Olympic missiles on your roof, whether you want 'em or not

Hey, guess what? If you live in the UK and the army wants to put surface-to-air missiles on your roof, you don't get a say in it.


  1. And suddenly everyone remembers why the 3rd Amendment to the Constitution exists.

    Happy belated 4th of July everyone!

    1. The third amendment stops the government from putting weapons on government-owned property?

      1. The third amendment prevents the government from housing soldiers in private homes. I don’t think it’s ever been tested, but I’d imagine that there’s a good case to be made that this applies to military equipment as well.

        1. The missiles aren’t going in private homes; they’re going on the roof of a government-owned building that happens to contain some private homes.

          1. I believe pharkwar is correct here – the (US) government cannot station troops or similar military assets on private dwellings under normal circumstances. Of course there are always declarations of emergency and other ways around it, but it’s not a routine matter. And as his original comment points out, the reason that is so is because the British had the unpleasant habit of forcing colonists to house Redcoats, will they or no. That the UK government hasn’t changed its ways is thus not surprising.

          2. Well, Alan, maybe so (there may be laws to that effect), but that wouldn’t have anything to do with the Third Amendment as claimed here which says that this can’t be done without the consent of the _owner_. Now if the owner of the building (e.g. some local government entity) agrees to it the Third Amendment wouldn’t be violated.

        2.  There have been some tests of the Third Amendment.  It was probably violated a lot during the War Between the States, but those violations probably didn’t get much court time, even for Union soldiers in the North.

          But back in the ?70s?80s? there was a case in New York State.  There was a prison riot, the National Guard got brought in to suppress it, and the National Guard soldiers stayed in the housing the prison provided for prison guards to use.  Some of the guards sued on Third Amendment grounds because they’d been kicked out of their housing.  The judge rejected their arguments, but congratulated them for trying, because he’d never seen a Third Amendment case before.

  2. So, just how much tax-payer money are we giving the Olympic Games’ sponsors for the privilege of turning people’s homes into military targets while they indulge in their orgy of sport-based product placement? Anyone got the numbers?

      1. It’s never sport if anyone is being paid, even the committee running it. The funny thing is, they say no one gets paid, but there are so many ways to ensure you get paid as either an organiser or as a competitor, all within the rules, provided it doesn’t make the tabloids your OK.

        1. Really? Sport can only be sport if it exists away from the nasty stain of “trade” and only those of the leisured classes who can afford to take time off and train take part in it? Even then, teams have to pay for equipment and events have to pay for safety/medical cover- does this stop it being sport?

          With the exception of boxing, the Olympics abandoned amateurism starting in the 1970s after that monumental dick Avery Brundage died- and I say good riddance to both.

      2.  Yes, of course!  This is part of the Government Modern Pentathlon event – shooting missiles, herding pedestrians, blocking traffic, censoring journalists, and the ever-popular bag-searching relay.

    1. Whatever it is, they’re doing a great job of egging it on. Especially considering that if they’re trying to evade terrorist attacks then they’re essentially throwing money down the drain.

    2. They’re expecting some nasty turrists to hijack a plane that they want to crash into the Olympic stadium.

      In the event of this happening, the surface-to-air missiles will launch and destroy the aircraft, bringing its wreckage down on the general populace of the surrounding area, but crucially stopping it from reaching its target of VIPs, dignitaries and commercial sponsors.

      Hashtag: fucktheolympics

      1. To be honest, the population density of the Olympic Stadium during an event is higher than that of a residential area.

  3. But where would we (the British class system) be without those (condescending wankers?) who are qualified to reassure us that we were only labouring under a ‘misapprehension’?
    That said given the biblical levels of rainfall they’re gonna need a fleet of fucking battleships.

  4. Can we decorate the missles? I’m thinking aesthetic purposes here.  I take pride in my rooftop garden, and I find a missle would simply clash with my begonias. What would the neighbors think?

  5. You most certainly do get a say if they’re going on your roof. That roof belongs to the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, since it’s a council block, and I’m sure they have given their approval.

    1. Ownership of the roof may be a moot point if there are leaseholders in the block as they would normally be required to contribute financially towards the upkeep of the roof, I believe.

  6. Look if the Olympics are that dangerous can’t we find some uninhabited island  somewhere, build a permanent Olympic installation on it and just host it there from now on?

    If your global games to celebrate international peace and goodwill are starting to look like the Hunger Games, you’re probably doing it wrong.

