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From the Washington Post:

On the line with the SEAL was the drone operator and a “collector,” an NSA employee at the agency’s gigantic base at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Ga. The collector was controlling electronic surveillance equipment in the airspace over the part of Afghanistan where the CIA had zeroed in on one particular person. The SEAL pleaded with the collector to locate the cellphone in Afghanistan that matched the phone number that the SEAL had just given him, according to someone with knowledge of the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The collector had never before done such a thing. Before even intercepting a cellphone conversation, he was accustomed to first confirming that the user was the person he had been directed to spy on. The conversation would then be translated, analyzed, distilled and, weeks later, if deemed to be interesting, sent around the U.S. intelligence community and the White House.

On that day, though, the minutes mattered.

“We just want you to find the phone!” the SEAL urged. No one cared about the conversation it might be transmitting.

The CIA wanted the phone as a targeting beacon to kill its owner.

By September 2004, a new NSA technique enabled the agency to find cellphones even when they were turned off. JSOC troops called this “The Find,” and it gave them thousands of new targets, including members of a burgeoning al-Qaeda-sponsored insurgency in Iraq, according to members of the unit.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

So the NSA and CIA have been targeting drone strikes at cellphones without first taking the time to be clear who is carrying the phone and what they might be doing.  That's how you end up blowing up weddings, political meetings, and groups of teenagers hanging out at a cafe.

Equally disturbing the NSA is collecting and storing information on every American with a cell phone that would allow them to quickly carry out their assassination via drone.  (I should also add that if you have a 4G enabled tablet, it would seem the government can follow it even when turned off).  Among the things the government absolutely should not be doing is secretly tracking citizens in a way that would allow for their extrajudicial killing.  

It is time we renewed the ban on the US government performing assassinations.  Once that capability has been created it is far to easy to abuse.

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  •  Tip Jar (161+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, One Pissed Off Liberal, Bob Love, blueoasis, DeadHead, 4CasandChlo, Gooserock, Dallasdoc, WisePiper, dharmafarmer, Lepanto, Dianna, phillies, Publius2008, hubcap, Shockwave, cosette, Kentucky Kid, blukat, sawgrass727, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, JML9999, dance you monster, kevinpdx, Lujane, Horace Boothroyd III, Sarahsaturn, white blitz, The Free Agent, zerone, SueM1121, Demeter Rising, david78209, quill, War on Error, prgsvmama26, wader, devis1, bobswern, Dumbo, NearlyNormal, fixxit, bobdevo, markthshark, RuralLiberal, flitedocnm, greycat, SoCaliana, 3rdOption, NonnyO, linkage, Simplify, albrt, ecriddell, worldlotus, RageKage, yet another liberal, Neuroptimalian, Executive Odor, mookins, Ignacio Magaloni, pgm 01, Rosaura, antirove, jadt65, magnuskn, kharma, lotlizard, radarlady, FrY10cK, gulfgal98, artisan, HeartlandLiberal, marina, ChemBob, Kristina40, democracy inaction, glitterscale, UncleCharlie, JDWolverton, Carol in San Antonio, lunachickie, gooderservice, sc kitty, Sun Tzu, Joieau, Buckeye Nut Schell, zerelda, gfv6800, El Zmuenga, BlueDragon, greenbell, MKinTN, Book of Hearts, RichterScale, RabidNation, whenwego, sunny skies, J M F, mslat27, most peculiar mama, HiKa, CroneWit, greenbastard, Jollie Ollie Orange, JesseCW, Geenius at Wrok, karmsy, Medium Head Boy, Its a New Day, Timaeus, mkor7, No one gets out alive, ksp, Lost Left Coaster, vigilant meerkat, semiot, jfromga, shopkeeper, Dem Beans, WheninRome, FutureNow, RantNRaven, humphrey, protectspice, Floande, Steven D, Roadbed Guy, Damnit Janet, SouthernLiberalinMD, Pat K California, joanneleon, hyperstation, eru, Jarrayy, DeminNewJ, GeorgeXVIII, Involuntary Exile, jack 1966, Einsteinia, 3goldens, cardboardurinal, Williston Barrett, schumann, tegrat, number nine dream, Sagebrush Bob, SteveLCo, Wino, Mr Robert, kbman, ColoTim, maryabein, peacestpete, millwood, pixxer, leonard145b, petulans, Teiresias70, QuoVadis, Jantman

    http://www.aeinstein.org/organizations/org/FDTD.pdf From Dictatorship to Democracy, Guide to Non Violent Protests. Electronic Frontiers Foundation Guide to Online Privacy: https://ssd.eff.org/

    by sdelear on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:03:55 PM PDT

  •  Drones used to kill American (39+ / 0-)

    citizens walking around in America? The whole point of using drones is that we have targets in places that are hard for our troops to reach. If they wanted to kill someone here in America, there are plenty of other, lower-tech ways of doing that.

    •  No, I don't think that is the whole point: (47+ / 0-)

      Drone use goes to another level. It goes to another level in war - it used to be that deciding someone should die had to be weighed against someone dying while doing it. Though I certainly do not want our troops killed, the doors opened by "no risk" strikes are a whole new development and not at all good.

      Second, drone strikes here at home should never be allowed under any foreseeable condition. For whatever reason, bombs guided from space and obliterating everything below seem to be more tolerable than, say, strangling someone in the mall. Which, is kind of silly b/c they are no less dead and strangling (sorry, I realize this is sick, but it is a valid point) someone in the mall would be very "directed" - no collateral damage - but witnesses actually seeing someone die, seeing them struggle and seeing the violence, tends to concentrate the mind on the line between civil and savage. FWIW - if the government decides someone needs to be killed (and that is a whole other argument, one worth having), I feel better if it is done right in front of everyone and that they feel comfortable defending their decision.

      Good diary - I think it is probably the best assumption that anything electronically based that has ever hit a satellite, a cable net or a radio tower is in the possession of the government - - a sick thought, but practical given all that we have learned.

      Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

      by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:28:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I find that argument less than convincing. (22+ / 0-)
        It goes to another level in war - it used to be that deciding someone should die had to be weighed against someone dying while doing it.
        The same complaint was leveled against the use of air forces in war instead of purely ground forces; before that, against rifles in war instead of muskets; before that, firearms in war instead of arrows and swords; before that, against the use of arrows instead of swords and thrown spears alone; and on, and on, and on.

        There have always been those who complained that new methods of warfare were somehow less ethical than old ones because those who engaged in them were less at risk than before. Leaders who took those complaints seriously, though, tended to get beaten in wars by those who had no compunctions about fighting in a manner that might have previously been considered something less than honorable..

        If it is considered a good thing that our forces have to risk their lives in order to take out the enemy, then why not maximize that risk and require that all attacks must be carried out with a knife at close quarters? Anything more than that, it seems, would mitigate the risk to our own forces.

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:00:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  why stop at a knife? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe from Lowell, sviscusi

          Let's just go all in and require no weapons while blindfolded with ear plugs.

          (and yes I agree with your argument)

          In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
          Shop Kos Katalogue
          Der Weg ist das Ziel

          by duhban on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:11:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  All very valid points: (19+ / 0-)

          There is nothing to argue against in any one of your points, factually anyway.

          I would point out a couple of things to consider alongside your arguments: Just because that has been the direction of history, doesn't take the point out of those arguments. When war becomes "less personal" it is easier to wage war, period. I think war should be much harder to do or at least hard enough to get people to put more weight in the decision.

          Second - I think Drones are fundamentally different in a way. Despite all the above examples - which are well taken and accurate - each at least involved a person on the battlefield or in the air being shot at themselves. I do think there is a difference between soldiers on each side using sophisticated weapons that have the chance of killing each other and a weapon where the soldier is simply working a shift on base outside Las Vegas while guiding a weapon halfway around the world and firing down upon them - that is just a level that I find distinct from your other examples.

          Now, having said all of that, I can readily admit that I don't want our soldiers killed and I would not want to send them into a battle where their lives would be at risk or taken when I could have sent a machine up to do the same thing. In fact, I would not ever send someone into a high risk situation if there was a machine alternative. That does not negate the fundamental philosophical question regarding whether it is a distinct new level of warfare and whether or not we should even be doing it as policy.

          Your post seems to imply that I am missing the complexity of the argument, I am not. Just as I can readily admit that I would not want to send someone to risk their lives if a machine can do it - one should also be able to admit that where one side can kill without any risk to lives on their side, it totally alters the equation of war, in fact, it ceases to be "war" in any traditional sense, it far more resembles "policy" than war, which was always understood as only engaged in when the consequences of not doing so outweighed the inevitable death to one's own side.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

          by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:17:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dresden and Hiroshima convince me (8+ / 0-)

          The more you make war painless for the warriors the easier it is to kill any number of people anywhere.  Some would justify drones as more surgical but I think that's balanced by the fact that they are so much easier.  They don't destroy so much valuable property.   They don't provoke the same level of international outrage.  They kill intimately without the intimacy of emotion.  They destroy the meaning of murder.  

          We're not only going to obliterate the Constitution.  We're going to obliterate the Ten Commandments.

          •  So, taking your argument to its conclusion... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi

            ...why not advocate a requirement that whenever the American military kills someone, they do it with bare hands or hand weapons alone at close quarters? No missiles, no bombs, no artillery, no guns.

