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JUNE 18, 2012 9:40AM

Armed Drones Over America

Rate: 59 Flag
 

 
 
Every time you hear a wild rumor and it comes true, you think it can't be topped. When I heard they were spying on American citizens with high-dollar taxpayer paid for drones, I not only couldn't believe they were doing it, I couldn't fathom that we as Americans would let them get away with it. I should have known once the CIA, the FBI and law enforcement got their foot in the door, it would not stop there.Now they want to arm them. Why?
 
Where are American citizens marching and demonstrating and getting out of hand so bad that we need to spy on them and shoot them from the sky?Demonstrators need permits to march. They already know where they will be at. They then have the nerve to arm them with tear gas and rubber bullets and who knows what else. Again, why?
 
This is not Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran, this is America and we have certain inalienable rights and one is to peacefully demonstrate. Now, when you apply for a permit, they want to put protesters miles away from the action and the press. Mitt Romney is now pulling a George Bush and not letting anyone who disagrees with him into his speeches. If you don't agree with everything he says and clap when the sign comes on, they throw you out.
 
I'm not just blaming Romney, it is the presidents decision and his only, to fly these drones around this country and spy on American citizens. At first, they were just to fly around and help the border patrol. But, like any good junkie, give them the first shot and they will not stop until it's all gone and people are dead or hospitalized. A war veteran from Iraq has already been murdered on the ground. What do they need armed-drones in the air for? This is Big-Brother at it's worse. 
 
It's bad enough having to worry about satellites in space that can read a license plate that they claim they never use, but now you can be walking down the street and not even know an armed drone is watching your every move. My privacy is special to me and to have it compromised by this administration, and no doubt a republican one as well, makes me sick. This has to be investigated and stopped. This really is give them an inch and they will take a fucking mile. It's in their blood.







 

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US Labor Dept statistics - 3 of the 4 jobs expected to grow most in the next ten years, do not pay a living wage: The four detailed occupations expected to add the most employment are registered nurses
(712,000), retail salespersons (707,000), home health aides (706,000), and personal care aides
(607,000). All have large employment in 2010 and are expected to grow faster than the average
of 14.3 percent.

and shoot us from the skies!

LOVE this place, scanner!!
Your Constitution has been shredded, ScanMan, and you're at the mercy of the human drones. I fear the same thing will happen here.
As I understand it's the USDA that's using unmanned drones to do surveillance on water pollution by large corporate agribusinesses out west. Out here in sunny California we've have robotic stop light cameras and airborne LAPD & CHP enforcement for decades and in NYC there are damn near as many traffic cameras as there are in London... won't even go into the "random" stop and frisk programs of the NYCPD. Or mention the hassle of personal pat down searches by the TSA... it's getting to be a funny old world, but I find it hard to believe that the FBI is interested in blowing away peace demonstrators with Predators. Doesn't play well on the evening news, and I think they learned that lesson back in 1970 at Kent State.
I hate to ask, can they be more blatant? I'm afraid they'll find a way.
As long as American couches stay full and the idiot box in the room continues to lull the fat ssheeple to sleep. That is how long nothing will happen friend!
I'll drop my drawers and show them a black hole!
This cover is incredibly well-deserved. :)

r.
jmac - i have to respectfully disagree.

i think a majority of americans view protestors as drugged out, lazy, good-fer-nothin's looking for a handout.

be easy for the government-run media of this country to spin it so that most comments left on HUFFPo would support the police being forced to shoot protestors.

and i think we are long long past caring how we appear in the world media.

i wish i agreed with you, cause i'd feel better if i did. safer.
If you wanna find out what it will be like a a few more years - or months - read Super Sad True Love Story.
Smittee, it's really going to get worse until there's blood in the street.
mac, as I mentioned in the piece, an Iraq Vet has already died and there have been some real jack-booted thugs at the Occupy demonstrations. Also, judges are handeingout real sentences, not just time served in a lot of these arrests. That isn't right in anyone's world.
Zack, I hate to say it, "but you ain't seen nothing yet"!
Mis, how right you are. But sooner or later, the poor will rise up. It has happened throughout history. Why shouldn't it happen here?
Blind, let's make that two.
Jon, can you believe it. Since new management, I've gotten a few. hah!
Matt, sounds like Love Story on Crack~
To borrow a term coined by Dwight Eisenhower--"military industrial comples". Ain't it grand?
The "MIC" developed these wonderful toys at the beginning of the "war on terror". At first, they were just for reconnaisance. Then it was found that they could carry weapons and be "efficient killing machines".
They have proliferated as a means of generating profit. Just like how in "post-VietNam America" every low enforcement agency just had to have a "Huey".
I have no problem with their reconnaisance use on the borders. I have no problem with their use as "hurricane hunters" or to help fight forest fires.
Far too often there are police helicopters orbiting my neighborhood looking for something or another. I really don't want to see that happen with "drones"--circling my neighborhood, patrolling the freeway looking for speeders or whatever.
But the incessant quest for profit margins by the "MIC" will win. And will we be safer? I doubt it. Probably less safe because of the billions that will be spent of our tax dollar to "protect us".
Beware when anything is ever peddled to you "for your own good".
DAYEM!!!!!!
ScanMan got an EP!
ScanMan got an EP!
ScanMan got an EP!
"the sky is falling, the sky is falling!"
CONGRATULATION Kenny!
Everyone is asleep at the wheel and there are cameras falling us everywhere like that TV show Person of Interest.
Did you see that drone they dragged through a small town in Kansas last week? More of a spaceship than anything
They are way ahead of us Scanner and we should all be afraid.
HUGGGGGGGGG
Walter, since the lady left, I either got better at writing or the editing got worse, hah~
That's why I live under the trees...
I'm confused. Your link goes to an article about drones at US bases and then all of a sudden you are talking about the CIA and FBI spying on citizens? And then armed drones are going to attack US protestors with tear gas and rubber bullets? And then somehow Mitt Romney is involved? Hooboy.

Now don't get me wrong about individual privacy and rights; however, fear-mongering without balance really does little to add to the common discourse.
This is an interesting article, albeit completely untrue. The Washington Post on Sunday, in an article entitled 'Reining in the Rumor about EPA drones':

'“We’ve never thought that. We’ve never said that. I don’t know where it came from,” said Kristen Hassebrook, at the association of Nebraska Cattlemen, when asked about drones buzzing cattle farms. Her group seems to have started this hubbub, then watched as its actual complaint against the EPA was turned into something it wasn’t. “But obviously the word ‘drone’ is a very sexy word.”

This is the part that’s true: For more than a decade, EPA inspectors have flown over farmland in small private planes — the traditional kind of aircraft, with people inside them. The inspectors are looking for clean-water violations, like dirty runoff or manure dumped into a stream. '

Regarding the drone bases. Well, of course there are bases in the US. Where else would they be for storage or testing? Just as there are fighter plane bases and tank bases and every other kind of military equipment that the Armed Forces and government has.

The original story in Wired said they were 'capable of being armed' not that they were armed or were contemplating being armed - as is virtually any military vehicle or aircraft.

Just a little bit of digging would have encountered the truth about this information.
Just do a simple search on epa and drone - and you'll get enough facts to counter all the hand waving here.
This bitchin'-and-moanin' about the military complex showcases (of course) an huge inconsistency among OSers.

By law, most weapons/weapon systems must be manufactured and the software programmed by Americans. The largest military suppliers have huge union contingents.

So, big f---ing deal if widgets, trinkets, and knick-knacks manufacturing has gone overseas. Manufacturing military weapon systems (many of which, are EXPORTED) are USA-based, employing hundreds-of-thousands of people in high-paying jobs.

So which is it, OSers -- whinin' about the dearth of high-paying, union jobs in manufacturing or bitchin' about the military complex?
Grif, I used the wrong link. I got this off Crooks and Liars and inserted it. http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/what-could-possibly-go-wrong-arming-d
Great post, thanks for the information.
Wait until drone technology becomes available and affordable. When it does so, the Zetas, Crips, Bloods, Gangland Disciples and possibly Citizens United will all have drones in the air, and the drones will be fighting each other, shrapnel will be falling and then someone will develop a technology that will be able to not only detect airborne drones, including the golf-ball-sized ones, and shoot them down, and then they will develop even smaller drones, drones the size of flies, and the drone flies will be fighting each other in massive attacks, fleets of fly-sized drones, entire clouds, black clouds of drones, all of them exploding and falling into firey crashes onto people's rooftops, and they will have prison drones that land and arrest drug traffickers, and the national debt will be consumed by money owed to the drone-makers and yet not once will the idiot-heads even THINK of legalizing marijuana.

