From FAS Project on Government Secrecy, we learn that over 251 certificates of authorization for drones over U.S. airspace have already been approved in 2010:
The use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) within the United States is certain to increase in the years to come, as a new Army policy has recently made clear. (“Army Foresees Expanded Use of Drones in U.S. Airspace,” Secrecy News, January 19.) But in fact the use of unmanned aircraft or drones within U.S. airspace has already advanced to a degree that is not widely recognized.
As of 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration had already issued hundreds of “certificates of authorization” (COAs) for the domestic use of drones.
“Right now, today as we sit here, we have 251 certificates of authorization for unmanned aircraft, 140 of them are DOD related,” said Hank Krakowski of the FAA at an informative Senate hearing in September 2010. “We have not rejected or denied any DOD COAs in 2010, and we keep moving forward.”
It’s now 2012, so how many drones are being used now over American skies? Or does it even matter, since these “decisions” are entirely outside of our control?
A recent article (December 2011) republished in Mother Earth News — The Secret Lives of Killer American Drones
What I find disturbing is “all of it”. Drones are mechanized, high-tech warfare, but they lack intelligence capabilities (ie., eyes on the ground). Drone attacks have killed quite a few civilians now, but I do not know the exact number (hundreds for sure). You can read “The Year Of The Drone” which outlines a study (in Pakistan) depicting the number of dead.
Thus, the true non-militant fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 17 percent.
So 17% is an “acceptable” civilian loss it seems, since the drone program is not being reduced, but increased. And you thought you were the 99%…. Which 17% of you are willing to die from terror above?
Deploying drones over American skies however, is very disturbing and could be used for all kinds of nefarious purposes, none of the good for any of us here in the Fatherland.
In Domestic drones: Coming soon over a home near you? we learn that drones are being considered “essential” to conduct surveillance of Americans. But there is scant real news of how often drones are actually being used. Which can only mean one thing: secrecy. If hundreds and hundreds of certificates of authorization have already been issued for American airspace since 2010 – what does this mean for early 2012? Undoubtedly hundreds more.
Nobody is asking the basic simple question: Is America more at risk now then it was before (pre-drone)? The answer is resoundingly “No”. There have been no terorrist attacks, no suicide bombers, nothing to justify this. Will drones make American safer at home? Of course not. A drone cannot actually “do anything” other then watch (unless they start equipping these with bombs, which may yet happen). But the need to watch is not being questioned or stopped.
So why are drones being deployed all over America? In the march to fascism and totalitarianism, what can be done, will be done. Drones over American skies are but a small part of this fascist agenda.
How far away are we from “aerial attacks”, where bombs and missiles are used to attack targets on American soil? Nobody knows. But the capability is certainly there, with the million plus hours of aerial missions already being flown over foreign lands as clear demonstration.
Aerial attacks are nothing new by the way, and have been used to assassinate high-profile targets right here in the United States, usually by helicopter. So it is no exaggeration that such aerial attacks by drone could also start occurring here, and there is as of now, nothing to stop this.
Finally, the military role of surveillance Americans on American soil is a clear violation of Posse Comitatus. But then as we know from countless examples, “lawful” and “legal” is pretty much meaningless these days. But read this:
The Posse Comitatus Act has traditionally been viewed as a major barrier to the use of U.S. military forces in planning for homeland defense. In fact, many in uniform believe that the act precludes the use of U.S. military assets in domestic security operations in any but the most extraordinary situations. As is often the case, reality bears little resemblance to the myth for homeland defense planners. Through a gradual erosion of the act’s prohibitions over the past 20 years, posse comitatus today is more of a procedural formality than an actual impediment to the use of U.S. military forces in homeland defense.
In summary, U.S. military flown drones over American skies, carrying weapons is already a foregone conclusion in my opinion. They’ve hammered down every obstacle, every barrier, every objection (or simply ignored them) and they’re going to do whatever the hell that they want. Keeping you ignorant and uninformed, operating in secrecy and under the dubious pretension of “lawful” and “legitimate” authority, drones will be a part of America’s future.