anarcho-queer
occupyallstreets:

U.S. Military Using Bug-Sized Drones
A micro-aviary of drones that look—and fly—like ladybugs, dragonflies, and other insects. Since 2008, George Huang, professor of engineering at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, has managed to produce a butterfly model with a 5-inch wingspan. “We haven’t done a final version where we declare victory,” Huang says. “I’ll be happy once it’s fly-sized.”
Darpa and the Air Force have already invested in similarly tiny craft, though with no firm time horizon for deployment. Regardless, micro-drones’ potential goes beyond the military. “Police could use them to fly into a drug trafficker’s house,” Huang says. “Or in a nuclear or mining accident, you can send a fly inside to find victims.”
This isn’t the first time hearing about bug-sized drones. In October of 2007, the Washington Post published an article about ‘insect spy’ found on U.S. streets.  
No agency admits to having deployed insect-size spy drones but just a few months later the army announced that it gave the massive defense contractor, BAE Systems, $36 million to create micro-drones. The project was completed by 2010.

occupyallstreets:

U.S. Military Using Bug-Sized Drones

A micro-aviary of drones that look—and fly—like ladybugs, dragonflies, and other insects. Since 2008, George Huang, professor of engineering at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, has managed to produce a butterfly model with a 5-inch wingspan. “We haven’t done a final version where we declare victory,” Huang says. “I’ll be happy once it’s fly-sized.”

Darpa and the Air Force have already invested in similarly tiny craft, though with no firm time horizon for deployment. Regardless, micro-drones’ potential goes beyond the military. “Police could use them to fly into a drug trafficker’s house,” Huang says. “Or in a nuclear or mining accident, you can send a fly inside to find victims.”

This isn’t the first time hearing about bug-sized drones. In October of 2007, the Washington Post published an article about ‘insect spy’ found on U.S. streets.  

No agency admits to having deployed insect-size spy drones but just a few months later the army announced that it gave the massive defense contractor, BAE Systems, $36 million to create micro-drones. The project was completed by 2010.

theamericanbear

A US drone attack targeting a militant compound killed at least 10 people in a Pakistani tribal district along the Afghan border early Saturday, security officials said.

The Pakistani officials said two missiles hit and destroyed the compound in Shawal area, some 70 kilometers west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Waziristan is the most notorious militant stronghold in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt.

“The death toll in the US drone strike has risen to 10. The drone fired two missiles at the compound,” a security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar told AFP. Officials had earlier put the death toll at six.

Saturday’s attack was the second strike since Pakistan’s parliament in March approved new guidelines on relations with the United States, which included demanding an end to drone attacks on Pakistani territory.

A call that falls on deaf ears:

The Obama administration has spent a great deal of time on outreach to Muslims worldwide, and on dialing down the volume and rhetoric of the prior administration in order to defuse al-Qaeda’s narrative of a clash of civilizations between Muslims and non-Muslims. So you have to wonder why in the world the president’s speech writers would think it was a good idea to throw a joke about predator drones into the president’s speech during the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, given that an estimated one-third of drone casualties, or between 289 and 378, have been civilians. It evinces a callous disregard for human life that is really inappropriate for a world leader, especially a president who is waging war against an enemy that deliberately targets civilians. It also helps undermine that outreach by making it look insincere. It’s already hard enough to convince Muslims that the U.S. isn’t indifferent to civilian casualties without having the president joke about it.

darling80m-deactivated20121120

darling80m:

Seeking the Truth: Obama Administration Targeted Killing Strike Killed Dozens of Women, Children in Yemen

This was the Obama administration’s first known missile strike in Yemen, carried out with one or more cruise missiles launched from an American warship or submarine on December 17, 2009. The U.S. military reportedly used cluster bombs, killing at least 41 people in the remote mountain village of al-Majalah in Yemen’s Abyan province. The government was purportedly targeting “militants,” but those killed include at least 21 children and 14 women. Entire families were wiped out.

It is the worst reported loss of civilian life from a U.S. targeted killing strike in Yemen to date.

