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Wolf writes: "Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponized."

Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)
Portrait, author and activist Naomi Wolf, 10/19/11. (photo: Guardian UK)


The Coming Drone Attack on America

By Naomi Wolf, Guardian UK

22 December 12

 

Drones on domestic surveillance duties are already deployed by police and corporations. In time, they will likely be weaponised

eople often ask me, in terms of my argument about "ten steps" that mark the descent to a police state or closed society, at what stage we are. I am sorry to say that with the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization - which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year - it means that the police state is now officially here.

In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by […] the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds - meaning that you won't necessarily see them, tracking your meeting with your fellow-activists, with your accountant or your congressman, or filming your cruising the bars or your assignation with your lover, as its video-gathering whirs.

Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them.

An unclassified US air force document reported by CBS (pdf) news expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step - one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil, which is the bright line that separates a democracy from a military oligarchy. (The US constitution allows for the deployment of National Guard units by governors, who are answerable to the people; but this system is intended, as is posse comitatus, to prevent the military from taking action aimed at US citizens domestically.)

The air force document explains that the air force will be overseeing the deployment of its own military surveillance drones within the borders of the US; that it may keep video and other data it collects with these drones for 90 days without a warrant - and will then, retroactively, determine if the material can be retained - which does away for good with the fourth amendment in these cases. While the drones are not supposed to specifically "conduct non-consensual surveillance on on specifically identified US persons", according to the document, the wording allows for domestic military surveillance of non-"specifically identified" people (that is, a group of activists or protesters) and it comes with the important caveat, also seemingly wholly unconstitutional, that it may not target individuals "unless expressly approved by the secretary of Defense".

In other words, the Pentagon can now send a domestic drone to hover outside your apartment window, collecting footage of you and your family, if the secretary of Defense approves it. Or it may track you and your friends and pick up audio of your conversations, on your way, say, to protest or vote or talk to your representative, if you are not "specifically identified", a determination that is so vague as to be meaningless.

What happens to those images, that audio? "Distribution of domestic imagery" can go to various other government agencies without your consent, and that imagery can, in that case, be distributed to various government agencies; it may also include your most private moments and most personal activities. The authorized "collected information may incidentally include US persons or private property without consent". Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation told CBS:

"In some records that were released by the air force recently … under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations."

This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones. The FAA recently established a more efficient process for local police departments to get permits for their own squadrons of drones.

Given the Department of Homeland Security militarization of police departments, once the circle is completed with San Francisco or New York or Chicago local cops having their own drone fleet - and with Chase, HSBC and other banks having hired local police, as I reported here last week - the meshing of military, domestic law enforcement, and commercial interests is absolute. You don't need a messy, distressing declaration of martial law.

And drone fleets owned by private corporations means that a first amendment right of assembly is now over: if Occupy is massing outside of a bank, send the drone fleet to surveil, track and harass them. If citizens rally outside the local Capitol? Same thing. As one of my readers put it, the scary thing about this new arrangement is deniability: bad things done to citizens by drones can be denied by private interests - "Oh, that must have been an LAPD drone" - and LAPD can insist that it must have been a private industry drone. For where, of course, will be the accountability from citizens buzzed or worse by these things?

Domestic drone use is here, and the meshing has begun: local cops in Grand Forks, North Dakota called in a DHS Predator drone - the same make that has caused hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan - over a dispute involving a herd of cattle. The military rollout in process and planned, within the US, is massive: the Christian Science Monitor reports that a total of 110 military sites for drone activity are either built or will be built, in 39 states. That covers America.

We don't need a military takeover: with these capabilities on US soil and this air force white paper authorization for data collection, the military will be effectively in control of the private lives of American citizens. And these drones are not yet weaponized.

"I don't think it's crazy to worry about weaponized drones. There is a real consensus that has emerged against allowing weaponized drones domestically. The International Association of Chiefs of Police has recommended against it," warns Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the ACLU, noting that there is already political pressure in favor of weaponization:

"At the same time, it is inevitable that we will see [increased] pressure to allow weaponized drones. The way that it will unfold is probably this: somebody will want to put a relatively 'soft' nonlethal weapon on a drone for crowd control. And then things will ratchet up from there."

And the risk of that? The New America Foundation's report on drone use in Pakistan noted that the Guardian had confirmed 193 children's deaths from drone attacks in seven years. It noted that for the deaths of ten militants, 1,400 civilians with no involvement in terrorism also died. Not surprisingly, everyone in that region is traumatized: children scream when they hear drones. An NYU and Stanford Law School report notes that drones "terrorize citizens 24 hours a day".

If US drones may first be weaponized with crowd-control features, not lethal force features, but with no risk to military or to police departments or DHS, the playing field for freedom of assembly is changed forever. So is our private life, as the ACLU's Stanley explains:

"Our biggest concerns about the deployment of drones domestically is that they will be used to create pervasive surveillance networks. The danger would be that an ordinary individual once they step out of their house will be monitored by a drone everywhere they walk or drive. They may not be aware of it. They might monitored or tracked by some silent invisible drone everywhere they walk or drive."

"So what? Why should they worry?" I asked.

"Your comings and goings can be very revealing of who you are and what you are doing and reveal very intrusive things about you - what houses of worship you are going to, political meetings, particular doctors, your friends' and lovers' houses."

I mentioned the air force white paper. "Isn't the military not supposed to be spying on Americans?" I asked.

"Yes, the posse comitatus act passed in the 19th century forbids a military role in law enforcement among Americans."

What can we do if we want to oppose this? I wondered. According to Stanley, many states are passing legislation banning domestic drone use. Once again, in the fight to keep America a republic, grassroots activism is pitched in an unequal contest against a militarized federal government.

