Last August, the USS Virginia, first of a class of new nuclear-powered attack submarines, slipped out of its homeport in Groton, Connecticut, for a 90 day clandestine deployment in support of the global war on terrorism.
indeed! I know that The Day is hometown booster for the submarine team, but clearly the newspaper failed to see the irony that we built a $2.4 billion submarine bristling with Cold War capabilities, and where do we send it on its first deployment: to South America to spy on cell-phone conversations. "There's relatively little al-Qaida activity in this hemisphere, in Latin America. There is some, and there is some fundraising that takes place for other terrorist organizations, Hezbollah and the like."
They don't call it the silent service for nothing, so we don't know whether the boat made us of its special operations capabilities to launch some covert raid on a FARC gathering in the Columbia jungles or an al Qaeda camp in the Brazilian jungles.
Undoubtedly the boat collected radar and communications signals and proved its "enhanced littoral intelligence-gathering capability," carrying onboard special eavesdropping equipment configured especially for Latin American signals and targets. Did it listen in on the governments of Venezuela or Bolivia or some other special event?
So whats happening in that quarter that caused the USG to send in a $2.4B state of the art machine for a 90 day mission ??