Canada's RADARSAT satellite company sold to "weapons & space" giant, ATK

By Richard Sanders, Editor, Press for Conversion!

On January 9, 2008, it was announced that a Canadian company, called MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), will sell off its space divisions to the US war industry giant, called Alliant Techsystems (ATK).

Just a few weeks earlier, on December 14, 2007, the world's most advanced "synthetic aperture radar" satellite, a Canadian invention called RADARSAT-2, was finally blasted into space.

There is a major connection between these two stories.

MDA has been the proud owner and controller of RADARSAT-2, since the Government of Canada generously handed this publicly-funded satellite over to them. RADARSAT-2 was almost entirely paid for by Canadian citizens and it got into the private hands of MDA thanks the Liberal government's obeisance to the god of privatization. Now, RADARSAT-2 and the ground stations in 35 countries that download its data, are being sold to a large US war industry, ATK.

Most Canadian taxpayers probably don't even know that they paid over a Billion dollars for the RADARSAT system (including $500 million for the development of RADARSAT-2 alone). And, most don't know that the Liberals gave it all away to their friends in a private company, called MDA. (David Emerson was on MDA's Board back when he was a Liberal and MDA was owned by a US "missile defence" rocket maker called, Orbital Sciences (OS). The former manager of OS, Carl Marchetto, is going to run ATK Space Systems.)

ATK, the new owner of "Canada's" satellite, touts itself as "an advanced weapon and space system company." Good combo that, "weapons" and "space." It's the way of the future, they say. (Not that Canada would ever have anything to do with such things, ha ha.) ATK has its fingers in everything from "missile defense" rocket motors to ammo for small arms. So if you need a diversified war industry to park your cash in and watch it grow, you know where to stick it. ATK tells us they are "the nation’s largest producer of commercial and military ammunition and a leading provider of gun systems," and now they're set to own and control RADARSAT-2, which is probably Canada's single greatest technological contribution to the US war machine.

Check out ATK's website, where the lead banner shows a flashy image of RADARSAT-2. It sure makes one proud to be a peace-loving Canadian!

MDA got a whopping $1.325 billion (in cash) for the sale to ATK. Not bad, considering RADARSAT-2 was mostly paid for by you and me, the lowly taxpayer who had no say in the matter. And, why should we expect to have any say in this? Hey, we didn't even know anything about it in the first place. It was all under the radar, so to speak.
MDA selling Canadarm business to U.S. firm

Unfortunately, Canadians aren't even allowed to know how much MDA paid to take the burden of RADARSAT-2 off our hands. Was it a dollar? We can't know for sure, but maybe the Liberals (and their collaborators in the Conservative party) gave it away for a song, perhaps it was the "Star Spangled Banner."

We lowly taxpayers can't know the details of this scam because the contract between the government of Canada and MDA is still secret. And, get this, the Liberal and Conservative MPs on a Parliamentary Committee teamed up in March 2005 to vote against an NDP-Bloc motion to have that contract made available for a quick viewing by MPs on the committee. It would be bad for business, said the Liberal government of the day, and--of course--the Conservatives agreed.
The Contract is Secret

What's more, the Liberal's C-25 Space Treaty, that's the one called the RADARSAT Bill, has an Annex in it that is Top Secret. Even the MPs who had to vote on turning this RADARSAT Bill into law, were not allowed to read this secret annex! Hmmmm... Passing laws that they aren't even allowed to read? Now that's fine print!
Secret Annex to RADARSAT Law

But this only scratches the surface of some of the many scams surrounding RADARSAT-2 that you will not read about in the corporate media. (I'll give you a theory on that at the end of this article.). But you can read much more about why RADARSAT is the best example of Canada's role in the militarisation of space by clicking here:
RADARSAT - The Warfighters’ “Eye in the Sky”

NATO and US warplanners are even planning for RADARSAT-2 to have a major role in pre-emptive first strikes that are to be part of so-called "missile defense." (It's brilliantly called "missile defense" because it's designed to defend our missiles when we are using them in offensive wars.) RADARSAT-2's GMTI technology will come in real handy if and when the US ever manages to fabricate a suitable pretext for launching air strikes against Iran. Read how GMTI works here:
RADARSAT, Missile Defense and the Holy Grail

So, now that Canada's new and improved military "eye in the sky" is up there watching down over us all, do you feel more secure? (Even though it's being turned over to a "weapons" and "space'" company?) Some cognitive dissonance may be in store for those who have been absorbing all the media hype about RADARSAT-2 being a hot new tool for monitoring rapidly-melting ice caps and expanding deserts caused by global warming.