 

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+167 # Sandy G 2012-12-22 09:57
Almost every day, the U. S. Congress does something so evil that I'm beginning to wonder if they aren't worse than the Terrorists they claim to want to fight. When I'm staring into the muzzle of a loaded gun, it really doesn't matter who's aiming it at me - - he's a Terrorist, even though he was 'elected' by some fanatics in an adjacent Red-State!
 
 
+115 # indian weaver 2012-12-22 10:28
The U.S. government is worse than the terrorists they promote. A terrorist or cell may contain, say, 100s of nice guys and gals that simply don't like amerika because we've tortured and killed their family and relatives, for no reason other than making big bucks for the war machine. But, our government is infinitely wealthy, ranging worldwide, having already massacred 10s of 1000s worldwide since dubya started his war crimes. Our government has infinite power and is abusing it. Our government operates within No Rule of Law anymore, either domestic or internations (read: Geneva Conventions on torture, etc.). So I understand that we in amerika are now ruled by a terrorist organization that purports to be our government. But, it isn't. It does not act in the interest of you or me. It (Obama, dubya) attacks and destroys entire countries, paid for by you, without once asking their employers, you and me, if that's OK. It has no accountability to any of The People. So, with a rogue regime, with so many millions of lives destroyed worldwide for a fast buck, we now can be classified as approaching the horror of Adolf Hitler, the Wehrmacht (read: Farben Fabrikan - the German war machine split up the by the Allied Powers after WW II). If we are not burning Jews inside our borders, we are burning innocent people 10 at a time worldwide. No accountability, extreme violence, millions of lives and countries destroyed, and we are just getting started, drones coming to the sky above you.
 
 
+15 # chinaski 2012-12-23 15:43
Perfect use of the word 'promote'. It isn't really terrorists themselves that are relevant here, it's the IDEA of terrorism that is so useful. Keep a population in a constant state of fear and the corporate hegemony sets themselves up as our saviors. Self anointed protectors of the flock. Wolves dressed up like shepherds.
We haven't been invited to the feast as guests. There is no seat at the table for any of us. Our place is on the table itself. We are the meal itself, roasted to a delicious golden brown and riding the sacrificial end of the corporate fork.
The guests will raise their glasses and toast to their victory. The terrorists have won.
 
 
+36 # 666 2012-12-22 16:19
If there are any reasons for the 2nd amendment, this would be high on the list. I wonder when shooting down a drone will get someone sent to a supermax or guantamo
 
 
+14 # Mannstein 2012-12-22 18:11
Forget the guns a high powered laser will work much better.
 
 
+14 # NOMINAE 2012-12-22 22:57
@ Mannstein

Yeah, because everybody has a high powered laser out in the garage on the work bench.
 
 
+7 # robcarter.vn 2012-12-22 17:32
Yep and if they reinforce 2nd amendment private gun militias you will see the drones weaponized and hitting militias in Southern rebbekl states. Texas first?
 
 
0 # Rita Walpole Ague 2013-01-17 08:31
Yes, Sandy, there has indeed been an evil, longtime coming coup d'etat, with liberty and justice for all, rule of law, penalization of crimes commited by the Villainaire ruler and their political puppet clown minions, etc., not being penalized whatsoever. Instead, the evil ones are reinforced and rewarded endlessly, as they enslave us all and ruin the planet, with no contrition whatsoever.

Lots and lots we've gotta do to.....

UNDO THE COUP !
 
 
+42 # Tigre1 2012-12-22 11:08
This is a great big "Duh!" for anybody who didn't see it coming. Because 2% and more of the public have defied the government's ability to control, tax, and direct them legally, it is necessary to tighten up on the 'controllables' ...ie, us of the 98%...

Besides, all those companies were formed to build very simple devices...cheap 'drones', ie model airplanes, remotely controlled. Great profits. Same game as the gun companies...ANY BODY can make guns. Very old technology, cheap, sell for mucho dinero.

Gun makers and drone makers, plus some others, have worse morals and ethics than politicians and drug barons.

When I think about their actions, I hope there is a Just God.
 
 
+18 # Bill999 2012-12-22 11:15
These things don't need to be weaponized. An off-the-shelf quadrotor, with its spinning carbon prop blades are capable of turning your throat into hamburger in a second. I am amazed there are no reports yet of such death by accident from an operator sneeze at the control stick.I have been flying hobby drones for decades and well know how this can happen. Equipt with FPV (video link from plane to pilot, a $300. quadrotor can be sent into the throat of anyone within sight. Got a nasty noisy kid next door? Take him out in a heartbeat!
 
 
+39 # Activista 2012-12-22 11:29
US military oligarchy aka degenerate morals - with freaky secretary of defense in charge - US is NUMERO UNO TOTALITARIAN state.
"for the deaths of ten militants, 1,400 civilians with NO involvement in terrorism also died"
I.E. US kills 140 civilians for one militant? How do you define terrorism? US MONEY CULTURE (military oligarchy) IS TERRORISM!
 
 
+19 # ladypyrates 2012-12-22 11:31
...the point is well taken, yet RSN and every other media organization is beating the drums for Americans to meekly surrender their weapons to this very same fascist government. The means of voting seems to have been bought off by the corporate entities so... that leaves us with what capabilities for defending ourselves? THIS is what the founders feared...tyrann y by our own government,not foreign invasion.
 
 
+46 # Rich Austin 2012-12-22 11:44
As corporatism extends its talons deeper into the bodies of America’s working class we will see more labor unrest. Corporatism’s proxy organization, otherwise known as “Congress”, will attempt to justify police violence against workers by calling them a “greedy mob that considers itself above the law”.

The police violence thing is already happening. Taxpayer-suppor ted police departments have become “security forces” for corporations owned by very wealthy domestic and foreign investors. They crack heads, fill the air with pepper spray, and many appear to enjoy themselves in the process.

