US wants to rule space - pushing Branson to honour 'No Fly' list for Virgin Galactic

Pax Romana, Pax Britannia and now... today's Pax Americana.

by RichardK (webmaster)

From the Beeb

US draws up space tourism rules

Space tourists must be screened to ensure they are not terrorists, according to proposed regulations from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

If there's anything the terrorists want to blow up, it's stuff in space... I know... because the terrorists hate Freedom and you can't get any freer than when you're in space.

Might as well put that NSA data to work. Never mind four years old American kids, British music legends (Cat Stevens), Journalists (Robert Fisk), and Senators (Kennedy) being on the 'shit' list that the US has compiled to keep al Qaeda types from creating havoc and horror - now the rest of the planet gets to face the 'with us or against us' brigade before lifting off...

However, the report has no strict proposals on the health of any would-be space tourists.

The suggestions will affect Sir Richard Branson's enterprise which aims to launch people into space this decade.

Unhealthy, overweight, rich, white guys welcome - as long as they have not sung about Allah, written bad things 'bout 'Merica, happen to be four years old and maybe have the same name as some swarthy fellow who was photographed at a peace rally... - like John Smith maybe? Or even get sucked into the vacuous evildoer chasm like Kennedy did until he finally BEGGED Tom Ridge to remove him from the database after getting held up twice.

I hope this nudges Branson to move Virgin Galactic out of New Mexico back over the pond to Europe - because a shift would avoid giving the US a foot in the door in terms of unilateral space legislation. With the announcement that the war is tallying up to cost a cool two trillion dollars rather than Wolfie's pipe dream that it would pay for itself - the US can hardly afford to enter the new space race.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz: “There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

Who put this guy in charge of the World Bank? Anyway - there's certainly not much dosh kicking around for NASA pipedreams and much of the airline industry in the US is flying into spiralling debt which leaves no room for more vertical expansion in the form of space tourism - so America will, I assume, just assert military control because they can - and give the final yea or nay to whom they very well please.

All this terror list data needs to get out of the mitted paws of the executive branch and into the slightly cleaner hands of Congress and judiciary.  With secretive unaccountable tools using secretive information-gathering tools to justify secret lists that can't be contested - even secretly - on the legality of how the information was acquired... I'd say Orwellian is a charming metaphor for the lunatics at the helm.

This all comes back to the 'dreaded' PNAC manifesto. I seem to remember their 2000 pennings recommending that the US military needed some beefing up with "a global network of space-based interceptors (or space-based lasers)" and asserted that "No system of missile defenses can be fully effective without placing sensors and weapons in space."

Or to be more specific - from the PNAC document that was concocted by peace-luvin' Machievellianists Don Kagan and Gary Schmitt in September of 2000.

CONTROL THE NEW “INTERNATIONAL COMMONS” OF SPACE AND “CYBERSPACE,” and pave the way for the creation of a new military service – U.S. Space Forces – with the mission of space control.

Stomp, Stomp, Stomp.

And then there was the 2004 article where The Guardian reported "America has begun preparing its next military objective - space. Documents reveal that the US Air Force has for the first time adopted a doctrine to establish 'space superiority'." A blatant violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty which forbids the militarization of space."

In my view, this is really a test of Branson's independence - he is arguably the most hip and well respected gazillionaire on the block who started a wee record label called Virgin Records at 17 while still in school which eventually morphed into one of the world's largest and most successful brands. I can't see the guy who signed the Sex Pistols and sits on a committee with Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens) - buckle under and cave in to American space hegemony.

If he does - I will be deeply dissappointed. I have too - blushingly admit - I hold Branson high enough that as a younger man I actually bottled a quirky note asking for a dream job and tossed it overboard towards shore while sailing by Necker Island in the B.V.I's - with the thought he might find it on a morning stroll.

I like to think he never found it.