Fail!!
Congratulations on the EP and I hope it makes it to the cover.
Hey, now I see it on the cover!!! Congratulations!!!
Where can I find a laser to blast those drones flying under the radar? ;)
Congrats on the EP, bro!
Rated
This is very unnerving and scary. Excellent post and a stunning video, Scanner. Very well deserved EP, congratulations.

R♥
I am sort of surprised that, even after I pointed out that the main premise of this post is incorrect and has been debunked, people are still believing it.

Clearly a lie goes around the world ten times while truth is still putting on its pants.
drones spying on me, good god, man.
i am a highly sensitive, nervous guy already. thanks alot.
well, the james emmerling drone caught me
goin to the library to check out "iron john" by mr robert bly.
then to the nice pakistani store
for fried chicken & chili.
i hope they caught me flirting with the librarian
and being polite to the nice pakistani lady, such a doll.

if they wanna bomb me for that, fine.
i am ready to get out of here.
GREAT job, Scanner.

Typical the traveler techniques. The ScanMan never mentions the EPA, but brings it into discourse. Then he complains that nobody supports him. Given your history of fabrications, why should they listen to a word you have to say?

From Global Research. Ca:

"A recent Department of Defense report to Congress as well as a number of media investigations have exposed government plans to deploy tens of thousands of drones over the US mainland in the coming years.

SNIP

"An investigative report published over the weekend by the Christian Science Monitor cited the government’s own estimates that “as many as 30,000 drones could be part of intelligence gathering and law enforcement here in the United States within the next ten years.”

SNIP

"With a push of a button, thousands of pounds of high explosives can be dropped on anyone, anywhere in the world, with startling precision. Safe behind video screens at military bases within the US, military drone operators refer to their victims as “bug splats.” Thousands of innocent civilians have already been murdered in this way in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere."

SNIP

"The report identifies 110 military bases that will serve as drone launch sites. The deadly Predator and Reaper drones will operate out of Creech Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada, Holloman AFB and Cannon AFB in New Mexico, Fort Drum in New York, Grand Forks in North Dakota, Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota, Whiteman AFB in Missouri, and the Southern California Logistics Airport, among others.

The accompanying map, from an Air Force power-point presentation released this month, shows current and projected locations for drone bases within the US.

The Department of Defense report argues for lifting the current framework of restrictions on drone flights over the US on the grounds that it “does not provide the level of airspace access necessary to accomplish the wide range of DoD UAS missions at current and projected operational tempos (OPTEMPOs).”

The language of the report is revealing and ominous. “This constraint will only be exacerbated as combat operations shift from abroad and systems return to US locations,” the report states. It expressly refers to plans to “conduct continental United States (CONVS)-based missions.”

In January, Congress passed HR 658, which requires the Federal Aviation Administration to take steps to facilitate the integration of drones “into the national airspace system.” President Obama signed the bill on February 14 with no public discussion or comment. (See “Drones come to the US”)"

SNIP

"ABC News reported: “Drones can carry facial recognition cameras, license plate scanners, thermal imaging cameras, open WiFi sniffers, and other sensors. And they can be armed.”

“Among the most eager to fly domestic drones are America’s police departments,” the report stated. “In Texas, a Montgomery county sheriff’s office recently said it would deploy a drone bought with money from a Department of Homeland Security grant and was contemplating arming the drone with non-lethal weapons like tear gas, rubber bullets or Taser-style rounds.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31474

I would urge You, Scanman, not to let Your detractors, nor the dissemblers deter You, but I know I don't have to, as it CLEARLY is not Your style to be silent in the face of such indignities.

-R- (for speaking the truth to delusionary others and those who CHOOSE to be willfully ignorant.)
This WAS "America." Now it's a budding police state cum banana republic run by corporate-military interests. Internal suppression is inevitable, given the need of the plutocrats to protect themselves from dissent.
Hear, hear! However, inalienable rights are not uniquely American unless we consider those outside our imaginary borders to be subhuman - which in fact we have done. And that is what opens the door to have drones used on us. We can't very well protest that which we so heartily endorse (majority of Americans approve of drone usage in the latest poll).
The only people employed in America soon will be the half who are being employed to spy on the other half.
A well-deserved EP and front page, Scanner.

Yes, where is the outrage? I used to think the old saying "people always deserve the government they get" was cynical and unfair, but I've been having my doubts lately...

@markinjapan
Thanks for your input and for putting the traveler in his place. I'd also read that EPA article he cites above, but it doesn't match the rest of the reports I've been following.

Rated.
There's already massive data-mining of US citizens' private information and all electronic accounts, emails and whatnot. The President claims the right to kill US citizens overseas who he deems to be a threat to the US without judicial review. The powers-that-be know that no one is going to make a big fuss once a decision is made to arm domestic drones. The fearmongers have been beating our collective soul since 9/11, the middle class has been scared for their jobs since the Reagan-era. The only group of people with any firm resolve and fight left in them are the Tea Partiers, and generally speaking, they're a bunch of idiots.
Was big brother ever at his best? Yes, if you give them an inch they take a mile. Now they've taken so many miles they have everything, from sea to shining sea. Same as it ever was.
Alan, Your comments about other EPA reports confirms to me that above that tattered purple dress, the traveler has holes in his eyes to allow him to see ONLY things that fit his preconceived agenda.

And then, as if he's enveloped in an opaque zip-locked bag, he implies that others should do a search - talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

Thanks for the confirmation.
I never thought I would live to see the day!
I didn't hear about this development. How low can they go?
traveler, just GOOGLE it. It's amazing what you can find out. Some us it is bullshit from rags, of course, isn't all news. But some is straight-up news from sources that are impeccable What is your problem with it? Do you think this country, that nuked Japan, wouldn't do it. Hah~Get Real. We are losing our rights faster than at any other time in history and yet we have people sitting back saying, ""Oh, America would never do that". Bullshit! It has and it will!
Scanner,

Please educate me. What "right" have you lost in the past decade?
Gonna have to reiterate Traveler's comment. The EPA drone rumor is simply untrue. They do not use drones they do fly-overs with regular small, MANNED airplanes and have for decades. It's also wholly LEGAL based on a 1986 Supreme Court decision.

This is just a beautiful example of the rumor-mill creating fact from unchecked rumors.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/reining-in-the-rumors-about-epa-drones/2012/06/16/gJQAwWjkhV_story.html

http://mashedpotatobulletin.com/2012/06/17/the-daily-scoop-truth-untruth-about-epa-drones/
thanks, scanner!

karma!!! the military industrial SECURITY complex. what we have been doing to other countries now comes home to roost on us. too bad so many Americans didn't have the empathy to raise a serious stink when other people were suffering so massively and mercilessly at our government's hands.

it was only a matter of time before the gated community rat bastard overlords would look upon the American lower 99% as just as expendable as they have been treating "ferriners" for decades and decades. Raping the taxpayer treasury and destroying the right to life, liberty and happiness of Americans.

The Christian Science Monitor I understand has an article revealing that within the next 10 years 30,000 drones will be used for intelligence gathering and law enforcement over the US.

Lots of types of drones but Obama's personal fave is the MQ-1 Predator drone, armed with 100 lb Hellfire missiles. Joy stick pilots safely thousands of miles away refer to their victims as "bug splats". A lot of innocent bug splats recorded and not recorded in Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Sumolia, etc. Murdered innocent people. No biggie to American governmental consciousness. Ends justifies the means, might makes right, and the spoils after the destruction will go to the corporate overlords who have the power! And all that contracting money for the deadly equipment.

A massive drone infrastructure is being established here now. (more of the scaffolding of US fascism -- thanks, Barry and also McCain and all the rest of the back-stabbing govt. reps.). 110 military bases in the US will serve as drone launch sites.