We workers must let police know that they if commit violence against us we will not lift a finger to defend the tax-payer funded pension and health care perks they enjoy. We must let them know that while we understand they are obligated to “protect and serve” we also know that no civilized definition of that phrase rationalizes their thuggery.

The ultimate villains in this whole scenario are, however, the lawmakers who have sold their souls to corporatism...a t our expense. While patriotic workers fight to keep jobs here in the U.S., unpatriotic politicians enter into “free” trade schemes designed to move our jobs offshore.

We have a power greater than their hoarded gold. It lies in our ability to withhold our labor until justice is won. We must seriously consider deploying that “weapon” of mass social and civil legitimacy.
 
 
+2 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:08
Get big money out of election campaigns and see how fast things can change. Big business has already done a lot to protect itself from labor unrest at home, by moving manufacturing and service overseas. And police around the world have always served those in power and not necessarily "the people." Nothing new about that. We learned that when we protested the WTO, not to mention the Vietnam War.
 
 
+43 # Vardoz 2012-12-22 11:47
The terrorists are here and they are the corporations and our govt. They are now waging war on us.
 
 
+40 # zitzwitz@mac.com 2012-12-22 11:50
This is outrages. I grew up under Hitler. One has to ask, where are the differences ? Once upon a time the US was looked upon a beacon of freedom. This era is no longer. Actually this is even worse if civilian corporations have a hand in it. The profit is going to dictate to the legislators, as they do already. I am sick and tired of too many so called Christians and other do-gooders who claim and justify these actions for the "good of society" One has to ask, which society ? Any one which does not agree with ours.The brainwashing (especially by the right wing neocons) and total cultural incompetence of our talking hosts is really frightening. What is even more scary is that under Hitler the dictate came from the top down. We are now at a state where the pressure comes from the bottom up. This is what brainwashing, for decades, has done to us. Money has become our God.
 
 
+9 # Mannstein 2012-12-22 18:16
The Fuhrer strictly forbade Canaris to take out foreign heads of state. Think about that sometime.
 
 
+1 # indian weaver 2012-12-23 06:53
I don't understand this comment. What is Canaris etc.?
 
 
+3 # acomfort 2012-12-23 10:13
Canaris is a German admiral.
 
 
+4 # Anarchist 23 2012-12-23 21:53
Canaris was a German Admiral who was head of Abwher. He was hanged in the General's plot of July 1944. dietrich Bonhoeffer was also hanged as part of same plot. And 9/11 was the Reichstag fire of the Neocon Nazification of the country. what Snyder is doing in Michigan is very much like what the Gaulieters did in their provinces. Read Rise and Fall of The Third Reich-all info is in there-the Bonhoeffer info was in his biography.
 
 
-9 # Martintfre 2012-12-23 09:42
//Actually this is even worse if civilian corporations have a hand in it. The profit is going to dictate to the legislators, //

Why blame the tools? the Corporations -- they merely are doing the bidding of the legislators . IF the government was not ordering those goods -- the companies would not make them.
 
 
+6 # PGreen 2012-12-23 14:45
Corporations are harnessed by government to enforce private power, and the executives are active supporters of such a relationship with government or they would not get a contract. At the highest level it is accurate to think of them together as an oligarchy in which certain degrees of difference exist. Systemically, they function together to maintain and enforce the system. They engage in this enforcement much more effectively than average citizens (or average employees/worke rs, take your pick) because they have far more political and economic power. This makes them (more) responsible. Also, corporate officials are often proactive in the pursuit of power and their degree of influence can be higher than all but the very highest public officials. (I'm being charitable.) The strategies of larger corporations are to maintain the economic system (also maintained by government) in which an elite few (Certain shareholders, executives, officials) prosper. They may compete with each other as well, but maintaining this hierarchical system is fundamental to the major participants in all branches of power-- and is usually not in the public interest.
 
 
+18 # grandone@charter.net 2012-12-22 11:51
I think the government's argument will rest on the precedents set by "in plain view," used by police to arrest individuals if they can see an infraction of the law. I cannot remember the court cases, however, it would be easy to research. We need to act to protect our fourth amendment rights.
 
 
+10 # grandone@charter.net 2012-12-22 11:55
The plain view doctrine is an exception to the warrant requirement which allows officers to seize items which they observe and immediately recognize as evidence or contraband while they are lawfully present in an area protected by the 4th Amendment. The foundation case providing the elements of a plain view seizure as related to the plain view doctrine is Horton v. California.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2012-12-22 11:56
So why doesn't the all-wise NRA do something useful for a change and promote the distribution of drone-detectors and drone-seeking weapons?
 
 
+6 # RHytonen 2012-12-22 13:54
Quoting reiverpacific:
So why doesn't the all-wise NRA do something useful for a change and promote the distribution of drone-detectors and drone-seeking weapons?

They don't have to.
A cheap laser pointer can disable a drone's camera. And right now they're only allowed by the FAA to fly 400 feet high or less, so a decent pellet gun can take them out.
So the "libertarian" militia vigilante "Doomsday Prepper" types, who want Small Government and no regulators like the FAA, are really shooting themselves in the foot - so to speak.
At this point I doubt even rabid Right Wingers believe the police are your friends.
 
 
+21 # RHytonen 2012-12-22 14:02
Know what we call drones in Appalachia?

Free gummint skeet.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-12-22 18:12
Quoting RHytonen:
Know what we call drones in Appalachia?

Free gummint skeet.

Heh-heh! Good one y'all.
 
 
+9 # SMoonz 2012-12-23 00:41
If the NRA were to do something like that they would be branded a terrorist organization by the Federal Government, disbanded, its members and leadership could potentially be arrested and taken without trial as the NDAA now permits.
 
