DRONES. What The Hell Are They. A Primer.


The Fourth Amendment: (<<link: nice Library of Congress site)        The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

COST:   $12,548,710.60 per Drone

ABOUT 350 STRIKES SINCE 2004

THE BIG BUSINESS OF DRONES

By now “Drone Strike” is as much in common usage as the daily weather report. And like Mark Twain said,  Everybody talks about it but nobody does anything Either in direct story content, or direct target, or the CIA operative, or President Obama’s affection for it, or the Drone Kill List, or the Benghazi soldier hoping for one to keep them alive, or northwest hunters shooting them out of the sky, the DRONE is suddenly a part of America’s daily life. Did anybody vote on this? Did I miss the memo from my senator? Is anything being done? Who the hell is up to what. Where’s the money coming from?

America knows DRONES.  Except we don’t. How come they’re standard military equipment all of a sudden. Weren’t we all just talking about ‘boots on the ground’ and troop increases and battleship movements? And today, the DOJ says using Drones to kill Americans, who may be a threat with some sketchy figuring, is, constitutionally, okey-dokey.

The concern over American turf surveillance, prettily called Civilian Drones, worried a couple of states enough to produce some stunningly swift legislation this week, both parties, to keep their state’s skies Drone Free or restricted: 

Montana, California, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, Missouri, North Dakota, Florida, Virginia, Maine, Oklahoma.

Include the unlikely bedfellows the ACLU and the Tea Party allied in that mix. For some reason things flying overhead and collecting data on our daily lives, are causing a huge political stir. Which the really penetrating surveillance of Google never did. How come on that. Or was Google the cartographer. And the country can be falling off a cliff for a year but in a week states are making decisive laws protecting their overhead, while on the Federal level they haven’t produced a budget in five years. Gee whiz. Oh by the way, according to Time Magazine (DronesNov. 06, 2012)   $12,548,710.60— the cost, per drone, of 10 MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft the Air Force announced Monday that it is buying. Ten = $125,487,106.00. That was the day before the election, three months ago.

 Drones are getting cheaper and smaller by the minute. Law Enforcement agencies are liking them for searching out suspects, searching out in rescues, and searching out natural disaster details. Whole lot of searchin goin on. And accumulating data on civilians who never committed a crime.

Eleven States Take Steps to Restrict Drone Flyovers

“Our founders had no conception of things that would fly over them at night and peer into their backyards and send signals back to a home base.” (Sen. A. Donald McEachin, Democrat, sponsor of the Virginia Senate bill.) 

They will not be allowed in the hands of private citizens, not equipped with weapons, nor owned by local & state governments either, said Montana’s Senate on Tuesday. But state agencies can cooperate with federal investigators, and the ACLU says states can’t stop the feds, not agencies or border patrols. And added, “The use of drones across the country has become a great threat to our personal privacy. The door is wide open for intrusions into our personal private space.” (ACLU of Montana policy director Niki Zupanic).

Eleven States Take Steps to Restrict Drone Flyovers

There is a stunning plethora of info on Drones most of which answer questions you weren’t looking for and leave out the huge void, that Presidential Fireside Chat that should have come four years or ten or twenty years ago. How easy to forget we hired our politicians who are supposed to write us letters or go on radio or TV and ask:

“Yo! Would you like this for our country? How would you like me to vote, my dear electorate?”

before they go off doing things in total secrecy and we find out because somebody in Yemen gets hit by something somebody in power here okayed before we knew they existed, and an Ambassador and three other Americans in a land faraway didn’t get the Drone they were waiting for. Helluva way to run a country.

DRONES, BRIEF HISTORY

1915 –  Nikola Tesla dreamed them.  

1935 – Actor Reginald Denny develos first Remote Piloted Vehicle   

WWII – US, Allies, Nazis developed 

1955 – US Navy                                                    Vietnam – beginning of tomorrow.

The following is from Wikipedia so who knows, more intrigue but it’s a start……………..

Ryan Firebee was a series of early target drones/unmanned aerial vehicles.

The earliest attempt at a powered unmanned aerial vehicle was A. M. Low‘s “Aerial Target” of 1916.[3] Nikola Tesla described a fleet of unmanned aerial combat vehicles in 1915.[4] A number of remote-controlled airplane advances followed, including the Hewitt-Sperry Automatic Airplane, during and after World War I, including the first scale RPV (Remote Piloted Vehicle), developed by the film star and model airplane enthusiast Reginald Denny in 1935.[3] More were made in the technology rush during World War II; these were used both to train antiaircraft gunners and to fly attack missions. Nazi Germany also produced and used various UAV aircraft during the course of WWII. Jet engines were applied after World War II, in such types as the Teledyne Ryan Firebee I of 1951, while companies like Beechcraft also got in the game with their Model 1001 for the United States Navy in 1955.[3] Nevertheless, they were little more than remote-controlled airplanes until the Vietnam Era.

I’ll keep looking. You too, pay attention. It may be coming to a state capital near you, up for a vote. The debate continues over the right of citizens to shoot down Drones over their back gardens. I’ll put the Fourth Amendment in a second time for good measure:                   

“The Fourth Amendment  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


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4 thoughts on “DRONES. What The Hell Are They. A Primer.

  1. Wow! This is beyond disturbing. Even more so when I’m hearing about secret hearings over the legal nature of who gets to decide these things. Why is even the justification for using these killing machines kept secret? But then one of O’s statements comes back to me about how he didn’t oppose war, just dumb wars. Or something to that effect. That strikes me as downright creepy in the current context.

    • Couldn’t agree more, Gunta. We’ve got a government in anarchy, what’s that called? There’s way too much going on way too fast without disclosure, discussion, or attention to the constitution. My heart was warmed doing this, however, to see how many states are making an effort to control their sovereignty. We’ll see if it works. Thanks for your vomment.

      • I think what surprised me was the states that were missing from the list more than anything. Maine the only New England state? Perhaps there are more coming. It strikes me as utterly absurd to even think it, but these gun nuts may be on to something after all. Who ever imagined drones turned on us?

        • The whoever who imagined guns turned on us were the gun nuts. And, ergo, The Second Ammendment protecting the right of the individual to bear arms against a government gone nuts, was written into the Constitution by savvy fellows who were very fresh from escaping tyranny on an un-armed citizen.

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