US military paranoia

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Bush is coming

George Bush is going to visit the UK next week. A lot of people here do not want him to do this. They are going to demonstrate about it. I’ll probably join them at some point.

George Bush is not a nice man or so it appears to me. Even worse are the people he surrounds himself with. They are worse than not nice. They are, for the most part, the sort of people who make you ashamed to be a human being.

It’s not surprising that some of them, and some of the people who work for them, are a little paranoid about Bush’s visit. Now I have some first hand experience of just how paranoid they are.

Bush’s transport

Bush will travel here in his plane called Air Force One. This operates from an air base near Washington DC whose sole purpose is to cater for the transport of the President and his entourage around the planet. The air base is called Andrew’s Air Force Base and it is rather large. According to its web site there are 20 thousand people living there and it has a 54 hole golf course. Quite why it needs so many people to handle the transport needs of a fairly small number of people has me scratching my head.

An unwelcome visitor

I was looking at the digested logs of this site yesterday and spotted that I had had a visit from a US military address. Nothing new in itself as for some reason they’ve been visiting this site about once a month for a couple of years. I have no idea what they find so fascinating.

The visit yesterday was different. In one visit the visitor appears to have looked at every page on the site. This meant that they made it into the top 30 visitors to the site which, in turn, meant that the digest told me their address, It didn’t mean much in itself until I ran it through the WhoIs program on my Mac which came back and told me that the machine is owned by Andrew’s Air Force Base. It also told me its street address and the name and telephone number of the machine’s administrator.

Their paranoia

Quite why someone at Andrew’s Air Force Base should be so interested in this site I can only put down to complete paranoia about Bush’s visit to the UK. I’m hoping that they’ve simply trawled the web for sites mentioning Iraq and/or Islam (this site mentions both). They’re then checking these sites out to see if their owners could possibly pose a threat to Bush.

My own paranoia

That’s what I’m hoping anyway. The paranoid bit of me says there’s more to it than that and is awaiting the arrival of Apache helicopters over the ridge from Crouch End, just like in the movies.

Another mysterious visit

It doesn’t stop there though. A little further down the site’s statistics is another machine which also looked at the entire site. This one is owned by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. I’d never heard of these people so I looked them up. They turn out to be an enormous company dealing largely with the US military. Amongst the other things they handle are IT and plane protection systems. Perhaps they think I may be planning to shoot down Air Force One as it arrives. Who knows how the military mind works?

An a-ha moment

Hey, I just had a thought. One of the things I do sometimes to idle away the time is sit on the balcony and watch the planes as they fly over. They pass over my flat, head off east across London and then turn in a long curve to fly west along the Thames towards Heathrow. It’s quite graceful to watch especially if one of them happens to be a Concorde though, sadly, I’ll probably never see that again.

If Bush is flying into Heathrow then perhaps the military are merely looking at all potential sources of surface to air missiles on his flight path. The building where I live has a flat roof. It would make a perfect site for a SAM missile launcher.

12 November 2003