 
-4 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-12-23 11:43
Hooray.
 
 
+6 # BobboMax 2012-12-25 21:06
When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, because I'm not a Jew. When they came for the gays, I did nothing, because I'm not gay. When they came for the NRA, I did nothing because I don't own a gun. When they came for me...
 
 
+41 # Ellioth 2012-12-22 12:03
Just wait until the drones meet nano-drones. Forget the hummingbird size. Imagine a "fly" with "eyes" (cameras)that are assigned to follow each of us (tracking with our cell phones or other personal technologies), wherever we go, whatever we do - used for commercial purposes (major corps looking to pick our pockets at every turn), for useful purposes (assistance if we are in some kind of trouble - this will be the excuse for our personal drones).
Imagine nano-drones the size of a dust particle lurking watching, spying for all kinds of nefarious reasons.

No - this is not unwarranted paranoia - it's terribly justifiable paranoia and is where we are headed if we allow this drone bulls--t to continue (not sure how we stop it).

I am no doomsday believer nor am I a survivalist nutcase. I am simply seeing the trends, looking at the reality of who is in control here (larger corp. interests, including military contractors, large financial interests, and their political dupes) and putting 2 and 2 together. This is not a stretch at all. Time to wake up, America. Get rid of the tea party nuts and get some adult supervision.

Merry Christmas
ElliotH
 
 
+18 # beachboy 2012-12-22 12:09
...just wait til the rest of the world gets tired of this assassination shit - and sends a few well placed drones to the US...shouldn't be so hard to figure out that it's the next phase of international,i llegal crimes modeled so well by the USTR ( United States Terrorist Republic ) "Why do they hate us? For our shopping freedoms!" Stupidity, greed and aggression...oh , what a mix! Who needs a Pfc. Manning to "aid the 'enemy'"( whoever that is - militant Pakistani infants ? )...Mr. Obama does it better every Tuesday...off to the cage with him...min. of three years naked in max.isolation with 24/7 enhanced interrogation til kangaroo court proceedings... 'We the people' is in the outhouse, folks! Good Luck and Good Night, America!
 
 
+2 # indian weaver 2012-12-23 06:57
How about my acronym for what was America: the FTRA (Facsist Terrorist Regime of Amerika, Ink.). Acronyms, to be memorable, need smooth slide off the tongue. USTR also works for me.
 
 
+1 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-12-23 11:44
FTRA: pronounced Fartra, I guess
 
 
+1 # Anarchist 23 2012-12-23 21:56
Or one could call it the Untied States of Amerikkka. My personal favorite is GSA for Geheim Staats* of Amerikkka (Security States*)
 
 
+1 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:15
Quoting Anarchist 23:
Or one could call it the Untied States of Amerikkka. My personal favorite is GSA for Geheim Staats* of Amerikkka (Security States*)

Geheim mean "secret."
 
 
+29 # sofi12 2012-12-22 12:21
Yes, it's terrible and I don't know what anyone can do. Occupy protesters were brutalized in several (perhaps many) cities. Was this done by local police? the DOJ? We have already lost our right of peaceful assembly.
 
 
+29 # She Cee 2012-12-22 12:45
I've been saying for years that we are approaching a police state. People would say I didn't know what I was talking about. Now it has come to pass and still, most people can't see it. When they finally wake up to the reality of what has happened to our country and what our governments have been doing around the world, will people react, reject and rebel against what is going on? In this country we will see the drones and militia called out to control us and stop any rebellion against the tyranny. Will our citizens finally acknowledge what has been true; that they have been blind to creeping repression? I read that many states are passing legislation banning domestic drone use. REally? What good is a state ban when the Federal government will ignore it and tell us what we want to hear and continue to do just as they wish. Secrecy prevails. In the fight to keep America a republic, grassroots activism is pitched in an unequal contest against a militarized federal government.

REmember, Bush claimed prisoners or so-called terrorists are no longer being tortured. We know that wasn't true. Now they will assure us they are not using Drones to spy on and control us. Don't believe anything the government, corporations and most of the wealthy tell us.
 
 
+9 # moafu@yahoo.com 2012-12-22 12:49
President Soetero has issued over a thousand executive orders setting things up for what Ms. Wolf writes. Why doesn't he "protect and defend the constitution" and issue an exec. order aga. drone use on citizens. He already has skirted Congress' laws with other exec. orders, and so this one would be easy.
 
 
+31 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 12:56
I've been saying for quite some time that it's just a very short step to weaponization of drones in the U.S.; but, mostly, my comments saying that have been "thumbed-down", gotten hardly any positive response(s), and I've been treated like I'm a flaming nutcase who doesn't know what he's talking about. Then, along comes Naomi Wolf and others to confirm it, but most people still don't want to listen; and most Americans just go on blithely living in their fantasy world(s) and do little or nothing to fulfill their duty(ies) to prevent the U.S. from becoming a fascist totalitarian militarized police state.

They look around them, and everything seems fine. They can still go to their Christmas parties where they can talk about "nothing" and avoid all discussion of reality. And, if someone brings any reality into the mix, they'll be summarily treated like the "crazy uncle", or like, "Who let that fruitloop in here?"... "How dare he (or she) ruin our festivities!" It's like it must have been in Germany as the country was sinking ever deeper into fascism; with most people going along, allowing it to happen and doing nothing to prevent the madness from taking over fully.

America in the 21st century; becoming the Fourth Reich; and most Americans are just insanely acting like everything's fine. Well, it's NOT fine. But most aren't going to listen. They just want any reality impinging on their fantasy world, silenced. Maybe all those facing reality should be taken away and gassed.
 
