquated as you think, and it costs a metric assload to upgrade them, and to support backward-compatibility with aircraft and airfields that are just not economical ever to upgrade.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562306)

Because you want them to be public. The other aircraft, including those of your "enemies" and the light aircraft being flown by Bob the gardener down the street need to be able to communicate to avoid smashing into each other.

Encrypting serves no purpose when the entire idea is for anyone to be able to receive the information.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562334)

Which ultimately begs the question as to why ALL aircraft transmissions (civilian or otherwise) aren't encrypted. Don't get me wrong, I'm kind of glad they aren't for cool hacking tricks like this, but seriously, kind of makes you wonder...I mean we're only talking about a few hundred tons of metal flying through the air with thousands of gallons of jet fuel. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, you just explained why they aren't. Simple analog AM communications are about as simple as it gets, and still radios fail. Imagine making them all digital encrypted.

The other obvious reason is, why bother? If all aircraft signals are encrypted, then everyone would have access to the keys and the radios to listen. What do you accomplish by encrypting? Who do you stop from listening? Only Mom and Pop who have a casual interest in the chatter. The guys who would use the data for harm (like tweeting the positions and data about incoming airstrikes) would buy an encrypted radio and listen in just like now.

That would be self-defeating (3, Informative)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562398)

why ALL aircraft transmissions (civilian or otherwise) aren't encrypted. ... we're only talking about a few hundred tons of metal flying through the air with thousands of gallons of jet fuel. What could possibly go wrong?

WHAT could go wrong? Let me tell you what could go wrong. There's a hundred tons of metal flying around. Its position is *secret* because some dumbfuck thought it would be better to encrypt all its transmissions.

Then comes uncle Bill in his Cessna. He doesn't know where the big passenger aircraft is, because its position is *secret*, since some dumbfuck though it necessary to encrypt all transmissions from the aircraft.

Do you begin to see now why aircraft transmissions *cannot* be encrypted?!!!

OK, I know your next argument; Imagine all aircraft transmissions are encrypted and all aircraft must have a receiver able to decode those transmissions. Only registered aircraft owners have access to the receivers, so what could possibly go wrong?

Think of the thousands of small airfields all over the world. Climb a fence, cut a padlock at night, pick a receiver. Or buy it from a salvage firm, grease some hands, whatever. It wouldn't stay secret very long (ask Sony about that).

   

Re:Pertinent part of the article (5, Informative)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562560)

Which ultimately begs the question as to why ALL aircraft transmissions (civilian or otherwise) aren't encrypted.

Legacy.

The cost of avionics is extremely high when those avionics go into a commercially-built aircraft; every piece of avionics must be certified for use in a specific aircraft model and revision. A VHF radio transceiver going into a home-built "experimental" aircraft can be less than half the price as that going into a Cessna 172, even though it is identical, new production. That approval-sticker is one expensive bit of paper and adhesive.

It gets far worse for passenger-carrying commercial aircraft. Not only does the equipment have to be certified for use in-type; when you change out the equipment, you have to update the aircraft's MEL (minimum equipment list) you also have to refresh your training regimen, and conduct that retraining and certification for any flight deck crew that might end up flying that plane, The expense would be very high, some carriers and private owners couldn't afford it, and it would involve downtime. It would certainly be a windfall for the likes of Bendix-King, but for commercial and private aircraft operators, a new avionics mandate that doesn't grandfather existing equipment is ruinous.

General aviation is already expensive enough and pilot shortages are happening. With the military turning out fewer and fewer pilots (they're paid well and with military air fleets becoming smaller and more expensive, there are fewer of them), with four-year aviation programs costing as much as Ivy League schools but with starting pay less than 40,000 a year, general aviation is critical for producing charter and airline pilots. General aviation is already in trouble, with new aircraft costing as much as a house, the existing fleet aging, and fuel and maintenance costs pushing operation of even a little 172 to near a hundred dollars per engine-hour. Adding a new five-figure-per-aircraft mandate is simply not possible.

As for open transmissions... that's a hard requirement, by treaty. Everyone has to be able to listen in on everyone else and be able to talk to everyone on a moment's notice. The aforementioned 172 is on the same frequencies as the 747s when they're in the same airspace. There's even a rule about language. Air traffic control is ALWAYS in English. Yeah yeah yeah cultural imperialism cry me a river. Everyone must understand everyone, or planes slam into each other.

