Bush on "Over-the-Wall" Drones

Bush on "Over-the-Wall" Drones

Bush on "Over-the-Wall" Drones

Science, technology, and life.
Dec. 19 2008 9:13 AM

Bush on "Over-the-Wall" Drones

I went to see President Bush's farewell chat with the American Enterprise Institute yesterday. It was an unusually frank conversation: He actually admitted mistakes. In fact, he wandered so far off-message that when he was asked about defense spending, he started talking about specific weapons systems, and pretty soon he said this :

Our soldiers are carrying unbelievably new technologies, using Predators to use over-the-wall intelligence to be able to have better battlefield awareness.

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Over-the-wall intelligence? I've searched DefenseLink , and I don't see that term or anything like it. I do, however, see " through-the-wall surveillance ," associated with the Air Force Research Laboratory. And the last time I checked, walls tended to be associated with roofs. So one way or another, the Predators have to see through something.

Is Bush possibly blabbing about the technology cryptically described by Bob Woodward and others ? The ability of U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles to identify and track human targets " even when they are inside buildings "? If so, the convergence sketched here two months ago— unmanned vehicles that can see through walls —is indeed upon us.

By the way, as of this week's hit in North Waziristan, the number of U.S.  drone missile strikes in Pakistan this year is approaching 30, and the body count is over 200.