More Crony Capitalism?

And this one, if true, is BAD:

The liberal Daily Beast reports on a broadband project backed by a frequent Obama White House visitor and donor that has Pentagon officials concerned over potential military GPS interference. The Obama FCC took the lead in intervening on the donor, billionaire hedge fund manster Philip Falcone’s, behalf and granting his company called “LightSquared” one of those coveted Obama waivers from existing law. Then Obama officials reportedly pressured a general to alter his testimony about the company’s impact on military satellite transmissions.

This is a SERIOUS charge if true.

For the unaware the issue arises because Lightsquared acquired spectrum that was originally intended for satellite-to-ground communication and wanted to re-purpose it for ground-to-ground for 4g phone service, basically.  The problem is that in order to do so it would have to up the ERP (effective radiated power) of the devices by several orders of magnitude, and the spectrum in question was both on top of the non-US version of GPS (which runs on a different band) and damn close to US GPS frequencies.

The question of whether that license should have been granted becomes one of whether there would be interference or not and if so, was it limited to those companies that did irresponsible things (like building one device for a world market where there was no reasonable expectation that the world bands would remain “clear” in the US) or is there an issue of interference even with properly-designed devices?

There’s a national security and life-safety question here.  If, and I stress if – the Obama administration put pressure on people to intentionally mislead parts of the government on the interference issue so as to provide an operating license to a politically-connected entity even though it could severely interfere with GPS location devices inside the United States then you have the worst sort of corruption and someone – or a bunch of someones – need to fry for it.

I am not sold on this given the information currently available, but this is much, much worse than Solyndra if true.

That was just money (although a hell of lot of it) – this, if substantiated, was potentially an issue of lives.

Discussion (registration required to post)