United Kingdom

British Army Deploying Surface to Air Missiles on Residential Rooftops for London Olympics


at least the leaflets weren't airdropped

The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense warned residents it would be placing high velocity surface to air missiles on rooftops in a gated community near the site of the 2012 London Olympics.

Residents received leaflets telling them a team of soldiers and police will be deployed in the flats during during the London Olympics, and that the missiles on the roof top would only be used as a "last resort."

The London Telegraph reports:

It was unclear who was responsible for liaising with the residents, but it is understood the MoD and the Metropolitan Police were working together with community groups over the issue. It was also unclear if the building's owners would be paid to have the missiles stationed on the roof—or whether the decision was made under the Emergency Powers Act. An MoD spokesman said: "As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defence systems could be deployed as part of a multi-layered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the Games.

The United States last hosted the Olympics in 2002, in Salt Lake City, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and has not won a bid after 9/11. Since then, along with the gradual militarization of domestic police, sporting events have become security theater affairs, with this year's Super Bowl including toxin monitors, F-16s and robots.

At least we have the Third Amendment, right?

NEXT: Updated (4.30pm)!: Feds, Dems Lead Way in Creating More Student Loan Defaults Via Paperwork Screwups

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  1. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

    1. That’s one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs.

      1. Now I’m gonna have that opening riff in my head all day. Awesome!

        1. Anything to replace the constant drone of “RAPE…RAPE…RAPE” is probably a good thing.

          1. That’s my new acapella band’s first single. It’s a real earworm, I gotta say.

        2. I love their “epics” (e.g. Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Alexander the Great), but Aces High is in a class all its own. Totally awesome.

      2. I recently heard The Legacy for the first time, and I think it is the best song they’ve ever done.

        1. Well, that’s why you’re a retard, tarran. I saw them live during that tour, and, well, you’re retarded.

          Their best work was with Paul Di’Anno, anyway.

          1. Their best work was with Paul Di’Anno, anyway.

            I figured you’d be a big Blaze Bayley fan. Queer.

            1. At least I don’t deny it to myself like sarcasmic.

              1. Not even he is gay enough to like the Blaze Bayley era.

          2. Other than the fact that Di’Anno wasn’t on Number and Piece of Mind, that’s spot on. Killers was awesome, though.

            1. For the longest time I thought Paul was belting out in Running Free:

              Pulled her at the Bottle Top, /
              whiskey-dancing disco hog./
              All the boys are after me,/
              and that’s the way it’s gonna be

              The actual line whiskey, dancing, disco hop just isn’t as cool somehow.

        2. AMOLAD is very underrated, imo.

      3. That’s not from The Trooper. I’m confused.

      4. Security is one thing, and the Olympics are certainly a potential target.

        Heavy metal security is another thing altogether.

  2. What can possibly go wrong?

  3. At least we have the Third Amendment, right?

    Until the Supreme Court gets a hold of it, and interprets “but in a manner to be prescribed by law” to mean “as long as Congress says it’s ok.”

  4. Totally stupid. What is the threat? If the threat is a big plane attacking 9-11 style, shooting it down over London seems like a really stupid idea. If it is a low and slow, small plane, the risk of accidentally killing some dingbat who got off course greatly outweighs the small damage that a low and slow threat can do. The consensus is that there really is no way to stop the low and slow threat. So what are we left with?

    1. Security theater is theater.

    2. It’s not totally stupid:

      To get promoted an officer needs medals. To get medals, one must do unusual things. Deploying an anti-aircraft battery to a city rooftop is an unusual thing that is not easy. Participants will get medals and be rewarded with an improved chance for a medal.

    3. You borrow some surplus AIM-54 missiles from the Yanks, and shoot down anything that gets within 100 miles of London. That way the wreckage won’t hit the city. What could go wrong?

      P.S. – They could also use short-range missiles, but only engage the target at a time when shooting it down will cause the wreckage to fall in the East End.

    4. The obvious threat is Murder Drones sent by the US.

      1. This year, we’re gonna win ALL the golds.

  5. No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house…

    But they are not in the houses, they are on the roofs, so it is constitutional WRT the 3rd.

    1. And the War on Terror is endless.

    2. The limeys don’t have a 3rd Amendment.

      1. The limeys don’t have a 3rd Amendment.

        I know, this was in response to Ed implying that this couldn’t happen in the U.S. because we do have the 3rd. The gov would go around the 3rd like they go around any other amendment that gets in the way.

        1. Third Amendment link verifies government circumventing the rarely cited prohibition

          1. This reinforces my point that the gov will go around this amendment just like any other that gets in the way.

            With the Aleutians, it was during a time of war, even though they didn’t pass a law stating how to occupy the houses.

      2. Aren’t they a state now? I thought they were a state. They should be. Maybe four wee states? Ireland can become a Canadian province to retain the symmetry.

    3. It’s the tent loophole. No sir, we don’t need your bedroom. Just all of your outside property to set up camp.

      Now that’s the ultimate in textualism.

      1. We’ll just put in 1 solider for each resident. Then we’re halving them in the house, so it’s ok.

  6. Rumor has it that the feds purchased a home on the hill in Kennebunkport, overlooking the Bush compound, and turned it into a SAM site.

    Not sure how accurate that story it though.

    1. There’s a permanent no fly zone over the Bush compound. It sucks if you’re flying a small plane from Boston to Portland (or vice versa) since a small navigational error will trigger a nasty response from the Praetorian Guard.