 
+23 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 14:06
I can barely breathe over what is happening to our country. I've been watching it for years, particularly since 2006 when Fourth Reich fascist Bush signed both the Military Commissions Act and the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (the NDAA for the next year), on the same day, October 17th, 2006 (they enact the NDAAs in the previous year for the next year that they're supposed to go into effect). It took me months, but I was finally able to write about it on my blog in 2007:

- Continued -
 
 
+20 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 14:22
"When the wanna-be Napoleonic, absolutely-desp otic “dictator” and totally tyrannical and treasonous President of the United States, George W. Bush, signed the “Military Commissions Act of 2006″ and the “John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007″ on October 17th, 2006, effectively signing away all of the rights delineated in the first ten Amendments of U.S. Constitution known as “The Bill of Rights”, throwing away that which distinguished the U.S. from the rest of the world in protected liberties and freedoms that would have very likely been unheard of in the entire world if it hadn’t been for their beacon of “unalienable rights”, I admit that I was so overwhelmed with dismay and a defeatist attitude, I allowed myself to be rendered almost completely unable to function for these past several months. I still find it difficult to even go on automatically breathing, so disheartening is the level of my consternation over this extremely threatening turn of events.

- Continued -
 
 
+23 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 14:34
"What is just as dispiriting, if not more so, is that most “Americans” aren’t even aware of, or couldn’t care less about, the dire danger that this “state of the nation” puts ALL of us under. In fact, such is the extremity of their ignorance on this state of affairs, that one is obliged to agree with what has been said recently of this completely perilous and disconcerting situation that, unless these circumstances are immediately and thoroughly remedied, it is “the end of the republic” of the United States. This, very unfortunately, is absolutely no exaggeration whatsoever, and that is just how life-threatenin gly dangerous this predicament is. For, if enough—and we’re talking about most—Americans don’t wake up completely to the extreme degree of danger that we as a country and people are presently in the throes of, and stand en-masse against it, we are about to head into such a period of darkness, mass-imprisonme nt and mass-murder, right within our own borders, that an ostensibly “free” country has never before seen in the whole history of this planet.

- Continued -
 
 
+19 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 14:52
"The two “laws” named above, and others such as the “USA P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act”, the “Homeland Security Act”, and countless “Executive Orders” and/or “Presidential Directives” signed by several Presidents which synergistically reveal the level of their tyranny, treason and threat to all freedom and liberty in the United States and the rest of the world, grant the U.S. government the so-called “power” and “authority” to declare anyone and everyone, including U.S. citizens, “unlawful enemy combatants” and to imprison, torture and murder them for simply exercising “free speech”, criticizing the U.S. government and/or its allies, carrying out protest or dissent, seeking redress of grievances from the government, and/or demanding curtailment of the government’s own excesses, such as those delineated herein, including for simply writing and publishing this very article, all without anything but “kangaroo” or “sham” due process of law “protections”."
 
 
+20 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 15:22
As a result of all this, I can barely stand to deal with most people. A prime example for right now is my present apartment management. I've gotten a little friendly with them, and they've been nice to me (unlike previous management); but the wife, the actual "manager" of the couple (the husbands of such apartment management couples, are usually the maintenance persons), has outright said to me, "I don't want to hear what's really going on (in this country)." That's how most Americans are now. They have no concept anymore of the vigilance to protect and preserve liberty that the U.S.'s founders warned us that we direly needed to make sure we didn't let lapse, and that we constantly exercised. Most of them have no idea anymore, nor do they believe, that we all have the duty as spelled out in Declaration of Independence to exercise that vigilance, and to stand up against all such incursions of tyranny as are more and more rapidly being put into place all across our once great land. They really believe that we're allegedly not supposed to question it, but just blindly go along with it and support it. That's the level of brainwashing and evil, fascist nationalism that have almost totally taken over this country. And if you fulfill your duty to stand up against it and try to talk with most of them about it, they literally believe you're being traitorous, that you're supposedly hating your country, and that you should just shut up and be glad that the government is protecting us.
 
 
+19 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 15:47
- Continued -

Never mind that the government is heavily sacrificing liberty for so-called security that is not truly making us secure; for the very reason that it is sacrificing our liberty and making us increasingly insecure because we don't have any freedoms anymore. Everything is monitored; and simply, nothing but non-violently, standing up against these eliminations of our liberties can get one falsely accused of being a "threat" to the government, and soon taken away to some "due-process-fr ee", indefinite detention gulag to be held incommunicado for the rest of your life if they deem it "necessary". And what would most so-called Americans do about this? They would not only do nothing to stand up against it; they would cheer it on! Like the "good Germans" of the then rapidly developing Nazi Germany, they will want to see all of the dissenters, those who disturb their fantasy world(s), taken away and removed from their presence; rather than have to be reminded that their country is literally turning into a hellhole with no true freedom anymore, and where everyone is under grave threat of the government taking such action(s) against them for the slightest perceived "threat" to "national security". Even if you're doing absolutely nothing wrong, if a neighbor decides to claim that you are, increasingly the government is taking nothing but peoples' word for your "transgressions ", and we will very soon be able to be taken away based on nothing but such whims.

- Cont'd -
 
 
+20 # Jack Gibson 2012-12-22 15:59
That is how extremely dangerous the U.S. is fast becoming.
 
 
+17 # Glen 2012-12-22 14:31
Same here, Jack. U.S. citizens are under that proverbial gun. It was stealthy until George W. hit the scene and shoved it in our faces. It continues unabated.

Let's get the hell out.
 
 
+5 # DrEvel1 2012-12-25 14:41
But let's be completely honest here. What we're seeing now is the culmination of a more or less steady increase in the unaccountable use of power by all administrations going back to the 1930's. This isn't just something dreamed up by Bush and allowed to continue by Obama. No, these are long term developments planned and set in motion generations ago, and finally, due to both technology and circumstances, coming out into the open. Frankly, we never had a chance.
 
