So They've Added A "C"?

On security at the Athens Olympics, from (emphasis added):

Original estimates placed the bill close to $1 billion, but the current estimate is $1.5 billion — a number that could go higher by the time the Games close. This represents more than a fifth of the expected final $7.2 billion price tag. To put those numbers in perspective, consider that Sydney's security costs were approximately $240 million, and eight years ago in Atlanta — where a pipe bomb explosion tore into the Olympic tranquility — the tab was closer to $2.5 million.

If the dangers are greater than ever, it must be said, so is the safety net Greece has thrown up to meet them. What are they getting for their money?

The centerpiece is the C4I (command, control, communications, computers and intelligence), a $312 million network of 1,300 infrared and high-resolution cameras (some of them fiber-optic cables underwater in Athens' main port of Piraeus), spy vans, helicopters, and a 200-foot blimp with chemical "sniffers" that are all linked by a sophisticated communications system. However, a Greek daily newspaper reported last week that 20 percent of the images from cameras will be lost because of delays in wiring monitors and flaws in the command center.

Three NATO AWACS arrived last week at Aktio air base in northwestern Greece and will patrol the airspace above the Games. NATO will also provide a 200-person force to deal with any potential chemical or biological attacks and NATO's entire naval fleet will patrol the country's challenging borders. In recent weeks, U.S. spy planes, Air Force RC-135s and Navy EP-3s, have stepped up reconnaissance flights over the Middle East and North Africa. U.S. Customs loaned Greece two $7 million mobile X-ray scanners, which will be used to examine cars and trucks for possible guns, drugs and explosives — perhaps the greatest fear of Athens security experts is a so-called "dirty" bomb, a mobile nuclear device.

So we've come a ways since Haraway wrote about C3I … um, weren't computers always implied in such a scheme? And speaking of security, will The Streaker make an appearance?


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