Armed drones could soon be flying over cities in America
December 11th, 2011 is a day which ushered in a new era in America, it is a day when America saw changes the likes of which we haven’t seen since George W Bush signed the PATRIOT Act, and this change wasn’t for the better. Many Americans probably don’t know what happened on that day, but this was the first time an unmanned drone was used to hunt down an American citizen on American soil and it happened in North Dakota.
At that time I admitted that this seemed like a legitimate use of an unmanned drone but lamented about the possibility of drones flying over cities all across America in the future, as well as the possibility that unmanned drones would start to play a larger role in policing the people with growing authority:
This story might be a benign example of the usage of a Predator drone on American soil, using a drone on a reconnaissance mission to ensure a situation is safe before the police enter a potentially dangerous situation seems harmless enough, but does anyone not think that their usage will become more commonplace as we move forward if we simply accept this? And as Predator drones flying over American soil becomes more commonplace are we to believe that they will not gain the authority to take more enlarged powers in law enforcement
Around that same period of time the Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which contained language which deemed the United States a battleground on the war on terror and gave the government the right to further infringe (more on that later) on our fourth amendment rights by allowing it to arrest and detain American citizens indefinitely, without charge, and without a search warrant. This bill passed in a bipartisan effort with a Republican majority in the House and signed by Barack Obama into law; it is also supported by Mitt Romney, so if you think he will be all that much different than Barack Obama you had better think again.
February 8th, 2012: the Congress passes the FAA Reauthorization Act which included funding of a study on authorizing the use of 30,000 unmanned drones in the skies over America, followed shortly by news that unmanned drones will soon by flying over Washington DC and will be used by government agencies such as Homeland Security, Agriculture, the Energy Department, as well as some college campuses. The use of these drones is set to spread at an alarming rate.
Some will defend these policies by stating that if you are doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about, but that defense is simplistic and naive and misses the point altogether. The point is that if you are doing nothing wrong the government has no business spying on you and infringing on your fourth amendment right but that is exactly what is happening here.
And now for the first time we have law enforcement authorities talking openly about arming these unmanned drones:
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone
First its unmanned drones being used sparingly for reconnaissance missions, then its unarmed drones flying over American cities and spying on American citizens, and then it is drones armed with rubber bullets and tear gas. What’s next…
The quote by James Madison below the image in my header sums it all up: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
When we lose our freedoms and liberties it will not be all done at once, but rather through small, almost undetectable, increments until we wake up one day and realize we are no longer free and actually are living in a police state. Do you think I am overreacting? Just look at the TSA. (Which was created under George W Bush in the PATRIOT Act.)
The TSA is planning to expand its authority from simply infringing on our fourth amendment rights at the airport to doing likewise at train stations and subways, and it looks as if a trial run at patrolling the highways is being conducted by the TSA in Tennessee. Law abiding citizens are being treated like common criminals simply for having the desire or the need to travel. And this is being done to us in the guise of being a well intended attempt at making us just a little bit safer.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having said, “those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety,” yet that is what has happened in America since September 11th, 2001 and we have just sat back and let it happen and over the last year plus we have seen an escalation in this type of legislation. This is what always happens when the government creates a new agency or consumes more power; it manifests like a tumor, and while it may be benign at first it grows malignant over time until we reach the point of no return. The one thing we can hold as certain is the fact that the tumor never shrinks, it becomes larger over the years until it overtakes us and brings us slowly and painfully to our end if it is not detected and removed before it is too late.
This may or not be well intentioned legislation, but someone remind me again what the road to hell is paved with…..