I got this info from an article in wsws from Tom Carter. Before long he warns, the buzzing of drones above our heads will be normalized. This from ABC news Carter reveals: "Drones can carry facial recognition cameras, license plate scanners, thermal imaging cameras, open wifi sniffers, and other sensors. THEY CAN BE ARMED."

Carter points out that along with drones Obamaworld government is building bottomless databases on ALL OF US U.S. citizens.

If we fight the fascism or threaten it, we will be and are considered TERRORISTS, it has been happening more and more. First amendment free speech and right to assembly is considered by Mueller of FBI (I forget the exact quote) as the beginning stage of domestic terrorism. How long before Obama or the next guy starts adding more US names to the kill lists every "Terror Tuesday"?

Glad you put your powerful and popular focus and voice on this subject matter, scanner!

best, libby
God bless markinjapan! Wow, Mark. I just read that article in wsws last night. And there you are quoting it. I should have scanned scanner's comments before writing mine, but I am rushing to get to work. I just noticed it before closing out. Well, it deserves repeating! best, libby
Look around Redick. You can no longer even demonstrate with out state of the art weaponry which shoot 100 rounds of teargas a minute and jack-booted thugs beating the hell out of people. Judges are making demonstrators criminals and putting them in jail. There are camera's everywhere recording you an average of 100 times a day and what are they doing with this info. Who the hell knows, but when they can arrest you for no reason, as Obama signed into law and keep you locked up without telling you or your loved ones where and for how long, that is a few rights I lost. There are hundreds of others dickhead.
Kenny,

You previously said that you'd stay away from political posts because you get all lathered-up about shit and start to lose your mind.

You should've taken your own advice.

None of the items you've described is happening, is a "right" lost, or is a new law meant to limit American's right to assemble and demonstrate.

Seriously, you're an emotional writer -- which is good in some contexts. But not one where your blog is going to be about a political subject matter. You let rumor based on fringe reporting entities and your own mind run wild.

Stick to fiction, Scanman.
This past January Congress passed HR 658 which requires FAA to integrate drones into US into national air space. President Obama signed on Valentine's day. Some valentine, huh. Since then the drones have been flying. As for big media focus and public outcry ... CRICKETS!!!! .....
Unbelievable, really. This decision belongs to "this" administration, as I understand it. We'll just have to wait and see where this goes if there is a passing of the baton in November.
And congrat's on well deserved EP!
Scanner, kudos on the EP and I think as long as one is not in a nudist colony they should be safe from the prying eyes of any drones!
Congrats on the EP my friend. It was good to see you on the front page.
I have to insert a big caveat in here. Aerial surveillance has been a part of LA life for a long time, and I saw a Predator drone over LA in the late 1990s. Actual deployment of drones is done by federal agencies right now. Local law enforcement has planes that monitor freeway speeders, but as far as I know -- absolutely no local jurisdictions currently have drones either armed or unarmed.

This is not to say that within five years, the LAPD won't be employing its own drones (saving money). But I doubt that even the LAPD would put armaments of any kind in them. The yahoo from Texas that's in your link should be a call to action for all citizens to get more closely involved in the affairs of local government.

In my opinion, drones in America are some of the last things I worry about. I worry far more about the public and private snoopers who monitor all of our activities (here and elsewhere) through our activities on the internet, telephone, and bank transactions. Most of all, I worry about the erosion of our civil liberties and our expenditures on killing people anywhere as opposed to helping our own citizens.
I suppose its stating the obvious to mention that Die Dritte Reich had its origin and underpinnings in legality.
And the Stasi was a duly constituted legal part of the government of the DDR.

Big Brother's accent has traditionally had a non American flavor, but the times they are a changing- and not for the better.
And congratulations on the EP and making the cover-great job.
What exactly do you mean when you say, "it is the presidents decision and his only, to fly these drones around this country and spy on American citizens"? The article you link to doesn't say anything about federal use of surveillance drones in the U.S. other than by the Border Patrol. Do yo have a source indicating that the feds are using drones for domestic surveillance, or planning to use armed drones against protesters?
joisey shore redux's handle more accurately reflected his state of mind when he used crazed czar to describe himself. Here another of the legion of willfully ignorant challenges the Scanman to "educate" him - here's soe education that you DEFINITELY will NOT understand:

"Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, and other schools.

After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history."

"The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

"Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism."

SNIP

"Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism."

SNIP

"Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections."

SNIP

"Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations."

SNIP

"Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts."

SNIP

"War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries."

SNIP

"Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations."

SNIP

"Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy."

SNIP

"Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. "

SNIP

"Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects."

SNIP

There must he a new Olympic event for willful ignorance and crazed wishes to challenge the apisabot and the traveler for that distinction.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story_2.html
David Harada-Stone, a sock-puppet, who made his first comment on OS is gonna do real well here, commenting on blogs without reading the comments - see above:

""A recent Department of Defense report to Congress as well as a number of media investigations have exposed government plans to deploy tens of thousands of drones over the US mainland in the coming years."

"An investigative report published over the weekend by the Christian Science Monitor cited the government’s own estimates that “as many as 30,000 drones could be part of intelligence gathering and law enforcement here in the United States within the next ten years.”

And MUCH more.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=31474
Hey brian, while you are so busy, and using your own blog as a source, please show us where the ScanMan even brought up the question of the EPA?
markinjapan> Interesting how the links you cite are all speaking about the possibility, the potential to, "it could"... none that I saw (I'll acknowledge I may have missed something) speak to this actually happening now.

In addition, one of your cited points talks about how police are eager to get drones. What's the difference here from the ongoing, have-been-for-decades, police air patrols? What's the difference of law enforcement and search and rescue agencies flying overhead now? I just heard a coast guard helicopter fly over my house, OH NO!! they're spying on ME! What about all the news helicopters flying over our heads, with no one knowing where their cameras are pointed?

It seems this hubbub over the drones is a bit disingenuous given the "surveillance" that's been going on in out cities for many a decade. What's the real problem? Is it because they are called "drones"? Is it because they are "unmanned"? Is the scary part, that the term “drones” conjures up images of autonomous robots spying on everyone with no regard for all us measly humans down below? Honestly, even IF these remotely, HUMAN-operated flying vehicles were cruising the skies, there's no difference from anything else that's flying overhead now. The police aren't spying on you. The newsflight helicopters aren't looking in your windows.... unless of course your life is so utterly exciting that they can't help but have themselves a peek.
I don't believe that Scanner mentioned anything about the EPA. However, he does provide a link to an article embedded in his text that says, "Now they want to arm them." The question is, who wants to arm them? According to the linked article, the "they" is some sheriff's deputy in Montgomery County Texas.

Are there drones being used to spy on people? I have no doubt.
Can drones be armed? Of course they can be. They are armed and are killing people in foreign countries right now. Can they be armed here? Of course it's a possibility. Are there armed drones in the U.S. right now ready to kill U.S. citizens here? Show me the evidence.

And saying that does not make me brainwashed or a sock-puppet or someone with a preconceived agenda. It makes me someone who wants evidence of something.

The title of this article is "Armed Drones Over America", and the claim seems to be that this is happening right now.

Like old new lefty, I'd prefer a bit more caution here.
markinjapan> "Hey brian, while you are so busy, and using your own blog as a source"

Used my blog as a citation for the lil' bit o' commentary I included in the lead up to referencing the WP article I also cited. Did ya miss that?


"...please show us where the ScanMan even brought up the question of the EPA?"

We gee, he did not mention the EPA specifically BUT it is all too obvious that is part of the conversation as well as the source of a lot of the who "Drones Over America" scary rumors afloat on the blogosphere. I'd say it's quite valid to include and speak about.
Congratulations on the EP,Kenneth, I am so very glad!!!!
At the people of OS want to re-elect President Obama? With all the "spy" bills that he has signed I'm starting to wonder if their isn't a camera in the bathroom checking to see if I write bad rhymes on the walls.

Here I sit on my throne
looking for the Hellfire Drone ...
A literal heads up! And most of all, congrats on the cover. Things might be changing here.
No, brian, it is NOT relevant at all to Scanman"s blog post - it is only when the sad-sack, the traveler, brought it up that it entered the discourse. It is, at best, dismally tangential

ANYONE with half a brain in their head can see the subject of the post is drones spying on americans.