 
+2 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:24
Quoting Glen:
Same here, Jack. U.S. citizens are under that proverbial gun. It was stealthy until George W. hit the scene and shoved it in our faces. It continues unabated.

Let's get the hell out.

The next generation of our "best and brightest" is already exploring possibilities outside the US. Australia is attractive, as are some places in Europe. I hear lots of stories of 20-somethings who live out of suitcases, ready to relocate wherever and whenever the employment situation warrants.
 
 
+2 # Vera Gottlieb 2012-12-26 11:37
I have always admired the Yanks patriotism but...it is just as bad to turn a blind eye to something you know is wrong but, out of 'patriotism', you remain silent. Criticism should be just as acceptable as praise. This 'America...love it or leave it' is a very dangerous way of seeing things. It reminds me of 'Deutschland, Deutschland, ueber alles'.
 
 
+16 # SMoonz 2012-12-23 00:43
I've given you thumbs up on your comments. Unfortunately so many think that we are "conspiracy theorists" and/or delusional.
The Brave New World is here and it happened under a Republican and a Democrat administration.
 
 
+17 # lamancha 2012-12-22 14:24
The odd thing, as liberals or even moderates, we want a strong central government to administer entitlement programs, to create housing for the underclass, to dole out food stamps and aid to the indigent, to oversee a relatively strong military presence, to rebuild needed infrastructure in our cities & highways, to protect our water and food supplies, and so much else that a federal government is more fair & capable than private or state interests. However, when that governmenrt starts bending the rules and uses the military to infiltrate our domestic life and starts to disregard sacrosanct areas of our lives, then we have to collectively rise up and lash out against these abuses. Thankfully, we sill have the press to alert us to these dangers but who knows if one day into the near future, our gov't might not start to stifle freedom of the press. I find it startling to realize that Pres. O. is abandoning the basic tenets of a liberal or open democracy.
 
 
+2 # Vardoz 2012-12-22 18:01
These are good things. Good govt that protects us and uplifts us but the GOP and Corporations and others have dark plans for us and it will threaten all of our lives.
 
 
+11 # SMoonz 2012-12-23 00:45
Yet drones have been increased here and abroad by the Obama Administration. We can't just look at one party. It is time to get out of the 2 party mentality (good party/bad party) and acknowledge that both can do so much harm when the wrong leadership is in control.
 
 
+7 # indian weaver 2012-12-23 07:05
I don't think any "right leadership" is even possible in america anymore. We've built in "WRONG LEADERSHIP", if not fascist terrorist regime. We have no leaders, only assassins, tortures and terrorists, now including both parties with Obama the Coward taking over from dubya and adding to his Crimes Against Humanity, of adding to dubya's war crimes. This is Obama, the killer.
 
 
+2 # SMoonz 2012-12-24 03:18
Agree with you on that point. There isn't leadership. It falls on the public though.
 
 
+5 # cordleycoit 2012-12-22 14:53
This should reach certain wonks who will come up with counter measures and the merry chase (with life and death payoffs) will carry on.You are beginning to see why we need the Second Amendment, duh.
 
 
+18 # Leadyourself 2012-12-22 15:50
The most genius Hollywood screenwriters

working on the purest LSD couldn't make up

something this insane.

Yet Congress --a 5th Wheel to the

10th power--is sooo happy to let this

happen.

Mark Twain tried to warn is 140 years

ago.

Twice.

1. "Suppose I was an idiot. And suppose

I was in Congress. Buf I repeat myself."



2." America'a only distinctly criminal class

...is Congress."
 
 
+2 # 666 2012-12-22 16:26
if that's what you believe, then I suggest you read robert sheckley's "watchbirds" (1953). download it on the 'net
 
 
-1 # Kootenay Coyote 2012-12-23 11:47
i recall that. It took only 60 years to realize it, & to do so all too closely.
 
 
+2 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:26
[quote name=
Mark Twain tried to warn is 140 years

ago.

And the founding fathers before him.
 
 
+7 # AUCHMANNOCH 2012-12-22 16:36
A "city upon a hill?" Goodbye America.
 
 
+12 # Jack Hammer 2012-12-22 16:38
Yes every new slaughter becomes a pretext for further revocation of our rights -the
constitution is being used to wipe the drooling mouth of Capitalism. Is it any accident that Sandy Hook is being used to ensure that the populace are not armed sufficiently that they might pose a serious obstacle to the treacherous cabal of corporations and congress.
They would have us homeless -and gun less "for our own good" If the President is complicit in the destruction of democracy -with the culling of our rights -then has he lost his right to lead us? There comes a point where silence is betrayal -we have reached this point. There comes a time when armed resistance is not only permissible but necessary to defeat tyranny -even -and especially -when it threatens to poison the United States -without which all of the other democracies will inevitably crumble. It would be futile to throw oneself against the military machine -to die like a bug on a windscreen -We must but TACTICAL, COORDINATED and DISCIPLINED -to achieve the task at hand, -to take back America and return it to the control of the people, by the people and of the people. America was born in revolution, forged in revolution and she can be emancipated by revolution. The machinery of our destruction is around us and we must act swiftly and fearlessly. We may get only one shot at each objective. The time for protest is over, the time for negotiation is over, the time for Action is upon us - and we must take the power back.
 
 
+12 # Vardoz 2012-12-22 17:58
What horrible agenda do they have in store for us? One has to wonder. Do they plan to round us up? Do they plan to impoverish us and use us as slave labor?
What do they want to do to us? Suck the economic marrow from our bones and then kill any protestors? What horrible plan awaits us and our children? With this new TPP corporate coup on the horizon god knows what horrible abuses they want to shove down our throats. It is a terrifying prospect. Will we all be at the mercy of horribly abusive powers that want to destroy any hope for a happy futures? Only an agenda of abuse would allow killer drones to flood our skies. God help us.
 
