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The Dreadful US Predator Drone Policy Continues to Strangle our Moral Compass

Updated on January 16, 2013

American Freedom & Privacy Strangled by Predator Drones that Fly Over the US

Did you know that the United States of America now uses armed Predator Drones over the United States?

It's true that to date, there are not many flying, but the Department of Homeland Security wanted to up the number to 24 within the year.

That means huge concerns over the loss of the rights of privacy - privacy that we Americans take so religiously. Freedom & Privacy - the American Twins!

President Obama's expansion of the Predator Drone Program is the straw that breaks my confidence in my country's aggressive military policy.

Now that the President has been reelected, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard. This article presents an overview of U.S. Drone Activity and History, along with photographs of various vehicles, and authoritative links.

I have to stand for something, on an issue as large as our aggressive use of drones both on other countries and within the United States. I condemn the Predator Drone Programs.

Predator Drones kill civilians as a matter of course, when these unmanned aerial vehicles - as the promoters like to refer to them - deliver their missiles to foreign targets and their neighbors.

Where do you stand on the proliferation of unmanned combat aircraft vehicles that deliver half as many foreign civilian deaths as foreign military deaths to the intended targets? Sound off here! The read through the resources.

image credit: my adaptation of MQ-9 Reaper Drone in public domain

"Was That a Kid I Just Killed?"

Yes, it was a child. The object is to find subjects with "potentially hostile intent."

MQ-1B Predator Drone in Iraq

photo credit: Drone Fires Missile

The first Predator Drone mission was flown over Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, after the U.S. obtained governmental permission, and the practice has enlarged from there. Synopsis of United States Drone Use

Quick & Easy Visuals

The Year of the Drone In Graphs

US Drone Fired on by Iran - November 1, 2012

photo credit: RA-1A Predator

The Pentagon confirmed that an unarmed U.S. Drone was fired on while it was airborne in international airspace, over the Arabian Gulf, after CNN aired the report of the incident. The U.S. government substantiated the report, saying that the drone landed without incident. Pentagon Confirms Strike

Every 50th Victim of U.S. Drone Attacks in Pakistan is a Known Terrorist

The other 49 persons killed by U.S. Drone Attacks in Pakistan are innocent civilians.

How Many Innocents

Make Your Position Known Here

Are you willing to tell President Obama what you think about the use of drones?

Yes, I support an aggressive policy of using drones overseas to protect America at home.

Yes, I support an aggressive policy of using drones overseas to protect America at home.

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    Yes - I intend to take an active role in protesting the use of weaponized drones.

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      Sign the Petition Against Drones

      What It's Like to Live Under Drones

      DHS Wants 24 Predator Drones Active Inside US

      Even though Congress and the Congressional Research Service oppose it, DHS operates predator drones inside America, and even loans them to law enforcement agencies in Texas and North Dakota. More Predators in U.S.

      What is a Predator Drone?

      Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

      A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle system, a part of the complex system that includes the plane, and the components necessary to fly and operate the plane.

      The pilot, who flies the aircraft, can be land-based, and even in a station an entire continent away from the scene of action, or the pilot may be in a companion airplane. Drones can also be programmed so the unit flies itself, as directed by its onboard computer system.

      In addition to military strikes, drones are also used for various commercial and military and scientific purposes :

      1) surveillance of activities, positions, topography, climate

      2) sensors to detect radiation, biologic threats, chemical substances

      3) exploration of the rock substrates underlying the surface of the landscapes, to search for oil and gas deposits, and monitor pipeline integrity

      4) delivery of goods over difficult or challenging terrain, or in battle circumstances

      5) weather evaluation of threatening systems, such as detecting and monitoring hurricanes

      Drone Size

      Prior to the tremendous advances in systems technology, the drones were quite large. Today it is possible for individuals to own drones for their own personal pleasure. The U.S. Military drone programs utilize ever smaller drones for surveillance, and to deploy weaponry against targets that are hard to find by conventional means.

      Armed Predator Drones

      As little as seven years ago, the U.S. military drones logged in excess of one-hundred thousand active hours, in service of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012 armed predator drone flights are over Pakistan, from bases in Afghanistan, with kill percentages as high as 33% for innocent civilians.

      Rate of Drone Strikes Increases Under President Obama

      I share great concern with millions worldwide, at the number of casualties deemed incidental and regrettable, as the United States Drone Program continues to inflict death to foreign civilians in their own country. Pakistan Body Counts tallies the deaths by drone attacks, and claims that nearly 3,000 persons have died, and over 1,100 have been injured.

      This website is not maintained by some flake - the author is a recognized Fulbright Scholar with Florida Institute of Technology, named Zeeshan ul-Hassan Usmani.

      image credit:Predator and Hellfire in public domain

      Take a Side on the Use of Predator Drones - pre-election section - feel free to respond

      Do you support President Obama's use of predator drones?

      Yes, I'm behind him on this. We need every advantage we can get to stop threats overseas.

      Yes, I'm behind him on this. We need every advantage we can get to stop threats overseas.

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        • lesliesinclair 3 years ago

          @TransplantedSoul: Here's the problem for me - if some other country's predator drones smashed into my family's gathering I'd consider it extremely aggressive. I find all terrorism abhorrent and continue to be shocked at the horrors of slaughter in an unending undeclared war.

        • lesliesinclair 3 years ago

          @Old Navy Guy: Just because we have technology, do you think we should use it? In the USA we have law that stipulates "innocent until proven guilty' but it seems to be so easy for some of us to forget that.