The EPA is purely tangential as the traveler is wont to do.

To wit:

"When I heard they were spying on American citizens with high-dollar taxpayer paid for drones, I not only couldn't believe they were doing it, I couldn't fathom that we Americans would let them get away with it. I should have known, once the CIA, the FBI and law enforcement got their foot in the door, it would not stop there.Now they want to arm them. Why?"

"Where are American citizens marching and demonstrating and getting out of hand so bad that we need to spy on them and shoot them from the sky?Demonstrators need permits to march. They already know where they will be at. They then have the nerve to arm them with tear gas and rubber bullets and who knows what else. Again, why?"

"This is not Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran, this is America and we have certain inalienable rights and one is to peacefully demonstrate."

THIS IS THE subject and essence of the blog - follow the traveler, and you are guaranteed to get bitten in the as*.
From what I understand, this was a congressional decision. They just passed a law opening the door for drone use in the U.S. I'm not quite sure what propted this legislation though and I hadn't heard anything about spying on protesters. Hmm, I will definitely make it a point to learn more about this.
I meant to say prompted.
As with most people on OS (many) I read everything I can about the going's on of my government. Since 9-11 and the Patriot Act. which was supposed to be a temporary measure, our rights have been stripped away, many at midnight when bills are signed into law so as not to make waves.. Many are small things, but when put together, local law enforcement has many powers they never had before. You say Drones are no big deal, that the police have helicopters. Oh, real scary. But a helicopter can't stay over your house for 24 hours a day spying on anyone. I agree with Lefty, much of this is rumor or conjecture, but they can arm these things a in minutes and Obama or Romney (who knows) can sign a bill in seconds and fight over it in the courts later. Of course, with 5-4 in the Supreme Court on most cases, no president has to worry. I bet Nixon would have loved these guys with his tapes. I see where an unmanned space plane just landed that has been in space for a year, and everything on it is classified, of course. A year in space doing who knows what and no one even knew it was there until a few minutes ago. I do not trust this government. Do so at your own peril.
I'm beginning to think an old school Hammer Forge and Black Powder Rifle of, say, .68 caliber might be the citizen's answer to Drones flying over the US. I think we are well within our rights to summarily string piano wires across the spaces between buildings, under bridges and across the streets. It is a US Citizen's inalienable right to have armed parity with the government forces.

If you disagree, let me remind you that the Revolutionary Militia hid cannons in haystacks, gunpowder in flour sacks and muskets under floorboards to keep the government from taking them. This country was founded in armed insurrection when years of appealing to the King's and Parliament's reason simply failed. The Stamp Tax, the Quarters Tax Act (to pay for housing government soldiers in people's homes, yes they taxed American colonists to pay for quartering soldiers in their own homes without compensation) and many other things that were done in the name of the King or the Head of Government.

Read the Bill of Rights. Those are rights the government has no ability to take away -- they are specifically prohibited from doing so, because they are enjoined from changing the Constitution without a 2/3rds majority and without the same 2/3rds majority of states ratifying any changes to the Constitution.

The People of America have an inherent right to rein in their governement when those usurpations and abuses of the government become intolerable. By whatever means they deem necessary and prudent.

No-one really wants more bloodshed. Somtimes, though, you are left with only two options:
Bend over and take up the ass from the government without complaint;

Or fight for your rights. Right now this fight is verbal and we need more boots on the ground to counter the completely out of touch Representatives in our Government and in our Corporate Chambers who think not that they know what's best for us, but what's best for them while they shaft us left and right.

Kenny (scanner) you deserve this EP and we all deserve to know the truth. I am outraged. I have already signed a petition before you posted this to call for outlawing the use of drones to conduct warfare in the first place. Drones have no place as assassination machinery.

Our Constitution directly states that All Men Are Created Equal. Not just U. S. Citizens. This means that no person of the US Government has the right to order the killing of anyone in any non-declared war in any country anywhere in the world. And they certainly have no right whatsoever to snoop in on U. S. Citizens. There is no justification or argument capable of actually allowing this, according to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

It simply cannot be legally done, because these rights are Inalienable. For those that don't know that word, it means they cannot be taken away.

Of course, through apathy, ignorance and willful obedience to authoritarian people, you can certainly give your rights away.

You have a Voice.
Use it.
Occupy Your Mind
Occupy America
scanner, this from googling:

jeff glor cbs this morning

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57409759/drone-use-in-the-u.s-raises-privacy-concerns/

"The drones come in just about any size you want - as large as a passenger plane - or as small as a hummingbird.

"There's no stopping this technology," said Peter Singer, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and perhaps the country's foremost authority on drones. "Anybody who thinks they can put this genie back in the box - that's silliness."

snip

"Sparsely populated Lakota, N.D., is the first known site where a drone was used domestically to help arrest a U.S. citizen. It was the case of Rodney Brossart, a rancher accused of refusing to return a herd of cows that wandered onto his land. When police tried to move in, the family allegedly greeted them with loaded weapons.

snip

"Sgt. Bill Macki, who runs the SWAT team in nearby Grand Forks, called in the reinforcements: a Department of Homeland Security Predator drone - a massive aircraft that until now most people associate with Hellfire missiles and strikes against terrorists.

snip

"Brossart's lawyer is looking at challenging the drone use. It's a potential test case for the country, because the rest of the country's getting a lot more of them. Everyone wants an eye in the sky: real estate agents to view properties; farmers to find thirsty crops; energy companies to build pipelines; local police departments want to launch neighborhood surveillance flights, or find hard to catch criminals.

snip

"Singer expressed concerns over safety, saying that while legislation did put in place rules to prevent drones from colliding with passenger planes, it did little to clarify who can operate them and who it can watch.

"That drone is not just picking up information on what's happening at that specific scene, it's picking up everything else that's going on," Singer said. "Basically it's recording footage from a lot of different people that it didn't have their approval to record footage.

"Should people be worried that Big Brother is coming to watch them? "Well, there's always that concern," Mica said. "But there are means of tracking folks through cell phones, their computer usage. We live in a new age."

snip

"The average person probably doesn't even realize that these small, back-packable systems are used as extensively as they have been," said AeroVironment vice president Steve Gitlin.

snip

"People are going to use it for both good and bad," Singer said. "It's going to raise incredible new opportunities but also new challenges."

"Singer believes that for every local police department trying to keep people safe, a less well-intentioned operator may be tempted to use drones for no good. And right now, there's little preventing either side from doing whatever they want.

"Like it or not, unmanned systems are the future," Singer said. "Unfortunately we're not ready for them - everything from our policy to our laws to the deep, deep ethical questions."

---

Ethical questions would have been a nice place to start. Obomney doesn't seem to be concerned about the ethical questions or having a national conversation with us citizens who apparently are being surveilled as we speak.

Jill Stein of Green Party has a moral compass. I wish more people were pushing for her, but she is as secret as the drone proliferation was. Maybe she will get some notice, too, now? Or will ostrich types leave or put back their heads into the proverbial sand? Or some stay out and with eyes wide shut proclaim that WE ARE ALL OVER-REACTING!! Geeeeeeeeessssshhhh. Denial just ain't just in Egypt as they say.

best, libby
There are no drones, only PAIN!!!!

- Lord Darkness, Ruler of the Underworld.