I'm a private pilot; every time I fly I'm reminded that I could be digested by a Boeing Buzzard. Whenever I go near Class B or Class C airspace, ATC is constantly in communication with everyone asking "Do you see that 737? Good. Do you have visual on that Beechcraft? No? Descend 1000 feet." And in minor airports without an air traffic controller, the pilots perform their own control, by speaking to each other on a common frequency and following established procedures and calls at checkpoints. Set 122.7 Unicom. "Cessna 53614 inbound South County runway 31, on the 45 at the golf course. Cessna 53614 downwind, South County runway 31. Cessna 53614 on base, South County runway 31. Cessna 53614 on final, South County runway 31. Cessna 53614, clear of active runway." The guys I'm talking to, like me, are flying 40-year-old (or older!) aircraft with analog gauges, no on-aircraft radar, and a few don't even have transponders.

An example of why this is critical from my own experience. I was a student pilot at the aforementioned South County, practicing takeoffs and landings. Round and round touch-and-go, solo flights. There were four others doing the same. Everything was going like clockwork (well, counterclockwork, the pattern was counterclockwise), until... I had just taken off, climbing out on the "upwind" leg of the pattern. 65 knots, best climb rate, about 500 feet above ground level, when I saw an inbound aircraft aimed straight at me. The bastard was going the wrong way, and apparently on the wrong frequency. Slam the yoke forward, turn to the right. The other aircraft missed me by less than a hundred feet. I immediately called "All South County aircraft abort landings, we have an aircraft on final on runway 13, repeat, runway 13". Without the ability to communicate openly to EVERY aircraft on frequency, there could have been a head-on collision on the runway. Of course, this incident also shows why you double-check your frequency when you're inbound...

Pucker factor 9.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563034)

Encrypted transponders would mean everyone's transponder would have to be graded, in every aircraft, every airport, every ATC on the planet.

Similar to asking why every computer in the world doesn't have Wi Fi.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (3, Interesting)

zAPPzAPP (1207370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562134)

Wait, they don't switch these off, when they go for a bombing run?
Doesn't this defeat the whole idea of stealth?

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562342)

Guess they consider the risk of colliding with a civilian aircraft more threatening than Gadhafi's anti-aircraft systems...

Re:Pertinent part of the article (3, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562376)

Considering that many aerial engagements are now done sight-unseen by radar only, IFF is really important, doubly so in a no-fly zone. These are not particularly stealthy aircraft involved here either.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563162)

Some of these are particularly stealthy aircraft, Rafale, F/A-18 E/F/G aren't stealth, but they are stealthy compared to F-15E, F-18C and Tornado.

B-2 bombers spoofed the ATC watchers by using a tanker/transport call sign on the transponder the entire trip over and back, those are really stealthy.

Think of stealthy this way
MiG-21 through MiG-29, F-16, F-15, F-18 A/B/C, Tornado, Mirage F-1, Mirage 2000, Super Etendard - really not stealthy

Su-27-33, Rafale, F-18 E/F/G, B-1B, Tomahawk cruise missile - getting stealthy

F-22, Eurofighter Typhoon - pretty stealthy

B-2 - really stealthy

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562410)

Yeah, i'd figure that too. Especially since Libya is a no-fly zone.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562864)

I have no knowledge about this, but I'd guess they'd be broadcasting in the clear over the Mediterranean, and then once over restricted (NFZ) areas, switch to encrypted.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (4, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562456)

Yes. They absolutely switch these off. Only the elements which are completely intended for public ears (including potential enemies) are transmitted in the clear. Position reports will typically, only be provided when flying in high traffic areas where civilian traffic is likely, such as airports or published navigation aids. Furthermore, many of the cited navigation aids are likely to have been created by the military and the name of such aid may only be known to the military. So them saying, 135' from RAFLO, or some such, has little direct meaning since the location of RAFLO is completely unknown. Furthermore, that aid may be renamed later for different missions. So even if the enemy figures out where RAFLO is at, they may not realize TRKSTOP is simply a new name for RAFLO.

