The New York Times reports “When President Obama declared that the American combat mission in Afghanistan would end on Dec. 31, 2014, becoming a training mission instead, exceptions were made for two situations: counterterrorism and force protection. The counterterrorism mission was intended to continue hunting militants with Al Qaeda hiding in Afghanistan, and force protection would allow for attacks on Taliban insurgents if they posed a threat to American or NATO forces.” see more…
Tag Archives: drones
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to crackdown on commercial usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones. In March, it was reported that the FAA had issued a cease-and-desist order to the Washington Nationals baseball team because the team was using a quad-copter to take publicity photos at the team’s spring training facility. This drone, flying within the confines of the baseball stadium was, according to FAA, somehow going to interfere with aircraft that were flying at heights upward of 30,000 feet. Pointing out the hilarity of the situation, a team official told the Associated Press “No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did.” see more…
On Wednesday March 6, Senator Rand Paul delayed the Senate confirmation of John Brennan as the new head of the CIA. He began his 13 hour filibuster, which was essentially a political show, by stating “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.” Paul added, The President says, he hasn’t killed anyone yet, and has no intention of killing Americans. But he might. Paul asks, “Is that enough? Are we satisfied by that? Are we so complacent with our rights that we would allow a President to say he might kill Americans? … No one person, no one politician should be allowed to judge the guilt, to charge an individual, to judge the guilt of an individual and to execute an individual. It goes against everything that we fundamentally believe in our country.”
After the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder, sent a letter to Rand Paul that reads: “It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Rand Paul found this answer to be acceptable, I do not! At first glance it appears that Eric Holder is saying the President can not kill an American on American soil. However, the statement deserves a closer look. The word combat can be both a noun and a verb. When used as a verb, combat is defined as “to fight or contend against; oppose vigorously.”
At this very moment, it could be construed that I am “engaged in combat” as I vigorously oppose the very existence of the federal government. I also vigorously oppose the the destruction of civil liberties, the foreign policy of the American government and the lack of fiscal responsibility. I contend that, based on the definition of combat as a verb, I, along with many thousands of others, could potentially be targets of domestic drone attacks. Despite the potential threat, I will not be silenced!
Senator Lindsey Graham recently told reporters today that his colleagues in Congress need to get behind Obama’s targeted killing program, and protect the president from “libertarians and the left.”
Graham said, “Every member of Congress needs to get on board. It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program…
The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”
A leaked Department Of Justice white paper explicitly says, “[T]here exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional questions.”
Davi Barker reported on SilverUnderground.com, “The Drone memo lays out three vague, easily-met conditions that allegedly justify the murder of Americans without a trial.
- The target must be an ‘imminent threat’ in the broadest sense requiring no evidence or intelligence.
- Capture of the target must be ‘unfeasible’ meaning U.S. officials consider attempted capture an ‘undue risk.’
- The strike must be conducted according to ‘law of war principles’ which are not defined.
The Drone Memo redefines ‘imminent’ to mean its opposite. The ACLU calls it ‘vague,’ ‘elastic,’ and ‘easy to manipulate.’ According to the memo ‘the condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.’ In other words, classifying a threat as ‘imminent’ does not require any indication that it is actually ‘imminent.’”
We already know that several government officials think liberty-activists and other peaceful people are “potential terrorists” or some other kind of threat. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer called activists from Food Not Bombs “dangerous food terrorists.” NH State Representative Cynthia Chase said “Free Staters are the single biggest threat the state is facing today.” And just one year ago, Congress authorized government use of unmanned spy planes in U.S. Airspace. The FAA projects there will be as many as 30,000 unmanned drones in American airspace by 2020.
Andrew Napolitano asked, “Would we live in a safer society if the government could cut down every law and abrogate every freedom and break down every door and arrest everybody it wanted? We’d be safe from the bad guys, but we wouldn’t be safe from the government. Who would want to live in such a society?” I certainly don’t want to live in that society!
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned that the Drone Strikes were going to be an issue and “[Obama]’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.” Well IMAGINE THAT. You’d almost think that big-L Libertarians were SOCIALLY LIBERAL.
