Forum Thread

No More Drones for CIA

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  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The Daily Beast article entitled, "No More Drones For CIA" is the subject of this forum.

    It has been announced that the drone program that is currently run by both the CIA and our Department of Defense will soon become exclusively run by the DOD alone. They think the program might be fully dropped by the CIA and handed to DOD as early as 2014, roughly a year from now.

    Here is a small exert from the article, explaining why this would be a good move:

    The move could potentially toughen the criteria for drone strikes, strengthen the program’s accountability, and increase transparency. Currently, the government maintains parallel drone programs, one housed in the CIA and the other run by the Department of Defense. The proposed plan would unify the command and control structure of targeted killings and create a uniform set of rules and procedures.

    How much do you think this will actually improve transparency? Or accountability? And, I only ask this half sarcastically.. I mean I am somewhat hopeful that this could actually be a good move. Honestly, I am scared of this technology and its future role in America and abroad. I think most of us have to be at least somewhat alert and concerned over this issue, considering a drone's capability coupled with our curiously vague legislative language over how they can be used, both here and abroad. But, I am not dense enough to understand both its benefits in war and our need to have the best tech out there. In the DOD's hands, over the CIA's, is this the right move?
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    I sure think it is, because I think the DOD is far less likely than the CIA to use this technology as a spy (non-offensive) weapon against U.S. citizens here at home. Of course I have no proof, but it just seems to me that the military seeks military targets. The CIA is more clandestine, and it sure seems more inline with there perceived style or mode of operation to target individual persons, and especially insofar as those that might be here at home. Actually I have no problem with them being used to identify and locate suspected terrorists here at home, as long as there are no offensive tactics performed, where the average U.S. citizen might be harmed.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    michaels39301 Wrote: I sure think it is, because I think the DOD is far less likely than the CIA to use this technology as a spy (non-offensive) weapon against U.S. citizens here at home. Of course I have no proof, but it just seems to me that the military seeks military targets. The CIA is more clandestine, and it sure seems more inline with there perceived style or mode of operation to target individual persons, and especially insofar as those that might be here at home. Actually I have no problem with them being used to identify and locate suspected terrorists here at home, as long as there are no offensive tactics performed, where the average U.S. citizen might be harmed.
    Personally I think it does make much difference; both departments may hide what they are doing. However not that I know, but I have the feeling that Nagel will be more sensitive about what we are doing than Brennan who's also been working under Bush; so he knows all the tricks of the trade.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    Putting it under one roof (DoD) will certainly help accountabilty issues, but as far as the CIA working with the DoD on targeting measures ,I think little will change, the old scratch my back theory will be in force. I fear that since the technology is now out in the civilian world,it wouldn't take much to outfit a civilian type drone to do /cause severe damage to places or people that these indiviuals have a grievence against, sort of like the mass killers using semi-automatic weapons. There is no Second Amendment issue with those weapons.
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    On the domestic useage of drones, (in continental USA) would they be used predominately for "spying" missions, or used as an explosive "weapon"? I can't quite fathom wreaking havoc on civilian areas, for some suspected (or perceived) "crime." I feel strongly that the system of Justice requires that a trial by jury should alone decide the punishments for our citizens. Or even temporary residents.

    Also, even "spying" on our citizens should be viewed with great skepticism. Under what authority? For what reasons?

    It all begins to look more & more like "1984" --by George Orwell. (The AGE of BIG BROTHER is HERE).
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    There are no safeguards in place now that would prevent the use of drones for domestic spying, there is a side issue that is supposed to go before the Supreme Court regarding the potenial 4th amendmentt problem but who knows how long that will be for a ruling. I am not that concerned about our DoD using these aircraft for domestic Law Enforcement purposes,however I am concern about the civilian useage of these types of aircraft.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    johnny is right it's the civilian use of these drones that is more worrisome. There will be so many in use for agriculture, geological, forest service use, traffic monitoring, not to mention local law enforcement and many many other uses that some of them will undoubtedly be used for the wrong reasons. Once the drones are in civilian hands in great numbers it will be just like assault rifles---a few will be used by evil people. Spying will be the most common use, but they will be used as weapons too, just improvise some explosives on board then fly into the target and KABOOM!

