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FBI Director Robert Mueller reports -unshockingly to me - that the FBI uses drones but not that often and in limited ways, though, of course, there were zero specifics.

But a law enforcement official told CNN the FBI has used them a little more than a dozen times but did not say when that started. The official said drones are useful in hostage and barricade situations because they operate more quietly and are less visible than traditional aircraft such as helicopters.

 - - - - - - - -

Bresson said the aircraft can only be used to perform surveillance on stationary subjects and the FBI must first get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in a "very confined geographic area."

They used a drone to monitor that situation in Alabama when the crazed man kidnapped the boy and killed the bus driver.

That would seem to be a fine use of technology like this, but.... American Law Enforcement, from your local donut consumers to the FBI, are spectacular at getting something for ostensibly genuine help with 'law enforcement' but it then becomes a tool of privacy violation the moment they get it out of the box. (Thank you, War on Drugs!)

I do not trust the FBI, nor any other government agency in general, but less so now that we have increasing knowledge of how important it is to them (government, law enforcement) to gain access to information about us without having to ask for it or let you know they are getting it.

When I hear these sorts of 'qualifiers- weasel-wordings- "We followed the rules set forth by A, B and C -  I cannot really trust these people to be telling the truth.

And I am certainly not alone: Chuck Grassley, a republican that spends most of his time saying things that make me cringe, confronted Mueller about the potential privacy-invasion drones represent. I cannot reproduce his whole focus here so go read at the link.

Mueller played him off with "our footprint is very small, but no real concrete answers,. because that's how the surveillance game is played. It is rather amusing to have a backward nutjob Republican like Grassley all concerned about 'privacy'. I wonder what HE has to hide....

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein expressed concern over drone use domestically.

"I think the greatest threat to the privacy of Americans is the drone and the use of the drone, and the very few regulations that are on it today and the booming industry of commercial drones," the California Democrat said.

This issue makes 'strange bedfellows': I dislike Feinstein because most of the time she says things I bitter disagree with, here I have to agree. I had to agree with Grassley, which is just bizarre. I assume they have these perspectives as part of their own agendas and not because they are shining examples of the defense of the privacy of the Common People.

Last quote from the article:

Unmanned drone use is becoming more common in the United States although it is not lawful in many cases.
I love this sentence. Drones are in use all over the place in America but they are "not lawful' in most applications.

So shocking.

(That they'd admit that....)

Have a good day, citizen.

Stay out of trouble.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Senator Mark Udall (D. CO) has been working on (19+ / 0-)

    legislation to protect people's privacy from domestic drones;

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    And Al Franken has been one of the lead Senators calling for action in regards to drones and privacy:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:27:25 AM PDT

    •  Followup question from Grassley to Mueller (13+ / 0-)

      What policies and procedures do you have to govern appropriate use of drones over US airspace?

      Mueller:  Uh, well, uh, we're working on those right now.

      Heard this on Bill Press this morning, while he was talking to Sherrod Brown.  So the FBI is using the drones -- in a minimal, limited way, trust us -- but they haven't written any rules to make sure they're doing it legally or safely.

      That's very reassuring.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:54:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The obvious question... (0+ / 0-)

      that no one seems to be asking is..."what type of drones are you using?" It's not that the policy question of how they're being used isn't the most important thing (it is), but the "what type" question is a relevant prerequisite to it.

      Think of it this way; if the FBI is using a fairly typical small UAV, then there are significant limits on the range, duration and other aspects of the surveillance that it can perform. Such vehicles are really only useful for the kind of thing they did with them in the Alabama bus case, not for sustained activity that has real potential for violating privacy rights on a large scale.

      If, on the other hand, we're talking about large UAVs like the Predator, it's a whole different question. Those things have long dwell time, long range, etc., that make them highly effective at invading people's privacy over huge areas. This leaves out, of course, the ability of these drones to be armed as well.

      We need to know much more than we've heard from Mueller so far, but we also need to be asking all the right questions, not just some of them.

      Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

      by Stwriley on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 11:11:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps if Senator War Profiteer (11+ / 0-)

    were as heavily invested in drone technology as she is in URS and Perini, she might feel differently?

