07/12/12 Threats From Above
When a journalist known for being critical of the Obama Administration reported a drone buzzed his rural home it could have been chalked up to mere coincidence.
However, the Department of Homeland Security has approved the use of drones in the U.S. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s spending money to accelerate adoption by domestic agencies. Which agencies and where? TheyÃ¢Â€Â™re not saying. Reportedly, more than 250 permits have been issued for domestic use.
The first documented case of a drone used to spy on an American occurred last year.
At the moment, there are no prohibitions on the arming of domestic drones. [However, thereÃ¢Â€Â™s legislation prohibiting the use of armed drones making its way through Congress (here, here). Two amendments banning the domestic use of armed drones were passed in the House last month and await action in the Senate. One was an amendment to Department of Homeland Security Appropriations and the other was an amendment to the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations.]
Then thereÃ¢Â€Â™s manned aircraft. The U.S. Forest Service recently solicited bids for aircraft capable of conducting air attack. Why would the Forest Service need attack aircraft?
Is it ridiculous we are even talking about air attacks against the public?
In 2009, a Homeland Security document identified individuals with commonly-held views as being potential terrorists. DHS withdrew the document after a public outcry. But a few months ago a similar document was quietly issued making similar claims.
Government should not be using armed aircraft against the public. More importantly, why would they?
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IÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â™m Mark Hyman.