Lastly, you need to understand, all of these concepts are extremely well understood in the signals discipline, which means some of these transmissions from a given flight may be completely fictitious in nature and transmitted with the full awareness the enemy is listening.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562600)

Makes me wonder. It'd be interesting to see if GPS is currently giving out whacky numbers.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (2)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562856)

Certainly possible, but I doubt it. Remember, the goal is to bait the enemy into engaging you with radar and AA-systems. Part of that means allowing the enemy know where you are.

When you think about it, its really incredible these aircraft can even get off the ground given the size of the balls these pilots have.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562424)

I could imagine that if there is a No-Fly-Zone and a War-Zone, they turn it off. If there is a civilian aircraft in that area, being accidentally hit by another plane is least of their problems.

Re:Pertinent part of the article (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562608)

Well, since the entire world was informed that Libya is a no-fly zone, anything on the wing in that neighborhood is now a legal target. Which I think is your meaning though in the fog of war it's best to ACK and NACK.

So I use trackmyflight.something - (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562006)

- what *is* the ICAO airport code for the USS Barry?

Re:So I use trackmyflight.something - (3, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562620)

Doesn't matter. Southwest doesn't fly there and I refuse to use any other carrier, even to get to a carrier.

Re:So I use trackmyflight.something - (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562844)

Barry's a destroyer.

Re:So I use trackmyflight.something - (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562950)

Hey. The enemy doesn't know that.

No detail (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562044)

I was amazed at how little detail there was in the article. Its just, like all magic and stuff because he's so smart and experienced. And we're only going to use one syllable words here, because you're... not. What a Pulitzer of modern journalism, almost worth catching a fish so I can wrap it.

Sounds a lot like a scanner guy with an ADS-B receiver, either homemade or purchased something like this:

http://www.radargadgets.com/ [radargadgets.com] .

Google for ADS-B and 1090 MHz and terms like that, you'll get the idea real quick of how he does it.

Re:No detail (1)

jesseck (942036) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562166)

I think he goes beyond that. He stated that he uses the receivers, and then also correlates that data with other information sources online. While I don't think listening to the traffic is necessarily exceptional, bringing together the data and correlating it with other sources of information is unique. It also seems he has done this for a long time- part of TFA mentions this guy has been doing it for a long time.

Re:No detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562386)

in god you trust

(the world (military/religion (USA) military/religion) the world)

Re:No detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562270)

That was a good piece of info - thanks

"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (-1, Troll)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562052)

And you idiots are out there believing the lies and defending this war as mindlessly as you did Iraq and Afghanistan. Shameful

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562092)

Troll Dig it! And so quick to mod. You zombies are out in full force today. You poor fools.. At least the trance blocks the pain, I hope, for your sakes.

I support OPERATION ODESSY DAWN. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562218)

I fully support bombing the crap out Tito Jackson for his crimes against fashion.

Re:I support OPERATION ODESSY DAWN. (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562638)

The U.N. will never approve of it. Some of them dress that way too.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562154)

Oh hi Muammar!

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562236)

<Hi there! Wazuuup?> [guardian.co.uk]

And thanks for the money shot..

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562276)

Not sure where you get your own propaganda, but this latest involvement is extremely unpopular with the majority of people in the US.

Ironically, though, I actually back this operation where I did not believe Afghanistan and Iraq should have been engaged in. Why? Well, when a nation seeks to oust its leader and the leader responds with crimes against humanity, we are honor-bound to defend those civilians under attack by their own leadership. (Likewise, we should also take more aggressive actions against China and other countries for the same reasons)

I recognize the fact that the majority of the US are mindless. But even in this case, the mindless aren't fully in support of the current actions. But with that said, we don't (yet) have feet on the ground for this one. As far as I know, we are just launching fireworks at military hardware put in place by Libyan leadership to suppress and attack the people.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562366)

As far as I know...

Exactly.. You have insufficient data to justify anything. And if you want to believe it's about the people, maybe you ought to check out the rebellions the US is suppressing. This is business, nothing else.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562434)

Define "honor-bound", please. I appreciate the good sentiment, but it sounds like a term which can be used to excuse anything. If the nation was seeking to oust its leader, there would be no leader. What's happening is that some of the nation is seeking to oust its leader - something which could be said of every nation on the earth. And almost all leaders, freedom-loving or dictatorial (but I repeat myself), crush such rebellions. Why are we caring so much about Libya? (why did we care so much about Iraq and Afghanistan?)