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:30:16 AM PDT

  •  Why is this news? police use helicopters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sewaneepat, Pinto Pony, duhban

    police use helicopters all the time.  The government also use drones for border security, that is old news

    •  How many police helicopters have machine gun (7+ / 0-)

      and hellfire missile mounts?  Because the drones they use still have the missile mounts and targeting systems in them.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not enough. (6+ / 0-)

        How else will you teach pick pockets a lesson without a hellfire missile?

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:45:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's not necessarily true - there is a huge (5+ / 0-)

        proliferation of drone designs for domestic use.

        In 2001, the military had just a few Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (U.A.V.s). Now it has more than ten thousand. Later this month, the F.A.A. will present a regulatory regimen enabling law-enforcement departments to fly small drones, and the military contractors will suddenly have some eighteen thousand potential new customers. As of now, only a tiny percentage of municipal and state police departments have any air presence, because most can’t afford helicopters or planes. Small camera-loaded U.A.V.s are much cheaper. The public proposition, at this point, anyway, is not that drones will subjugate or assassinate unwitting citizens but that they will conduct search-and-rescue operations, fight fires, catch bad guys, inspect pipelines, spray crops, count nesting cranes and migrating caribou, and measure weather data and algae growth. For these and other tasks, they are useful and well suited.
        link

        And by small they mean somewhat larger than bumble bee-sized, which apparently the lowest size currently feasible because of battery technology constraints.

        In any event, NYC apparently already does parking enforcement via drone

      •  Police helicopters can easily be fitted with those (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wisper

        weapons, just as easily as a drone.

        So again, no difference and the same laws and policies apply to drones as apply to helicopters.

        •  Helicopters are very large, noisy, and further (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33

          away.  Drones are sneaky little devils that you may not know are even there.  That's the difference.

          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:10:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Drones are as noticable as any helicopter. (0+ / 0-)

            They use turbines just like helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.

            There is precisely zero difference other than the fact that a pilot in an aircraft can do more than a remote pilot.

            All drones do is save some money.

            •  No, there are a lot more differences. The size, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              triv33

              how close they get, the optical images are clearer, etc.  

              I go to a lot of technical events, and, believe me, drones do not equal helicopters.  

              There are a lot of ideas brewing about making drones even smaller.  The size of mosquitoes.  

              But, of course, since our government has always been peace loving and honest, we don't need to worry about them.  Nothing to fear unless you are a bad guy and have lots of bad things to hide.  Right?

              Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

              by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:25:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have no concern over drones whatsoever (0+ / 0-)

                In fact, I fully support the use of them for surveillance under existing laws.

                The Green Tea Party is as dangerous as the original Tea Party.

                by Walt starr on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:39:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What about the Bill of Rights, 4th amendment? (0+ / 0-)

                  Do you support the document our country was founded on?  

                  Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                  by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:48:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What about them? (0+ / 0-)

                    Nothing about using drones for surveillance under current laws would violate the bill of rights or specifically the 4th amendment.

                    The SCOTUS determined long ago that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy once you enter public spaces. Open the door to your house and leave, bang, no reasonable expectation of privacy.

                    So, there's not a problem with using whatever technology is available for surveillance purposes under existing law. Even if they get that super duper mosquito sized drone with high resolution camera capabilities, no problem under current law.

                    There will be abuse but there is abuse today with current technology.

                    You cannot stop technological progress and LEAs will utilize all technology available to them, just as criminals will utilize all technologies available to them.

                    The Green Tea Party is as dangerous as the original Tea Party.

                    by Walt starr on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:01:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly! Windows are an invitation to surveillance (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      burlydee

                      Using a phone is an invitation to let people listen in on your call!

                      Wearing a red dress is an invitation to everyone.

                      Being free is an invitation to slavery...

                      Wait, I think I'm confusing your argument with Loki from Avengers...

                      /snark

                      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

                      by detroitmechworks on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:08:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Tell that to the police who arrest people for (0+ / 0-)

                      filming them roughing up folks.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:20:56 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, that's what they say, but they are breaking (0+ / 0-)

                      the law.  They can say they are legally spying on us all they want over and over again, but that doesn't make it legal.

                      I am a scientist.  I wish with all my heart, I could get a job that would put my brains to use helping people fight diseases, but most of the money is going into this horror police state work.

                      I'm glad that you're happy with the wars and the drone killing and the spying, which is all illegal, but I am not.  

