Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:37 PM
Judi Lynn (95,259 posts)
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, Despite Safety
Source: Common Dreams
Published on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by Deeplinks blog / EFF
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, Despite Safety and Privacy Concerns
by Trevor Timm
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.
Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/20-9
17 replies, 3981 views
Homeland Security Wants to More Than Double Its Predator Drone Fleet Inside the US, Despite Safety (Original post)
|Judi Lynn||Nov 2012||OP|
|Chef Eric||Nov 2012||#1|
|The Wielding Truth||Nov 2012||#3|
|Angry Dragon||Nov 2012||#14|
|woo me with science||Nov 2012||#17|
Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #2)
Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:05 AM
lunatica (30,284 posts)
16. Yeah, who the fuck is making these decisions? A committee?
Why don't they name names? They act like it's some composite CGI movie effects shadowy glob demanding more drones. So now Homeland Security is being run by some lightning infested black billowing cloud of pure evil a la Green Lantern?
Although come to think of it, that may be exactly what's running the Department.
Response to msongs (Reply #4)
Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:55 PM
dixiegrrrrl (42,032 posts)
10. Here's proof of how the company works.
The drones are made by General Atomics.
"Since 2005, the Center for Responsible Politics reported General Atomics had spent over $1.5 million per year in lobbying efforts from 2005 to 2011.
In April 2002, the company paid for Letitia White, who was then a top aide to Representative Jerry Lewis, and her husband to travel to Italy. White left Lewis' office nine months later, to become a lobbyist at Copeland Lowery.
The next day, she began representing General Atomics.
Lewis, her former boss, was at the time chairman of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee."
btw..this same Rep, Jerry Lewis, was being deeply investigated by a United States Attorney General Carol Lam
but she was fired by Bush during AttorneyGate.
CREW)in 2009, named Lewis one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress, saying that his "ethics issues stem primarily from the misuse of his position as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to steer hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to family and friends in direct exchange for contributions to his campaign committee and political action committee."
Lewis was also included in the group's report in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
Rolling Stone ranked him one of America's worst congressmen and gave him the nickname "The King of Payoffs"
the good news: Lewis is leaving Congress in Jan. of 2013.
Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)
Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:19 PM
bluedigger (13,203 posts)
11. I find it hard to believe we don't have stationary satellites covering our borders.
Of course, it's probably not feasible to mount missiles on them.