~wanders off, hitting rate and throwing congrats on an EP~
Failing to provoke outrage in the foreign sphere, I don't hold out much hope for it (drone technology) in the domestic. That takes away nothing from your post, the sublimity of an Obama 2nd term or my continuing hope that the tools of connectivity are someday pressed into the service of connectedness.
Libby, I've heard of Mrs Stein and she really does have a head on her shoulders. Of course, it's irrelevant, but I remember when John Anderson ran as an independent and had my juices flowing. He was one of the smartest men I've ever seen run for office and I think he did better than any who ever ran for independent, even Perot. As for the drones, they should be as hard to get as a nuclear weapon. But everyone will soon have them and the world is going to be hell to pay. Killing a 100 people to get one driver for a high level Taliban leader seems like overkill to me. This has to stop and laws need to be made, or reversed according to some, to stop them!
The Supreme Court also took a step back with GPS surveillance, and they may well now revisit their aerial surveillance rules too, if walking around in public isn't private in the legal sense, if, maybe someone does a Potter Stewart and says "I know when I see (insert) 1984."
I’m with rw on this one and the day a flying bucket of bolts takes me out is the day I deserve to go. Tell me how much luck have they been having with those things against the Pashtun? The only thing those things are good for is murdering woman and children at wedding party's. Just another toy for the cowards that call themselves soldiers to play with. The Pashtun can’t get to them but we know exactly where they are and we will find their family's to. Just let one of those things fire on an American citizen.
This, of course, is speculation. But there is a larger context to this that might be considered. The latest weather reports more or less confirm that global warming is real and is putting slow but inexorable pressure on the general habitability of the planet. Food producing areas worldwide are already decreasing radically. The general level of jobs and income of the wealthier nations are moving gradually closer to that of the third world and things do not seem to be getting better nor is any dynamic effort being made for the radical improvement necessary. The power system in politics and economics is getting very nervous and only the raw edge of the kind of crackdown necessary to control a revolting population is becoming apparent. When food starts getting drastically more difficult to obtain massive force will be necessary to control the reaction. The preparations now obvious in police and internet supervision is just beginning. It looks to get much worse and whether it will be effective in squashing revolt is still in question. I am not optimistic.
And traveller why don’t you just give up Mark has you by about 100 IQ points
Thanks for the compliment, Jack, but in reality the traveler makes OS seem like a Mensa convention, with him being the janitor.
sick.

(is?) public america catching up to speed... finally. facism in place. the new norm (surprise!) now a decade old. is that you will learn about it after the machinery is already in place. then you will be given a "open" space to be meta radical with your protest and feel as if you have a certain participation in the outcome. like mtv for years now, huffinblow, o' os...

news that blew right by without a peep is the (pick your agency) program to create "false" bloggers (hello assholes!) , opinion monitoring avatar agents for whatever the crap.

... goodbye pretty blue skies... who gazes skyward now without rage... breathe in the air amerika, welcome to the rest of us.

i continue to say the obvious. don't pay your taxes, taxation without representation, what all these programs represent. the vast majority of tax payers are assassins aiding and abetting, the long and short of it.

self respect...................... a phrase from antiquity.

OS graffiti
@markinjapan> “No, brian, it is NOT relevant at all to Scanman"s blog post - ANYONE with half a brain in their head can see the subject of the post is drones spying on americans.”

Hmmm.... is that not at the very heart of the fear surrounding the nonexistent EPA drones is that they ARE spying on Americans?

Sorry mark, you're gonna have to make a better argument than that. Now whether or not Scanner wished to include the EPA's rumored use of drones or not it most certainly does fall well within the debate here. Since the debate circulates around the actual/potential domestic use of these spy drones (of which there seems to be little, or no evidence that they actually are being used for that purpose) and since domestic spying is precisely what people are claiming the EPA is doing then it does qualify a bit more than a side topic. Just because there may be an aversion to addressing it does not make it any less applicable.

Hopefully that clears it up :-)
I fear that what is a "peaceful use" today will become another means of spying on citizens. One of the major disappointments of the Obama administration was not dismantling the Patriot Act (what a 1984 double speak title that is) but instead he wants to increase executive powers.

The defense department and federal government learned well from Vietnam. With the help of the corporate media the two wars we are fighting are totally sanitized. We are not fighting wars as a country anymore the military is and they silently keep expanding their reach and power.

The average american is more interested in who is on Dancing With the Stars than the fact the Afghan war has run longer than Vietnam.
The argument that current usage is an indication of future use to suppress resistance to the obvious general increase of police power and invasion of privacy and the huge growth of government secrecy in the name of security but actually to act in the dark to move towards tootalitarianism is so monstrously nearsighted as to be ludicrous.
No, brian - I DON'T "have to make a better argument than that."

Like I do with the traveler, when he refuses to accept FACTS, I cede the floor to him.

you win, brian - I lose. Happy, now?
Scanner, when will we collectively take those like Gene McCarthy was, John Anderson, Ralph Nader, Jill Stein with serious consciences (who could sweep the floor intellectually and morally with the vast lost of the pols) to THE NEXT LEVEL? The media and the legacy corporate run parties vet and choose our candidates and then act like they are the only potential leaders in the field.

Trying to find out details of the drones, those with weapons and what they do to a human body isn't easy on the net for some reason. With their incinerating heat they are said to suck the air out of the lungs -- excruciating pain before death. What is left of a direct"bugsplat" hit is nothing or charred body parts their loved ones can collect. (and what the hey, it solves for Obama Bush's problem about those messy detentions and tortures and then can't release the innocents, cuz they'll talk the truth about what was done to them.) But getting back tot he bugsplats, the survivors and rescuers better not collect the charred remains mmediately, since MO (rules of engagement) of drone attacks is to come back within 20 minutes to kill survivors and rescuers. Who cares who they are, gender, age, whatever from 9000 miles away with your red bull and joy stick they all look the same on the screen. And Obama has already declared that any male military age in the Middle East is presumably killable as a terrorist already. Used Peace Prize, any one? What an evil slippery slope we are plunging further down.

Inverted is right to be bitter and angry. These satanic toys were built with our tax dollars. Where do you think that bloated military budget is going? to these sophisticated weapons of death. Forget head's start, and food stamps, and social security, and pensions, and health clinics, etc. etc. .... our tax dollars are building countless insanely expensive weapons of death and surveillance. Also building secret detention centers where those who dare to push back against American fascism can rot and be out of communication zones.

best, libby

ps, zacharydtaylor has an excellent blog on status of Jill Stein, btw!
I agree with EVERYTHING You've said M. Todd, other than the fact that You mention TWO wars. The number is closer to ten including covert ops troops parachuting into several African countries, too.
In the comments on another blog on OS, I won't say who wrote it, the blog was pretty good but the comments. A person said that he felt it was entirely within bounds to ignore the Constitution to save this country, and sort it out later. Now we have to ask, who is it being saved from? Apparently, us.
Hey Brian why don’t you stick to writing about how you envy Larry Sinclairs relationship with Obama, that ought to be good for another Editors pick, instead of continuing to make a fool of yourself on the grown ups blogs.
@markinjapan> "Like I do with the traveler, when he refuses to accept FACTS, I cede the floor to him."

Oh mark, mark, mark... please enlighten me on the facts that I am apparently missing. I've read your comments and as I stated before they are full of possibilities and potentials, nothing that actually states these things have come to pass.

I guess if it makes you feel more accomplished by lumping me in with someone else you have some debating nemesis relationship with as a way of dismissing my well reasoned points, I suppose that is your choice. Unfortunately, that tactic doesn't add to the credibility of your argument.

Having said that it does seem we have indeed reached an impasse. You wish to dismiss me as someone who is wrong simply because they don't agree with you and I don't see how I can simplify my point any more than I already have.

I'm sure we'll have other chances to debate on other issues. It's been fun... :-)
@Jack“Hey Brian why don’t you stick to writing about how you envy Larry Sinclairs relationship with Obama,”

Perhaps you can show me where I've written about Larry Sinclair, first.

“ instead of continuing to make a fool of yourself on the grown ups blogs.”

Well Jack, I guess I'll wait a bit for you to try again and produce some substantive points as to HOW I'm making a fool of myself rather than this poor attempt at a personal attack. From what I've seen of most other OS members they are capable of more intelligible, and yes respectable, responses than this.
brian, if you don't recognize these as facts, by one of the most universally acclaimed Constitutional scholars in the country, than there is nothing I can do about your willful ignorance:


"Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism."

SNIP

"Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism."

SNIP

"Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections."

"Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations."

"Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects."

to name just a few.

If you don't see these as facts than go back to your crib and find some baby to try and convince them that you are sane. I tire of idiots like you, easily.
Congrats on the EP and cover! Reading the comments that support and contradict this post, all I can say is, thank you for putting this on my radar. It's good to be alert.
the bureau investigates.com: CIA revives attacks on rescuers (apropo libby)

naysayers are you human? the slide backwards from the zenith.