                      I wish the US government would spend that money fighting cancer and develop cures to illnesses, not go to war on whistle blowers who pose a threat to the real criminals: the ones who have been illegally spying on us, deliberately lying us into wars that have maimed and killed hundreds of thousands of people, torturing, committing war crimes, killing innocent people with drones, having kill lists on people who are actually innocent, but never had the right to trial, and much much worse.

                      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                      by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:29:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There is absolutely nothing at all illegal with (0+ / 0-)

                        surveillance on anybody in the public space.

                        Never has been and never will be.

                        The Green Tea Party is as dangerous as the original Tea Party.

                        by Walt starr on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:57:09 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Right to privacy? Ever heard of that? (0+ / 0-)

                          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                          by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:00:04 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Read this story about police arresting people (0+ / 0-)

                          for filming them roughing up citizens in public.  

                          http://www.techdirt.com/...

                          The 4th Amendment bit may not be as widely applicable, since it mainly focuses on the Massachusetts wiretapping law. Here, the court notes that the law only covers audio recording in secret. But there is no indication that Glik did any of his filming in secret. It found the officers' arguments that he could have been doing lots of things on his mobile phone completely uncompelling, stating that the "argument suffers from factual as well as legal flaws."

                          The full ruling is embedded below, but a few choice quotes:

                          Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting "the free discussion of governmental affairs." Mills v. Alabama, 384 U.S. 214, 218 (1966). Moreover, as the Court has noted, "[f]reedom of expression has particular significance with respect to government because '[i]t is here that the state has a special incentive to repress opposition and often wields a more effective power of suppression.'" First Nat'l Bank, 435 U.S. at 777 n.11 (alteration in original) (quoting Thomas Emerson, Toward a General Theory of the First Amendment 9 (1966)). This is particularly true of law enforcement officials, who are granted substantial discretion that may be misused to deprive individuals of their liberties....

                          [....]

                          In our society, police officers are expected to endure significant burdens caused by citizens' exercise of their First Amendment rights. See City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451, 461 (1987) ("[T]he First Amendment protects a significant amount of verbal criticism and challenge directed at police officers."). Indeed, "[t]he freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state." Id. at 462-63. The same restraint demanded of law enforcement officers in the face of "provocative and challenging" speech, id. at 461 (quoting Terminiello v. Chicago, 337 U.S. 1, 4 (1949)), must be expected when they are merely the subject of videotaping that memorializes, without impairing, their work in public spaces.

                          [....]

                          The presence of probable cause was not even arguable here. The allegations of the complaint establish that Glik was openly recording the police officers and that they were aware of his surveillance. For the reasons we have discussed, we see no basis in the law for a reasonable officer to conclude that such a conspicuous act of recording was "secret" merely because the officer did not have actual knowledge of whether audio was being recorded.

                          Emphasis in bold, mine.

                          The keyword here is secret.  If the surveillance is known to the individual, it's legal, if not, it's illegal.

                          Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                          by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 09:08:54 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Not really, fitting a helicopter that was not (0+ / 0-)

          designed to carry weapons with missiles and the necessary targeting system is far more difficult and expensive than mounting a hellfire missile on a Predator/Reaper drone that is already equipped to handle them.  If it was that easy to fit such weapons to aircraft not designed to handle them then it wouldn't be such a big deal that the Gripen fighter aircraft can handle both NATO and Warsaw Pact weaponry.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:17:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How many drones that were used domestically (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wisper

        had those? You need to share this information, CNN doesn't even have it!

        I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

        by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:07:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Drones are more invasive than just plain (6+ / 0-)

      helicopters.

      COps abused helicopters and thermal imaging cameras for awhile before that was (said to be) stopped.

      The drones are newer technology so not as many rules.
      They can proliferate far far faster than helicopters because they are unmanned (or unwomanned)

      And it is a bad precedent.

      But you're a good citizen: no need to worry.

      I have things to hide.

    •  The other, simpler response is that this shit (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, Dallasdoc, 3goldens, CIndyCasella

      is out of control.

    •  Oh, here it is. Nothing new here, we all knew this (4+ / 0-)

      (although the hearing was the first confirmation that the FBI was using drones on American soil) all along. Move along. Yay team.

      "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

      by temptxan on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We knew and it;s not 'surpriing' (0+ / 0-)

        but they have formally said so and at the time America has decided to talk about rampant violations of the 4th Amendment and pervasive unchecked spying.

