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15 February 2013


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You mean this drone pilot medal?


I saw this story on BoingBoing today and it seems apropos. A little light reading for a Friday afternoon.



Col. Lang, Spot on! Brennan will ask for "lists" just like Stalin did........and when not enough names are supplied to support continuation of the program, he will express his displeasure.......and more names will have to be found....just like Stalins apparatchiks dutifu
Lily did.


DARPA already experimenting with Global Hawk

John Minnerath

Tell me this isn't so.


" Hmm! What's that buzzing noise?"

Nothing..... http://ardrone2.parrot.com/usa/ ..... takes a little getting use to using the Droid but it is a gas...



Thanks for straightening me out on this. I have these unreasonable fears and distrusts of government and big thingies like our Church. This must be caused by the professional deformation caused by my SF and HUMINT background. pl


You know the old saying... If you can't beat them, join them....then beat them... Now if I could only figure out how to mount a mini-gun.....:-)



You and Torky will work it out. pl

The Twisted Genius

Here's another direction for drone technology. I'd like to see old Torky and the rest of the suits plagued with swarms of these 24/7.


The Twisted Genius

This is just embarrassing. I can't imagine the thought processes of those twinks that came up with this.


"It's like having bees living inside your head." Firesign Theater.

The government likes people to know there is a possibilty they are being surveilled because, even though they can't watch everybody, everybody knows there is a chance they are be spied on and will act according to the official guidelines of behavior. If a technology is developed that can control people's actions or thoughts, the government will use it. What most people don't realize is the elite have more to fear from us than we of them. That is why they go to such extreme measures fo frighten us into submission. Maybe someday people will wake up.

Babak Makkinejad


Could the second amendment of US Constitution protect the right to own and operate armed drones?

That is, can one fly an armed drone within the United States?

Can an individual also own and operate surveillance drones within the United States?

Does anyone know the Law?

FB Ali

"Think judicial review, folks. Think judicial review".

In a letter to the New York Times on 12 February Archbishop Desmond Tutu said:

"I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the suggestion in "A Court to Vet Kill Lists" (news analysis, front page, Feb. 9) that possible judicial review of President Obama's decisions to approve the targeted killing of suspected terrorists might be limited to the killings of American citizens.

Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours?".........


The Twisted Genius

One can use small drones as approved by the FAA for photography, but these are only on the level of the smaller battlefield surveillance drones used by our military. I can conceive of a hobby drone equipped with a semiautomatic action that can be fired by radio control, but I'm sure the police and/or FBI will be on your ass as soon as they get wind of it.

Laws restricting government drones are being enacted on the local and state level. State legislatures in Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Virginia have done so or are in the process of doing so.

On the federal level:

"With the looming threat of faceless drones buzzing around American cities, congress has proposed banning armed drones and regulating their use for law enforcement surveillance. The Preserving American Privacy Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren would require warrants for unmanned aircraft systems to collect personally identifiable information and a public notice to collect information in public areas." (TechCrunch)



Come now think of the danger - carpel tunnel, eye strain, hardened arteries, hemorrhoids, just like all the civilian desk jockeys who wrote up the legal rationale behind Obama's kill list authority.


I would think owning one would be no problem nor would flying it over your own real estate. The issue is going to be flying over someone else's. I'm sure we'll soon see these 'armed' with camera's. just imagine flying one along a street in Manhattan or maybe over the 'red carpet' at the Oscar's. Its sure to be a fun area of law for the lawyers.

William R. Cumming

Babak Like the umpires in baseball any given pitch is a nothing until called by the Umpire. The question you ask is hypothetical with an unknowable answer until SCOTUS answers. That is why the plethora of 5-4 decisions that has continued under Chief Justice Roberts is so inimical to our democracy [Republic]!


FB Ali
Tutu does not seem to understand that UCAVs ARE. They are not a proposal. The genie is out of the bottle. The question now and in the future is one of regulation, not abolition. I favor judicial review of such individual designation of targets with regard to all targets outside a war zone. pl

Eric Dönges

Archbishop Tutu doesn't even mention drones in his letter. He is appalled at the thought that most Americans seem to only have a problem with the idea the U.S. government might decide to arbitrarily kill American citizens, and not the fact the U.S. thinks it has the right to arbitrarily kill anyone it pleases, without any of the customary legal constraints (like the one where you have to formally declare war before you get to use violence against a sovereign nation).

You could argue that that particular horse left the stable long ago, but perhaps he thinks that the current discussion makes a good opportunity to remind Americans what the real problem is.

And frankly, I'm kind of amused (in a gallows humor sort of way) at all the outrage - what did you Americans expect ? Your government argued that the U.S. constitution only constrains it on U.S. soil (see Guantanamo bay), and you where OK with that. Your government argued that it could arbitrarily declare people terrorists without any due process and kill them, and you where OK with that too. All this butthurt that now *you* might be the ones in the crosshairs of your government would be funny if this wasn't such a serious issue.


Nah. If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.


Actually, I was told that when I questioned the sense of no fly lists to Americans in 2004 or so.


If Miscarriages of Justice are so rare, why is there a word for it? Or compensation statutes.


Eric Donges

"and you where OK with that." I was not. pl


Re: "carpel tunnel, eye strain, hardened arteries, haemorrhoids", not to mention overdosing on caffeine - all signs of service beyond the call of duty.

Who knows, maybe either will qualify them for a purple heart also.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

In principle, judicial review would be an improvement. In practice, it might not make a whole lot of difference -- witness FISA, and many court decisions (such as those in which blatant entrapment by the FBI has been ignored to imprison many simple-minded loudmouths as terrorists).

Even this would not resolve the issue that the US would not grant other countries the right to target their enemies (especially on US soil) after their own "due process". Is according special status to US due process much better than according special status to US citizens in the matter of taking life?

There is no getting away from the fact that, underlying all these issues, is the reality that the US is the most powerful state in the world, and the rules that apply to international relations between countries don't bind it. This is acceptable as a fact of life, but it cannot be also be considered morally acceptable.


Even worse, it will rank ABOVE the Bronze Star!!

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