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They are casing the joint

I love movies like Den of Thieves with Gerard Butler. Anxiety. Drama. Thrill. These guys know that there is no way to take down the reserve without casing the joint first but they also know that the reserve is practically case-proof. It’s not about the money… it’s about beating a system that is supposed to be unbeatable.

In the film, a team of ex-MARSOC Marines led by Ray Merrimen (played by Pablo Tell Schreiber) decide to rob the Federal Reserve. Looking out at the reserve from a nearby parking garage, Merrimen tells his comrades that security is so tight you can't even case the place. He explains that it has never been robbed which is why they are going to do it.

The problem starts when the movie becomes a reality and four times in the course of a week we watch our country being cased; and for what reason? Is it to simply beat an “unbeatable system” or is it to gain intelligence on response times, protocols and procedures? Is it a test of not just response but of the administration’s decision-making processes?

Any way you look at it, we will never know everything there is to know about what has happened in the last week and I am betting this is not the last of rogue weather balloons entering our airspace. I think they are casing the joint.

Let’s be realistic. It all began with messaging. A rogue weather balloon had flown off course due to trade winds. The country watched as it silently and slowly blew across the United States. As we discovered that it was gathering intelligence and was not a weather balloon at all, we tried to jam it so it could not perform, but alas, that did not work so we simply waited until it started to exit our air space and then we decided to shoot at it.

This began a chain of events that have become quite concerning.

The same day, January 28th, the U.S. Air Force spotted a spy balloon (we no longer referred to them as weather balloons) making its way inwards from Alaska, where it entered the extreme west of the U.S. near the Aleutian islands, it briefly drifted into Canadian airspace, returning inland on January 31st. Later, South American authorities confirmed another spy balloon hovering and moving overhead. Only a few days prior to the invasion of the Chinese spy balloons into the Western Hemisphere’s airspace, the U.S. Coast Guard caught a Russian spy ship gathering intelligence near Hawaii. While the media focused on one spy ship, the Coast Guard released photos of several. As intelligence sources are saying, these ships were being tracked for weeks as they changed their normal courses and headed into U.S. waters.

When you look at all of these incidents, it is hard to believe they are random or harmless. It is possible that this is a joint effort by both Russia and China to test the United States, the resolve of its leadership and its capabilities. We have, after all, now shown for the first time the capability of our F-22 Raptor on the world stage.

If one or both of these countries are testing America, they are doing a pretty good job.

One thing that terrorist groups and enemies of the State have always been able to count oin is that our country will shoot itself in the foot before aiming at someone else. Our taste for distraction could someday lead us to an untimely end as we chase down laptops and lists, dossiers and accusations, division and violence.

What the Pentagon is presently calling cautious and measured responses appear to be weakness on our part and is too plain to not notice, especially if you are not from these parts.

Is it too far out there to think that it is both countries? Coordination between Russian and China has been easily noted lately as we watch the Ukraine situation unfold and as China’s role in the middle-east grows almost daily. If we have nothing to worry about, why do Russia and China participate in bilateral and multilateral exercises while combining intelligence sharing and capabilities? The enemy of my enemy is my friend and Russia and China seem to making friends. It is not like these countries are above spying. Russia and China are famous for their surveillance efforts throughout history.

It is time to start viewing these threats as threats and stop viewing them as single news stories that raise viewer numbers until fatigue takes over. It is time to start thinking about our security and stop seeing these incursions as “part of the daily struggle” of operating a super power.

I recently was the victim of a crime that was perpetuated only after the subjects cased my property to make sure they knew the who, what, when, why and how. Had I caught them during this stage of their efforts it would have gone no further.

A recent study showed that Americans spend well over $20 billion on home security systems. In another very weird study of incarcerated burglars, 50% said that if they knew there was a security system they would abort their plan altogether, 31% said they would at least retreat and think about a new plan and only 13% said they would continue with their plan.

65% of Americans purchased a smart home security device such as cameras or locks in 2022. These devices were not purchased to stop a burglar in the home but before the burglar entered the home.

Early in December of 2022, United States Defense spending was approved to the tune of $858 billion.

Last week it was about homeland. My homeland. Yours. Ours.

Now it needs to become about security. Mine. Yours. Ours.

We better wake up because they are casing the joint.

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