        Drones are yet another data stream in the vast collection of data-mining avenues open to the government AND corporations.

        Drones are simply a subset of the issue.

    •  Helicopters are louder and further away. We know (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, greenbastard

      about their presence.  The reason it's news is that they are openly admitting that they are using drones here.  They have been denying it up until now.

      Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

      by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:04:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maryland is making a bid to have military drone (8+ / 0-)

    testing based here (assuming the Navy isn't already flyin' 'em out of Patuxent NAS).

    If they set them up at Aberdeen Proving Ground or Edgewood (next door to APG, the place where they kept all the poison gas for decades) they'll be flying over our house, and all over Republican bagster Congressman Andy Harris' 1st District.

    Wonder if that bothers him?

    Or the people who voted for him?

    Too many toys in the toybox. And all it will do is escalate the "war" on "drugs," which every rational American has understood is unwinnable and corrosive. You can't declare war on supply and demand.

    Even our county commissioners (and in rural MD they are largely conservatives no matter what the party label is) are aware of the fact that battling supply is a fool's errand.

    Treatment and lowering demand? Maybe someday.

    Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

    by dadadata on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:33:45 AM PDT

    •  Lowering demand is a an artifact of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OutcastsAndCastoffs, dadadata

      upside-down moralistic thinking. Blame people for wanting drugs to begin with.

      The problem is grossly amplified by the US refusal to acknowledge "hard" and "Soft" drugs and by the UNRELENTING AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT JIHAD on marijuana. It's far more important than anything else, a fact chiseled in stone with their yearly number so what they spent their time doing.

      Legalize marijuana in America and watch the cartels scramble to replace the $8 billion a year they make (allegedly) off marijuana smuggling. It is so fucking simple but so out of the question for Law Enforcement that LOVES this fucking scam.

      Drug Warriors have wanted this sort of privacy-invading ability since Nixon's day, at the very least.

      •  But think of the poor banks! (0+ / 0-)

        Their money laundering profits will dry up.

        They will go bust.

        Civilization as we know it will end because we all know that you can't have civilization without megabanks.

        But at least we could kick back, get stoned, listen to some tunes and contemplate the absurdity of it all.

      •  I'm with you on this. (0+ / 0-)

        But there is a great paper by an economist, late 80s maybe, who said, with inelastic demand for drugs, you cannot "win" by waging war on supply, only by cutting demand. Economic actors will always fill the pipeline back up.

        And jailing people is not what the guy meant when he said its only by lessening demand that the profits, and hence big problems, go away.

        Obviously Americas drug laws are stupid and Prohibitionist.

        Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

        by dadadata on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 03:14:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Are the FBI drones going to have a flashing light (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, CroneWit

    that lets people know who they are being peeped by?

    Without some way to identify who's who when they fly into private spaces, I'd say they're fair game.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 04:40:19 AM PDT

  •  An Unarmed Drone Itself (6+ / 0-)

    Is not a huge problem to me -- especially if it is being used to investigate crimes as they happen or those that have already occurred.

    It's the secret use of surveillance technology to investigate lawful activity that the FBI or other security/intelligence forces considers to be "pre-crime" that is the big concern to me.

    The use of drones to monitor activities like an Occupy Wall Street presence or demonstration would be a very serious abuse of police power.

    Has the FBI done this?

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:07:51 AM PDT

    •  Sweep up everything; things related and not. (0+ / 0-)

      Its the Rumfelds of the world who possess these things that you need to worry about.

    •  Our esteemed federal officials had absolutely... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, CIndyCasella, burlydee

      NOTHING to do with initiating or organizing any effort to suppress, surveil or beat to a bloody pulp the OWS terrorists extremists.

      Our esteemed federal officials have NEVER engaged in any activities aimed at suppressing dirty Commie radical Leftists in our beloved 'Murca.

    •  well, historically, the problem has always been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella
      An Unarmed Drone Itself Is not a huge problem to me -- especially if it is being used to investigate crimes as they happen or those that have already occurred.

      It's the secret use of surveillance technology to investigate lawful activity that the FBI or other security/intelligence forces considers to be "pre-crime" that is the big concern to me.

      that one inevitably creeps into becoming the other.

      Security agencies have the unrelenting tendency to grab whatever information that have capability of grabbing, on anyone they have the opportunity grab it from.  And the legal niceties either get flat-out ignored, or waved away with a "we had to do it for national security reasons".