“Every member of Congress needs to get on board,” Graham said. “It’s not fair to the president to let him, leave him out there alone quite frankly. He’s getting hit from libertarians and the left.
“I think the middle of America understands why you would want a drone program to go after a person like Anwar al-Awlaki,” Graham added.
“The process of being targeted I think is legal, quite frankly laborious and should reside in the commander in chief to determine who an enemy combatant is and what kind of force to use.”
“If this ever goes to court I guarantee you it will be a slam dunk support of what the administration is doing. I think one of the highlights of President Obama’s first time and the beginning of his second term is the way he’s been able to use drones against terrorists.”
So, basically, Obama’s in the unique position of being supported by the people who he never once promised anything to and pretty much hate him, and being opposed by every one that had even a small chance of supporting him (once Bob-freaking-Barr was the LP nominee, a LOT of the LP jumped to supporting Obama, as Paul was a non-issue before the LP convention, and there were many hurt feelings about the treatment of Paul by the GOP that year).
If this shouldn’t be a wake up call to Obama, I really don’t know what will be, get rid of the freaking drones already!
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
That line, especially the bit about the “cult of the omnipotent state,” has been the subject of many internal battles within the party at conventions. There is a group within the party and the broader libertarian movement that believe that language prevents us from growing as a party. After all, the two legacy parties don’t have that kind of language and they win elections.
I come from the libertarian wing of the Libertarian Party. I’ve been a Libertarian since I was 10 or 11 years old and my father would take me to meetings of the Maricopa County Libertarian Party. I vote for Ernie Hancock when he runs for Chair because I’ve known him longer than anyone else in the party. I’ve never been anything other than a big-L Libertarian.
You can be sure of succeeding in your attacks if you only attack places which are undefended.You can ensure the safety of your defense if you only hold positions that cannot be attacked.
Lee Wrights once said, “We can make a difference by being different.” I believe that. The Libertarian Party is still much smaller than the two legacy parties. We cannot beat them by playing the game on their terms and by their rules.
This is not to say that our candidates should not be professional in appearance, nor that we can ignore the mechanics of running political campaigns. But it is to say that we can’t just be “Republicans who mean it,” or “Democrats who really believe in civil liberties.” If all we offer is a slightly better version of a legacy party, most voters won’t risk their vote for something slightly better when the legacy party candidate could, you know, win.
We can win by being the only party that supports actual freedom. Social freedom. Economic freedom. All of your freedoms. All of the time. Without exception.
These strikes are legal, they are ethical and they are wise.
According to a memo (PDF) obtained by NBC, the Obama Administration has decided that they can kill anyone overseas with a drone strike, including American citizens, with no trial, charge, or any due process protections at all. The Democrats don’t have a problem with this, since it’s a Democrat making this unilateral decision to kill people. Oddly, the Republicans don’t have a problem with it either, possibly because they want to have that power in 2016.
Libertarians are the only ones who have a problem with it. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution clearly states, “nor shall any person be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” There is no more stark and frightening example of “the cult of the omnipotent state,” than the idea that it’s okay to murder people drone missiles as long as it’s the President doing it and he’s pretty sure you’re a bad guy.
I’m a Libertarian and I challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual, and that most certainly includes the right to not be murdered by the government with no due process at all.
UPDATE: The research comes from the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. It’s evident from the publication listing that they are pretty much the authority on GPS spoofing and spoof detection techniques, for anyone who wants to dive into the technical side. /UPDATE
A small surveillance drone flies over an Austin stadium, diligently following a series of GPS waypoints that have been programmed into its flight computer. By all appearances, the mission is routine.
Suddenly, the drone veers dramatically off course, careering eastward from its intended flight path. A few moments later, it is clear something is seriously wrong as the drone makes a hard right turn, streaking toward the south. Then, as if some phantom has given the drone a self-destruct order, it hurtles toward the ground. Just a few feet from certain catastrophe, a safety pilot with a radio control saves the drone from crashing into the field.
From the sidelines, there are smiles all around over this near-disaster. Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin’s Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.
They could be turned into weapons. see more…