            That would seem to me to be the policy that would best fulfill the criteria you set up as ideals for war. It would render the killing most "meaningful," afford the greatest "intimacy of emotion," and make war extremely painful for the warriors (as they'd likely be injured, captured and potentially tortured, or killed outright).

            (Not that war being extremely painful for the warriors has ever stopped their leaders from sending them into the slaughterhouse. Witness World War I, for example.)

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:32:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What's the point of an utterly illogical (9+ / 0-)

              conclusion?

              T"Why not just nuke any nation we're at war with to oblivion"?

              The first question is whether to live of non combatants have any value.  You've decided they don't.

              That means you're no longer a part of this conversation, which is occurring between people who all agree that those lives do have value and who are discussing what are reasonable ways to protect those lives.

              You're entirely off topic, and derailing.  You need to be writing your own diary about your view that it's far better to massacre Muslims than to risk the life one Real "Murican who signed up for the job of killing people.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:44:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for telling me what I think and value. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sviscusi

                I'm obviously not qualified to determine on my own what I think or value.

                Since you know me so well from having read words associated with my name on a website, and since you are clearly so much wiser and purer in conscience than me, you are clearly qualified to determine for me what my thoughts and values are, and impose those on me.

                Clearly, all of the information you needed to make your wise and consideréd judgment about my views can be found in my previous two comments, which demonstrate that my opinion appears to disagree with yours, something that is obviously determinative of my entire value system and which leads to the rather obvious conclusion that anything you stand for, I stand against.

                The fact that you have never actually met me in person only makes you more qualified to impose your view of what I think and value upon me, since your judgment is thus not clouded by such things as having actually met me, gotten to know my personality, or had any kind of conversation with me.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:02:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You did determine on your own what you value. (0+ / 0-)

                  You told us it's NOT civilian life.

                  Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

                  by JesseCW on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:56:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  When did I tell you that? (0+ / 0-)

                    Please feel free to quote me, with a link to the relevant content.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:00:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  We've become the George Zimmerman nation state (7+ / 0-)

              The more disconnected we are from the carnage we inflict on others, the more astonished we are that anyone would dare fight back.  The unlearned lesson of 9/11 is that the United States is not so exceptional that it has the divine right not to be attacked.  Yet because we still maintain the privilege of superpower status, we still believe that 100% safety is a reasonable expectation.  But to maintain that unreasonable expectation we have to watch everyone everywhere and be able to deploy any weapon anywhere in an increasingly preemptive manner.  Our technology enables us to believe that this is cost free though we have to go to increasingly acrobatic budget contortions to hide the financial costs, we're still managing to avoid most of the physical costs.  But we're in a gated community bubble.  

              We've become the George Zimmerman of nations and so far we've been able to get ourselves acquitted.  I expect that won't last.

              •  I don't entirely disagree with your comment. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know where in my comment you gathered the suggestion that I think America is blameless or that drone strikes are 100% justified, or even that criticism of drone strikes as removing the human element doesn't have some place in the discussion.

                Rather, I was suggesting that criticism of drones as removing the human element from combat should not be our sole or even our dominant lens for approaching this issue, because that would lead us down a path where any method of war that decreases the "emotional intimacy" of combat, or which makes war more "painless" for the warriors, necessarily makes combat less "meaningful" and thus is to be eschewed.

                In my opinion, that would be an overly-simplistic lens, which taken to its logical conclusion would suggest that any combat that isn't purely hand-to-hand is necessarily and intrinsically more immoral than hand-to-hand combat, and thus that the only truly moral path would be to require that all combat be a hand-to-hand battle.

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:30:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree, I'm not suggesting we return to the spear (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  3goldens, maryabein

                  but I do think that as war becomes more like games and games become more like war we lose an important element of restraint.   That is probably even more dangerous for the public and politicians than for the military.  Consider how the press enjoyed broadcasting the first few days of the Iraq War as entertainment.  

                  •  I can certainly see that argument... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...but again, I'm not sure what quality there inheres in drones that doesn't inhere in modern warfare in general.

                    As you point out, the first days of the second Iraq War were illustrative—but if I'm recalling correctly, those initial strikes were carried out by manned jets and artillery, not drones.

                    And because at that point so few of the American public had served in the military, particularly in wartime, they weren't nearly as well aware of the carnage and suffering being caused.

                    It seems to me that the corrective to this is more exposure for the American public to the horrors of war generally, through traditional (if possible) and alternative media.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:47:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Like those kooks who "Complained" about (6+ / 0-)

          mustard gas.

          We should never listen to maniacs like that.

          Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

          by JesseCW on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:40:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So we decide what's acceptable and what isn't. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not advocating an amoral process, just a process that has a bit more complexity than the philosophy of "anything that makes war less risky for our warriors is bad."

            If that principle alone truly is your sole guiding philosophy, then you stand in agreement with those who believed that there was something inherently immoral about the use of longbows, rifles, artillery, or air forces in war, as each of those developments put the warrior at significantly less risk than hand-to-hand combat.

            I think things like drone strikes do need serious discussion, particularly given the ease with which they enable offensive strikes anywhere on the globe. But the discussion shouldn't revolve around a reductivist and simplistic notion that anything that reduces the risk to the lives of those engaging in war is necessarily worse than its alternative. We can do better than that.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who would you rather have decide the issue? (5+ / 0-)

              Should we abandon the discussion to the experts?

              I prefer having more people in that discussion. A lot more. And that includes people on the blogosphere because, guess what, there's very little actual discussion going on anywhere else. The MSM is a mess.

              I, like Jesse, have a problem with a person in a room with a computer thousands of miles away from the conflict can push a button and end a life, and if you'd look at this famous study, you'd have that problem too. This is not about guns making it easier to kill, which they do, this is about being outside the situation entirely, in such a way that the people being bombed aren't even real to you. That is a dangerous situation. Extrapolate as you like to "Well, you must mean we shouldn't have an Air Force, then" --the fact of what happens when people can kill or torment people without seeing them has been scientifically established and is a very serious matter:

              Milgram's famous experiment

              Several experiments varied the immediacy of the teacher and learner. Generally, when the victim's physical immediacy was increased, the participant's compliance decreased. The participant's compliance also decreased when the authority's physical immediacy decreased (Experiments 1–4). For example, in Experiment 2, where participants received telephonic instructions from the experimenter, compliance decreased to 21 percent. Interestingly, some participants deceived the experimenter by pretending to continue the experiment. In the variation where the "learner's" physical immediacy was closest, where participants had to physically hold the "learner's" arm onto a shock plate, compliance decreased. Under that condition, 30 percent of participants completed the experiment.
              When the person administering shocks could neither see nor hear the supposed recipient of the shocks, compliance went through the roof.

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:46:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think you're putting words in my mouth. (0+ / 0-)
                Who would you rather have decide the issue?

                Should we abandon the discussion to the experts?

                When did I say that? Of course we shouldn't. Saying that the discussion should take into account the notion that there is more than one "good" at play here, and that there are competing interests that deserve to be balanced, is not suggesting that the discussion be "abandoned to the experts."

                We all are capable of engaging in and will profit from a discussion that takes into account the whole of the landscape surrounding this issue, rather than a reductivism to philosophies which, when played out, don't make any sense.

                That is not my saying that the notion that drone strikes disconnect the person doing the killing from the person(s) they kill does not have a place in that discussion—merely that a simplistic version of that notion, in which we judge a military technology or tactic based solely on the amount of risk it bears to the person engaging in it, should not be the sole lens through which we view the issue, as seemed to be the case in some of the comments to which I am replying in this post.

                What differentiates the person flying the drone, who is presumably disconnected from his or her target, from the person who launched the cruise missile in similar strikes in Gulf War I and didn't see the people in the buildings the missile destroyed, the person who dropped the bombs in World War II or Vietnam and didn't see the people they landed on, the person who loaded the artillery in World War II and lobbed the shell never to see the people it hit a few miles away?

                I'm not saying those are all the same thing, but I am saying that we need to come up with an answer that addresses the fact that the capacity for killing someone without having ever seen their face has existed for some time now, and takes into account the nuances of this fact rather than engaging in a simplistic equation of "more risk to the soldier = more ethical."

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:58:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not a psychologist, but I'd say there's (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  maryabein, greenbell, lotlizard

                  probably a profoundly different impact on a pilot flying above Japan or Vietnam dropping bombs on people he can't see far below, versus a man at a computer terminal pushing buttons in a building in Fort Meade or Fairfax County and then leaving the building and going to a Panera or a Starbuck's for lunch or a coffee, then going back in and pushing some more buttons and killing some more people, and then going home, cursing the Beltway traffic, and kicking back with some sports on ESPN.

                  For one thing, the pilots in WWII and Vietnam were at war, in a war environment, in a military situation. I find it impossible to believe that the death of both targets and fellow soldiers would not feel much more real when you are in a foreign country engaged in military activities in a military situation, rather than when you are stateside, surrounded by all the normal and comfortable routines of ordinary life.

                  However, since I'm not a psychologist, and I don't know of studies done on participants in drone strikes, I have no scientific information to back this up.

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:08:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I can certainly see that point of view... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SouthernLiberalinMD

                    ...and agree to it, to the extent that my knowledge is as limited as yours—but I still don't see that as something that inheres in the drones themselves, only to our policies surrounding them.

