Following the incineration of cop killer suspect Chris Dorner by the San Bernardino police, a lobbyist group dedicated to inserting drones in police work used the event to push the wares of their clients.
“Had a [drone] been able to be used in that environment, who knows what could have happened,” said Peter Bale, chairman of the board for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Mr. Bale went on to point a finger at “privacy advocates, which [have] slowed widespread use of drones,” according to US News & World Report. “We believe the FAA should focus on their core mission, which is safety,” he said.
The unprecedented deployment of military and surveillance drones has been “delayed many months because the FAA is being pulled into the privacy debate,” in other words a debate over the Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures and requires a warrant supported by probable cause.
Cops all around the country are chomping at the bit to use drones, as this interactive map shows. In addition to tracking down alleged cop killers, police want to use the technology for more mundane and practical purposes in service to the state – for instance, snooping on folks exercising the First Amendment. In January, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said he would be interested in using drones for monitoring crowds and large demonstrations, according to NBC in New York.
But as former Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin notes, the introduction of drones – machines used to kill untried supposed terrorists (and their families and no small number of innocent bystanders) – in the United States means the government is ready to use military force against the American people.
“Your federal government — along with numerous local and State police agencies — is preparing to use instruments of war against the citizens of the United States,” Baldwin wrote last year. “And numerous local and State police agencies are standing in line to participate. I ask you, do the US Congress, the FAA, and our local and State authorities plan to arm these drones with more than surveillance cameras (as if that’s not bad enough)? Should we expect that the drones that will be flying over our neighborhoods would be armed with machine guns and missiles?”
Add to this chilling prospect the fact that Obama’s NDAA is similar to Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees the SS and Gestapo used to arrest, imprison and execute thousands of political enemies without probable cause. Obama’s version was recently justified by a Justice Department memo that states “action” (killing) can be taken against individuals even if there is no clear intelligence indicating they are engaged in active plots against the U.S.
Obama’s killing machines operating in America were legalized when he signed in the NDAA at the stroke of midnight, December 31, 2011. In addition to rendition, the NDAA allows for the establishment of six national test sites where drones – including MQ-9 Reaper drones flying out of Hancock Field in New York – will fly through civil air space. The government is busily preparing the groundwork to normalize the use of drones in the United States and the Justice Department has provided the quasi-legal groundwork for their use in assassination (in direct violation of the Constitution).
It was mistakenly reported that a Customs and Border Patrol drone was used in the search for the alleged cop killer Dorner. Despite the denial, the LAPD told the Daily Express cops were “using all the tools at [their] disposal” and admitted they believe “thermal imaging cameras” used by drones are very useful in police work (including police work directed against political enemies, as the NYPD pointed out).
It is only a matter of time before the FAA and the government allow law enforcement to normalize the use of drones – not strictly for manhunts and murder investigations, but for all manner of police work, including police work against official enemies.
It is a thin line separating the extrajudicial murder of “senior operational leaders” working for official enemies in Pakistan and those singled out as national security threats in the United States (who are, according to the Department of Homeland Security, “rightwing extremists” colluding with “returning veterans”).
“The police state that J. Edgar Hoover, Oliver North, and Dick Cheney put in place is being fully embraced by Obama, the Department of Homeland Security, the TSA, FBI and CIA, as well as many local police neanderthals all across America – it is as though they are drooling for some action, and for a chance for them to show the rest of the world just how tough they are,” writes Scott Lazarowitz.
It is simply foolhardy to believe the police state will not use all the tools at their disposal – including drones equipped not only with thermal imaging cameras but hellfire missiles and Quadrotor Flying Machine Guns designed to take out both al-Qaeda thousands of miles away and future Dorners and other enemies of the state in California, Alabama or anywhere else in the United States.