          In the US we also do not recognize 'guilt by supposition.'

          Yes, the one side that is normally told is that the US 'knows' all and we are always 'right' and our lives are the only ones worthy of respect. Along with that there is the condemnation of others because they are different from us.

          I just have to wonder what some folks would think if we lacked drone technology and our 'enemies' were using predator drones on our neighborhoods, killing our families when we were celebrating our kids' weddings.

        • Old Navy Guy 3 years ago

          What is the alternative? Boots on the ground? Of the 'innocent civilians" killed alongside the terrorists, how many were family members or community members who hid this person? There are always two sides to the story and often times, only one is told.

        • TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

          I think I prefer this to many more agressive policies... but in principle not my favourite either... And witholding a vote, means the GOP has more chance and that would be horrible.

        No, unless President Obama ceases using predator drones to stop overseas threats, I won't vote for him.

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          • lesliesinclair 3 years ago

            @anonymous: Yes, this concern always makes me think of the potential of a radical neighbor obtaining and arming drones and taking his own justice on other neighbors he deems unsuitable. What kind of warfare will that bring us, modeled after what our nation is capable of doing overseas.

            I'm reading stories of life in Afghanistan during the years following Soviet withdrawal and the rule of the onset of the fanatical group that collaborated to turn planes into bombs. The innocent people of the nation largely lived in terror then, with their every behavior externally controlled. They were like the majority of Afghanis and Pakistanis today, real human beings striving to live good lives and care for their families. What are they to think when their skies rain death on their innocent neighbors?

          • lesliesinclair 3 years ago

            @TanoCalvenoa: The scary thing to me is that the US is setting the model for all other countries' use of drones in the future, and how will we feel when some dreaded country sneaks them into our towns. We definitely need rules of warfare updated.

          • TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

            Only if they were being used in a war that was officially declared by congress, according to how the constitution says it has to legally be done.

          • anonymous 4 years ago

            It is unthinkable for me to support the Drone Program. It has long been considered that using and inventing new-type, sophisticated weapons would enable us to end wars quickly; in fact, on the contrary, wars don't end quickly; innocent victims are so easily killed by mistake bombing; and hate increases worldwide against US government and soldiers who don't know the pain of victims, the cruelty of "killing just by touching a button", and how does it feel like to have his/her family killed. They should learn from 9/11: if that was the greatest tragedy for all American people, they must not bring the same (or perhaps worse) tragedy in any other country.

          • anonymous 4 years ago

            No, I don't support the use of drones

          Surveillance Illustrated

          An unobtrustive unarmed surveillance drone uses sensors to detect underground structures that are undetectable by the human eye. Surveillance Drone in public domain

          Like a Thrilling Video Game

          At a considerable distance, pilot teams can operate all types of unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called Drones. If the operators had complete knowledge and control, if they could actually do precision strikes we would not hear and see repeated news coverage of drone attacks on family homes and wedding parties.

          image credit: Drone Controllers in public domain

          Gross Denial of Free Speech Rights During Peaceful Protest

          Alarming, how our prescious rights are being denied.

          “Catholic Worker Brian Terrell of Maloy, Iowa has been sentenced to serves 6 months in a federal prison for his witness against the use of drone warfare.”

          Terrell contrasts the government supported predator drone killing program with a nonviolent and peaceful protest action on the part of individuals whose goal was to present a petition to Whiteman Air Force Base. Killer Drones that routinely deliver death missiles to Pakistan and Afghanistan, via remote control, are directed by personnel at Whiteman.Drone Protester sentenced to six months in prison.

          photo credit BAE Raven Stealth unmanned aerial vehicle

          What Do Drones Do To Our Collective Psyche?

          Does Drone Use Heal Any Souls?

          Predator Drone Precision Explained

          Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control
          Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control

          Uncompromising picture of the reality of Drone warfare.

           

          It's a Remote-Controlled War Over There

          America's Newest Drones in Combat

          Birds of Prey: Predators, Reapers and America's Newest UAVs in Combat
          Birds of Prey: Predators, Reapers and America's Newest UAVs in Combat

          Get the story of the surgical precision delivered to drone targets.

           

          Take Action if You Disagree With the Drone Program

          Sign The Petition

          Let Me Personalize The Results of TBIs Suffered by the Military

          we create a 3rd world Population with TBI

          Since my then 21-yr old college-senior son suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in an accident I have viewed life through the lens of knowing what a struggle it is for a person with TBI challenges to make a go of it in a great first-world country like the United States of America.

          All too many wounds of war are Traumatic Brain Injuries, caused by shrapnel, by loud explosive blasts! If our well armed and protected military suffer such a huge number of Traumatic Brain Injuries from combat, from ground battles - then surely we must consider how many of those innocent parties who are killed and maimed by the Predator Drone Attacks also are doomed to live a half-life with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)!

          For a personal insight into life with TBI please read my two articles: TBI Advocacy and First Year of Advocacy

          It is for this reason that I abhor the Unmanned Predator Drone Strikes, and because my conscience won't allow me to endorse a metaphorical hyper-bombing of often mistaken targets - just because we have the technology to do so!

          Please Leave Your Comments

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              anonymous 4 years ago

              In an old movie called "The Guns of Navarone" one of the good guys who was known for his skill with a knife said that smelling a man while killing his has an impact on the killer unlike when the killing is from a distance by a gun! I wonder what it feels like to kill inocent civilians via computer from thousands of mile away and then go for a beer?!

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