                    Presumably, your objection (which I suspect is accurate at least to some degree, even if I have no more science than you do on it), could be answered by stationing drone pilots at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, rather than Fort Meade or a converted cargo container outside Las Vegas, where they're surrounded by warfare like the pilots in Vietnam or World War II.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:41:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  8th Air Force & UK Bomber Command suffered heavy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    SouthernLiberalinMD

                    losses while bombing Germany and the rest of continental Europe.  They had a much higher death rate than did UK and U.S. infantry.

                    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

                    by lysias on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:23:53 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK, and this is also good information (0+ / 0-)

                      b/c, like many people (I suspect) I tend to think of ground-pounders as being the ones who have to slog through the really dirty awful stuff and take it on the chin, while the pilots sail far above in more of a finesse game. Which is unfair to the pilots, honestly, and thanks for pointing that out.

                      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  There seems little difference (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenbell, lotlizard

              (in the experience of the "warrior") between piloting a weaponized drone and playing a violent video game. Both activities are perceptually divorced from physical reality, and neither activity exposes the "warrior" to any actual risk.

              Considering the great popularity of violent video games, this is disturbing. Certainly the targets of drone strikes do not enjoy the privilege of this disconnect between the virtual and the actual -- a privilege which allows the drone pilot to completely divorce his actions from the physical consequences of his actions.

              It's a morally hazardous business, to say the least.

              •  I don't disagree that it's morally hazardous. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                native, sviscusi

                But how is it inherently different from launching cruise missiles, dropping bombs from 20,000 feet in an airspace controlled entirely by your side, or launching an artillery shell a few miles from your safely-held territory over the enemy's lines?

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:00:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Yes. We decide what's acceptable and what isn't. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              native, 4kedtongue, lotlizard

              Our military is supposed to work for us, not the other way around.

              If we don't want our military slaughtering civilians, then it's our responsibility to prevent them from doing so.

              I stand with those who decided to require fully metal jacketed rounds to reduce grievous injury.  I stand with those who decided to prohibit the use of biological and chemical weapons.  I stand with those civilized nations who have, unlike my own, banned weapons like land mines and cluster bombs which by their nature target civilians.

              You don't stand with us.  We have every right to judge you for your refusal to so so.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:00:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Is this about the drones, or the policy? (0+ / 0-)
                If we don't want our military slaughtering civilians, then it's our responsibility to prevent them from doing so.
                So is this about drones, or is this about "our military slaughtering civilians"? I'm sure you're aware that militaries killing civilians is not exactly a new development in human history, and did not begin when we invented the unmanned drone; if human history proves nothing else, it's that military forces don't really need high-tech tools to engage in abuses and kill civilians.

                So is this about the drones, or is this about the policy? Would you feel better about it if the military said tomorrow that it was permanently abandoning the use of drones, and sending in manned jets to launch the same missiles at the same targets that the drones were striking before? I highly doubt that you would.

                So why are you suggesting that the problems inhere somehow in the unmanned drones themselves, rather than in the policy that would be launching manned jets or cruise missiles if the drones weren't there?

                I stand with those who decided to require fully metal jacketed rounds to reduce grievous injury.  I stand with those who decided to prohibit the use of biological and chemical weapons.  I stand with those civilized nations who have, unlike my own, banned weapons like land mines and cluster bombs which by their nature target civilians.
                And exactly what quality inherent to drones is such that they by their nature target civilians like cluster bombs or land mines, or by their nature represent an unusually abusive or torturous way to injure or kill people like hollow-point bullets or biological and chemical weapons?

                To my knowledge, the ordnance used by unmanned drones is not substantially or qualitatively different than that used by manned jets, so unless you're also advocating that airstrikes in manned jets be banned, this isn't a situation like chemical or biological weapons or hollow-point bullets.

                And given that drones, like manned jets and unlike land mines or cluster bombs, do allow for selective rather than indiscriminate targeting, I don't see how they would by their nature target civilians as land mines or cluster bombs do. Like manned jets, cruise missiles, artillery, or rifles, drones hit whatever our personnel point them at.

                So, again, it seems to me that your problem doesn't stem from the nature of drones themselves, but rather from the policy that decides what we're pointing them at. Why is it that you're making this about drones, then, as if the tool is the policy, rather than about the policy itself?

                You don't stand with us.  We have every right to judge you for your refusal to so so.
                So it's "you're with us or you're against us," huh? Where have I heard that before?

                "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:37:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe it's because the drone and the policy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard

                  grew up together.   We've allowed ourselves to believe that for some reason the drone is exempt from rules of war.  We don't launch missiles or drop bombs with the utter disregard for the boundaries of sovereign states that we do with drones.  

                  And that mentality is spilling over to this country as well where we now believe it's OK to send a drone over someone's sovereign back yard to spy on what they're doing.  

                  •  That doesn't mean they're inherently linked. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sviscusi

                    I don't disagree that there is a link there, but the link between the drones and the policies used to decide where to point them and when is contingent, not absolute.

                    Treating this linkage as if it were absolute leads to situations where we see arguments that don't make sense, as we see above—that drones are somehow inherently torturous on the level of chemical or biological weapons, or indiscriminate killers like land mines or cluster bombs, despite their using ordnance that's no different from that used in manned jets and having a high degree of target discrimination unlike land mines or cluster bombs.

                    Instead, let's discuss the policy and the tool as the separate things they really are—discussing the inherent limitations and effects of the tool, and the inherent limitations and moral problems with the policy, as things that are not inherently linked to one another. Do they affect one another? Certainly. But that doesn't mean that our policies with regards to the use of drones cannot change even if the drones remain the same.

                    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

                    by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:10:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Well You've Convinced Me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi

            We shouldn't be using drones to deploy mustard gas.

            Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

            by TooFolkGR on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:10:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I long suffered from the delusion that (0+ / 0-)

                everyone had an innate sense of right and wrong that it was at least theoretically possible to reach.

              You disabused me of that notion entirely.

              Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

              by JesseCW on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 11:02:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  so chemical weapons are just fine? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, radical simplicity

          nukes even better?
            both at one time were NEW weapons replacing outdated weapons. sarin gas outdated phosgene gas does that make it an acceptable weapon to use?
            discussion on whether a weapon is appropriate is a fair discussion and the use of or even having weapons that the majority of nations may find unacceptable can have major consequences for a nation and its people IE Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran.  A weapon may win on the battlefield at the moment yet lose the war.  

           

          •  Please see my reply to the subthread... (0+ / 0-)

            ...immediately above this one.

            "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

            by JamesGG on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:58:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Drones are not going away. 76 nations & counting (19+ / 0-)

        The impact of warfighting automotaons will be profound. But they are not going away. 76 nations are using them or deploying the flying versions. Land and sea equivalents are also coming.

        Our objective will have to be along the lines of "how will they be used" because "ban them entirely" just does not seem to be in the cards.

        •  Crrrrrrap. Forgot the link (again) (12+ / 0-)

          A Guardian article on it

          A Google list of more. Note Wiki has several articles. The nose count varies, but the number just gets bigger. A couple months when I checked it was 64 nations. Today 76.

          •  And that makes it okay? (7+ / 0-)

            WHEN do we engage brain first?

            Our problem now is that WE fear our pols, they do NOT fear us - that needs changing!

            by glitterscale on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:24:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Quicklund, I clicked on the first link (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ColoTim, native, maryabein, lotlizard

            you provided and actually that's not from The Guardian-----it goes to a site titled Global Research (here's the link for it).  It's pretty interesting----I encourage people to check out that article as well as the website. The focus of the article is a report from the GAO of the U.S. that came out in February, 2011.  Here's a couple of interesting items from the article and/or the GAO report as quoted in the article:
            According to the report:

            “The majority of foreign UAVs that countries have acquired fall within the tactical category. Tactical UAVs primarily conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions and typically have a limited operational range of at most 300 kilometres. However, some more advanced varieties are capable of performing intelligence collection, targeting, or attack missions. Mini UAVs were also frequently acquired across the globe during this period.”
            It should be noted that currently only the US, UK and Israel are known to have used armed UAVs.

            The report goes on: “Currently, there are over 50 countries developing more than 900 different UAV systems. This growth is attributed to countries seeing the success of the United States with UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan and deciding to invest resources into UAV development to compete economically and militarily in this emerging area.”

            There's much more in the article----it's well worth the read.  Clearly, the MIC sees a goldmine in the development, sale, and use of drones.

            "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

            by 3goldens on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:32:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Did I say "ban them entirely" or imply its possibl (15+ / 0-)

          I am a little miffed at my comment being taken to some extreme. There is no way to "ban" anything in war and I didn't say they should be, I merely noted that it fundamentally altered the equation - for now, I guess, since we are the only side in a conflict that has them now.

          They can and should be "banned" for domestic use - weaponized drones anyway. Make all the argument's one wants, I would argue that the very real danger posed would outweigh the benefits.

          Given that many countries have drones (though they almost require satellites, so maybe that is overstating it) perhaps my point about "the equation" will go away as each side will have to weigh that the other side can do the same thing.

          I do realize that the cat is out of the bag and no weapon that is effective is ever tossed aside, except for a more effective one. Again, that doesn't change the larger point that if one can kill with no risk to themselves, the fundamental understanding of war is changed, at least in my opinion.

          Sorry that I sound so grumpy, I am just tired and probably misdirecting it.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

          by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:26:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was a general comment not aimed at you (5+ / 0-)

            The sentiment drones should just be done away with is not uncommon here. I was typing a quick note before I returned some DVDs to the store so sorry if I worded it badly. (hate late charges).

