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Drones: Big Brother’s Eye In The Sky

June 13, 2012 by  

Drones: Big Brother’s Eye In The Sky
PRESSTV
Drones are becoming commonplace in America.

Be they targeted assassinations with unavoidable collateral damage or crashes, U.S. drone missions have been responsible for a number of deaths that remains largely unknown by speculators and top U.S. officials alike.

A recent report from The Atlantic explains:

Estimates from anonymous Obama administration officials about many civilian casualties provide little clarity. In April 2009, a U.S. official claimed that “more than 400″ enemy fighters in Pakistan had been killed by drone strikes: “We believe the number of civilian casualties is just over 20, and those were people who were either at the side of major terrorists or were at facilities used by terrorists.” In addition, in May 2010 a U.S. counterterrorism official stated: “We believe the number of noncombatant casualties is under  30, those being people who were near terrorist targets, while the total for militants taken off the battlefield exceeds 500.” In August 2011, ABC News reported, “[A senior U.S. official] said that while the U.S. agrees around 2,000 suspected militants have been killed, the total civilian casualties are closer to 50.”

And now, local and Federal agencies are doing everything in their power to make drones commonplace here at home. A report Monday in The Washington Times explains that the Department of Homeland Security currently has more drones than it knows what to do with.

The Department’s inspector general released a report this week detailing how Customs and Border Patrol officials currently have acquired nine unmanned aerial vehicles and are awaiting a tenth, but have no real plan of how to use the potentially deadly machines. The agency uses the drones in part to patrol the country’s borders and reportedly also routinely conducts missions for the Texas Rangers, the U.S. Forest Service, the FBI and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But as Americans become ever more likely to see military-style drones flying over domestic airspace, concerns about privacy and safety abound.

The Associated Press reported Monday that a 44-foot unmanned Naval drone on a “routine maintenance flight” crashed near Bloodsworth Island, Md., in the Chesapeake Bay around 100 miles outside of Washington, D.C.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Chester

    There have been explicit plans disclosed on how to use those unmanned, UNARMED drones to aid in patrolling the US-Mexican border, but seems those were shot down by the military, as at that time, they were releasing NO drones to civilian authorities.

    • eddie47d

      I bet the highway patrol would love to get their hands on a few of those babies. They could catch speeders left and right or would that be an equal opportunity in nabbing Republicans and Democrats alike!

    • Robert Smith

      The pla;ns, not the drones, right?

      Rob

  • http://liberty Tony

    To Everyone:
    Well, this definitely shows how both sides in this country has been hypocritical and destructive at the same time. Thanks!!

    • Mike in MI

      Hypocritical? How?
      What does the term “collateral damage” mean to the mighty men of mohammed anyway? One of their favorite tactics is to attack our troops while hiding behind the burkhas and bare butts of thir neighbor’s wives and kids.
      Then, if somebody stubs their toes during the shooting they scream, “Blood…four innocents were injured by yanqui killers.”
      Of course then nc, eddiefarty70, Robt. Smith and a troop of others report (scandalized) how many of the enemy we have killed.
      To a muslim anything they can do to advance the cause of Obama’s form of idol worship is acceptable and even laudatory. The have no concept of respect for life – like the other liberals they’re in league with.

      • http://liberty Tony

        To Mike:
        Please, tell me, honestly, what the hell are we doing in these nations!?! This is like the sci-fi classic novel by H.G.Wells, “War of the Worlds”. All these wars are about expanding the empire. Case in point!! They’re wasting yours and my tax dollars. In addition, is causing our nation to make needless enemies. Therefore, give me a break with this “muslims will take over the world” jazz. We leave them alone, they’ll leave us alone. Comprende!?!

        • John Wilch (TSgt, USAF Ret.)

          Tony, Tony, what are we suppost to do about the crazy idiotic Muslem fanatics that want to kill anybody that doesn’t believe the way they do? I for one will drop the first one that tries to kill me or my love ones.

          Oh, I forgot I swore an oath in 1963 to defend people like you and your right to be idiotic to the death. I’m talking about the following oath, the first one is the one I took::

          The wordings of the current oath of enlistment and oath for commissioned officers are as follows:

          “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

          “I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)

      • Harry

        If we leave them alone they will continue to kill each other like they have done for thousands of years. If they want freedom from there government they can take it for them self’s, like we did.

      • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

        “U.S. drone missions have been responsible for a number of deaths that remains largely unknown by speculators and top U.S. officials alike.”

        … Do not for ONE moment believe that even some higher-ups know nothing about this.. Obama is NOT an island, the higher ups are the one’s who approve of this idiocy.. They may sit on their hands and declare they have no knowledge of nor any other action(s) that involve civilians but we all know that such things occur when you invade other Countries and those “clean hands” tactics didn’t work in the cold war and it’s not going to go over here.. The saps who believe this crap are either totally brain dead, naive like my chow puppy or part of the conspiracy.

      • Marten The Canadian Libertarian

        You need to wake-up budddy

  • Michael Jay

    In their haste to Kill terrorists, the US are getting very trigger-happy in their armed drone atttacks. There should be less drone attacks and the attacks should be based on better intel to insure that no innocents are harmed in these strikes. I know the President thinks the attcks are better planned but, the facts on the end results prove they are not. He is told one thing and; what is happenning is another.

    • 45caliber

      The only way you can assure that you don’t accidently kill an “innocent” person is to surrender. That way you kill yourself instead.

      But who is “innocent”? The person who isn’t carrying a weapon at that moment? The person who is standing by a known terrorist – who is either a friend or a family member and knows who he is? A supporter? Someone who is willing to risk their live by trying to give the terrorist a human shield?

      • http://PersonalLiberty LT Brown

        First of all, IF ones is associated with, helping, assisting, or family of the terrorist, then they are part of the problem and aiding and abetting terrorism. Thus those civilians killed in this manner are classified as terrorist, not civilians. If you are part of an insurgency group, aiding and abetting and insurgency group, then you are like the Pakistannis, associated terrorists. Now if they want to do something really needed in the US then patrol the Mexican Border and find the drug trafficers and take them out, not arrest them and sent them back to do it again. Now if it were being done by a Republiacan administration, yes the Jackasses would be running wild in the Congressional halls screaming. They did it back in the Nixon era after the idiocy of Johnson’s and Kennedy presidencies over the VietNam War. Remember they branded all returning military personnel “Babby Killers”. We were ostracized throughout our own country and punished for things we never did by the leftwing accademics. I fought it and won sometimes but when it came to getting a job afterthe years getting a college degree, one had to be vigilant and research who one was interviewing with personally and even company had leftwing cultures (the micro-chip companies in silicon vqalley). So be very careful what you think of and make sure you see the cascading consequences.

    • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

      As I stated earlier M.J., there simply is no way to insure that no innocents are harmed in these strikes..The military considers this a war as dictated to them by their superiors and in war (expletive deleted) happens.. Though it may be called collateral damage, the truth is as the enemy swarm around innocent’s this situation will be our only alternative. We don’t want to kill innocents and in fact we go to great means to avoid it but the enemy have no intentions of becoming setting ducks and their original philosophy is that we are weak as we will not (knowingly) kill innocents thus they use that weakness against us by deliberately hiding behind their non-aggressive people then when we clear the rat holes out, other Muslims who knew what the militants were doing but were not direct participants, yell Alla and accuse us of murder..This is just another branch of manipulation that they play and the bottom line is, we should blow off our, “interests” get out of their sand box and leave the destruction and civilian killings to them, I’m sure they will have no qualms in doing the same exact thing to their people.

  • Harry

    If a Republicans administration was doing this it would be total unexceptionable.

    • http://liberty Tony

      To Harry:
      Both sides are guilty of this. We have to face the facts!! Thanks!!

      • Harry

        My point is, you don’t hear about this on the main stream. If this was a republican it would be all over the news. I don’t want this under any administration. This is a powerful weapon that will be used on us all. But it will start slowly and then it will be to late. We do need to stop the war in Afghanistan, it should have stopped a long time ago. That is what Obama told us he would do and you see where we are.

    • http://gravatar.com/catman11 coalminer

      Harry,
      It is unaceptable for both political parties. We need to end the war now.Bring our troops home.

      • http://liberty Tony

        To coalminer:
        Right on!! Time to end these policies of colonial expansion. Farewell!!

      • Harry

        Yes I totally agree with you.

      • Michael Jay

        You are absolutely correct.

    • JerryWheelerWroteThis..

