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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/9/12

The Coming Use of Drones in Our "Friendly Skies"

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For those questioning whether the domestic militarization of America is happening or whether we've become a national security state, this latest revelation should not dispel either of those questions.  

In February, President Obama signed into law a requirement that unmanned aircraft be "integrated" into the national airspace by 2015,(who knew?). And in accordance with that law, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is about to choose 6 areas of the country to test pilotless drones to operate within the airspace of the U.S. (and then presumably authorizing their use to operate country-wide).

Presently, all testing of drones have been restricted to the military, the Department of Homeland Security and NASA.

Advocates for the use of drones make them sound benevolent and benign, flying the "friendly skies" to "crop dust, find forest fires, sell houses, shoot movies and assist local police in chasing suspects". [1]     

So now these "wonder weapons", whose record of killing innocents (mistaking them for insurgents) in wedding parties, funeral processions and others while they slept in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia (and who knows where else), while going after a few suspected bad guys, are soon to be proliferating in our skies as well.

As we know, President Obama has fallen in love with these pilotless weapons and increased their use exponentially (as compared to their use by the Bush mob) in war zones without much fanfare or questioning in the MSM. Also the American people apparently find them acceptable.

But to most of the people on the other end of a drones' lethal destruction, there is bitterness, contempt and hatred of the U.S. for their use and survivors vow retribution against us in every way possible.

Just look at the increased killing of American military personnel by Afghan military and security personnel who we trained and "supposedly" our allies. Sure the burning of those Korans was the latest catalyst to ignite these killings in retaliation, but you can bet our drone strikes and missile attacks and the killing of innocents are right up there as casus belli.

But back to drones operating in the U.S.; Is this type of surveillance monitoring necessary in our "supposed" free society? Is it legal? Doesn't it go against the 4 th Amendment of "unreasonable searches" and impinge personal privacy and our civil liberty? Aren't the police supposed to have "reasonable suspicion" of a crime being committed BEFORE going after a suspect? Police drones flying about and sweeping the areas from above aren't going to be able to decipher guilt or innocence of those below them.

What about drones and the general safety in the air juxtaposed with piloted commercial aircraft? Air traffic controllers have all they can deal with coordinating takeoffs and landings. Are they going to be connected with the drone operator sitting at his console to avoid potential catastrophe?

  Just because we've been able to develop the technology of the pilotless drone doesn't make its use ethical, moral or legally justifiable.

From here it seems we've become so enamored with technological gizmos, gadgets and now cyber screen directed warfare that simulates a video game, that we've lost our moral equilibrium.

The use of drones is just another form of madness masquerading as sanity while official propaganda stokes unnecessary fear in the American people that trumps and belies reality.         

[1] "Tests planned for drones to flu U.S. skies" by Brian Bennett, "Tribune Washington Bureau, March 9, 2012

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