Scanner, good blog, but I'd caution placing iraqi, yemeni, pakistani, afghanistani et. al. lives that much further below americans. Goes around...
I'm sure it's only the "bad guys" who have reason to worry scanner. Though maybe it's time for a re-read of 1984.
there is one very simple reason the WarMa$$$hine will not stop drones no matter what. hint, hint.
death merchandising is very,very lucrative.
see also drones galore by vzn. tons of links. planning to do a new post before Nov/elections. its great to see some rare public whisperings and even near glimmerings of pushback on the issue.
Well, now, this is a fine can of worms you've opened here, Scanner. The only thing that surprises me about this post is that Ed I Tor actually read it and put you on the cover! Some things are changing for the better.

Lezlie
I am outraged. Outraged. Obama has gone way beyond the call, even joking about drones to protect his daughters from boyfriends.

"Judge Andrew Napolitano has warned Congress not to act “like potted plants” regarding the increased use of unmanned surveillance drones without warrants over US skies by military, government, and law enforcement agencies.

Echoing the recent comments of his Fox News colleague Charles Krauthammer, Napolitano also said that “The first American patriot that shoots down one of these drones that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero.”

The federal government is rolling out new rules on the use of the unmanned drones this week, with the Federal Aviation Administration announcing procedures will “streamline” the process through which government agencies, including local law enforcement, receive licenses to operate the aircraft."

We are living in a Stalinesque Russian state. My grandparents and parents did not have to live under the tyranny of their government, how far we have fallen. rated.
Congrats on the EP, first of all! Scary stuff here.
Inverted Interrobang. I haven't put the Afghans, Pakistani's or anyone else above or below the other. When I did political stuff, at least once a week I raised hell about these drones, especially when they started arming them and killing anything that moved from some guy in Tamp, Fl.. Armed drones kills hundreds of women and children for the life of a mid-level driver for a Taliban leader. I'll say it one more time, once the rest of the world starts buying or producing these things, WWIII is right around the corner. These may well be the most dangerous weapons ever invented. To be able to kill in real time from thousands of miles away and videotape it is something this world has never seen before. I pity the future and will be glad not to be in it.
THAT point has already been reached, my Friend:

"From Adam Entous, the Wall Street Journal: The Obama administration plans to arm Italy’s fleet of Reaper drone aircraft, a move that could open the door for sales of advanced hunter-killer drone technology to other allies, according to lawmakers and others familiar with the matter.

The sale would make Italy the first foreign country besides Britain to fly U.S. drones armed with missiles and laser-guided bombs. U.S. officials said Italy intends initially to deploy the armed drones in Afghanistan."

http://natosource.tumblr.com/post/24420444170/u-s-plans-to-arm-italys-drones
I agree with Maria Heng.

We need a hell of a lot more lerts.
@markinjapan> Hmmm...interesting list. No source offered but I'll defer that for now. But what I DO find amusing is that you plaster the comment section with this long list and you accuse ME of deviating from the theme of the original post we're commenting on. Funny isn't that!

“If you don't see these as facts than go back to your crib and find some baby to try and convince them that you are sane. I tire of idiots like you, easily.”

I tell ya what I find tiring my friend... individuals with a false sense of their own superiority. Judging from your comments I'm sorry but that pedestal you've hoisted yourself upon is balanced precariously on a, very, VERY weak foundation.
It seems to me that the main question here has to do with how serious the threat is of arming drones in domestic use. There are plenty of other existing surveillance technologies that probably do at least as good a job under most circumstances.

We should run into some interesting legal questions, such as whether property rights include any airspace, meaning at what point is a drone tresspassing? If you destroy a drone that's on your property, are you liable for it? Do you have to warn it before you shoot it?

How cheap will they get? Will private citizens or private organizations be able to afford them? If you can get them into a building, will they be able to deliver a payload of, say, skunk musk into the office of an offending executive?

Will they knock on doors and deliver messages?

Will they be able to handle neighborhood watch functions without shooting Black kids in hoodies returning to their fathers' houses to watch basketball games?

If they're of any size, I think they'd mainly be useful in remote areas. It's not likely that the police are going to use one to, say, blow up a house like in Afghanistan. If that's what they wanted to do, a bazooka would be cheaper. Or a wire-guided missile.

Launched from American airbases? Aren't they now? They're certainly operated from American airbases.

I'm not sure this is as enormous a step as it looks.

Scan, thanks for bringing this to our attention. A quick suggestion:
If you find you've put in the wrong link, edit your post. If you want to let people know you edited it because of full disclosure or something, put in a little note in italics at the end of your post saying you edited, what you did, and when you did it. Avoids confusion.
They aren't armed (yet). They only target bad guys (trust us!) so don't worry. If you are innocent you have nothing to fear, so relax. Go back to sleep.
If you had predicted this 10 years ago, Scanner, I would've scoffed at you as a paranoid conspiracy fantasist. [r]
Oh my god! Invention of video cameras! Rampant spying on Americans! (never mind that gazillion hours of enjoyment by families watching homemade movies of their loved-ones).

Oh my god! Invention of the stoplight! Controlling our every move on roadways and infringing on our freedoms! (never mind the huge reduction in vehicular deaths with the traffic control systems)

Oh my god! Invention of night-vision goggles! "Them" will be peeking into our backyards and Lovers Lanes, the perverts! (never mind the number of lost childrens' lives saved by rescue crews or firefighter pilots needing to navigate night skies over a forest fire)

Oh my god! Blogging available for free! Careers of journalists and professional writers will go down the pooper and bloggers will reap huge cash profits showcasing their unique writing efforts about speculative conjecture to the masses! (O.K. on the former -- yeah right, on the latter)
I'm with Traveler and Brian on this one, Scanner.
BIG SURPRISE here - which one is moe and which one curly?
Latest from mr. willfully ignorant, himself, from "able2know":

"I am very much the same person in real life as I am in my cyber life. I am not being rude here...nor am I being stubborn. I may be a bit defensive, but that is because I suggest my arguments are better and more logical than the arguments I am hearing . . . "

ROTFLMAO!
If you think that mini-drones in civilian control will stop at surveillance and not proceed logically to enforcement you are more simple minded than it's worth considering. A full sized missile is not necessary to subdue or kill at close range and under distant control. A small hypodermic loaded with drugs or chemicals or even lethal viruses and launched with an explosive charge would work nicely. There is no technological problem with this. On line videos of small small accurately controlled drones are easily available currently with a minimum of search.
If you think that mini-drones in civilian control will stop at surveillance and not proceed logically to enforcement you are more simple minded than it's worth considering. A full sized missile is not necessary to subdue or kill at close range and under distant control. A small hypodermic loaded with drugs or chemicals or even lethal viruses and launched with an explosive charge would work nicely. There is no technological problem with this. On line videos of small small accurately controlled drones are easily available currently with a minimum of search.
Sorry for the double post... not my fault.
Another great piece of outrage from you, Sir Scanner.
I guess a lot of the public hasn't seen this video yet.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/02/flying-robots-nano-quadrotor-drones-swarm_n_1249442.html?ref=email_share
Hey Scanner, maybe some of what you posted is not correct. However anyone who doesn't believe our government is spying on it's own people, is dumber than I think they are!

I'm still waiting to see what happens at the RNC in Tampa. Knowing that Tampa is already a police state. It could get very interesting if thousands of protesters descend upon this armpit of the US. Theres a good reason, they picked Tampa for their convention. Same reason good ole GW used to give his speeches there. You couldn't get within miles, if you weren't a card carrying rethug!
Congrats on the EP scanner! Well deserved.

What amazes me is that the Adidas shackle shoe is getting more attention than this issue. Blows my mind.
Hey A hummingbird sized drone just went zooming past my window. I hope it wasn't armed. Congrats on your EP.
I don't know enough about this to make a judgement but consider this: The US has had armed police for centuries. The job of many police is to drive around and observe what's going on. Stores have security cameras, there are cameras on stop lights, and you might have one in your own home. The police use helicopters and airplanes for surveillance, as do state and federal agencies. What it all boils down to is that police and government security tasks require observation and they weapons, and they use technology to perform those tasks. Drones are newer technology that has been recruited for this work.

