For those aware of the dangers of creeping totalitarianism to regulate every aspect of public and private life, just the mere fact that the U.S. government has spy drones is enough to make one fearful that they could one day be deployed over American skies.
It’s long been suspected that this is already the case. The government after all admits to spying on its own citizens. If it uses spy drones on foreign soil, then what would really prevent them from operating these drones in domestic skies? The answer in a word, nothing.
The Pentagon has just admitted that it has been running drone missions in the United States for the past decade. The Pentagon’s Inspector General says, “…spy drones on non-military missions have occurred fewer than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and always in compliance with existing law.”
Even though the Pentagon says no laws were violated, how do we know that? Who is monitoring the Pentagon? They certainly can’t be expected to monitor themselves.
Jay Stanley, one of the ACLU’s policy analysts says,“Sometimes, new technology changes so rapidly that existing law no longer fit what people think are appropriate. It’s important to remember that the American people do find this to be a very, very sensitive topic.”
Did the Pentagon not violate a law, because there’s no specific law that covers these actions?
One of the more telling aspects of this saga is that only last year were guidelines put in place over what a military drone could and could not do. As of now all drone activity must be approved by the Secretary of Defense, and drones are not permitted to be armed over U.S. skies unless they’re testing or training.
Does this mean that over a year ago, before this policy was put in place, that this was not the case? Could say, Michael Hastings have been the victim of a targeted drone strike? He was formerly a strong advocate of President Obama until he learned about his drone program, and then became very critical of these policies. Hastings’ Mercedes unexplainably blew up in L.A. in 2013, and he was burned alive in it.
But, of course, this would never happen to you or me regular law-abiding citizens.