By Joe Wright
Anyone who was called crazy for shouting from the rooftops back in 2005 when the first sign of drone testing in the United States was uncovered appears to have been vindicated. Small comfort as we are finally coming face to face with the consequences of our apathy.
North Dakota made international news recently as the first state to legalize weaponized drones for use upon its own citizens. But this still isn’t enough evidence for those whose heads remain buried in the sands of (they hope) blissful ignorance.
Several stunning revelations come from a mainstream media article that seems to accurately identify the problem: “Drone Policing in US Seen as ‘Wild West’.” AFP cites the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s discovery that “60 police forces across the country — from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, North Little Rock, Arkansas, and Miami-Dade County — have asked for drone certification” and that, “Up to two dozen police forces are currently fully equipped with drones and trained to use them, including pioneers Grand Forks in North Dakota; Arlington, Texas; Mesa County, Colorado and the Utah Highway Patrol.”
Naturally, these police departments are attempting to justify drones as far cheaper alternatives to helicopters and other conventional aircraft. But that actually exacerbates the real problem, which is that it becoming cheaper and cheaper to institute pervasive surveillance and tracking … and now weaponization.
There have been some positive signs of semi-awakening to this reality, however. The actual sponsor of North Dakota’s drone legislation is having second thoughts and is aiming to change the law within two years, claiming that the police union imposed an amendment that directly reversed his original intent. Some of the more educated and active areas of the country have also pushed back hard against their department’s drone initiatives forcing police to abandon their fast-track plans.
However, a disturbing comment appears in the AFP article from a Director at the Teal Group Corporation, an aerospace defense contractor that obviously would love to see a drone swarm in every town. Philip Finnegan acknowledges that there is some “political risk” at the moment, but is betting on the short-term memory of the American population, as well as their tendency to become acclimatized to all of the trappings of a full-blown police state.
He predicted that the commercial market will take off within five years as the public grows increasingly comfortable with drones and law enforcement uses them more.
So there you have the mentality of those who would profit from the further eradication of liberty inside the United States … just wait it out, you’ll give up and take it eventually.
Don’t become comfortable; spread the word and resist now, because if we think we currently have problems with a brutal police force imagine that force empowered by the same joystick surveillance and weapons that have taken over in “enemy territory.”
Where does your local police force stand on the use of drones? Please leave your comments below.
Joe Wright’s articles can be found at ActivistPost.com