So why are we afraid of drones? My guesses: Because partisan government leaders might use them for political gain or to promote their agendas, or to harass and intimidate people. This is possible because drones provide more capable observation abilities and they might not be noticed. The higher level of observation brings us uncomfortably close to a world where Big Brother is constantly watching and using what he sees to bully people to conform to the current desires of government leaders. Drones might not be a problem when the leader is benign and uses them for more capable border patrols, to catch terrorists and drug smugglers. But a paranoid and sociopathic president such as Nixon, or a president like GW Bush who has ceded common sense to a political ideology and is manipulated by right-wing power-mongers occassionally become president, and will abuse this capability.
Seems you're not alone in your concern. Here's a couple of juicy tidbits:

Fear that some drones may be armed has been fueled in part by a county sheriff's office in Texas that used a homeland security grant to buy a $300,000, 50-pound ShadowHawk helicopter drone for its SWAT team. The drone can be equipped with a 40mm grenade launcher and a 12-gauge shotgun. Randy McDaniel, chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, told The Associated Press earlier this year his office had no plans to arm the drone, but he left open the possibility the agency may decide to adapt the drone to fire tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.

Earlier this year Congress, under pressure from the Defense Department and the drone manufacturers, ordered the FAA to give drones greater access to civilian airspace by 2015. Besides the military, the mandate applies to drones operated by the private sector and civilian government agencies, including federal, state and local law enforcement.


The trick is to get them into place first, arm them second. Morons like Joisey who don't know the difference between a stop light and a drone run interference for their hallowed government until people finally start looking away. Just as in the drug war, anything is allowed in the name of "safety".
one thing never changes....reality racing to catch up to sci-fi....
as for drones....finally something for free from Uncle Sam........Targets...
Scanner - congrats on the EP, and for sparking such a great debate. I will now go do some research so I can form an opinion! :)
CG, how these morons (Redick) can think that people that will have drones and the ammo but won't use it, is crazy. Hell, I would use it in the woods by my house just fucking around. The first rule of anything in the world of politics is never, ever trust anything the fucking government says. They are lying cocksuckers who will make you disappear if you become too big a thorn in their ass. Of course, I'm just a little thorn, so they leave me alone, hah~
I'm with Deborah Young that you folks are living in a Stalinesque Russian state. The hundreds of thousands exiled to the North Alaska gulags, the millions killed in the mid-west famine and the utter decimation of the ranks of Republican and Tea Party opponents must be getting alarming.
Dandy, that is a Dandy of a comment. But if you don't think there are some bad people out there, up to no good, then your ticket to ride at DisneyLand has already been punched!
Scanner...there are indeed some "baddies" out there. Lots of 'em, I would guess.

But Dandy's remarks are more appropriate than those dealing with the baddies.

There is talk in here...and all over this forum...making America seem like Stalinist USSR; Maoist China; Amin Uganda; Hussein Iraq...and who knows what else.

Time to look the situation squarely...and stop with the hyperbole. Americans still live in the freest society ever on this planet. Yeah, we have to guard against deterioration (which may be unavoidable, in any case), but it does the battle to keep ourselves free no good to constantly be talking about the sky falling.

There are people on this forum, Scanner, who have fallen off the edge. Don't join them. You help more by being reasonable than being what some of them are!
Frank, the United States of America is the greatest country on earth. We have a Constitution and rights like no other. I would live no where else. But as in all societies, especially now with this Need for Greed and lobbyists openly handing out money, we have to keep a vigilant eye out. When the Men in Black let foreign entities buy elections, it changed the game. I will always be an American and I will always speak up when I see or hear something is going on that is wrong or could turn into something wrong. I'm with you buddy, I don't buy all the talk all the time, but I do read a lot and will speak out when I feel this country is doing something wrong. Have a good one my friend!
I got you loud and clear on that, Scanner. Glad we agree more than disagree. I am as frustrated with the crap going on as any...but I guess I am allowing my frustration with the constant harpers to cloud my vision.

I have absolutely no idea of how to get the big bucks out of the equation, but I would bet huge sums that allowing the Republicans to win in November (president or congress) would be a step in the wrong direction.

So I am tempering my criticism...and directing it as judiciously as possible. I know you may disagree with this, but I think most politicians are truly trying to do their best. But the body politic in America is so fickle and diverse...doing "what the people want" MAY be an impossibility.

When I was growing up, differences were stated: I would prefer xyx to abc. Now, differences seem to be stated in variations of: Either we get xyz and eliminate abc or I will start a revolution...with the other side saying, either we eliminate xyz and institute abc or I will start a revolution.

How does any politician cope with that? How does any politician do what "the people" want...when there is divisiveness like that?
fRANK: "Americans still live in the freest society ever on this planet."

One can always count on mr. willful ignorance to return to confirm his willful ignorance in case some may have missed it - last week he disputed to comments of a consultant to the State Department - now, he disputes Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders:


A "man" like fRANK who claims bush never tortured (despite bush's own admissions in his book) would never consider any words written by an organization such as Amnesty International. They are after all part of his delusional professional left, now dubbed the fringe left.

Furthermore this is a guy who prior to his dismal stint in the air force took the pledge to honor and defend the Constitution, and then went about his duties in the "ever dangerous" UK - PFFFFT!

Amnesty International (for those reading the thread, not for fRANK as the words and concepts contained in the report are way above his comprehension level) Annual Report 2011:

"United States Of America

Forty-six people were executed during the year, and reports of excessive use of force and cruel prison conditions continued. Scores of men remained in indefinite military detention in Guantánamo as President Obama’s one-year deadline for closure of the facility there came and went. Military commission proceedings were conducted in a handful of cases, and the only Guantánamo detainee so far transferred to the US mainland for prosecution in a federal court was tried and convicted. Hundreds of people remained held in US military custody in the US detention facility on the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The US authorities blocked efforts to secure accountability and remedy for crimes under international law committed against detainees previously subjected to the USA’s secret detention and rendition programme.

On 22 January, President Obama’s one-year deadline for closure of the Guantánamo detention facility passed with 198 detainees still held in the base, about half of them Yemeni nationals. By the end of the year, there were still 174 men held there, including three who had been convicted under a military commission system which failed to meet international fair trial standards."

SNIP

"In April, the Pentagon released the rules governing military commission proceedings. The new manual confirmed that the US administration – like its predecessor – reserved the right to continue to detain individuals indefinitely even if they were acquitted by military commission."

SNIP

"Hundreds of detainees were held in the newly constructed US Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP) on the Bagram air base in Afghanistan; the DFIP replaced the Bagram Theater Internment Facility in late 2009. For example, about 900 detainees were being held in the DFIP in September. Most of them were Afghan nationals, taken into custody by coalition forces in southern and eastern Afghanistan. The US authorities stated that the DFIP would eventually be transferred to the control of the Afghan authorities “for incarceration of criminal defendants and convicts”, and that “transitioning operations” would begin in January 2011.

Amnesty International and other organizations wrote to the US Secretary of Defense in June raising concerns about allegations that detainees held in a screening facility at Bagram air base had been subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, including prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation and exposure to extreme temperatures."

SNIP

"There continued to be an absence of accountability and remedy for the human rights violations, including the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance, committed as part of the USA’s programme of secret detention and rendition (transfer of individuals from the custody of one state to another by means that bypass judicial and administrative due process) operated under the administration of President George W. Bush.

In his memoirs, published in November, and in a pre-publication interview, former President Bush admitted that he had personally authorized “enhanced interrogation techniques” for use by the CIA against detainees held in secret custody. One of the techniques he said he authorized was “water-boarding”, a form of torture in which the process of drowning a detainee is begun.

On 9 November, the US Department of Justice announced, without further explanation, that no one would face criminal charges in relation to the destruction in 2005 by the CIA of videotapes made of the interrogations of two detainees – Abu Zubaydah and ‘Abd al-Nashiri – held in secret custody in 2002. The 92 tapes depicted evidence of the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, including “water-boarding”, against the two detainees."