      Then if you believe everything you chocked, uh.. I mean wrote then you will be totally surprised if a Pub gets in and the same thing escalates.. This is a military action, sanctioned by big toads in the political arena.. It has little to do with the administration except to sign the orders written up by others and read by so-called advisors where any one of them could (1) misinterpret a certain phrase or () exact their own agenda.. You think Obama does nothing but have vacations and twiddle his thumbs but the fact is,we have hawks and sharks in congress who just can’t wait to create profitable havoc and that my friend will seep over into the next administration as well. Your clueless in who’s actually pushing the buttons and so long as Obama is in office you’ll continue to be blinded until another administration takes over where in record time you will still be ignorant to the fact that it’s still happening and again you will focus your accusations onto the head clown.

  • http://google john p.

    this is just another way Democrats can watch and control you .
    they spy on you and your property . to see what you have so
    they can tax you more .so they waste your money on more toy’s .

    • 45caliber

      I heard recently that they are getting upset at people with shotguns who can shoot down many of their drones in the US. They want to ban the shotguns to protect their toys.

      • Harry

        Shot guns, wow that must be one big shot gun. I guess if you walk up to it when it’s on the ground.

    • Karolyn

      As posted above, it ain’t just democrats. You don’t think they won’t be in the air if Romney gets elect ed? HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      • Harry

        What is your point. I don’t wan’t them in the air. If it’s under Mitt or Obama I will still be doing the same thing. What I’ve seen over the years is Republican’s fight with people over seas and Demarcates fight with the people hear. Republicans fight for my rights for freedom and Demarcates want to take them away. They all lie to me, but with one I can work and the other wants me dependent on them.

      • Karolyn

        I’m still laughin’, Harry! :-)

      • Harry

        OK keep laughing.

      • Harry

        Nice come back. that’s about what I expected. No point.

  • Martin Forte

    The use of drones in the battlefield can be very effective. The use of drones to spy on the law abiding citizens of the U.S. is totally wrong and might even be unconstitutional. Minimally it is a very slippery slope toward the erosion of our constitutional right to privacy and unreasonable search and seizure.

    • rhcrest

      It IS unconstitutional. There is no question. I say we citizens hire our own drones and send them down to DC to spy on that cesspool of corruption otherwise known as Washington DC. If they can spy on us then we should be able to spy on them. It’s only fair to quote the leftists.

    • Harry

      Very well put.

  • LAB

    I say we stuff a drone up BO’s Butt…where his head is!

    • Harry

      LOL!!

  • Nancy in Nebraska

    The EPA is using drones to spy on Nebraska and Iowa farmers and ranchers. The senators and congressmen from these states have officially asked the head of the EPA to tell them why they are spying and she will not respond to them. They are trying to get something going to stop the use of drones to spy on them. Soon, it will be all of us.

  • Sanders

    Drones do serve a very good purpose in warfare, but they are no less likely to result in civilian causalities then traditional bombing raids in the dead of night or day time. The beauty of drone attacks is they can take place any time day or night with the radar elusive construction. So if timing is critical, drone is the answer.

    I certainly like the prospects of using them for helping to patrol the southern border. This border will be the inevitable entry point of some real bad people and no doubt has already happened to some degree. These real bad people, Islamic Extremists, have been flooding into Venezuela for some time now as Chavez works closely with the Iranian Regime. With all the money they have behind them they can pay the drug cartels to smuggle them into the US along with bombs and bomb components.

    But lets not close this down for fear of alienating the aliens. Both Republicans and Democrats have failed miserably with this issue and may soon result in a major terrorist attack, nuke in a major city. Now that governments of Pakistan and Syria, both have stock piles of WMD’s and Pakistan with nukes, have been infiltrated by the Al Quida network, it won’t be long.

