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 Mexicoís 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 Mexicoís highways.
In a ílifestyles-of-video-game-warí 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 Dronesí Dronesí Dronesí Dronesí World
Military Drone Shaped Like íUFOí
íSiri, Kill That Guyí: Drones Might Get Voice Controls
How Obama Changed Definition of ĎCivilianí in Secret Drone Wars
Obamaís 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
Sweden to give over 8 million euros to Turkey for "refugee deal" - Europe to give three billion euros total
Prime Minister Stefan L√∂fven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.
The deal came after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel held a surprise summit in Brussels involving the leaders of nine countries including Sweden, France and the UK.
The European ...
Swedish woman raped by "refugee" refuses to report it because she feels sorry for him
Victim sympathized with rapist's "difficult situation"
A Swedish woman who was raped by an Iraqi ‚Äúrefugee‚ÄĚ on a train initially refused to report the incident to police because she ‚Äėfelt sorry‚Äô for her attacker.
The incident occurred on a night train between Ume√• and Sundsvall back in October. The Iraqi refugee was traveling back to Sweden because he was unhappy with the ...
ISIS Oil Trade Full Frontal: "Raqqa's Rockefellers," Bilal Erdogan, KRG Crude, And The Israel Connection
"Effectively, we have been financially discriminated against for a long time. By early 2014, when we did not receive the budget, we decided we need to start thinking about independent oil sales‚ÄĚ -- Ashti Hawrami, Kurdistan‚Äôs minister for natural resources
In June of 2014, the SCF Altai (an oil tanker) arrived at Ashkelon port. Hours later, the first shipment of Kurdish ...
Prosecutors ban Soros Foundation as 'threat to Russian national security'
The Russian Prosecutor General‚Äôs Office has recognized George Soros‚Äôs Open Society Institute and another affiliated organization as undesirable groups, banning Russian citizens and organizations from participation in any of their projects.
In a statement released on Monday, prosecutors said the activities of the Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation were a threat to the foundations of Russia‚Äôs ...
Israeli Colonel Caught with Islamic State (IS) Pants Down
This was definitely not supposed to happen. It seems that an Israeli military man with the rank of colonel was ‚Äúcaught with IS pants down.‚ÄĚ By that I mean he was captured amid a gaggle of so-called IS‚Äďor Islamic State or ISIS or DAESH depending on your preference‚Äďterrorists, by soldiers of the Iraqi army. Under interrogation by the Iraqi intelligence ...
|More News » |