            •  I'm with you on that: (12+ / 0-)

              I hate late charges too.

              I'm also with you on wording things, I know I am too grumpy and shouldn't even be commenting and that is why I wrote the apology up top, I was just too tired to re-write the whole comment - how is that for a winning combo?

              It is a little silly to be arguing that drones should be done away with entirely because, as you say, they won't be so why have the argument. However, chemical weapons were once used and thought to be a needed weapon and though they aren't totally gone, they are at least "illegal" in the laws of war and looked at with disdain, perhaps drones could eventually be thought of similarly?

              Probably not, I just wish we were a quarter as sophisticated in our ethical considerations as we are in our technical abilities.

              Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

              by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:19:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since I returned I read your OP (7+ / 0-)

                And what you said is exactly the stuff I have in mind. What are the war ethics of sending a radio-controlled tank at a location defended by armed soldiers? Will the perceived lack of risk seduce national  populations to go to war too easily?  Stuff like that.

                But your point about gas warfare is a good one. One I'd not considered. So there is that sort of stuff to provide hope.

                But enough of that hope stuff. How about upping the revulsion level. Our grandkids will be debating the war ethics of genentically engineering new life forms to act as little kamakazee pilots in every cruise missile or hell every bullet. instead of arming soldiers we will arm them, as in adding on a couple spares with laser beams instead of hands - sorta stuff.

                Pandora has got more in her box for us yet and it's even uglier. Probably.

        •  Remember that flick, The Screamers, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, markthshark, JesseCW

          based on Philip K. Dick's, The Second Variety?  The ideal killing machine was a robot that looked like a sad little refugee boy holding a teddy bear.  They were mass produced and let loose on the battle field.

          Maybe that's what we need for the next generation drones.

          •  Did you reeally say? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo, Quicklund

            That that is "maybe" what we need for the next generation?

            I really hope that you just misfired on satire - as in trying to say just how sick that is.

            Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick: The "party of Jesus" wouldn't invite him to their convention - fearing his "platform."

            by 4CasandChlo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:47:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That one escaped my reach (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo, marina, 3goldens

            Rare for a sci-fi book in my youth to escape my assimilation. But that one does not ring a bell.

          •  I do remember that movie (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            native, Dumbo

            and agree its likely that we will at some point have problems with our appetite for destruction exceeding our stomach for the consequences.

            As I recall there were improvements on the refugee with the teddybear that it was hard to tell from the people you were working with.

            Our human imagination can be a wonderful thing as long as we manage to resist our impulse to see what happens if we do all that we can do.

            Once we hand over the decision making process to our robots AI logic the problems sticking to the prime directive and not finding its futile to resist will make screamers and the rest of the I robot genre seem quaint

            I think the government knows it can't be trusted with its own technology and maybe is a bit scared of the tools it is creating for do it yourselfers.

            Lets begin with attempts to ban civilian drones, 3d printer receivers, advanced communications and control that can hack into and gain control of the NSA's database, connect a cellphone number with a drone and maybe just for fun take out Scalia sometime while he's mouthing off to the press.

            Personally I don't carry a cellphone anymore and have resisted the urge to be current with technology. I think the state of my art is somewhere in the sixteenth century at the moment, limited to Newtonian fluxions physics and alchemy with a few infernal devices around somewhat advanced for my time just for good measure.

            Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

            by rktect on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:59:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually The Hot Chick Was More Effective (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dumbo

            ...than the kid.  They shot the kid right in his FACE immediately.  :)

            Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

            by TooFolkGR on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:12:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How To Fool Them? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund

          One thing's for sure, the more they're used, the quicker they'll figure out how to fool them.

          Several hundred blow up sex dolls filled with 99 degree air scattered over a large area mixed in with groups of snipers?  Cell phones as bait scattered around a massive area?  Jammers?  I never understood how pathetic a government Pakistan is where we buy them off and their military stand by unwilling and/or powerless to shoot down the US drones killing their own people.

      •  Snowden put phones in a refrigerator for a reason (30+ / 0-)
        Why Snowden Asked Visitors in Hong Kong to Refrigerate Their Phones
        By HEATHER MURPHY
        New York Times’ Lede Blog
        June 25, 2013, 9:41 am

        Before a dinner of pizza and fried chicken late Sunday in Hong Kong, Edward J. Snowden insisted that a group of lawyers advising him in the Chinese territory “hide their cellphones in the refrigerator of the home where he was staying, to block any eavesdropping,” as my colleague Keith Bradsher reported.

        Why a refrigerator? The answer does not, as some might assume, have anything to do with temperature. In fact, it does not matter particularly if the refrigerator was plugged in. It is the materials that make up refrigerator walls that could potentially turn them into anti-eavesdropping devices…

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:37:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Last year Americans approval rate of drone use (0+ / 0-)

        For targeted killing was 56-62%, depending on the poll.

        Suddenly everyone is starting to condemn drone usage and the media is reporting story after story about the evils of drone strikes.  Do drones pose a danger only in America?

        Supposedly Two drones are destroyed in Florida within a week of each other, one of them reported destroyed with a self destruct mechanism and the media doesn't report on the danger of unmanned drones, they report on use of drones in America.

        Why does the media  report about the privacy implications of drones only when a drone is destroyed.  What danger does a destroyed drone pose to the privacy of Americans?

        If cell phones didn't have a GPS locator that cannot be turned off,, no one could track the phones.

        So lets condemn the phone companies manufacturing phones that dont have removal batteries, that don't turn off when turned off, and are allowing their product to be used against their customers.

        Condemning the NSA and government is just stupidity when it's the telecommunications corporations at fault.

        •  You can't divorce the govt from the corporations (6+ / 0-)

          they are for too enmeshed with each other

          Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

          by The Dead Man on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:22:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  sure. drones are a way of deflecting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena

          anti-war sentiment. why do most people oppose war? because they don't want their sons, brothers, lovers, to be maimed or killed.

          Well...for all your needs...we now have the bloodless (at least on your side) war! Your kid can kill hundreds of people and never risk a wound.

          How many parents aren't going to go for that?

          The other possibility, that maybe we shouldn't be fucking shooting at so many goddamned people all the time, totally falls off the radar. And we enable the MIC to be able to sell a whole new range of products, as opposed to having to worry about defending their budgets.

          Mission Accomplished!

          As far as blaming telecomms while excusing the NSA, that's such a dumb talking point that I can hardly stand to take the time to debunk it. It's dumb on the level of the talking point that TransCanada wants to sell the United States its tar sands fuel, and that's why it's building a pipeline from Alberta to Port Arthur.

          Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:55:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's NOT the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4CasandChlo

        thanks for pointing it out so effectively.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:12:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uh... The Whole Point of War (0+ / 0-)

        Is to kill the other guy without getting killed.  Of course, the day will come when everyone has drones, and then we won't gain any tactical advantage from having them.  But that day hasn't arrived yet.

        “No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.”

        --General George S. Patton

        Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

        by TooFolkGR on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:04:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate takeover of government functions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native

        It isn't "government" per se that controls all our "electronically based" info as you said... it is multinational corporations in charge. A marriage of our governing body to these multinational corporations... a marriage called fascism. Only this time in history, their power is global.  

        See "control it all" Hayden as the first example of the dangers to our national security in outsourcing our governing body to corporate interests.

        Start reading here Hayden led the move to intel privatization and go on down the thread...  CroneWit posted excellent information in those comments.


        A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

        by bronte17 on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:35:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good point that doesn't really change the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Jim P, Lujane, sponson

      situation of the government being able to find people without much effort to kill them.

      I don't know that I think that the title of this diary is exactly "on target", as it were, but your contribution to the conversation is, honestly, irrelevant if the government is truly in the position of tracking people with such precision and so little data to make them targets.

    •  You think that's the whole point of drones? (21+ / 0-)

      Ha.

      Ha ha.

      Hahahahahahahahahaha.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:33:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones used to kill Americans (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, but there are lots of tech jocks who prefer ultratech to something simple.

      Restore the Fourth! Save America!

      by phillies on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:37:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would that mean higher tech (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Dead Man, Dallasdoc

      methods wouldn't be used? More convenient, can't be attacked back, and extra bonus: costs $50,000 or so for each one flying over us.

      btw, won't "we put all those drones over your head" be a great "get out the vote" pitch in 2014?


      Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

      by Jim P on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:53:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Read the diary again. Apparently... (13+ / 0-)
      the whole point of using drones is that we have

      phones that are deemed targets no matter who is at the other end of them.  This is the moral flaw we are embracing now as a nation, a conviction that we can and should do whatever the fuck we want to anyone anywhere as long as we get to sit at home and not be accountable.

      •  A specific example of it (19+ / 0-)

        The U.S. military had mistakenly killed Zabet Amanullah, thinking they had killed a shadow deputy district governor.

        Amanullah was campaign manager for his nephew, who was running for parliament. The targeted killing (of the wrong target) was by jetfighter and helicopter, against a campaign procession travelling down the road.

        The mixup was about a cellphone number.

        Questioned about the nearly unbelievable intelligence fuckups that lead to a killing of the wrong person, the U.S. said

        When pressed about the existence – and death – of an actual Zabet Amanullah, [Special Forces] argued that they were not tracking a name, but targeting the telephones.