    That's not to say that our government is completely trustworthy because they are not. We will be spied upon, and probably are being spied upon using drones already. Killer drones strikes in the USA in our future? They say no but we've been lied to before...so who knows.

    Would you bet you bet your life that it will not happen? Not me.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    jamesn Wrote: johnny is right it's the civilian use of these drones that is more worrisome. There will be so many in use for agriculture, geological, forest service use, traffic monitoring, not to mention local law enforcement and many many other uses that some of them will undoubtedly be used for the wrong reasons. Once the drones are in civilian hands in great numbers it will be just like assault rifles---a few will be used by evil people. Spying will be the most common use, but they will be used as weapons too, just improvise some explosives on board then fly into the target and KABOOM!

    That's not to say that our government is completely trustworthy because they are not. We will be spied upon, and probably are being spied upon using drones already. Killer drones strikes in the USA in our future? They say no but we've been lied to before...so who knows.

    Would you bet you bet your life that it will not happen? Not me.
    I would not worry too much; the US is how many square miles? how many towns and cities? how many homes, industry, buildings etc. Just to spy on these wil need a whole bunch of these things, which I doubt that we can afford those. Getting back to "attack" drones. Under the DoD cover I'm still inclined to believe that the CIA is involved as well. Like, can I borrow one of your things? After the fact they will say: I know of nothing , go ask the DoD they own the thing. Politics as usual. Heard of any "hits" by these things lately? NO; while I'm sure they are using these all the time. I guess they want make sure we do not know; they only publish it if they can score by the public if it is to their advantage.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I am thinking along the lines of selective targeting by civilian drones , they would'nt need a large area to canvass, but your right about the military useage allowing the CIA to "borrow" a drone , you know ,the ole scratch my back theory
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    ..."the CIA "Borrow" a drone"...yes that is not hard to envision. The federal government controls the CIA and the DOD so sharing assets is easy. Remember that the director of the CIA a few years ago was an Air Force 4 Star General.

    Dutch I do not worry too much but not because the USA is a bunch of square miles. I do not worry because I do not break the law. That by itself does not completely guarantee they will not decide to target me if someone in our "intelligence" agencies might "think" that I am doing something wrong. But if I were affiliated with terror groups, if I had a few pot plants growing in my back yard, if I were a known member of any organization which dared to speak out against the federal government, the president, or his policies, then yes, I might worry.

    Our government has already admitted that it will drop a bomb on an American citizen in other countries so to do the same here is the next step. Maybe not this year, or this decade but I would not bet my life that it won't happen someday. No charges, no trial, no jury required, just one government individual who acts as judge, jury, and executioner.

    And if they "hit" a house in my neighborhood or yours it will be blamed on a tragic accident. A drone flying too high to be seen will drop a bomb and a house will vaporize and it will be a "gas leak" or an accident by "bomb makers" which cause the explosion.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I remember not so long ago of a Supreme court ruling ,I think it was a California case where the Authorties were conducting some sort of a search which required them to use an infra-red and also heat tracking devices, as they flew over the area they noticed that an unusual amount of heat was emminating from a house , they did their police thing ,obtained warrants and entered the property and found a Pot farm, the case made its way to the Supreme Court based on 4th.Amendments violations, the case was dismissed because the Court ruled that the Space above his home is still subject to his 4th Amendment Rights, I remember this because the thrust of the agruements was that the altitude of the aircraft was in question, and it centered on just where does the boundry of ones home ends, without that specificity, the Judges had no other recourse but to overturn the previous Lower Courts ruling. I mention this because of the thought of anyone, civilian or government, flying over my house without my permission or even knowledge just for the sake of gathering information whether or not its to be used against me in some future type of ligation is kind of creepy and smacks of Orwell's Big Brother theory.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    And that court ruling may just give incentive to the government to arrange the "accidental" gas explosion. If they believe that they cannot legally arrest the people who they "think" are plotting bad things, and then win in court...well maybe the "accident" would be a more efficient way to rectify the whole "suspected bad guy" situation.

    I will say that things are flying over your house without your permission and have been doing so for decades. Satellites, planes and helicopters, and now drones are doing it and there's nothing we can do about it. How many of them are gathering information? No one knows. Drones are the growth industry because of the cost, they are 10 to 100 times cheaper than conventional manned aircraft. Drones are here to stay. Big Brother? Yes, and it's only going to get worse.