But what we haven't heard much if anything about from the corporate mainstream media is that RADARSAT-2 is going to be useful for fighting the very hot wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (and all future scorched-earth policies, that may arise if WWIII with Iran ever comes to pass). These wars will be now be made that much easier, for US!

MAJIIC: Pulling a War out of your Hat

RADARSAT-2's role in current and future wars, hinges on something that is cleverly called MAJIIC. It's a well-known fact that warplanners and warfighters love acronyms. MAJIIC is a good example.

It stands for this mouthful: "Multi-sensor Aerospace-ground Joint ISR Interoperability Coalition."

As you can see, this acronym has another acronym within it, ISR. For those uninitiated into the sacred rites of war, ISR stands for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance."

You can't win a war without using ISR. Never could, never will. ISR is as essential to war as the weapons, the war budget, a good enemy, a taxpaying public duped into footing the bill, and a media that promotes and then covers up the whole fraudulent operation. With the right shills, a willing mark and crafty fast-talking conmen to pull off the scam, it's a grifter's dream come true! Hello money!

But back to the sleight of hand trick they call MAJIIC. On January 3, 2008, Aviation Week ran an article that starts:
"A nine-nation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) project sponsored by NATO is yielding 'powerful new technologies that soon could be deployed to Afghanistan,' the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) says."
'Majiic' Brings NATO ISR Data Together

What's this got to do with Canada you ask? The article explains:
"Countries involved in Majiic are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States."

So, what's this all about?
"Majiic is about developing standards and technologies that will allow NATO commanders to instantly tap into real-time data from a number of NATO and national systems.

'With Majiic we will be able to deploy a wide array of air, ground and space surveillance assets, from different countries, and have them provide commanders with a single, coherent and detailed picture of what’s happening on the ground,' says Joe Ross, technical manager at NC3A." (emphasis added)

Sounds important, eh? It is. Deadly important.

RADARSAT-2 is Canada's state-of-the-art-of-war satellite system and it is the top jewel in the MAJIIC crown. Through MAAJIC (and the earlier project from which it evolved, namely CAESAR*), NATO has been preparing for the day when its warfighters can download RADARSAT-2 data from space for speedy, real-time use in live wars.

I'm here to tell you that that day has now finally arrived!

For my analysis of the government and military industry documents detailing NATO's preparations for the use of real RADARSAT-2 data, see these articles:
Use of RADARSAT-1 and -2 data in NATO "wargames"
Strong Resolve

For many years, the boys over at NATO have been practising for this day using "simulated RADARSAT-2 data." They've done this in various "war games" that have involved thousands of real troops and billions worth of real weapons systems. Now these machines of war, and their operators, are all hooked up to the real thing, RADARSAT-2. So, now that the boys have their new toy, they are raring to have a go with it under the real conditions of war. No more playing around, they want the real thing.

Shhh! Don't tell anyone... Canada is a Warmonger

Will anyone notice? I mean any of us in Canada. As for the victims on the ground who at are the receiving end of the weapons systems that are targeted using RADARSAT-2 data, we can be sure that--during their final moments--they'll perhaps notice something, though we can be sure they won't know that they have Canada to thank for whatever hit them. Neither, presumably, will their friends, family and neighbours know that Canadians paid for the targeting system.

As Major-General Andrew Leslie, Canada's military commander in Afghanistan, once said: "Every time you kill an angry young man overseas, you're creating 15 more who will come after you."

By that logic, it's better if they don't know it was us who killed them.

So perhaps that's how we Canadians want it. Perhaps we want the world--and even ourselves--to remain blissfully ignorant of Canada's role in the militarization of space and the many ways in our country is deeply complicity in the global business of war. That way if any terrorists are ever looking for revenge because neighbourhoods in their country were leveled during a US-led war, they won't know enough to look over here to Canada for potential targets.

So, can we continue--for example--to keep Canada's role in the Iraq war and the militarization of space a big secret?

And, by trying to bust the myth of Canada the great peacekeeper, are we aiding and abetting the enemy?

Since the announcement was made last night, there have about 163 news stories on the upcoming sale of MDA to ATK. At least that's what Google News finds as of 11am January 9.
Google search: MDA ATK

However, among those 163 stories, only two distinct articles even mention RADARSAT.
Google search: MDA ATK RADARSAT

And, of course, the military uses of RADARSAT are not mentioned in those two articles.

So, perhaps our secret is still good. Canada is still seen as a great promoter of world peace! And, don't let anyone tell you otherwise, it's a grave matter of national security!

* CAESAR is the Coalition Aerial Surveillance and Reconnaissance. CAESAR was the aptly named NATO program through which Canada rendered up its RADARSAT capabilities to warfighting for the empire, i.e., "Give unto CAESAR that which is CAESAR's" and all that.