While everyone was looking at Japan, and while our countries (UK, France, USA) have so much shit to sort out at home, the bastards just managed to engage us in another offensive war.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562656)

Unpopular?!

In heavy Texas accent - "Those cheese-eating surrender monkeys fired the first shot!"

I can see why :)

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562892)

They probably invaded just to find someone to surrender to. They haven't been able to surrender to anyone in over a year.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562672)

Well, when a nation seeks to oust its leader and the leader responds with crimes against humanity, we are honor-bound to defend those civilians under attack by their own leadership.

Does this honor-binding apply to all revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the existing civil government, or only those whose actions you agree with? One man's revolutionary is another man's freedom fighter, so to speak. Would you feel honor-bound to defend, e.g., Timothy McVeigh had he made it to a remote hide-away and ATF and FBI were conducting a full-scale assault to capture him? What about one of the militias in Idaho if they start trying to "oust [their nation's] leader"? Would you have moved to South Carolina to help the Confederates "oust [their] leader"?

but this latest involvement is extremely unpopular with the majority of people in the US.

I recognize the fact that the majority of the US are mindless.

Such insults are usually levied against those who supported the UN sanctions and US participation in Iraq. It is refreshing to see them applied to those who knee-jerk oppose all military action anywhere.

In any case, your claim requires citation. When did we vote and measure the popularity?

But even in this case, the mindless aren't fully in support of the current actions.

Yep, that's how the insult is usually applied.

You have to face it. The same man who promised he'd get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and close Gitmo "on day one" of his administration is now getting us involved in yet ANOTHER war trying to depose the leader of yet another sovereign country.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562710)

is extremely unpopular with the majority of people in the US

The gross number depends on how you word the question, but no. It's not. It's got the usual suspects up in arms (ironic metaphor there, eh?) about various things. The peaceniks who would decry a cop shooting the person trying to kill them are of course making their noise. And since it's a Democrat President who signed the orders the entirety of the GOP is acting into the microphone like it's a travesty against the Constitution, while masturbating under the table to the images on the screen.

Regime change in Libya is a laudable goal, and destroying Momar's ability to stop Libyans from enacting it it is a proper use of the world's risk-delivery systems.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562770)

You seem to be a particularly good example of the trance everybody is in. Prez waves his hand, and you'll believe anything. Makes me wonder if you're one of the guys on the plane.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562932)

You seem to be a particularly poor troll. Here, have a cookie: @

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (0)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563132)

Yep, sounds like we got you pegged. A powerful spell you are under. Just like before, and before that, and before that... Without your control center (the TV) you will collapse and fall over like the droid army.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563040)

The gross number depends on how you word the question,

If this were a Republican in power, the question would be "Do you support the unconstitutional and violent overthrow of a peaceful country in order to take over their oil fields and to kill and rape their women and children?"

Since this is Obama, it was probably more like "To you support protecting a peaceful demonstration from an evil and oppressive terrorist regime?"

Of course there is no bias in how the question is asked.

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562858)

I actually back this operation where I did not believe Afghanistan and Iraq should have been engaged in. Why?

Because Obama wants their oil. It's OK if Lord Obama kills and kills and kills for oil! Just don't let those damn Republicans do it!

Re:"Propaganda Planes" cover the skies (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562942)

Not sure where you get your own propaganda, but this latest involvement is extremely unpopular with the majority of people in the US.

Not sure where you get your propaganda, but every poll I've seen was overwhelmingly in support of this action. As was support in NATO and the UN. This all strongly suggests you're the only one falling for propaganda.

Not Propaganda (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562112)

I like how the article deems the craft a "Propaganda Plane", but then goes on to describe it's message, as a transmission on maritime frequencies saying: "If you attempt to leave port, you will be attacked and destroyed immediately”... I was expecting something more along the lines of "Qaddafi is sleeping with your camel"...
 
  but I guess in the good-ole' euroweenie tradition of bashing anything American, "Propaganda plane" makes it sound more ominous and spooky, and makes the intent seem more underhanded

Re:Not Propaganda (3, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562284)

"Move and we'll immediately kill you," aka, "We're omnipresent and you're completely impotent - roll over and prepare to be conquered," is the asymptotic extreme of all propaganda, war or otherwise.