      The history of the NSA and FBI in particular are full of such instances.

    •  unarmed drones are the foot in the door... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I'm sorry, but there's not enough implicit trust in the world that they won't eventually be "loaded for bear". If not for us, then whom? If for us, then why? All of the terrorists that attacked America died on 9/11. The Patriot Act was passed and ever since our government has been thirsting for power, treasure, and blood. There's no checks and balances, none. Americans have lost the presumption of innocence. We're treated like we are guilty until proven innocent. Our own government does everything in secret, operating under a cloak of unlimited power shrouded in some surreptitious ultra-redacted mode that even our own Congress and Senate doesn't know what the hell is going on half the time. Yet, nothing remains private for us anymore and our lives became open books. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

      "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:53:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good to see you got this on the rec list (6+ / 0-)

    I gave a heads up on this yesterday but, the rox/sux thing dominated the rec list.

    The U.S. has become very much like the place described by Orwell in 1984.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:16:46 AM PDT

    •  Yer most welcome. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dallasdoc, ctexrep, CIndyCasella, allenjo

      I didn't get it on the rec list: Kossacks did. All credit/blame to them.

    •  bah we aren't even close to 1984 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella

      In the time that I have been given,
      I am what I am

      by duhban on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:43:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wrote a short (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella, allenjo

      diary as well....pretty much got poo-poo'd .

      There are a large group of conditioned conformists on this site.....I'm not a good writer so maybe that had something to do with it but most comments were saying "what's the big deal"....."get with the times"

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:36:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll go read your diary right now. Thanks for the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, ctexrep

        link.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:39:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Your diary is great. Love the title. And a lot (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo, ctexrep

        of the meanies are harassing everyone on it.  I'd say it's a great success for them to be there gatekeeping and bullying.

        Congratulations.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:07:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  When the bullies are harassing a diary, you know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ctexrep

        you hit a raw nerve.  It's a badge of honor that they chose your diary to trash.  

        Their meme of the day is "drones are good,"  "everybody is using them,"  "get with the program," ....

        What is the gatekeeping special of the day?

        The plat du jour is:  Propaganda a la drones.

        Oh, I was hoping to eat some of that tasty Propaganda for a War with Syria.

        Well, that went sour when the Health Department discovered the rebels were Al Qaeda and dining on the lung of a Syrian soldier, so we have had to pull that off the menu.

        As soon as everyone forgets, we'll go back to that.

        BTW, you are in good company.  These bullies love to harass Jesselyn Radack.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:15:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just find it sad (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CIndyCasella

          that so many people - what appear to be smart people - are so conditioned to follow authority - good or bad - if you recall - The Milgram Obedience Experiment was conducted to determine how Adolph Eichmann could order the deaths of millions of Jews and testify that he was just following orders.  

          Milgram developed an intimidating shock generator, with shock levels starting at 30 volts and increasing in 15-volt increments all the way up to 450 volts. The many switches were labeled with terms including "slight shock," "moderate shock" and "danger: severe shock." The final two switches were labeled simply with an ominous "XXX."

          Each participant took the role of a "teacher" who would then deliver a shock to the "student" every time an incorrect answer was produced. While the participant believed that he was delivering real shocks to the student, the student was actually a confederate in the experiment who was simply pretending to be shocked.

          As the experiment progressed, the participant would hear the learner plead to be released or even complain about a heart condition. Once the 300-volt level had been reached, the learner banged on the wall and demanded to be released. Beyond this point, the learner became completely silent and refused to answer any more questions. The experimenter then instructed the participant to treat this silence as an incorrect response and deliver a further shock.

          Most participants asked the experimenter whether they should continue. The experimenter issued a series of commands to prod the participant along:
          1."Please continue."
          2."The experiment requires that you continue."
          3."It is absolutely essential that you continue."
          4."You have no other choice, you must go on."

          Unfortunately, the results of the experiment showed that 65% of the participants, would  discharge the maximum shock.  It showcased the dangers of obedience.

          I think there are too many obedient follows of a party or an elected official for my liking.  I truly believe in our constitutional rights and especially our liberty.  I cannot go along with those - especially when they have breached our trust - to just say - it's no big deal...it is a very big deal.

          Thank you for taking your time to read my diary and I'm glad there are still a number of people who agree that intrusion of Government on our rights needs to stop.

