female harrier

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beware the military industrial complex...

A couple things on my mind. Is it just me or isn't it a little weird that the Border Patrol loans the local sheriff a predator surveillance drone to fly over a remote North Dakota ranch and bust cattle thieves?  Local police admit they’ve used Predator drones to run at least two dozen surveillance flights in North Dakota alone since June. Congress passed a 2005 law allowing dones to be used to help secure our borders, not for local law enforcement. This is the first arrest on record of American citizens by unmanned spy planes.

My brother in law Michael, who is a high level tech guy in Virginia, told me that some of the new drones are the size of dragonflies. I guess one day, soon I guess, the sight of small unmanned missiles flying over our cities and vaporizing petty shoplifters and other miscreants will be commonplace.

Of course, like usual, the drone operation occurs without any public debate or protest.  Glenn Greenwald has been discussing the issue recently at length recently over at Salon.
Customs officials who own the drones claim there is legal authorization for this usage because they indicated in their budget requests to Congress to purchase the Predators that one purpose was “interior law enforcement support.” But Jane Harman — the former Blue Dog member of Congress who was the Chair of the Homeland Security Sub-Committee at the time the Predator purchases were approved — insists that “no one ever discussed using Predators to help local police serve warrants or do other basic work.”
Beware people. You have allowed them to destroy your basic civil rights and liberties. Once lost, once any new toy like this gets introduced, your liberty is never restored, it's like trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

Now, if you are an American citizen, your government can listen to your phone conversations, read your email, scrutinize your friends and network, investigate your viewing habits on the internet, harass you, detain you, poison your dog, hold you indefinitely, and finally assassinate you, all without a court order or search warrant and nobody is the wiser. Somewhere Phil Dick is turning over in his grave with a wry smile. "See, I told you I wasn't fucking nuts."


Anonymous said...

I've never seen the news headline before. Maybe you should post the farewell speech, it's on youtube. As far as I know, that's when the term was coined, " the military and industrial complex"... but i guess we're just a couple of "tree-hugging conspiracists."

- Whomever

grumpy said...

i like Ike, as they used to say; last Republican president worth his salt; great W2 general, also...btw, thanks for posting the Huxley interview; when i find time i'll watch the whole enchilada.