Re:Not Propaganda (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562736)

A safety warning that is, in essence, 100% true and unvarnished, isn't propaganda per se. There's no ulterior anything to it. And it will save the lives of boat captains who thought they could just wander out of port and avoid the fight, who would have found the irony of being blown out of the water somewhat un-funny.

Re:Not Propaganda (2)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#35563022)

Propaganda doesn't have to have an ulterior anything - if its dissemination is intended to influence someone's view of their position ("OK, I'm helpless") with a selective account of facts then it is propaganda.

Now neither of us have any evidence that the announcement is "in essence, 100% true". To state "you will be attacked" rather than "you may be attacked without warning" seems to be a choice made for psychological effect rather than an accurate statement of omnipresence and omniscience.

To state that the announcement was to benefit those innocent captains whose vessels would otherwise be killed trying to escape is spin - it may or may not be one of many reasons for making the announcement.

best tweet ever: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562150)

@USAfricaCommand be advised, one of your WEASEL's F-16CJ from 23th FS Spangdahlem Germany has his transponder Mode-S on! NOT secure!

How is this new? (1)

dorpus (636554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562158)

Has the article's author ever heard of ham radio?

HF (5, Interesting)

fauxhemian (1281852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562162)

I've been able to track a lot of aircraft movements on Shortwave/HF radio from Ireland - and it's surprising just how much information still goes out over unencrypted links. Friday night, there was a marked increase in French AWACS and support aircraft activity - and then on Saturday other frequencies came alive with a whole host of NATO aircraft; for instance RAF Transports, Tankers, Surveillance, Strike and Fighter aircraft. Some aircraft discussed the targets they'd hit, the ordinance they had used and their current bearings and distance from Benghazi. There have been some intriguing transmissions - for instance aircraft operating at altitudes which are beyond their published service ceilings and voices co-ordinating movements from countries whose governments voiced opposition to the NFZ. Over the years frequency hopping and encryption have reduced the number of military transmissions to be read and understood on HF, but clearly there's still interesting ones out there. On a tangent - an Israeli Numbers Station , designated E10 and famous for lending the title to a Wilco album amongst other things, stopped transmitting on March 1st of this year - given the recent events in Egypt, it's interesting timing.

Re:HF (1)

fauxhemian (1281852) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562192)

Apologies for lack of formatting!

Headline Somewhat Misleading (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562202)

I wonder if transmissions from the actual attackingaircraft can be received in the clear.

Gatta love this one... (5, Informative)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562216)

@USAfricaCommand be advised, one of your WEASEL's F-16CJ from 23th FS Spangdahlem Germany has his transponder Mode-S on! NOT secure!

That means the F-16 in question was transmitting both its altitude and GPS position for all to see. Then again, if its truly a wild weasel platform [wikipedia.org] , that may be entirely its intent.

Re:Gatta love this one... (4, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562326)

While the planes and ordinance is neat, I prefer the platform (or chassis) for Wicked Weasel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_Weasel [wikipedia.org]

Re:Gatta love this one... (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562592)

You gotta be shittin' me!

Wow, nice bit of mil history there.

Re:Gatta love this one... (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35562786)

And it's merely a presumption that the information being transmitted was accurate.

Weasel: Here! I'm over here
Ack-Ack: I have you now, infidel! (*budda-budda-budda*)
Weasel: Ahem.
Ack-Ack: (spinning) Curses!
Weasel: Fox 1!
Ack-Ack: (exploding) grrrrrrrglglglglg

not another twikileaks debauch? executions? oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562452)

doesn't the military know where the bombs are falling/aimed? if 'some guy' is tweekyleaking it, can't that throw a terrorist advantage into an already overly secret process? are investigative desponses in the works? austin powers was right about the dutch?

big push for easter bunny to show up on april 1st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562802)

you may only see this on radiation 'free' /.. the holycost is rising by the minute, so at movingrightalong.pr they're pushing both the forward & backward prospects of the 'adjustment. as for april's fools days; there's no money, & no current excess of humor to fret about with that one. so, we're going with the advance bunny day, with full approval of all the deities.

there are also plans to suspend the fake weather program, & the exploding everything holycost, for that one day, so get out there & buy some stuff. no need to be afraid, as this might be an approved/survivable festival. then, if jesus HAS TO (last resort, as we are not currently a popular 'destination') show up on his death/rebirth day, there'll be no conflict?