        Targeted killings and the parallel worlds of US intelligence and Afghanistan, Afghanistan Analysts Network

        that it was all just a jetfighter and helicopter assault against a cellphone anyways.
        •  Targetted killing is assasination (6+ / 0-)

          If the US assassinates anyone it wants to at will, what moral right does the it have to question those who assassinate US officials?

          This is all about viewpoint. One man's assassin is another's terrorist.

        •  And these are just the fuck-ups that we were (4+ / 0-)

          accidentally allowed to become aware of.

          The special ops raid in 2009 didn't get the target but it got his brother-in-law, two pregnant women, and two teenage girls. I wish I could remember the name of the village.

          Anyway, the public relations office floated the story that it was one of those terrible Muslim honor killings. But there were too many people in that village who knew the truth and the bullshit didn't float.

          So the general in charge of that special ops group took a blood offering of goats and cash if I recall correctly. The village elders told him to get the fuck out. Since they didn't take the offering, that means they will take revenge.

          As a Yemeni lawyer recently tweeted, "Every time a child dies in a drone strike, another father goes to war against the U.S."

          Maher Arar. Massive intelligence fuck up not related to drone strikes but it could be you next.

          Everybody please remember Maher Arar.

          Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

          by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:42:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ever heard of "mission creep"? (7+ / 0-)

      Did you see the way the FBi, law enforcement, and all the spooks went after the Boston Bomber and the Occupy Protestors?

      Apparently many of these decisions are made by lower level people who may not always target the right people.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:24:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ATENTION ALL KOSSACKS (5+ / 0-)

      dKos Threadjackers, Inc. is active in this diary.
      Multiple individuals.

      That is all.

      QV

      Good news! You're not paranoid -- the government IS spying on you! ~ John Oliver, "The Daily Show"

      by QuoVadis on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:29:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "persona management software" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, protectspice

        Yes it's a real thing from what I can tell.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

        by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  So it's okay to assassinate Americans on American (6+ / 0-)

      soil?

      That's all cool, so long as they don't use drones?

      Sheesh.

      This place is rushing to hell so fast, we might all burn up on re-entry before we even get there.

    •  Drones have already been used to kill an American (6+ / 0-)

      teenager.

      And yes we do have special ops teams that can kidnap someone off the street. That's why U.S. officials have been indicted in Italy and arrested in Panama.

      What is your point?

      Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

      by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:10:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  why wouldn't they use it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice

      like that guy, admittedly he sounded like a perpetual right wing leaning ass, but he wouldn't give back the neighbor's cows when they wandered onto his property, he threatened the local law when they went to ask him, and they sent out a drone to pinpoint the location of the man and his sons on the ranch with the high tech scanners (ie no need to be in plain sight anymore, they can search the interior of your house easily for you)  for a SWAT style operation against them. If it was deemed too dangerous to send in the officers, why not just let the drone fire.   Do you really think that won't happen here?

    •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      doc2: 'it could never happen here'.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:17:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Targets, yeah, like that 16-yr-old kid (0+ / 0-)

      who was sitting in a really hard-to-reach cafe in Yemen.

      Caves in Afghanistan, I can see. But the initial reporting on Abdulrahman was disingenuous. The whole "he went out into the desert to find his father" narrative completely overshadowed the simple fact that when he was killed, he was sitting at a cafe, in public, eating dinner.

      Wow, that's a really hard place to get to. Really difficult. That's a regular Tora Bora situation.

      As far as whether they'll use drones to kill Joe Schmoe the environmental activist, it depends on whether they want the event to be quieter--less collateral damage--or whether they want to make sure there are no fingerprints on the event.

      My guess is, they'd be more likely to kill Joe in a way similar to what happened to Karen Silkwood. Or maybe just scoop him up and put him into detention, as happened to a Kossack during the Chicago Occupy protests last year. But with so many drones being built and stockpiled, you have to remember the military mentality best described as "If you have a bagful of hammers, everything looks like a nail."

      Reason and logic don't always determine the U.S. gov's choice of tactics.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:22:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Howard Dean said last week (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens
      We should not always assume our government is benign.
      Here's a link to this quote:

      http://www.mediaite.com/...

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:58:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And I just read this: (28+ / 0-)

    SIM card flaw said to allow hijacking of millions of phones

    Vulnerability in the security key that protects the card could allow eavesdropping on phone conversations, fraudulent purchases, or impersonation of the handset's owner, a security researcher warns.
    What could possibly go wrong?




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:18:16 PM PDT

  •  I used to have this client (32+ / 0-)

    Very psychotic and paranoid, aggressive and grouchy with others.

    She told me that she was being stalked by "satellite-guided killer robots". I like a great paranoid delusion and usually won't touch them, especially with someone as quick-tempered as her, but I had a good rapport.

    I asked her if she had any idea how expensive those things are and wondered why our government would blow that kind of money to follow her around.

    "Because I know too much".

    No winning.

    Now she could tell me "It's a lot more cost-effective".

    Heh.

    It was just a matter of time before cell phone triangulation would be used this way.

    But don't smoke pot or feed the poor, right?

  •  Everyone is tracking our cell phones these days (21+ / 0-)

    Which is why I always leave mine in the car these days and give retailers a fake number if they ask for it. Like today, gave a really old landline number I used to have when I was at the mall. God, I hate the mall.

    This NSA thing sucks. It really does.

    What sucks worse is that there are a lot of people who aren't really bothered by it. They know they're being tracked and they don't care anymore.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:30:14 PM PDT

    •  "They" know you're giving a fake name/old number (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MindRayge, Kickemout

      and that your phone is in the car.
      Whatever you do is pointless.

      Ask me how Obamacare has helped my family.

      by cosette on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:55:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They will be bothered. It will get to a point (0+ / 0-)

      where one of two things will happen: Information will be released that finally cracks their shell OR this practice by the government will affect them personally in some form or fashion and then the wailing and the gnashing of teeth will happen.

      Then the big question will be--can we get over our Schadenfreude quickly enough, to help them make a stink about it. Or will it just be too late?

      •  Put a Republican in the exectutive seat and watch (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, SouthernLiberalinMD

        them spin a 180.

        Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

        by The Dead Man on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:36:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't want to put anyone in charge at this point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, tle

          The well is tainted in every direction as far as I am concerned.

        •  There is little point in our arguing with them (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, native, GreenMother

          till then. The ones who are shills or sockpuppets are never going to come to our side, obviously. The ones who are partisans will show up when we have a Republican President.

          It's our job to build a movement so that there's something for them to work with, and work on, at that time.

          Although I'm not sure Wall St will ever let another Republican in the White House. The Democrats are doing a much better job for them.

          Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:19:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sadly what I see is the kind of Democratic stuff (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SouthernLiberalinMD

            I witnessed in my home state back in the 90s. It isn't the kind of Democratic Party activities one wants to see, but sadly it was a sign of things to come.

            The use of the word terrorism to impugn anyone who stands in their way or questions them.

            The use of cops to harass those people.

            Not that the local Repugs are any better with their pet projects of trying to bring back Jim Crow and Comstockery.

            This has always been and will always be about money.

            We have to get the money out of the picture. It's the only way to break this iron-fire triangle down. So long as we don't have working Anti-Trust laws, so long as you have to be a gazillionaire to run for office, then the process will be corrupted beyond belief and no good will come of it.

            We need to bring back Anti-Trust laws, And with this incarnation of the Patriot Act, we need a Constitutional Amendment created a wall between Corporation and State. Otherwise nothing will do will amount to anything more than pissing into the wind.

    •  Just say no. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      When someone asks for your number, say "No".  I only give out my number if I think it's necessary.  

      It reminds me of the day when every form had a line for your SS#.  Excuse me?  Uh uh.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:02:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Blocking tracking (12+ / 0-)

    There are three paths that do work.

    #1) Faraday cage.  Place your phone in a closed metal box. (Several layers of aluminum foil neatly wrapped should work as well.)  Radio waves cannot enter or leave, so you are unseen. Limitation: You cannot make or receive calls under this condition.

    #2) Remove battery.  The phone is now totally dead.  Limitations: (a) Phone is now totally dead. (b) I will not guarantee that RFID technology cannot track the phone at some range.

    #3) Do you actually need to throw away huge amounts of money on one of these things?  That which you do not own cannot be tracked.

    Restore the Fourth! Save America!

    by phillies on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:36:35 PM PDT

    •  #4) know when and how to shut off your phone (3+ / 0-)

      The fact is that most of us live most of our lives off the interest radar of the surveillance apparatus. Practically speaking, there's no point shutting off your phone all the time, because then it would be useless. However, there may be times when you won't want to be monitored, such as when you are planning a protest, or working to get union representation, etc. In those cases you should know that you may be under surveillance, and know how to minimize the risk of "incriminating" data collection: shutting off your phone, encrypted communication, anonymizing your browsing, etc.

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are repeated public reports (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        that it is possible to make espionage use of a phone that has nominally been turned off.  I would not depend on this precaution, though it is a good first step.

        Restore the Fourth! Save America!

        by phillies on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:25:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  'nominally' is the key (0+ / 0-)

          I highly doubt that a completely shut off (as in battery removed) phone will be traceable or hackable, etc. I think that these reports are referring to devices left in low power standby modes, which are definitely not off.

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 01:23:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not an expert, but "anonymous" browsing (3+ / 0-)

        is absolutely not safe for anything other than preventing family or friends from viewing porn in your browser history. Everything is still just as tracked externally.