    1. Just put them in Greece and keep them there. It’s reasonably central for Asia, Europe and Africa, it’s the historic birthplace of the Games (plus the home of the original Marathon course), and still has all the facilities in place from 2004, and mountains with ski resorts if people want to host the Winter Games there too. Plus it would probably help the Greek economy…

        1. I didn’t say the Greeks should pay for them- and most of that money was on building things like stadiums, so the Greeks have already spent it and wouldn’t need to do so again.

          1. All that security staff, stewards, helpers , officials etc. don’t come free, so why would other countries pay for the games in another country, and not reap the “benefits” of the added tourism?

  7. So the plan is to stop people from causing explosions during the Olympics is to widely distribute batteries of highly explosive missiles on rooftops?

    Right, stop that! It’s silly. Very silly indeed. Started off as a nice little idea about stopping terrorists from attacking people, but now it’s just got silly.

    1.  I was just thinking that.  “Thanks for putting AA missiles out there for us!  Now we get a couple of guys in fake uniforms…”

  8. So they detect an aircraft and decide it’s terrorists attacking. What happens?
    The Army tell the Government who then make the decision on what to do.  
    There are just two possibilities: A) Don’t shoot it down, B) Shoot it down.
    If they choose A) under terrorist control it crashes into the Olympic stadium or Canary Wharf, causing certain massive loss of life and property equal to 9/11 in New York.
    If they choose B), out of control it crashes in a random part of London, with a small chance of crashing into the Thames or an open space. It will probably land in medium-density housing and loss of life will be smaller than A).
    So the Government will have already concluded B) is the best bet, and are primed to shoot down any aircraft thought to be attacking. 
    Conclusion: If you hear loud roaring noises, see upward vapour trails or very low flying aircraft, don’t watch JUST RUN!

  9. In order to preserve British values and way of life, it is sometimes necessary to set aside British values and way of life.

    (People won’t take this statement seriously, will they? I’m sarcastically paraphrasing the idea attributed to an American officer during the invasion of Vietnam, “destroy the village in order to save it.”)

  10.  Put it in Greece, leave it there.  Ban all sponsorship and advertising. Fire all the litigious lawyers. Sack the entirety of the IOC. Throw out all of the professional sports (particularly, but not exclusively Basketball, Football and Tennis – good rule of thumb, if the Olympics isn’t the pinnacle of the sport, the sport shouldn’t be in the Olympics). Ban all drugs cheats for life.

    Then they might have something worth being interested in.

    1. I agree on football and possibly tennis- though tennis this year does mean we get to see the Murray brothers playing doubles. I definitely agree on getting rid of the IOC. Not sure about basketball- as far as I know the Olympics is the top international basketball competition (same with ice hockey), as opposed to football where the rules actually mean the teams in the Olympics are weaker than in other international tournaments.

  11. They want to put missiles on my roof, then fine. But if they’re not paying me for the privilege then fuck am I paying council tax. Oh, and I’m not promising that I won’t tamper with it.

  12. What’s the Olympics to do with it? If any Govt. wants to put missiles on your building, they’re gonna. 

    I was in NYC in 2001, working at the Starrett-Lehigh building http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starrett-Lehigh_Building and after the towers came down, ain’t nobody ask us if we wanted anti-aricraft rockets, and snipers on the building. Nor if we wanted the majority of NYC’s FBI, CIA, SS and various other military in and around the building we all worked at, harassing us for locking up our bikes in the wrong spot or shooting video on the public streets.

    The boss is the boss and when they wanna be bossy – they is. Deal with it. One half will say it’s an abuse of power and the other half will say it’s necessary to protect our safety and freedom. 

    Personally I felt like it was a bit of  a heat score. My thinking was that if someone is going to attack the city (again) they’d probably go for strategic and military outposts that could stop them and I was suddenly in one. Good job leaders.

    But in the end, who in their right mind would say YIMBY to that? Best to just get as far away as you can and hope that the world stays as boring and uneventful for the duration.

  13. If the Olympics give rise to the sort of threat that means SAMs in residential areas are justified, then the Olympics are unjustifiable.

  14. What’s the controversy? That terrorists use airplanes as weapons? We know they have. And the fact that AA missiles are there and publicized means terrorists probably won’t consider using airplanes as weapons, a significant side-effect. Indignant outrage needs to be channeled elsewhere.

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