SNIP

"Fifty-five people died after being struck by police Tasers, bringing to at least 450 the number of such deaths since 2001. Most of the deceased were unarmed and did not appear to present a serious threat when they were shocked, in some cases multiple times. The cases continued to raise concern about the safety and appropriate use of such weapons."

SNIP

"Prison conditions

There were complaints of cruel conditions for prisoners held in long-term isolation in super-maximum security units. Complaints included ill-treatment of prisoners held in the federal system under Special Administrative Measures."

SNIP

"Right to health – maternal mortality

Hundreds of women continued to die from preventable pregnancy-related complications. Wide disparities persisted in access to good quality health care based on race, ethnicity, immigration or Indigenous status, geographical location and income. There were calls for federal and state governments to take all necessary steps to improve maternal health care and outcomes, and eliminate disparities.

SNIP

"Children’s rights

On 17 May, the US Supreme Court ruled that the imposition of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a non-homicidal crime on a perpetrator who was under 18 at the time of the crime violated the constitutional ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment. The majority noted that support for this conclusion came in the fact that the USA was the “only Nation that imposes life without parole sentences on juvenile nonhomicide offenders”. The majority also noted that Article 37(a) of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) prohibits life imprisonment without the possibility of release for crimes committed by anyone under 18 years old.

On 14 October, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the USA to ratify the CRC, the USA and Somalia being the only two countries not to have done so."

SNIP

http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/usa/report-2011

"Reporters Without Borders (RWB) is a French-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press and freedom of information. This organization, which has consultant status at the United Nations., was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008. English speakers also commonly refer to the organization by its French name, Reporters Sans Frontières, or its French acronym, RSF. Its head office is in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. According to its own mission statement, Reporters Without Borders

"defends journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and exposes the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries.

fights against censorship and laws that undermine press freedom.

PRESS FREEDOM INDEX 2011-2012

1. Finland
Norway
3. Estonia
Netherlands
5. Austria
6. Iceland
Luxembourg
8. Switzerland
9. Cape Verde
Denmark
12 Sweden
13 New Zealand
14 Czech Republic
15 Ireland
16 Cyprus
Jamaica
Germany
19 Costa Rica
20 Belgium
Namibia
22 Japan
Surinam
24 Poland
25 Mali
OECS
Slovakia
28 United Kingdom
29 Niger
30 Australia
Lithuania
32 Uruguay
33 Portugal
34 Tanzania
35 Papua New Guinea
36 Slovenia
37 El Salvador
38 France
39 Spain
40 Hungary
41 Ghana
42 South Africa
Botswana
44 South Korea
45 Comoros
Taiwan
47 united states of america

http://en.rsf.org/press-freedom-index-2011-2012,1043.html

Who knows better than Amnesty International, bush, a former consultant to the State Dept., and Reporters Without Borders?

Well, only fRANK would know better, because fRANK is NEVER wrong.
fRANK: "cloud my vision"

As you have said to countless others: "Get your head out of your as*," then you might be able to, at least see, between the speckles of sh*t.
Insofar as Google is concerned I find it rather amusing, here in Helsinki, that I can get views of the various places in Manhattan I lived growing up and working in the city. I have no fear that Google will declare me a danger to American Government and send an automatic assassin to convert me to a red cloud of blood and a flying mass of shattered bones. President Obama has openly and clearly proclaimed that anyone in the world that he personally has decided, with no Constitutional authority, and the advice of the self righteous brutal military ignoramuses in his cohort, that he can short circuit any legal provisions to protect individuals and blast me personally into oblivion. I presume I have not provided stimulus to this point for that action but I have no idea if or when that might occur. I take that as a personal threat.
Jan, so do I. That is one of my rights I tried to explain to Redick. The freedom to sit in my living room without a missile coming through my window and up my ass because Obama didn't like something I wrote. I did not saying it will happen, I'm saying it "could" happen. And that my friend it not right in anyone's world.
Amen, my friend, Amen! Right on, ScanMan. R
Aside from the drones the general, aggressive attitude and policies in consort with congruent attitudes out of Israel to openly attack Iran as announced by US sources (see The Washington Post June 19 ) through th Stuxnet and the Flame computer viruses is an essentially an act of war on Iran and an open invitation to the many very vulnerable digital controls vital to the security and daily activity of the USA. Very reliable sources indicate that Iran is no real threat at the moment to anything but the politics of the USA and Israel and if the winds indicate Obama might have problems remaining in office open war with Iran might be seen as a political opportunity for Obama to remain in office just as Bush used the attack on Iraq to remain president. The insanity continues.
I vented my outrage last October when I joined a few hundred people in a march past the White House to protest the expanded use of drones on our way to shutting down the corporate HQ of one of those drone makers General Aeronautics. The next day we march to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum and shut it down for the afternoon due to our protest of their drone exhibit. A few people got pepper sprayed and 2 got arrested, but thankfully they didn't use the drones on us. Maybe next time.
Hey Froggy... getting your fix I see : )
brian is right. I forgot to give my customary attribution to one comment. I don't expect brian to comprehend any of this, but here is Professor Turley's article in full:

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)

Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. While the administration claims that this provision only codified existing law, experts widely contest this view, and the administration has opposed efforts to challenge such authority in federal courts. The government continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion. (China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”)

Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)

Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.)

Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security — a claim made in a variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow definition of standing to bring a case.

War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries. (Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.)

Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance. (Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.)

Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)

Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)

Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.

These new laws have come with an infusion of money into an expanded security system on the state and federal levels, including more public surveillance cameras, tens of thousands of security personnel and a massive expansion of a terrorist-chasing bureaucracy.

Some politicians shrug and say these increased powers are merely a response to the times we live in. Thus, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could declare in an interview last spring without objection that “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” Of course, terrorism will never “surrender” and end this particular “war.”

Other politicians rationalize that, while such powers may exist, it really comes down to how they are used. This is a common response by liberals who cannot bring themselves to denounce Obama as they did Bush. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for instance, has insisted that Congress is not making any decision on indefinite detention: “That is a decision which we leave where it belongs — in the executive branch.”
And in a signing statement with the defense authorization bill, Obama said he does not intend to use the latest power to indefinitely imprison citizens. Yet, he still accepted the power as a sort of regretful autocrat.
An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”
Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans. The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story_2.html

I doubt the idiot who agrees with brian, apisa, will even be able to understand the multi-syllabic words.
Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law. He has written over three dozen academic articles that have appeared in a variety of leading law journals at Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Northwestern, and other schools.

After a stint at Tulane Law School, Professor Turley joined the George Washington faculty in 1990 and, in 1998, was given the prestigious Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law, the youngest chaired professor in the school’s history.
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/dron-j18.shtml
Thanks for that edifying link, Scanner.
Of course, moderates are now lumping you in with those militia freaks in the midwest who are afraid of black helicopters...
Congress Approves 30,000 Spy Drones Over America As US Police State Tightens. Cost $64B

Once again, another shocking story that threatens the personal privacy of US citizens has been kept from us by our politicians and the mainstream media.

Did you know that a bill, HR 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, has just passed both the House and the Senate that authorizes the use of 30,000 spy drones over America? Like the anti-Posse Comitatus NDAA legislation that passed in November, this bill was not widely reported by the mainstream media.

So how will 30,000 drones over the US keep us safe from terrorism? Maybe a better question is, how might 30,000 drones be used to enforce a police state over American citizens. The latter is more chilling and offers far more possibilities for TPTB. This is quite disconcerting given the fact that during the latest census all of our homes were GPS’d.

The bill is worth $63.4 billion dollars, so it will be interesting to track the money on this one. Considering that we are in such a dire economic crisis, it is interesting that they deem it necessary to spend $63.4 BILLION dollars at this time. Looking for cheapest auto insurance in Florida?
Prepelek Dubai, I know of it and it sucks. No one seems to care that Big Brother is those fucking Drones. Anything that can kill you from 3,000 miles away isn't a weapon, it's God!
This is not Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran, this is America and we have certain inalienable rights and one is to peacefully demonstrate. Now, when you apply for a permit, they want to put protesters miles away from the action and the press. Mitt Romney is now pulling a George Bush and not letting anyone who disagrees with him into his speeches. If you don't agree with everything he says and clap when the sign comes on, they throw you out.Arab