Why does a General Risks His Career Reporting Testimony Tampering?
The media is all concerned about the dustup involving Air Force 4-star General William Shelton, who heads the Air Force Space Command, testifying the White House pressured him to change his testimony in a classified briefing to a U.S. House oversight committee.
The media is all concerned about the White House pressure, which is serious enough, but nothing is said about the far more serious problem, the one the general was willing to risk his career to preclude.
It involves a company, LightSquared, and its attempt to build a wireless 4G satellite network that would broadcast in the frequency band used by the military GPS system and potentially jam GPS to make it inoperable. The LightSquared majority owner Philip Falcone and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja are big Democratic Party contributors.
To understand the significance of what President Obama is doing, it is helpful to review a little background information.
Because there would be chaos if anyone could operate a radio transmitter at any place, any time and any frequency without regard for others, the world realized there was a need to regulate such transmissions and long ago (as part of the League of Nations) created the ITU (International Telecommunications Union). It is a United Nations entity with 170 member countries that allocates
the frequency spectrum to the various radio services.
In this country it is illegal to turn on a radio transmitter without a license. The international allocation of frequency bands to radio services is replicated in the U.S. in national frequency allocation tables. Commercial service transmitter licenses are given by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and government services are approved by the Office of Spectrum Management in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce.
If you look on any device you have with a transmitter (cell phone, wireless router, garage door opener, etc.) you will see a notice that the device complies with FCC rule 15.
In this country the government and commercial services are separated into different radio frequency bands to allow each to have widespread geographical operations without interference. The documents indicate the FCC has ignored the concerns of the Department of Defense (Document DA-11-133A1) and allowed LightSquared to operate in a band that could interfere with the GPS system. The FCC is chaired by Julius Genachowski A longtime Obama friend and a top 2008 campaign fundraiser,
The GPS is not just used by civilians to find their destinations. It is incorporated into a myriad of automated military systems that use position information. Making it inoperable would not only negate the $billions spent on its deployment, it would be a serious blow to the ability of the military to protect us.
Admiral David Glasgow Farragut is remembered for his Civil War command “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
Perhaps that is a metaphor for a present day Obama command “Damn the country, full speed ahead!”