Giving up liberties for safety

by CalWatchdog Staff | November 25, 2012 10:44 am

Nov. 25, 2012


Katy Grimes: The government push for more domestic drones to spy on American citizens should give everyone chills.

What could possibly go wrong?

Last Spring, President Obama signed the approval of 30,000 drones to be used domestically, and the media barely reacted. If George Bush had done this, the media would have called him a war monger, and stories would have run non-stop for months.

But this is a non-partisan issue, and should be on everyone’s watch list. In fact, domestic drones have become a bipartisan program.

“The 60-member House of Representatives’ “drone caucus[2]” – officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus[3] – has helped push that agenda,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported[4]. “And over the past four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions, an investigation by Hearst Newspapers[5] and the Center for Responsive Politics[6] shows.”

The ACLU[7] gave President Barack Obama 0/4 rating on “Ending a Surveillance State,” and is very critical of the President on civil liberties when it comes to a surveillance state.

Only Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson[8] said during the recent campaign that the Patriot Act should be allowed to expire. Johnson said that the Patriot Act is a direct assault on privacy and due process.

If the domestic drone program is any indication, Johnson is right.

The Business Insider recently reported[9] that the Department of Homeland Security recently signed a $443 million contract with General Atomics to purchase up to 14 Predator drones. This would add to the current drone fleet of 10 if Congress appropriates the funds.

“The DHS uses the drones not only to patrol U.S. borders (through Customs and Border Protection), but also flies drone missions on behalf of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies with little oversight,” the Business Insider said[10].

“In September the Congressional Research Service released a report warning that domestic drones—which will soon have the capacity to see through walls and ceilings— may be able to bypass constitutional privacy safeguards[11] because of their high level of sophistication.

Earlier this year the Federal Aviation Authority said it expects 30,000 of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fill U.S. skies[12] by the end of the decade.”

Be very afraid.


  1. [Image]:
  2. drone caucus:
  3. House Unmanned Systems Caucus:
  4. reported:
  5. Hearst Newspapers:
  6. Center for Responsive Politics:
  7. ACLU:
  8. Gary Johnson:
  9. reported:
  10. said:
  11. may be able to bypass constitutional privacy safeguards:
  12. 30,000 of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fill U.S. skies:

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