  7. You don’t understand! These are toys, and boys like to play with their toys. They don’t care if they cost zillions of dollars, and will never be used.

    Seriously, how many major sporting events have been disrupted by a terrorist incident in the past fifty years? Anywhere?

    But the Brits get to fly their Typhoons, and set up their Rapier AA missiles, and the USAF gets to exercise their F-16s, and everybody gets to use fancy super-duper X-ray machines. And, as the song goes, ‘that’s what it’s all about’.

    1. Seriously, how many major sporting events have been disrupted by a terrorist incident in the past fifty years? Anywhere?

      Precautionary principle. If you can’t prove without a doubt that no sporting event will ever be disrupted by a terrorist incident, ever, then every step must be taken to prevent it from happening.

      1. Well, there was that Yankees game where armed thugs violently ejected a guy going to the bathroom during the singing of America the Beautiful as a way of terrorizing people who were insufficiently patriotic.

    2. That line was in The Trooper?

      1. I have to give you credit, you know how to stick to a running gag. Too bad your running gag is blasphemous.

        1. Blasphemy?

          As we kill them all so God will know his own
          The innocents died for the Pope on his throne

    3. Can we count the upcoming Dark Knight film?

    4. Seriously, how many major sporting events have been disrupted by a terrorist incident in the past fifty years? Anywhere?

      Munich, 1972. Aside from that, I’m coming up blank.

      1. Whoops. Forgot entirely about that one. My bad. But having AA missiles and x-ray machines probably wouldn’t have helped. Better on-the-ground security would have.

        1. There was that one super bowl that almost got wiped out by a blimp carrying plastic explosives and rifle-darts.

          1. Don’t forget the super bowl where everyone saw Janet Jackson’s boob…

    5. 50 years? The Munich Olympics were exactly 40 years ago. But I’m not sure how effective an anti-aircraft battery would be against 7 or so armed, masked thugs. Well, they’d probably be effective in the sense that they could take out the thugs along with a couple thousand athletes.

  8. What possible use could the missiles be put to, that requires them to be in the city, that would not cause at least as much death and damage as not using them?

  9. If I were one of these London residents, I would tell the MoD to sod off and to first get an environmental impact study before they try to launch surface to air missiles from residential units.

    1. You could try, but since all your rights are subservient to the “common good”, you have no chance.

      1. Actually, “Health and Safety” regulations could nix this. There was a flap over there a couple of years ago about European Union noise regulations that the brit military had to do an end run around. Seems their tanks were too loud for the operaters to run safely.

        And since EU rule override local sovereignty . . .

    2. What’s the odds that someone living in London with missiles on the roof owns the property?

  10. Its simply trying to outdo the Beijing olympics when it comes to security paranoia.

  11. I don’t know why London is bothering with all the security, attacking the Olympics would be like blowing up the Pro Bowl.

  12. The 3rd only offers protection during peacetime. As we are now in a state of constant, unending war, the 3rd no longer applies. That is, all it would take is a Congressman or Congresswoman to propose the Super Patriot You Must Have Our Troops In Your House (SPYMHOTIYH) Act, and there you go.

    1. I figure well before we get to that point, they’ll reconscript everybody that used to be in uniform. I’ll just get to occupy my own house when I’m not toiling for the collective.

    2. Simple:

      1) Levy a Troop Support Tax – $10,000 per year per member of the household.

      2) Forgive the tax for people who volunteer to provide room and board for 2 soldiers.

      No 3rd amendment violation!

      1. I find your ideas intriguing, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

    3. It’d be called The FREEDOM Act: Foster Radicals’ End by Employing Domestic Operations of the Military.

      No wonder no one takes libertarians seriously, you guys are terrible with naming bills.

  13. I assume the missiles are intended to retroactively adjudicate the outcome of synchronized swimming.

  14. The Winter Olympics are the good Olympics, and how good will they even be now that the inimitable Didier Cuche has retired?

  15. This reminds me of a German mom who came into one of my classes to talk about her experience living through the air raids of WW2. Apparently they put a flak battery on top of the building where she lived (something her family was very proud of and was convinced would keep their building safe). Unfortunately, the flak battery made the building one giant bullseye for the bombers, and it was hit and destroyed almost immediately.

    1. Most of what I have read about WWII bombing is that it was extremely inacurate.

      Any target that got hit was for the most part an accident. Of course something is going to get hit and if you drop enough tonnage, eventually you’ll probably hit everything.

      Exceptions to this were low level specialized attacks like those performed by the Dam Busters. Even they had to drop several bombs for the one that finally landed in the right place.

      1. IIRC, the mean error in high-altitude bombing was somewhere on the order of 1000-1500 feet, so on average they missed by a quarter-mile (citation). But if you drop enough of them, you’ll get lucky.

        1. Or you could just go the Dresden Route and render the concept of accuracy moot.

          1. Or the Hiroshima route, and accuracy becomes even less important than firebombing.

        2. Even with the Dam Busters a couple of their bombs ended up wiping out the bomber crews that dropped them.

          Those were some mean hardassed motherfuckers. But they also had to do some serious compartmentalization to justify the stuff they did. A lot of the ordinance they dropped killed people who were completely innocent of any war action.

          As General Sherman said “War is Hell”.

  16. They had a robot in charge of the 2002 Olympics too.

  17. Well, that should put an end to the long history of Air Strikes on Olympic events.

  18. FWIW, I TOTALLY want an anti-aircraft battery on top of my house.

    That would so keep the neighbor’s kids from sending baseballs through the window again.

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