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First there was “financial innovation,” which was a catch-phrase used by Wall Street, towards the end of the Clinton administration, to push through Gramm-Leach-Bliley, back in 2000. You know? The legislation that overturned Glass-Steagall, along with the financial well-being of the entire country, just a few years later.  Nowadays, it’s “technological innovation.” It’s bringing armed drones to law enforcement throughout the land. But, according to our government, they’ll be equipped with “non-lethal” weapons.


What could possibly go wrong?

Less than three weeks ago, we learned that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has started to implement drone surveillance within its daily law enforcement efforts…

FBI tells Congress it uses drones in U.S.
William Douglas and Kevin Thibodeaux | McClatchy Washington Bureau
Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged Wednesday that the bureau has used unmanned aerial drones for surveillance in the United States and suggested that government needs to develop guidelines as their use grows.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mueller said the bureau has employed drones in “a very, very minimal way and very seldom.”

“I will tell you that our footprint is very small,” he said, responding to a question by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “We have very few and have limited use, and we’re exploring not only the use but also the necessary guidelines for that use.”

Mueller’s comments come amid a growing public debate over privacy and civil liberties spurred by the recent revelation of the National Security Agency’s massive telephone and Internet surveillance program…

Earlier this week, we learned there’s an effort afoot on Capitol Hill which will, tacitly and/or formally, enable local law enforcement throughout the country to use armed drones. Of course, we’re told they’ll be “non-lethal.” From Businessweek/Bloomberg and The Hill, less than 72 hours ago…
Dear FBI: Keep Guns Off Your Drones, Please. Yours, Congress
By Joshua Brustein
July 02, 2013

Want to know what Congress finds disturbing about the FBI’s no-longer-secret domestic drone program? A letter penned by two House members this week and posted online by Hillicon Valley offers a few clues.

Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Ted Poe (R-Tex.) demanded more information about the agency’s drone program, which FBI Director Robert Mueller let slip in a congressional hearing last month. He assured lawmakers that his agents didn’t use drones often and doesn’t have very many of them. Even though the FBI apparently felt the need to start flying the drones before writing rules for their use, Mueller told lawmakers he wasn’t opposed to coming up with some for the future. He said the agency was in the initial stages of creating privacy regulations related to surveillance drones.

But Lofgren and Poe, in their letter, make it clear they want FBI agents to obtain warrants before using drones for surveillance of individuals, and to go to a court before using drones to do generalized snooping. They also want the agency to promise not to equip its drones with lethal weapons. Interestingly, while the lawmakers ask about the FBI’s plans for drones carrying nonlethal weapons, they don’t ask the agency to swear off them.

The requests dovetail with the Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013, a bill in congressional committee since February that doesn’t seek to restrict nonlethal weapons like tear gas on drones…

Bold type is diarist’s emphasis.

Yes, these weaponized, U.S. law enforcement drones will be non-lethal…except when they’re not.

From today’s NY Times

U.S. Border Agency Allows Orhers to Use Its Drones
New York Times
July 4, 2013

As Congress considers a new immigration law that would expand the fleet of unmanned drones along the border, the agency in charge of border protection is increasingly offering the military-grade drones it already owns to domestic law enforcement agencies and has considered equipping them with “nonlethal weapons,” according to documents recently made public.

The documents, which include flight logs over the last three years, were unearthed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

Agencies that have used the 10 Predator drones owned by the Customs and Border Protection Agency have deployed them to investigate fishing violations, search for missing persons and inspect levees along the Mississippi River, among other things…

Happy Inverted Totalitarianism Day!

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A little something from British author and filmmaker David Malone; I think it’s appropriate for today.

(h/t to Naked Capitalism and Zero Hedge)

Secrets and Lies
David Malone
Golem XIV Blog
June 27, 2013

Every credit has its debit, every positive its negative. So for every secret there must be a lie, and every lie must be kept secret.

This is the currency of power today. Fiat truth.

We are not allowed to have any secrets any more.  And yet those who insist they must know the truth about us, who spy upon us to extract our secrets, tell us. in return, only lies.

It is a dangerous, corroding imbalance of power, because lies, like debts, compound…

… Repression is so last century. Why repress when you can simply drown it out. All it takes is for the media outlets to be owned by a few powerful and like- minded friends. A few media moguls and corporate giants, whose plastic pundits raise their voices while the dolly bird presenters flash their thighs. It’s all so full throttle and frantic, and charged with desire and greed.

Anyone who disagrees is a conspiracy theorist. Anyone who breaks ranks is a whistleblower and whistleblowers are domestic terrorists, dysfunctional loners with personality problems and axes to grind.

When the truth is vilified, hunted, gagged and goaled, then the State has chosen to go to war with the nation.

We are at war.

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