Air Force Drones Trail Civilian Auto Traffic in New Mexico
By Steve Clemons | TheAtlantic.com
The USAF is reportedly targeting and trailing civilian auto traffic on New Mexico’s highways. Harmless or just another example of the blurred lines between the international and domestic application of U.S. military technology?
They are most likely not "armed drones," but news has surfaced that the US Air Force is training drone pilots to trail civilian auto traffic on New Mexico’s highways.
In a ’lifestyles-of-video-game-war’ piece by Mark Mazzetti that appears in The New York Times Magazine this Sunday, Mazzetti writes:
When I visited the base [Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.] earlier this year with a small group of reporters, we were taken into a command post where a large flat-screen television was broadcasting a video feed from a drone flying overhead. It took a few seconds to figure out exactly what we were looking at. A white S.U.V. traveling along a highway adjacent to the base came into the cross hairs in the center of the screen and was tracked as it headed south along the desert road. When the S.U.V. drove out of the picture, the drone began following another car.
"Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?" a reporter asked. One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.
Some may shrug and say that the undisclosed high-altitude tracking of US vehicles for training purposes is harmless, but the line between civilian privacy and an increasingly Orwellian capacity of the U.S. federal government to track its own citizens is blurred just a bit more by this practice.
There are already serious concerns about U.S. military drones -- designed for warfare abroad -- being re-purposed for civilian purposes.
The blog Loss of Privacy reports that unarmed drones at Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D. are being used for civilian surveillance. And according to the same report former California Congresswoman and now Wilson Center for International Scholars President Jane Harman helped lead efforts to block expansion of drone hardware and related intelligence to the US domestic theater:
In 2008 and 2010, Harman helped beat back efforts by Homeland Security officials to use imagery from military satellites to help domestic terrorism investigations. Congress blocked the proposal on grounds it would violate the Posse Comitatus Act, which bars the military from taking a police role on U.S. soil.
The problem with an ever powerful national government with more and more tools to control and track its citizenry is that these powers, legal and technical, are often abused and used in ways not originally intended.
Tools developed for the so-called war on terror are now used to spy on Americans -- and not enough, Dana Priest and Shane Harris excepted, are blowing the whistle on this creeping intelligence capacity that is now using Americans as unwitting guinea pigs before the video-trained pilots go track and destroy similar SUVs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere.
This should not be happening. There should be controls on what the U.S. Air Force can target. The Department of Defense has no shortage of vehicles, enormous swaths of federal land for their own staff to traverse.
If Air Force video pilots need to train by tracking something from the air, they should target soldiers in their ranks.
Article from: theatlantic.com
The Wonderful World of Drones
Missiles, bombs, drones & battleships: London ready for Terror?
This is a Drones’ Drones’ Drones’ Drones’ World
Military Drone Shaped Like ’UFO’
’Siri, Kill That Guy’: Drones Might Get Voice Controls
How Obama Changed Definition of ‘Civilian’ in Secret Drone Wars
Obama’s Drones Threaten World Civilization
Drones roam Skies of US Cities (Video)
Chomsky: Bush kidnapped & tortured, Obama murders
Loss of Privacy (site)
Latest News from our Front Page
West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be.
In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.
Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.
"This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax
NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters.
Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
|More News » |