    • Charlie Tall

      Well, Sanders is missing a lot here. First off, drone attacks are usually based on observations by the drone systems alone, while conventional close air attacks result from observations made by personnel on the ground who then call-in a request for an air strike. It is inconceivable that a manned attack aircraft would independently spot an individual person and then unilaterally attack without verification by a human observer except in an area that has been declared a hostile or free-fire zone, i.e. enemy territory (which is not the case with drones operating over Pakistan, etc).
      Drones typically observe a suspected target, verify identification with their systems, and then execute the attack without the participation of any other actor. This obviously increases the possibility for collateral damage since it is virtually impossible to ascertain all details from the air, even with the most modern observation systems. So with drones, an increased likelihood of harming noncombatants is inherent in their capabilities and current rules of engagement.
      Sanders is also confusing close air support with higher-level air strikes. Close air is typically employed against specific point targets with a tactical value such as troop concentrations, vehicles, fortifications, weapons, and access routes. Close air support is only employed at the command and control of a forward air controller or FAC travelling with friendly ground troops. If drones are to be used in this role, then the FAC should also be used.
      As Sanders pointed out, “…if timing is critical, drone is the answer.” What he did not say is that the answer, the drone, lacks the discrimination supplied by the FAC, thus it can be employed immediately, but with increased risk.
      The proper role of drones is that of the eye in the sky in partnership with eyes and boots on the ground. Use them for surveillance of inaccessible areas, and then dispatch human agents if and only if a suspected target or other problem is observed. Drone strikes, like close air support strikes, should only be initiated after direct observation and under the control of a human forward air controller.
      Prior to the Obama administration, direct human observation was required before drone strikes were authorized. Special ops forces were routinely tasked to observe and confirm the identity of high-value human targets. The drones did not launch their weapons until the human on the ground said, “Fire!”
      Also, air strikes by manned aircraft required eyes on verified-hostile targets, i.e. personnel carrying crew-served, anti-armor, or IED weapons. There are many cases on record of Iraqi insurgents escaping allied air attack simply because they hid their weapons out of sight of the FAC of crew of the attacking aircraft. But those were the rules then; they have been changed by the current administration.

      • Thor

        Good points all! And, in theory, it is consistent with the George Tenet principle of relying solely on technology without human confirmation. It seems the powers that be have totally forgotten what was learned under Kennedy…Bay of Pigs ring a bell?

  • Jim

    Drones = Targets

    • Thor

      “Drones = Targets”…drones target Jim…Jim = target.

      Sorry…couldn’t resist.

  • John Wilch (TSgt, USAF Ret.)

    Folks, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. Sure, there are some civies getting killed and the reason is the the BADDIES are hiding among them and when we launch an attack against their hiding places, you know what can happen if your are smart enough not to listen to those idiots (anti-military/Government) that do not like anything that speaks of Military/Governmental action.

    It just like it when a group of idiots (Terrorist) attack our boys (soldiers) on the ground and when they realise that they have bitten off more than the can handle and run away take any weapons that their friends have dropped. What do you get dead (civies) when in fact you have dead Terrorist with no weapons.

    • Michael Jay

      Sounds like you are describing collateral damage. If your family is on the ground; maybe you would think about it twice. As a former USAF fighter piolit in Nam; even with intel we were always double checking that what we were told was correct, even it we had to do a flyby. Once released, you can’t take it back. Innocents are innocent.

      • Sanders

        Mike, Thanks for your service and thanks for the clarification.

  • eric slezak

    I guess when you have no backbone it’s easy to sit you’r asses in the oval office and kill people. next it will be the american people , like do as we say or else. this is just dangerous. Does’nt anyone see it , like the writing on the walls. So now we have china& russia to worrie about now ourselvesn. GOD BLESS THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA. PRAY FOR TIME…………

  • Thinking About

    It is called stand your ground, there is reasonable fear of our neighbors and those who terrorize others so we arm ourselves and kill them.

    • http://teamlaw.org Jazzabelle

      Uhm … I believe “stand your ground” means if you are legitimately in a place where you are allowed to be, and someone attacks you, you can stand your ground and fight back. I DON’T think it means you can invade another country, topple its government, provoke a terrorist uprising, destabilize the whole region, and when someone shoots at you scream “Stand your ground!” and blow them and everyone standing near them to H***.

    • Marten The Canadian Libertarian

      Did you get that in “Mein Kempf”…Idiot

      • Marten The Canadian Libertarian

        That one was for ThinkigAbout

  • Karolyn

    From what I have heard, the drones are spying on the farmers’ cows to insure that cow manure is not going into the water supply. Nothin’ wrong with that. The people of the world have been spied on for some time now, with more and more cameras on the streets and also with helicopters. I remember hearing a story a few years ago about a couple who were being amorous on their balcony in NYC. They then saw a video of themselves online that was shot by a cop in a helicopter. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of these methods. They help to keep us safe and result in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

    • http://teamlaw.org Jazzabelle

      I’ll take a little manure in my water if it means the drones can go home, OK Karolyn?