        "I wish you luck on not hating your parents for mixing up such an unthinkable person." --The frickin´ HP--

        by McWaffle on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:34:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  depends on how you define the term (0+ / 0-)

          I didn't want to go into more details in my short comment but what I mean by 'anonymous browsing' is that you go to an internet cafe or an open wifi router somewhere away from where you live and work, and either use a device that doesn't belong to you or run anonymizing software to block access to or spoof identifying details such as MAC address and serial numbers. Then, you would need to avoid common browsing patterns and access of personally identifying websites like gmail.  

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 01:14:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This reminds me of something the Serbs did when (0+ / 0-)

      we were waging an air-only war on Serbia, under Bill Clinton.  We had air-to-surface missiles that would home in on radar stations.  Taking the enemy's anti-aircraft radar out seems to be one of the first things an air force wants to do to get control of the air someplace.  The Serbs realized those missiles would home in on any source of radar.
      Remember a long time ago, some brand of microwave oven was called a "Radar-range"?  (Range, as in stove.)  The microwaves in a microwave oven are at least similar to the ones used by a radar for locating airplanes.  Probably all the Serbs had to do was cut a hole in a side or the top of a microwave oven, put it out someplace they wouldn't mind a missile hitting, and turn it on.  We'd use a missile that probably cost in the mid six figures to take out a $200 microwave oven.  Heck, the long extension cord might have cost as much as the microwave oven.  

      If you know the CIA is after you, you can do the same for the cost of a cell phone.  And if you've got some enemy you want to get even with, put the phone on his roof rather than out in some empty field.  If you can concoct some substitute for the battery that doesn't start powering the phone until after a preset delay, you don't even have to make a quick getaway.

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:47:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This seems to be an urban legend (4+ / 0-)

        The energy output from a microwave oven is a fraction of the energy from a search radar, like a flashlight compared to a searchlight. Then there is the matter of the operating frequency. Ovens operate at the one specific frequency which resonates with H2O molecule vibration. That frequency is in the neighborhood of general search radar (they type to tell you there're planes out there) but it is not at all similar to tracking radar (the type needed to shoot a SAM missile at a plane).

        The point being, the missile software can compare all these characteristics. It seems unlikely ovens would have worked well if at all in 1998. (Hundreds would be needed for each decoy, for just one thing.) But by today those cheap countermeasures are almost certain to be countered by the missile hardware.

        Snopes has some discussion on this but it is hard to follow the formatting.

        Bottom line, the HARM missile has been proven to be very effective. The fact it is out there forces SAM operators to be very, very careful in when they turn on their radars. And a SAM battery with it's radar off is not much of any threat to a plane.

        •  You are correct. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnnySacks, david78209, Quicklund

          The Serbs did use radar decoys, but they weren't microwaves - they were old radars and radars from scrapped jets, whatever powerful transmitter they could find.  "Microwave oven" wouldn't cut it.

          The Serbs came up with some pretty clever ways to try to make their antequated air defenses still be worth something.  >Zoltán Dani in particular did an amazing job training and managing the 250th missile brigade (the linked article is well worth a read).  To the point that he went and swapped out capacitors in the radars themselves to shift them to an incredibly low frequency that they were never designed to handle - one with a tiny fraction the range, but so low that NATO wasn't looking for them and stealths weren't designed to as effectively shut out the signals.

          •  The commander of the Iraqi air defense also (0+ / 0-)

            He studied American helicopter tactics and saw high tension wires as the key to defense. Choppers would have to rise up to clear teh wires, so he positioned his AAA behind them.

            During the drive on Baghdad the elite of the Army's heavy hitters was on the spearhead. 71 of the 72 helicopters involved were either shot down (few) or returned to base damaged. The only one not hit was the flying HQ bird which was positioned to the rear to coordinate. The fastest, hardest hitting brigade in the US Army was essentially knocked out of combat operations in a single day's fighting.

            Makes you wonder how well the US quality-over-quantity theory would have held up against the Soviets they were designed to fight.

            Sorry for the sketchy description. It's been a few years since I read this account. (I think it was in the book, Cobra II.)

            •  Could the wires have been cut? (0+ / 0-)

              Could a heavy plane pull a hook at the end of a strong cable that could cut the wires?  Or would the wires hold, and make the plane crash?

              A few of the towers that hold up the wires could be bombed.  Are those towers a difficult target?  Would knocking them down likely bring the wires to the ground or low enough that the helicopters wouldn't have to rise up to clear them?

              We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

              by david78209 on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 04:45:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for correcting me. (0+ / 0-)

          Sorry to spread an incorrect urban legend.

          We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

          by david78209 on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 04:39:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Out of control. Simply out of control. (10+ / 0-)

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:39:50 PM PDT

  •  approximate targeting, shoot, kill (11+ / 0-)

    the solution to all problems, isn't it?

    I suspect we're losing it

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:41:52 PM PDT

  •  Am I dead? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, jan4insight, marina

    I think I'm dead.
    Nice knowing y'all.

    Ask me how Obamacare has helped my family.

    by cosette on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:47:52 PM PDT

  •  I did not know they could target turned off phones (16+ / 0-)

    This 2006 article seems to explain where this came from;

    FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool

    Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.
    The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."
    "If a phone has in fact been modified to act as a bug, the only way to counteract that is to either have a bugsweeper follow you around 24-7, which is not practical, or to peel the battery off the phone," Atkinson said. Security-conscious corporate executives routinely remove the batteries from their cell phones, he added.
    I wonder if some phones have batteries that are easier to pull out.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:49:15 PM PDT

    •  my guess: only certain phones are vulnerable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave

      It sounds like this was a vulnerability of older feature phones like the Nokia candybar models, which had been popular in developing countries long after having been abandoned here. I seriously doubt that a shut off smartphone of any kind would emit or receive any signal.

      As for removable batteries, currently most Android phones allow battery removal.  

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:08:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the contrary, smartphones are (8+ / 0-)

        more vulnerable. Remember that cell towers are two-way communications, not only one way from the phone. Signals can be sent out to specific handsets, on or off.

        A hidden app or a flaw in the security of an app immediately makes it "wake-able."

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:45:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   'standby' and 'off' are different things (0+ / 0-)

          Mant people mistake standby mode, when you press the power button and the phone screen darkens, for 'turned off'. In that case, yes, the phone will periodically wake and connect to the network, thus giving away your position.

          When you actually shut off a phone (in Android that would be a long press on the power button) , then it can not access the network because the CPU and radio chips have no power. The only thing alive on a shut off phone should be the real-time clock module.

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:55:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why do you think phones no longer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, JesseCW

        Have removal batteries?

        It's not to sell more phones.

    •  Sure, take the battery out. (0+ / 0-)

      I've had my battery come out when I dropped the damned thing.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:20:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Now the terrorists have a new tool (16+ / 0-)

    Why bother blowing yourself up in a car bombing? Just make yourself a target through outrageous communications an leave your cell in a crowded public area.

    Why not? They have tricked our "intelligence" into bombing weddings of adversaries.

  •  and the proof that the NSA is actually killing (8+ / 0-)

    American citizens is what exactly?

    In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
    Shop Kos Katalogue
    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:15:23 PM PDT

    •  No fun, duhban. n/t (3+ / 0-)

      Ask me how Obamacare has helped my family.

      by cosette on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:25:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  pix or it didn't happen! (11+ / 0-)




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:33:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Proposed new dkos diary series: (10+ / 0-)

      I was not killed by an NSA drone last night.
      Check in.

      Ask me how Obamacare has helped my family.

      by cosette on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:38:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not yet (7+ / 0-)

      I suppose we should wait until they kill a bunch before we do anything to stop irresponsible, unnecessary actions like this.

      "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:39:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's potential that's being discussed. (11+ / 0-)

      Surely you understand that.

      If you had such evidence you'd have to be working inside the NSA. If you tried to expose the evidence... well, not many dare to be whistleblowers these days.

      Potential.

      If you can show it's impossible that people unknown to you using methods unknown to you cannot possibly abuse a system in ways unknown to you, then you can dismiss potential.

      We do know for a fact all information is being gathered; that FBI and others can get hold of information on almost anyone they want anytime.


      Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

      by Jim P on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:55:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember people being called conspiracy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother

        theorists when this potential was brought up back in 2006.

        When the Bush administration was found guilty of spying on Americans it was deemed necessary for national security.

        I agree that there is a problem, but I have a problem with it becoming a problem now.

      •  to be fair though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sviscusi

        lots of things have 'enough information to kill me' right now though.

        Any of the loans I currently have for example and I get the transparency thing and I agree with that but if we are going to make extraordinary claims like the title then I feel there should be extraordinary evidence.

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:05:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)

          That's why YOU never provide any when asked to back up YOUR claims.

          It's easy for you to ask others for "extraordinary evidence" to support their claims about things we have only limited information about.

          And EVEN EASIER for you to avoid answering others by dismissing their requests for cites supporting your "well-known" facts as acting in "bad faith."




          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

          by DeadHead on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:59:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no just you and your friend Clive (0+ / 0-)

            and you both had to work pretty hard for that to happen.

            You can take your false outrage to someone that cares

            In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
            Shop Kos Katalogue
            Der Weg ist das Ziel

            by duhban on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:19:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nah (1+ / 0-)

              Not just me and Clive. You do the same thing with everyone, once you get backed into a corner and are forced to actually back up what you say.