This was the one the Yemeni govt originally tried to take blame for, if not for those wikileaks cables revealing a meeting between Ali Abdullah Saleh and Patreaeus where it was agreed U.S. involvement would be concealed. The ALCU and CCR filed an FOIA request today to learn more.

jonathan-cunningham

Questions worth asking about drones

jonathan-cunningham:

squashed:

  • Under what circumstances should the U.S. drop missiles on people we’re reasonably sure are terrorists.
  • How sure do we need to be that they’re terrorists?
  • Who should the evidence be presented to?
  • Does it make a shred of difference if the accused is a U.S. Citizen?
  • What level of legal process is it possible to give somebody who is not in custody and doesn’t show up at court when given an opportunity to raise a defense?
  • Is a killing that is acceptable on one side of a border become unacceptable on the other side?
  • What is the next best alternative in a given situation?
  • In what manner is a missile from a drone substantively different than any other way of killing somebody?
  • How willing are we to accept foreseeable civilian casualties?
  • Does the citizenship status of civilian casualties matter?
  • To what degree should we hold superiors accountable for the abuses comitted by underlings? Does it matter if these abuses were unforseen? Unforseeable?
  • Once abuse is uncovered, what actions should be taken?
  • In what manner should victims be compensated?
  • Is there a balance between security and transparency? How do we strike it?
  • How do we address

I’d like to add to this list of question, “Why is our answer different for unmanned drones than any other assassination tactic”?

If our government acknowledges the necessity to adhere to constitutional guidelines for due process, why does that suddenly change when we label the accused an outlaw? What is it about the philosophical and legal justifications for restricting the government’s ability to kill without oversight that render them inapplicable to this situation? As far as I can tell, the new technology of unmanned drones was used as an excuse to change hundreds of years of legal precedent. 

Emptyself - Phantoms in the Sky

This is what you choose, to kill and be enclosed
Sheltered by the news, ‘cause it’s difficult to choose
So let us all decide what you should know
And stay too busy to keep up with the truth
How ‘bout you ignore the world beyond our shores
And leave the rest to me, so you won’t feel guilty
See I’m a guy like you, easily confused
So I stick to my guns, and god tells me where to shoot
And angels guide the bombs straight to guilty homes
So when they hit a child it was probably in the wrong
To you they look the same one threat with different names
As long as we’re at war, we can count on your support

So keep going to church, keep worshipping words
Immerse yourself in work, you’ll get what you deserve
Put a fake smile on your face, and find someone to hate
'cause they need your control, and they deserve the blame
See it’s easier that way, you never have to feel
And you can close your eyes inside your house upon the hill
And never have to look into their crying eyes
That wonder why your heart belongs to phantoms in the sky
Instead of your fellow man, who you sentence to die
They wonder why your heart belongs to phantoms in the sky
Instead of your brothers and sisters who you sentence to die
They wonder why your heart belongs to phantoms in the sky

cultureofresistance

But the real game-changer embedded in the law is the opening of U.S. airspace to unmanned drones. Although Predator drones already patrol our border with Mexico, and some police forces have obtained smaller drones of their own, the legal ability of federal agencies to fly unmanned missions over civil space was unclear, unwritten. Now they’ve got a big green light, and “the only barrier to the routine use of drones for persistent surveillance are the procedural requirements imposed by the FAA for the issuance of certificates,” says Amie Stepanovich of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Eerily, the law also makes way for the use of commercial drones: it’s not clear what Google, GE, or General Motors would do with a drone, but it’s hard to imagine something benevolent. The FAA projects that there could be 30,000 drones in American skies by 2020.

Which dystopian novel is it where thousands of surveillance robots constantly monitor us from the stratosphere? The chilling effects this could have on protest, not to mention acts of more militant resistance, should be obvious. And it’s hard to imagine that, in terms of day-to-day policing, this will mean less police violence and fewer arrests. Add the Department of Justice’s secret memoranda giving the president power to declare U.S. citizens enemies of the state and have them assassinated, and the legal framework now exists to make all U.S. citizens Awlakis, which is to say, blown up by missiles fired from an invisible robot by executive fiat. Is there a moment when the transition to police state actually occurs, or if you’re asking that question has it already happened?

rockyanderson2012

Killing American citizens with drones is the most extreme action that the Obama Administration takes in secret. President Obama insists that he is empowered to secretly kill anyone whose name appears on a secret list he keeps. The guilt of the people on the list is presumed based on secret evidence assembled by a secret group of government officials who meet in secret. The strikes are subsequently carried out by secret agents in the Central Intelligence Agency. As if that Orwellian spectacle, bereft of checks and balances, weren’t invitation enough to abuses, the government won’t even reveal the legal reasoning that supposedly justifies its suspension of due process, even for American citizens. That too is deemed a secret.

On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the status quo. It demands to know how the U.S. government adds names to its kill list; the standards under which Americans may be killed without due process; and the evidence that persuaded the government its protocols had been met in drone killings past. Perhaps most alarming is the possibility that the Obama Administration has killed American citizens and kept mum about it. There’s no evidence that they’ve done so. At the same time, they claim that right, without ever citing legal arguments to justify it.

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