 
+3 # Jack Hammer 2012-12-24 17:16
You know how you boil a lobster? Slowly. You increase the heat incrementally over time so that the creature perceives no marked increase in the temperature -until it is too late for it to move it's limbs to ex cape. That is what these sons-of-bitches are doing to "we the people". I say connect, organize and await a day of deliverance.
 
 
+16 # Vardoz 2012-12-22 18:20
Here we are trying to get by, trying to make ends meet, trying to get our kids through college, worrying about the cost of everything and now they want to fly these freaking machines over our heads! It's a nightmare. What are they going to do arrest us if we don't shop at Walmart? Are they going to kill people who protest abuse or pack our prisons until there's no one left any more? Really this is corporate anarchy gone mad. And looking back at history it's happened before.
 
 
+16 # Vardoz 2012-12-22 18:56
With no accountability they can do whatever they want with complete immunity.
 
 
+17 # Thaaff 2012-12-22 19:44
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." - Gen. George Washington
 
 
+14 # Jack Hammer 2012-12-22 20:20
Yes Washington and the other founding fathers imagined a time such as this could arrive, -when the greatest threat to the nation would be it's own government.
 
 
+8 # SMoonz 2012-12-23 00:52
True and unfortunately people can't see beyond their fear and are willing to give up their rights, compromise Constitutional rights but can't see the big picture.

I am appalled at the comments and opinions I have read lately where some believe that only the military and law enforcement should be armed. Those who put their faith on their own government for their defense and protection sadly do not understand history and totalitarianism .
 
 
+1 # mcpogo 2013-01-03 19:05
That is because 99% of America is too busy watching the "Simpsons or some reality show" rather than educate themselves in even a rudimentary way about how their country is supposed to operate and how the crooks and cronies are actually changing and operating the levers of power in America. God save and protect the militias of America!
 
 
0 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:29
Unfortunately, guns is not the solution here.
 
 
+2 # mcpogo 2013-01-03 19:02
I am not a gun lover - but I believe guns will have a place in this issue. When anyone sees an illegal drone ie any drone, because you have no way of knowing or were told you will be spied on. In that repect when you see a drone, you are within your right to protect yourself, so shoot the bastards down!
 
 
+11 # Michael_K 2012-12-22 20:44
The mounting realization that the government has overtly turned against the vast majority of the governed, is precisely why the drones are coming home.

They know that we know, and it makes them nervous. You will now see President Haniman take ever more obnoxious and overt steps towards authoritarian population control.
 
 
+3 # DaveM 2012-12-22 21:53
Of course the excuse for all this was, is, and will be "security". And the "first cause" for the current security excuse was 9/11. Remember that? Basically the world's largest drone attack, just with an ideologically crazed pilot at the controls rather than someone operating the aircraft by remote control.

We took steps (by no means perfect) to insure that would never happen again. It hasn't. Given that, could we perhaps back off on certain other "security" measures which have never been needed and which have done nothing but the reduce the freedom of law-abiding Americans? We're not only on a slippery slope, we're sliding toward a cliff.
 
 
+5 # Anarchist 23 2012-12-25 19:33
Actually there is some good evidence that 9/11 was done by remote control. Hani Hanjour and the reputed boeing he flew could not execute the manuver. Y0ou might check out '0/11 Pilots for Truth' for some informed arguments by men who actually flew those planes in civilian life. Even the air traffic controllers thought it was a military jet, and the official history is exploded very easily-where is the plane? No bodies on site, not luggage, no engines, an completely undamaged lawn. 9/11 was our Reichstag Fire and PNAC knew exactly what they were doing.
 
 
+8 # Scott479 2012-12-23 05:50
Our POTUS needed to arm his NDAA now didn't he? What good is a plutocracy without armaments?
 
 
+3 # WASABIMON 2012-12-23 08:00
hopefully for those of us who have not gone MORALLY CELEBATE---as our govt has----there will be those amongst us who are computer savvy enough to commandeer these drones and crash them or destroy their ability to transmit data.
 
 
+13 # Big Jake 2012-12-23 09:27
Many of us thought that Obama was one to turn the tide===even a little bit. We were wrong. He has succumbed to the Clinton corporatist, Monty Hall, lets make a deal style of politics, and with this turn, fascism has raised its ugly head.
I heard Paneta coin a new phrase--the industrial, security complex. Has a nice ring doesn't it?
Drones engaged in domestic spying should be as frightening as is the well intentioned folks who think that disarming the citizens will make us safe. Perhaps Franklin is more topical today than back in 1787---we have a Republic, if we can keep it.
On Friday, I had occassion to be in several warehouses, mostly staffed by Union members. In each one, Rush was on the radio. I asked a couple of them what was with that? The response was that it was better than most other entertainment. WOW

Make no mistake about it, the elites and their minions like Rush have wages war on us in earnest since 1964 and they have gained enormous ground. Drones? We should be in the street, flooding the President and Congress with the outrage that we should feel. So far, our voice is tiny. Do we really value what we have or will we only miss it when it is gone?
 
 
+7 # Martintfre 2012-12-23 09:38
I find it astounding how hypocritical and flat out stupid how the Obama supporters are.

We have a president who unloads thousands of assault weapons onto the most nefarious drug dealers and murders in the fast and furious affair -- where thousands (almost all south of the border so apparently no one cares about them) have been either murdered wounded and are intimidated by the freshly armed thugs and no one blinks an eye

Thousands more innocents have been killed by the same drone tech in foreign countries -- and think he should shine his Nobel prize - I think the Nobel committee should take it back.

And now we the people are in his sites.

we as a nation are loaded with suicidally stupid people - this cant bode well for us. The biggest political fights in the future will be for who controls the fire button on these rather then the notion that they should not exist.
 