              I seen it several times, with several different people. You can pretend its just two people, but your comment history is loaded with other examples that prove otherwise.




              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

              by DeadHead on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 01:21:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  rotfl (0+ / 0-)

                if believing that helps you rationalize away being a jerk and the consequences of your actions, :shrug: whatever helps your I guess.

                In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
                Shop Kos Katalogue
                Der Weg ist das Ziel

                by duhban on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:31:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It isn't a question of "believing" it (0+ / 0-)

                  I've seen it with my own two eyes, and I have a fairly good memory.

                  And I've interacted with you enough times to be familiar with the way you conduct yourself here.

                  Not to mention: Comment history. Easily accessible.




                  Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

                  by DeadHead on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 12:16:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  the title doesn't claim much at all (2+ / 0-)

          The trouble is that saying so exposes the speaker to "Why do you hate freedom?" attacks, as we've seen in various parts of the comment thread.

          Saying that "the NSA and CIA have been targeting drone strikes at cellphones..." is a bit freehand, but basically the diary seems fine to me. It's just hard these days to discuss its substance.

          "I am not sure how we got here, but then, I am not really sure where we are." --Susan from 29

          by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:09:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, it's great, it's like the government (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, Jim P

        denying standing to people in the courts because they can't prove that the NSA targeted them specifically. Which of course, they have no way to prove without a high-level security clearance.

        Maybe that will be the next whistleblower's target:  releasing lots and lots of specific documents showing which specific Americans are targeted by the NSA, so that said Americans can have their day in court.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:30:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Step 1: Make inflammatory non-sequitur (8+ / 0-)

      Step 2: Act offended when called out for ridiculous statement
      Step 3: ???
      Step 4: PROFIT!!!!

      'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

      by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:56:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the father and his son (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      Do try to keep up duh.or is it more fun to continually disrupt diaries? N

      Gitmo is a Concentration Camp. Not a Detention Center. Torture happens at Concentration Camps. Torture happens at Gitmo. How much further will US values fall? Where is YOUR outrage at what the United States does in OUR names?

      by snoopydawg on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:07:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know what I like about you? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, protectspice, 3goldens

       photo model_rail_zpse8a3626e.png

      Not much.

      'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

      by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:15:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you know what amuses me about you? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Reggid

        how you can be insulting and then want to pretend it never happened.

        It constantly amuses me the cognitive dissonance you display. I hope that wasn't too big a concept for you but if it was google helps.

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 02:07:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay I no longer think duhban is a sockpuppet (2+ / 0-)

          created by persona management software.

          I think he's a high school student who had AP psychology last year and learned the term "cognitive dissonance."

          Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

          by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:54:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I guess you don't read the news much (3+ / 0-)

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:48:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can you please subscribe to a newspaper (3+ / 0-)

      or find some other way to keep yourself informed?

      Please?

      Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

      by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:51:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  can you please not use insults from the 2nd grade? (0+ / 0-)

        In the time that I have been given, I am what I am
        Shop Kos Katalogue
        Der Weg ist das Ziel

        by duhban on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:23:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FrY10cK knows his/her audience, is all. nt (0+ / 0-)

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:47:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here's one for an older audience if you like... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead
          That's so fucking outrageously dumb (6+ / 0-)

          and gobsmackingly achingly strawmannishly derpy at the same time that I think even Andrew Sullivan circa 2002 might not posted it to try and sneer silence out of people.

          Bravo. D-Man. You make Andy Dick look like Whitey Bulger.

          In lieu of your being pathologically incapable of convincing people to agree to put on that fucking ballcap for a team, right or fucking wrong, with you and your posse of pissants instead of making up their own minds, you think you will be a force of intimidation. I get it. It's your schtick. Well, my. How scary you are. Like rancid mayo is frightful to an aircraft carrier. What with your sneering and searing intellectual wit that wouldn't get you out of the shallow end of the kiddie pool or an old Yahoo message board comment thread.

          Duh? Can I call you Duh, this is why I almost never respond to you or your little comments. It's like trying to have a conversation with a passing fart rising up from a nearby table at Denny's. It's gas. It smells bad for a second, and then fades away until the next fart. Also gas.

          I mean, Jesus H. Christmas Holy Bean on Toast....

              I think I even have a giant scale some where or we can get really medieval and just start tossing people into the lake. I'm sure 'god' will make the guilty sink and the innocent float.

          Did that sound smart in your head? Did it?

          I bet it did.

          I bet you think every time you have one of these little gnats of a thought, that somewhere Michael Moore is crying.

          I bet you mouthed the words as you typed that shit, and then hit post with a anti-humble pie-eating grin worthy of Dick Cheney unexpectedly walking into a baby kicking contest.

          Goodness. You didn't even capitalize the G in God.

          All cappers are knee cappers compared to that.

          If you are going to get your holier-than-thou smarter-than-thou Kathleen Parker meets Joe Lieberman at the corner of Harold Ford and Lanny Davis on, at least capitalize the G in 'God' to drive that motherfucker's Very Serious Seriousness home.

          You call that a withering and intimidating broadside?

          So scathing that people's hair will winnow white in terror at the mere thought of raising your seething ire?

          I'm never going to believe that your various and varied liberal frenemies online are the main reason that bad things happen to people and institutions that you like unless you go for the gusto with this kind of thing.

          Your little sneering thine enemies into fearful silence routine doesn't work if you aren't Algonquin Round Table intimidating.

          Look at what you wrote.

              I think I even have a giant scale some where or we can get really medieval and just start tossing people into the lake. I'm sure 'god' will make the guilty sink and the innocent float.

          Wowsers. Remind me never to cross you. I hate having to hose roadkill off of my undercarriage.

          If you were six, I wouldn't put that on the fridge next to the yellow and orange crayon blob with 'DOG' written over the top of it so mommy and daddy know that it was supposed to be Fluffy.

          You make 'Two and a Half Men' seem like early Mamet.

          The M. Night Shyamalan hook in your story is that you have a coherent point.

          For future reference... yawn.

          You are about as intellectually intimidating as Chris Farley. Like, now. Dig him up and that is about you on the brought low into silence scale.

          I'm not in one of your little Rox vs. Sux circle jerks of a circle, I don't give a shit about putting Edward Snowden on a stamp or up on a cross, I come to neither praise or damn people you love or love to hate, so play with your own snot as a response to somebody else's comment you smugly mediocre little nugget of nada with a homemade hall monitor's sash.

          Next time I'll be unkind.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 10:13:13 PM PDT

          'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

          by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:06:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Right now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett, 3goldens

      The President has the legal authority to kill you. All he has to do is declare you to be a terrorist and enemy combatant and you can be tracked and killed with no judicial process whatsoever.  He can in fact arbitrarily kill anyone and there is no recourse in law.   Given the wide range of political opponents (environmentalists, occupy) various political fringes have called terrorists, this legal structure ought to terrify you.  It is obvious a major concern and a major risk but the short sighted partisans seem unable to see a problem   It is akin to leaving a loaded gun lying on the table next to a toddler and saying there is no problem because the toddler hasn't shot itself yet

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

      by Mindful Nature on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:28:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Overall? I would welcome a drone fight (0+ / 0-)

    once I win it, maybe I can interest them in some of my technology (with a creative commons license, of course).

    Should I lose it, I didn't deserve to go on, I guess.

    Autonomous robotics is a rough trade, man! :P

    I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

    by spiritplumber on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:42:49 PM PDT

    •  The best part of a drone fight (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, ukit, wu ming, Simplify, oldmanriver

      nobody has to get hurt. And you can put it on pay per view. This assumes a gracious winner of course.

      After all:

      "The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots."

      I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

      by spiritplumber on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:45:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Facebook has 10x the info on you... (3+ / 5-)

    than the NSA has.

    And yet, the fools here like Jesselyn Radack promote their Facebook links without any sense of irony.

    Cheers motherfuckers!

    You have no idea what is really going on.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 10:32:29 PM PDT

  •  Is this supposed to be news? (7+ / 0-)

    That militaries uses cell phones to locate targets?  Yawn.  Are there people on this site who seriously don't know that?  Ask the leader of the Chechen revolution, Dzhokhar Dudayev, about it.  Oh, that's right, you can't because he was killed by two missiles targetted by the Russians to home into a sat phone call matching his voiceprint. That's a lot more elaborate than what's being talked about here, simply homing in on a cell phone with a specific number.

    Governments and militaries have been homing in on radio transmissions practically since radio transmissions became commonplace.  It's a nice pretty beacon saying, "I am here!".  They spend billions of dollars on this, for all kinds of radio transmissions.  Cell.  Sat phone.  Military radio. Covert listening devices. Radar.  You name it, if an enemy broadcasts it, they want to be able to use it to help pinpoint their location.  There are entire weapons built around these principles, designed to home in on whatever kind of signal you program in.

    Back when cell phones first started to propagate in the late days of the USSR, Soviet officers were widely cautioned to be careful when using them, not to use them anywhere that they could possibly be picked up by American listening posts.  They even calculated the ranges that cell phone signals would propagate and still be detectable by very sensitive antennas.  They did make one minor oversight, however... generally forgetting that signals, including from the towers themselves, also go up.  Yes, the US was listening into Soviet cell calls from satellites, not long after the cell phone had just been invented.  I have this on the authority of a person who worked in SIGINT for the military at the time.