      And yes, there IS something wrong with apprehending and prosecuting criminals if it means violating people’s rights to privacy etc.

      I’m with Mike in Nebraska. Let’s turn the spy drones on Washington, D.C. and prosecute THEM. Their crimes are far worse than fooling around on a balcony or letting their cows poo in a stream. They’ve successfully distracted you with the HORRORS of these nonsense crimes that shouldn’t even be crimes, and you don’t even see the hypocrisy that allows them to KILL PEOPLE–without due process–while they have you tied in knots over the quality of the water supply! Good grief!

    • Harry

      I’m glad you think so, If I filmed that they would arrest me for making porn/spying with out there permeation.

    • dcjdavis

      Karolyn, you’ve just got to be one great big leg-puller. At least, I hope you are.

  • http://na Mike in Nebraska

    Karolyn says “They help to keep us safe and result in the apprehension and prosecution of criminals”…… I’m not scared of those criminals Karolyn, it’s the politicians, FED, etc. that scare me. Let’s spy and apprehend/prosecute the worst type of criminals there are.

  • T. Jefferson

    Were these used in Michigan? Why haven’t we heard anything about the use of these and a-10′s against civilians there. Had to get that news from Russia of all places. Total news blackout here.

    • Harry

      I don’t believe our news let alone Russian news. In Russia you report what they tell you there is no open speech. Death for any one that brakes that law. We don’t want that hear. But that is what Obama is trying to do. Why do you think he is attacking the Catholic church. First Amendment attack, if you can change it, you control the U.S!!! If you control the U.S. you can control world.

      • http://wildeyguns.com Wildey

        Take a look at RT.com. You’ve been propagandized.

      • http://wildeyguns.com Wildey

        There’s two things DC hates and fears. The first and Second Amendments. You’d think founders knew what was coming.

      • Harry

        Wildey that is awesome

    • http://wildeyguns.com Wildey

      There’s news and then there’s propaganda. I sometimes thing we haven’t had news since the newspaper magnet William Randolph Hurst cabled the Painter Frederick Remington: You do the painting, I’ll supply the war.

  • http://wildeyguns.com Wildey

    The Command center for B2′s is at Las Vegas Nevada. I imagine Drones are guide from there as well. Are people sipping martini’s and throwing dice guiding Drones in their spare time? Drones are an excellent terror tool for whoever has them. They keep people in submission by creating fear. What other use do they have than spying, killing and breaking things? The bible that was written 2,000 years ago references peoples power to buy and sell. Maybe the author couldn’t visualize what’s happening today but we must admit he was on the mark.

    Oh! Then there’s the M&TIC, military and terror industriai complexes. If killing and breaking things doesn’t go on, their business will be suffering. I never thought of it but Drones are good marketing tools.

  • SJJolly

    A Preditor drone launches a missile with an high explosive warhead on a collection of suspected terrorists, killing 5-10 each time. Along with, maybe, one innocient civilian. Most remarkable accuracy! Couldn’t do better parachuting down a Cyberdyne Mark 1000 Terminator cyborg! :-? IOW, the official figures for “collateral damage” are ****.

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  • Charlie Tall

    Think of a drone as being a bigger cannon with better sights.

    Other than that, there is nothing new under the sun.

  • FEDUP!

    John Welch: how do you defend the constitution and this president at the same time? That sounds like it doesn’t go together at all. Maybe that is why we now have chaos? Ya Think? Thank you for whatever you have done to defend the Constitution. I can’t say the same for this INVASION of the white house!

    • John Wilch (TSgt, USAF Ret.)

      Sir, I didn’t say that I like the idiot that occupies Our House (White House). The oath I took December 20, 1963 stated the I would defend THE CONSTITUTION against all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC, obey the orders of the President of the United States, all those that have been appointed over me. So help me God. I paraphased the oath some but you get the drift. However, when I went through Basic I was also told that there are times that those orders can be disobeyed. Those are the orders that you and others feel are unlawful, say for instance you are told to gun down innocent people.

      You be the judge on how I feel about BHO and his handler MO.

  • FEDUP!

    Thinking About: So you are for STANDING YOUR GROUND EH? I thought democrats hated it when citizens have the right to defend themselves? Care to explain?

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