 
+5 # carurosu 2012-12-23 10:31
And that was the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Most of you are nuts.
 
 
+1 # carurosu 2012-12-23 10:35
What does it mean " your letter will be publishe if it passes your censorship"
Do you wonder why americans are hated everywhere ?
 
 
+4 # Big Jake 2012-12-23 11:53
Martin, a modest suggestion. Try to shed yourself of the political ideology that requires the suspension of reason. It is a disease that is so common but the right wing has the market cornered.
Those who are really in control simply don't care who is in the White House. They have commanded the air waves and this is a huge accomplishment- --the braind dead Rush and his cadre of dunces are everywhere. Thinking is forbidden. We have been on this path for decades and it seems to be speeding up. It is not a fiscal cliff that is approaching although this situation is serious, no, it is the shredding of a great nation and replacing it with a Euopean style system of elites and the rest of us. Wake up Martin----you should be irritated that you have been used as a dupe.
 
 
-8 # natalierosen 2012-12-23 14:22
Without people going all nutty on me, IF you fear our government (which I do NOT) then why would you post even this story that is so destructive to a totalitarian state.

This totalitarian state would NOT even allow this story to see the light of day. With so much to fear is this just another notch in the fear machine of the left and right? What is one to believe?
 
 
+2 # charsjcca 2012-12-23 20:05
I truly hope you understand AE911Truth. One can not fear something you do not see or feel.
 
 
+5 # charsjcca 2012-12-23 20:03
We are already there. Goodbye America.
 
 
+3 # swissms 2012-12-26 08:38
Quoting charsjcca:
We are already there. Goodbye America.

Use and abuse of the public is not new. Americans don't study enough history. My high school history education never got to the study of WWI and WWII. We were told there wasn't enough time. The reality is that the system wanted to avoid introducing such "controversial" subjects. Students would have found themselves as disillusioned as we do now. Much easier to teach history as mythology if you stick to events farther in the past.
 
 
+4 # squinty 2012-12-23 22:00
Another reason not to deploy drones in a domestic capacity: they are hackable. Even if you believe in the naive, authoritarian myth that drones have an 'appropriate' use, and that the state will only ever use them appropriately - drones can be hijacked.
http://rt.com/usa/news/texas-1000-us-government-906/


How long before Anonymous hacks a drone, if only to make a point? Al-Quaeda hacks a drone? Who else? Iran captured one a while back, they've been busy reverse engineering the thing.
Silver lining for the DoD: now whenever a drone blows up a day care, they can claim it was hacked.
 
 
0 # mcpogo 2013-01-03 18:57
That is great. Soon the American navy will be fighting off hoards of attack drones firing Hellfire missiles at their aircraft carriers! Goodbye "showing the flag"!
 
 
+3 # mudbike 2012-12-24 03:40
To make this even more frightening, I sawa flyer from Verizon Wireless in the Sunday paper yesterday, hawking a "Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0" available to anyone for$299.95. That's right. Any creep with three hundred bucks can fly it around your window spying on you as you undress or locate unwary children playing or going to school in order to strike at just the right place and moment. Criminals can use it to look out for the police before doing their nasty business. The potential for abuse is enormous.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2012-12-25 13:41
Drones are cheap technology to deliver the explosives to your neighbor - terrorist choice weapon - just remember who opened the pandora box - USrael!
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2012-12-25 19:38
Anyone here read Lord Reese-Mogg's books?

The government's excessive reliance upon digital technology will eventually result in tech-savvy individuals wielding almost as much power as the government can deploy. Our future freedom fighter heroes will be hackers, not gun slingers.
 
 
+4 # TomThumb 2012-12-25 23:41
Posse Commitatus was revoked during the Bush II administration by an act of Congress, and of course, signed by Bush.

Chomsky has noted that the US military, anticipating civil unrest due to rising income inequality, is already making plans for the control of the US population.

Tommy Rimes
 
 
+2 # Michael_K 2012-12-26 14:57
Quoting TomThumb:
Posse Commitatus was revoked during the Bush II administration by an act of Congress, and of course, signed by Bush.

Chomsky has noted that the US military, anticipating civil unrest due to rising income inequality, is already making plans for the control of the US population.

Tommy Rimes


The World Bank has already admonished governments to take steps to repress populations who will necessarily become angered by the required "fiscal discipline" needed to repay bankers for fraudulent loan deals.
 
 
+2 # Vera Gottlieb 2012-12-26 09:27
And what will happen, how will this continue, once the US air space is so crowded that mid-air collisions will start to happen? But why worry about a few more dead people, right? The greatest terrorist nation fighting terrorism...how (non) amusing.
 
 
+2 # wrodwell 2012-12-29 01:22
WOW! After reading most of the above comments about the use of drones, maybe it's a bad time to ban sales on automatic weapons. By the sound of it, it looks like they may be sorely needed in the not so distant future. With the police across the nation being trained in military tactics and Obama signing a law that allows the military to arrest and imprison "suspects" indefinitely, looks like we're in for a fight that will determine the future direction of the United States. It was clear to me that the two Patriot acts were enacted under the pretense of "keeping us safe" but in reality, were really a hedge against a future citizen's revolt. And with our foreign wars winding down, divisions of military forces full of today's "heroes" will be returning home to reinforce whatever paranoia is current. Trouble is, today's paranoia just might become tomorrow's reality.
 
 
+1 # mcpogo 2013-01-03 18:55
"the posse comitatus act passed in the 19th century forbids a military role in law enforcement among Americans."

If the government through it's actions acts to harm American citizens using American military force then Americans have a right to protect themselves from this abuse of power. Therefore, every time a drone gets in your face - shoot the fxxxer down!
 

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