Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:31 PM
WillyT (72,631 posts)
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US - CommonDreams
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, Despite Safety and Privacy Concerns
by Trevor Timm - CommonDreams
Published on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by Deeplinks blog / EFF
Despite renewed criticism from both parties in Congress that domestic drones pose a privacy danger to US citizens—and a report from its own Inspector General recommending to stop buying them—the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has indicated it wants to more than double its fleet of Predator drones used to fly surveillance missions inside the United States.
Yesterday, California Watch reported that DHS signed a contract that could be worth as much as $443 million with General Atomics for the purchase up to fourteen additional Predator drones to fly near the border of Mexico and Canada. Congress would still need to appropriate the funds, but if they did, DHS' drone fleet woud increase to twenty-four.
While many people may think the US only flies Predator drones overseas, DHS has already spent $250 million over the last six years on ten surveillance Predators of its own. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—a division of DHS—uses the unmanned drones inside the U.S. to patrol the borders with surveillance equipment like video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar.
They say the drones are vital in the fight to stop illegal immigrants, but as EFF reported in June, the DHS Inspector General issued a report faulting DHS for wasting time, money, and resources using drones that were ineffective and lacked oversight. The Inspector General chastised the agency for buying two drones last year despite knowing these problems and recommended they cease buying them until the problems could be fixed.
Perhaps worse, DHS is also flying Predator drone missions on behalf of a diverse group of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies for missions beyond immigration issues. We know they have lent the drones out to the county sheriff's department in North Dakota and the Texas Rangers, among others, but unfortunately, we don’t know the full extent DHS lending program. DHS, as is their custom, is keeping that information secret.
In response, last month EFF sued DHS under the Freedom of Information Act demanding answers...
6 replies, 806 views
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US - CommonDreams (Original post)
|Fire Walk With Me||Nov 2012||#4|
|woo me with science||Nov 2012||#5|
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:39 PM
mrdmk (2,943 posts)
1. If we quit screwing with our neighbors to the south, illegal immigration will decline drastically
The same people who want illegal controlled also want to reap the toils of the peasants! The greedy never cease to amaze me...
Response to WillyT (Original post)
Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:02 PM
DaniDubois (154 posts)
2. Nothing like a few thousand Predator drones filling our sky's to make us feel safe. Judging by
the amount of innocent people being killed or injured by our new and improved military style police departments. It's pretty obvious by now who they consider the real enemy to be. That's you and I, our children, friends and neighbors.
Response to DaniDubois (Reply #2)
Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:38 AM
delrem (9,688 posts)
3. surgically precise
I don't see anything you have to complain about "innocent people" considering that hellfire missiles fired from predator drones are surgically precise. Everyone says so, in exoneration. Hitting funerals too. What more can you ask for in targeted killing? Remember, no american blood is shed in these surgical strikes, except for a possible terrorist gallon or ten - so no damage is done and the world is rid of possible terrorists, which can't be bad. And the program is cost efficient now that drones are mass produced. A saving in both blood and treasure, in pursuit of freedom and democracy.
Much better than G.W.B's approach, which was to kidnap suspects to black sites, torture them and (booo!!!) leave some of them alive to be a problem re. indefinite detention without charges in Guantanamo and Bagram and innumerable offshore dungeons.
I think your distinction "we/they" is a bit spurious. How can you determine that "we" are not possible terrorists, whereas "they" are? The USA has already targeted Americans, Canadians, Brits, ... for "special" treatment. And both Repub's and Dem's have shown themselves not only perfectly fine with this, but to be totally gung ho about contesting about who is to be the party in power when implementing the program, and to be totally against any change. Any change at all.