The Fox series 24: Live Another Day has roared back to the screen, and the scenario the new season establishes is more realistic than you might think. The plot isn’t a total fantasy, not anymore.
The latest threat to U.S. national security—to global security, actually—arises when a terrorist hijacks U.S. drones.
The terrorist does this by overwriting some of the code in the programming for the drones. The terrorist is uber-creepy, resorting to achieving ends by any means, and adding to the creepiness is the fact she’s a female. Michelle Fairley plays the villain Margot Al-Harazi whose husband died in a U.S. drone attack. Children were also killed in the attack, and Margot decides that’s all she needs to justify killing as many as she wants to kill as long as they are Westerners. She’s a legit psychopath who even tortures her own daughter in order to get her daughter’s husband to participate in the killings.
COULD DRONES BE HIJACKED?
Tom Clancy’s book Threat Vector, published in 2012, weaves a similar plot, although the hijackings go way beyond drones. Clancy’s book was visionary, however, because it surfaced the vulnerability any defensive technology carries—if we can use it against an enemy, it stands to reason the enemy will attempt to figure out how to use it on us.
Wired magazine spotlighted challenges of the electromagnetic spectrum in the February, 2014 issue. That issue is a must-read for anyone interested in national security and what the future portends:
“It is well known that America’s military dominates both the air and the sea. What’s less celebrated is that the US has also dominated the [electromagnetic] spectrum, a feat that is just as critical to the success of operations. Communications, navigation, battlefield logistics, precision munitions—all of these depend on complete and unfettered access to the spectrum, territory that must be vigilantly defended from enemy combatants. Having command of electromagnetic waves allows US forces to operate drones from a hemisphere away, guide cruise missiles inland from the sea, and alert patrols to danger on the road ahead. Just as important, blocking enemies from using the spectrum is critical to hindering their ability to cause mayhem, from detonating roadside bombs to organizing ambushes…”
Back in the 24 saddle alongside Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) are Chloe (Mary Lynn Rajskub), President James Heller (William Devane) and Audrey (Kim Raver). Benjamin Bratt plays CIA chief Steve Navarro. Especially delightful is Chloe’s new Goth look; she now works for a computer activist group akin to Wikileaks. Michael Wincott plays Adrian Cross, head of the hackers’ group, and he is a perfect fit for the role.
Yvonne Strahovski takes on the role of Kate Morgan, a CIA agent whose husband had been charged with espionage. Morgan is a perfect complement to Bauer; both are misfits.
The plot involving hijacked drones is entirely plausible, but most Americans don’t realize the vulnerability we face as new weapons are developed for defense. Longtime 24 fans welcome the return of an American superhero who will break rules, put his life on the line, and sacrifice all for a country that, urged on by leftwing media and politicos, has turned on him more than once.
Sometimes, fiction really does mirror life.
24 Wikia (fan site; not official, but much of interest)
Photo for this article partial snip from 24: Live Another Day official site
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 27, 2014)
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