Where's The URL for The Tracking? ( +1, Jihadist ) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562590)

Dear Slashdot Editors:

I have informed CentCom that Slashdot is a Gaddafi operation.

I'll let the Slashdot editors come to their own conclusions.

FU,
Kilgore Trout

P.S.: Post some news instead of your usual CRAP !

Google Earth is amazing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35562720)

The news media wasn't particularly helpful with geographic details either before the airstrikes or after. Their maps are very generalized and sometimes erroneous or omit important sites. The media would say "battles in Ras Lanuf in eastern Libya", and there was a poor sense of where exactly that was or how far it was from Benghazi (how long would it take Ghaddafi's forces to drive from there to Benghazi, for example?). And where exactly are the airfields and military bases that were either the source of Ghaddafi's attacks or the places being attacked by the local people?

So, in frustration, I spent a weekend finding all the visible airfields, military bases, surface-to-air missile, oil pipeline/storage tank/refinery/oil port infrastructure, etc. that I could spot in the Google Earth imagery. The Google Earth program is best for hunting, but Google Maps can show some of the results. For example, here's a SAM site to the south of Tripoli airport [google.com] , here's a SAM site in Tripoli itself [google.com] . These seem to be two different types of missile setups, with missiles visible on the second one, but hidden in sheds in the first picture. Here's Mitiga air base [google.com] in Tripoli. If you look in the SE corner you can see MIGs parked on the ground. There are also some helicopters, including some big, twin-blade Chinooks. Here's a big ammo/weapons dump in the SE of the city [google.com] . Here's the ammo/weapons dump south of Adjdabiya [google.com] that the Ghaddafi forces bombed a few times to try to prevent the rebels from getting the stores there. Notice the difference in color of the ground -- the security fences keep the grazing wildlife out, so there are more plants inside the fence == darker. An easy way to spot the secure fenced-in areas even if you can't see the fence itself. Practically every major city has military bases of some size (usually high security fences with guard towers) where you can see APCs parked, or occasionally tanks and tank transporters and other heavy weapons. Even if you can't see them out in the open air you can often recognize the warehouses that have this sort of equipment because of the security fences and the very WIDE turns in the roads around the buildings. The various military airbases around the country (at least 8 or 10 of them) often have the planes hidden in earth-covered bunkers, but this centrally-located base near Hun [google.com] has plenty of visible aircraft, including ones recognizable as Tu-22 bombers [google.com] and MiG-25 fighters [google.com] . This large airbase south of Sirte [google.com] has quite a few small fighters visible in addition to transport aircraft on the big tarmacs.

Besides military assets, there are other types of infrastructure that are important, such as this large storage tank area to the SW of the Ras Lanuf oil port/refinery [google.com] , where several pipelines converge. There are several storage/port areas like this at coastal points along the southern end of the Bay of Sirte. The oil fields themselves are far to the south in the desert, such as the Sarir Field, the largest in Libya, which contains about 6.5-12 billion barrels depending on source [wikipedia.org] . Lots of details on this page [searchanddiscovery.net] if you're interested. BTW, the location indicated in the Wikipedia page is wrong.

What I did over a weekend is obviously a pale shadow compared to actual satellite intelligence, but still interesting to realize where things are. It's like "open source" satellite intelligence. Even though the satellite imagery would be out-of-date, you could find out a lot about "what's behind the fence" and not easily obtainable from the ground. I can see now why militaries spend so much effort to keep as much as possible out-of-sight of satellites. If you could study a series of pictures over a site over time, you could learn a great deal. Seeing all this military gear also helps to answer questions like "What the heck did Ghaddafi do with all that oil money?" Answer: it buys a lot of military for a country of only 6 million.

I'm sure recent satellite photos would show a lot of craters at many of the military sites now.

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