          BTW - I am always fond of Jesselyn Radack's diaries - she's one of the most consistent voices for our rights on this site - and she takes her lumps for it because it doesn't always align with a talking point.

          The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

          by ctexrep on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 10:39:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The first time one of these things loses control (0+ / 0-)

    and crashes into an office or school or home, with fatalities, what are they going to say?

    Will the NRA demand ownership of private drones as a way to counter gub'mint drones (or librul drones)?  

    At least there's some good speculative fiction to work on...

  •  yet another example (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    of technology threatening to outstrip the rule of law because Congress is fubared by GOP tantrums

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 05:40:57 AM PDT

  •  20 years from now: (4+ / 0-)

    Hey citizens those flying drones,

    they're so imprecise,

    they're so costly,

    and worst of all, they can only be in one place at one time.


    SO, here are your citizen-drone beanies

    -- wear them proudly.


    We're working on the much more fashionable citizen-drone lapel pins.

    They should be available by the billions, sometime next year.  Stay vigilant. Terror is everywhere.



  •  J. Edgar could have used this new asset to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    finally put those damn subversive underwear undergarment gnomes behind bars.

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:02:12 AM PDT

  •  Freedom in America... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rizzo, Lily O Lady

    Every citizen in America has the freedom to do anything they want as long as it is on the approved activities list.

    Due to the number of laws that have been created to restrict activities, it has become much more efficient to list the things people are allowed to do since the list is much more succinct and concise.

    Americans are guaranteed the right to work if they can find employment.

    Americans are guaranteed the right to travel to and from work.

    Americans are guaranteed the right to...  go back to work...

    That about does it, any questions?

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

    by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:02:24 AM PDT

    •  You forgot the freedom to amass an arsenal and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Buckeye Nut Schell, Lily O Lady

      go to the church of your choice.

      •  I think you mean... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrTerwilliker

        The Christian church of your choice.  The approved Christian Church list is somewhat lengthy and confusing so efforts are being made streamline that list and provide Citizens with a more clear choice of Evangelical or Baptist.  

        Like our new national political slogan, two choices are one too many.

        "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

        by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:47:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  One minor caveat... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rizzo

      Guaranteed right to work is contingent upon a complete analysis of you urine, blood, hair folicles and a complete background check by the FBI and passwords to all of your social media accounts.  References may be verified and validated as well.  Please provide social security numbers for yourself and all of your closest family members so that credit histories can be verified.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 06:30:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's FeinStein, in the Guardian's story (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

    Dianne Feinstein, who is also chair of the Senate intelligence committee, said the issue of drones worried her far more than telephone and internet surveillance, which she believes are subject to sufficient legal oversight.
    Um, Diane?  When FBI/others begin using surveillance drones on Americans, won't they be either (1) getting their info on who to track from the NSA database and/or (2) feeding their info back into the NSA database?

    There's this cognitive ability called 'connecting the dots, DiFi.  We is peepuls whuz haz it.

  •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

    They used helicopters before. The only difference is, the drone is piloted remotely and thus the pilot does not have as many options and can easily miss stuff a pilot in the aircraft would be able to pick up.

    Again, I ask, so what?

  •  I kinda figured that since they had the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    capability, they would be doing it.

    It's interesting that we can't afford food stamps for people and must raise interest rates on student loans, but we've always got money for spying. That's one program that's immune to austerity.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:22:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm currently building my own drone (0+ / 0-)

    ..I would expect  every police department to have these.  They are cheap and effective.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 07:24:18 AM PDT

  •  The good news of course... (0+ / 0-)

    is that this keeps American law enforcement personnel out of harm's way!

    After all, isn't it better that a criminal is bombed from a safe distance rather than force a police officer to risk himself?

    I mean, sure there might be some OTHER criminals around the attacked criminal...  We know they're criminals, because anybody who is killed by a drone strike is by definition a criminal.

    Why do you hate the police?

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jun 20, 2013 at 08:02:52 AM PDT

  •  but but but...Obama promised... (0+ / 0-)

    ...he'll never use drones against us civilians, just them "terrorists"!

    "Before any strike is taken, there must be near certainty that no civilians be killed or injured. The highest standard we can set".
    President Barack Obama
    May 23, 2013

    "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 01:04:49 PM PDT

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