    I'm sure there will be some people who don't like this comment because it's dismissive.  But sorry to have to point out that it's merely your ignorance that's making all this out to be news.  Ever seen a handheld directional antenna?  Can you take a wild guess at what they're used for?  People have been pinning down people by radio broadcasts for a looooooooooooong time.

    •  Oh, and concerning targetting standards... (5+ / 0-)

      the military uses a lot less reliable ways to target people than their cell phone numbers.  Heck, anyone remember the standard they were using for bombing people in Afghanistan who might be Osama Bin Laden?  It was "a tall man in a white robe who people seemed to be deferential to".  The military literally gave that excuse quite a few times after mistakenly bombing civilians.  You think that's better than a specific cell phone number??

      •  Hamid Karzai may not be the best guy to lead (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, 3goldens, Rei

        a country but it kills me how many times he has asked the U.S. to "Please stop killing civilians." Sometimes it appears on page 7 of the local paper. Sometimes it never appears in U.S. media.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

        by FrY10cK on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 04:59:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)

          I think the US loses a tremendous amount of moral authority with how loose its targetting standards are, and I find it insulting when I hear officials act like the standards are oh so strict, all too strict.  The whole "people on the ground are congregating suspiciously" or "that guy is holding a large object which I can't positively identify whichmight be a weapon even though even if it actually is it stands almost no chance of hurting me" as legitimate grounds for strafing populated areas... that is the low hanging fruit.  Cell phone targets are probably around #712 on the list of ways-to-stop-recklessly-killing-innocent-civilians.

    •  Thanks for your yawning concern (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice, 3goldens




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

      by DeadHead on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:28:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  (yawn) I could give two shits about this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, 3goldens

    What's really important is (small incremental social change for one demographic).

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 03:57:47 AM PDT

  •  Nobody needs "information" to kill me. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm going to file the ability to order a drone strike on me via phone tracking in "things white people try to be concerned about". Don't you read the Gun diaries?  Didn't you notice what happened to Trayvon Martin?

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:11:21 AM PDT

    •  Considering the record of drone kills/skin color (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, greenbastard

      I imagine non-whites would have much more to fear.

      •  It's a luxury white Americans have. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe from Lowell

        Worrying about whether Wazirostanis or Yemenis count as white, because that's today's concern

        "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

        by Inland on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:48:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually true, since a lot of these strikes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garrett

      seem to be rather, um, general. So you might just be sitting in the same restaurant as someone that the NSA or the CIA or JSOC or whomever has information on.

      BOOM!  Happened to four people who happened to be sitting in same cafe as Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:33:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. (0+ / 0-)
        So you might just be sitting in the same restaurant as someone that the NSA or the CIA or JSOC or whomever has information on.
        I thought that the NSA or "whomever" already had information on all of us, and that we were all suspected terrorists, and that anyone who protested was in danger.

        Turns out, I've eaten at plenty of restaurants who had all those people in them.  

        And nobody killed yet...by the government, anyway.  Not in my restaurants, or your restaurants, or any American restaurants.

        And the programs have been in existence for how many years?

        Well, thank you for your warning of danger, I'll immediately stop eating at Pita Palace or something.

        "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

        by Inland on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 12:45:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I carry my cell phone in a lead-lined container. (8+ / 0-)

    It's a pain in the ass to haul around when I'm riding my bike. But I feel safer.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 05:50:38 AM PDT

  •  US govt. also amassing guns to kill us all (14+ / 0-)

    or at least to round us up in camps (and perhaps just the white people). read that on Wing Nut Daily.

    •  This is actually the continuation of Clinton's (0+ / 0-)

      black helicopter program.

      I know this because Alex Jones said so.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:22:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  US government has standing army; (0+ / 0-)

      I can't think of anything that prevents it from killing all civilians, and I think that's a valid concern, because the standing army did, in fact, once kill US civilians.

      "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

      by Inland on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They already have so much info to kill me (3+ / 0-)

    its getting freaking redundant

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 06:34:08 AM PDT

  •  Just more incentive to keep my nearly 8 (0+ / 0-)

    year old cell phone going as long as I can. I don't think it's traceable.

    "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 Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:40:01 AM PDT

  •  Diaries like this spit in the face of democracy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell

    The rue of law, and anyone and everyone that is responsible enough to avoid assigning their political decision making to black and white marketing ploys that create rabid fans as opposed to issue-educated voters.

    It's funny, because if the NSA were a private company, run by a Republican, collecting Americans' personal information in order to direct market for "fix the debt", privatizing health care or bank deregulation, you'd be screaming bloody murder. But as long as the propaganda you're consuming comes on the back of the right cereal box, your ability to see how easily these powers can be abused - and HAVE been abused - exposes exactly how one dimensional you are.

    These arguments are completely, intellectually void of any real criticism. There's not even an argument here. The fact that you don't see the difference between an armed drone and census collection pretty much sums it up.

    When history is written, you and others like you will ultimately be massively shamed. Members of "The Weakest Generation", concerned more with preserving the status quo than the functioning democracy we could leave behind for the next one.

    An absolute, mind numbing embarrassment, is what this cheer leading zombified army of sycophants has become.  

    Slap happy is a platform.

    by averageyoungman on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:53:09 AM PDT

  •  As long as it has a battery in it, You're OWNED (0+ / 0-)

    "Off" is a relative term.

    How about some firmware that sends a little 'ping' packet out every few minutes?

    Hardly any power needed at all.

    Maybe use a frequency outside of normal bands, to help avoid detection.

    If I can think of it, you know they already have.

    Fuckers.


    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

    by No one gets out alive on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 07:56:14 AM PDT

  •  good, then I won't have to do it myself. (0+ / 0-)

    IS there such a thing as suicide by NSA?


    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:34:14 AM PDT

  •  Unless Obama has less authority in the U.S. ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    ... than he has in Yemen, he can kill any of us almost instantly on his own whim.  Here is an ACLU official discussing the lethal authority that Barack Obama has arrogated unto himself.

    •  He does have less authority here than in Yemen. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      There are all sorts of constraints, from the Posse Comitatus Act to the Bill of Rights to the ban on domestic CIA operations, that prevent the President from using powers in the US that he can use overseas.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And he Totes Does (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence

      Obama droned three people on my street just last night.

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:15:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shhh. Don't tell anyone. (0+ / 0-)
        The United States has consistently claimed only a tiny number of non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan – despite research by the Bureau and others suggesting that over 400 civilians may have died in the nine-year campaign.

        The internal document shows Pakistani officials too found that CIA drone strikes were killing a significant number of civilians – and have been aware of those deaths for many years.

        Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes outlined in the document, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims, 94 of those are said to be children.

        •  So, according to some organization that calls (0+ / 0-)

          itself some kind of a bureau the U.S. has managed to kill 400 civilians while targeting the people who command and control the attacks on Afghans that lead to the deaths of six times as many civilians every single frigging year.

          Yeah, you heard that right - over 2000 civilians are killed by Taliban/Al Qaeda/Haqqani Network fanatics in Afghanistan every year.

          Maybe you need to get some perspective?

          "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

          by Lawrence on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 01:34:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep end. Off. (6+ / 0-)

    The paranoia here is keeping us from dealing with the Republicans, who really need our eyes on them.

    We have an election coming up, and IIRC, the raison d'être of this site is putting more Dems in office.

    How exactly does our paranoia-orgy do that?


    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 08:37:12 AM PDT

  •  So your theory is the SEAL didn't know whose... (0+ / 0-)

    phone number that was?

    Um....ok.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:05:20 AM PDT

  •  Take the battery out. (0+ / 0-)

    When you're not using it.

    I can't believe I have to have this conversation about my own government.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:12:26 AM PDT

  •  And awesome, as ever, a naysayer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    jumps in on the first comment.

    pretty much standard around here now

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 09:12:53 AM PDT

  •  They've been doing this murderous sht (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native

    for a while. This is the sort of thing that wouldve been called CT only a few years ago - and now we know that has been going on for even longer. I still think the Iraq 'insurgency' was stoked in the same way, and local Iraqi's accusations of false flags from that era are seeming more and more believeable...I'm certain it's policy at some level. It's pretty hard to create enemies, in the real world, without bloodshed, and our domestic economy is now dependent on the defense industry.  

    And as we all should've already known, the chain of command is, and has been for some time ->CIA->Military->CIC.

    IOW, completely fcked.

    We can hope for a few more Snowden types, but Americanism is right up there with the most powerful religions in history, in scope of its brutality and the dominance of its 'congregation'.

    I've been watching this fascist buildup from a rather intimate perspective - my county's economy of the past decade wouldn't exist if not for the new defense industry. Recently, Harris Corporation basically threatened my city that it would move its operations out of state if it wasn't given larger tax breaks and gifted land and existing roadways(and even part of a nature preserve!) to expand its existing facilities. Well, the city caved, and didn't tell the residents until construction was already underway. This is just how it is in many US cities. The industry is in TOTAL control.

  •  My President Needs to Protect Me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013

    From the terrorists.

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

    by bink on Mon Jul 22, 2013 at 10:49:51 AM PDT

  •  May I go off the grid? (0+ / 0-)

    In a couple years this could present as an act of rebellion.

    And do imagine a world where a Cheney or an Aaron Burr gets his hands on this NSA Machine.

    Welcome to THX 1138. Drugs are mandatory. "You are a true believer, blessings of the State, blessings of the masses. Work hard, increase production, prevent accidents and be happy."

    You betcha.

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