Welcome to the Unmanned Drone, Surveillance & War Costs Section of the ADC Website.
The United States has embarked on Worldwide and Domestic Drone Programs. Unmanned Drones are being used in foreign countries and in the United States. They carry surveillance cameras, recording equipment, bombs, and other weapon systems.
In recent years the U.S. government has decided to allow the use drones within the borders of the United States. The following government reports, newspaper articles, and other information is provided for your information regarding the expansion and use of unmanned drones worldwide and in the United States.
Many unmanned aerial vehicles now under production vary in size from those as small as your fingetip to as large as full-scale airplanes capable of carrying missiles and bombs. And model radio control small airplanes, cars, and helicopters can be purchased at your local toy stores or hobby shops. The elementary technology has been in existence for more than fifty years. It has only been in more recent times that more sophisticated technology, computers, cameras, listening devices, fuels, lighter and stronger contstruction materials, and other inventions have contributed to new uses for unmanned vehicles (drones).
Unmanned Drones are plagued by crashes, malfuctions, use of defective parts from foreign countries like China, accidents (including hitting other aircraft), loss of control, lost drones, and other problems. Military drones are being tested over land areas in the United States while carrying weapons systems, missiles, bombs, and while using experimental and dangerous fuels, like hydrogen, or powered by nuclear power as is proposed by the U.S. government. The potential for accidents has already been clearly demonstrated in news and government reports over the past few years.
UAV / Drone Wars, Surveillance, (including Spy Satellite usage), have broad implications regarding our civil rights, human rights, privacy, and constitutional issues which have not been addressed at this time. Do we want to live in a society which has no privacy and no civil rights under our U.S. Constitution? Do we want to live in a police state?
Many manufacturers and the U.S. government promote the idea that unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), have only beneficial uses to entice the American people to accept their use within our borders without question. The majority of expanding unmanned drone uses are growing exponentially and are being used as war weapons, for police activities, and surveillance at taxpayer expense.
The ADC invites you to become informed about this issue. Our elected officials are rubber-stamping their usage without public debate. It is time for us to have this debate.
U.S. Constitution – Amendment 4 – Search and Seizure:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
U.S. Navy Boardman Range Complex – State of Oregon
Draft Environmental Impact Statement could be issued at any time to allow the expansion of a Drone and UAV warfare testing range which is part of the U.S. Navy NWTRC (Northwest Training Range Complex – Northern California-Oregon-Washington-Idaho)
Unmanned Aerial Drones – Increasing Use by Local Police Departments
American taxpayers are subsiding the purchasing of drones or UAVs by local police departments at a tremendous cost – manpower to run the computers, fuel and repair costs (parts and labor), human training costs, weather problems, night vision technologies cost money and will use manpower during night use…and this means fewer policemen on the beat to respond to citizen complaints, crimes, and other issues. And this will mean an increase in airborne domestic surveillance.
Many manufacturers are requesting permission or have been granted permission to sell unmanned aerial vehicles to other countries for commercial use…the problem is that they can be weaponized very easily…and used against the U.S. This will have the impact of making Americans less secure than ever before…as detection will become almost impossible due to size, materials, and stealth capabilities. The U.S. has already lost drones in other countries and it won’t be long before many countries worldwide have this technology.
The United States is now, at taxpayer expense, going to arm NATO drones and unmanned aerial vehicles. It won’t be long before other countries will be selling this hardware and software to other foreign countries. The U.S. is setting up drone bases in South America and Africa – continuing to enrich the drone manufacturers.
“…For four years, Brandon Bryant worked in America’s secret drone programme bombing targets in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He was told that he helped to kill more than 1,600 people, but as time went by he felt uneasy with what he was doing. He found it hard to sleep and started dreaming in infra-red. Brandon Bryant told Witness about his doubts and the mission that convinced him it was time to stop. Witness is a World Service programme of the stories of our times told by the people who were there…”
“…More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.
Since the outbreak of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military drones have malfunctioned in myriad ways, plummeting from the sky because of mechanical breakdowns, human error, bad weather and other reasons, according to more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained by The Post under the Freedom of Information Act…”
The Washington Post Special Three Part Report + Video on Drones
“Behind the U.S. Targeted Killing Program”
October 23 2012 – “Over the past few years, the Obama administration has institutionalized the use of armed drones and developed a counterterrorism infrastructure capable of sustaining a seemingly permanent war…”
About this Database and Graphics: “…This project relies in large part on data provided by Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal and New America Foundation’s Counterterrorism Strategy Initiative, each of which aggregates strike information based on credible news reports. The Washington Post has supplemented the data with information about more recent strikes. In most cases, the record for each strike includes links to related news reports; in cases in which there were multiple strikes on the same day in the same area, only one set of news reports is cited. When possible, the database includes the names of prominent militant leaders killed in individual strikes. The database does not include the exact number of those killed, given widespread discrepancies in various accounts and the difficulty of confirming reported tolls. By some estimates, the number of militants and civilians killed in the drone campaign over the past 10 years will soon exceed 3,000…”
C-SPAN2 Video – July 7, 2012 – Book: Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control – “…Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, takes a critical look at the use of drones by the U.S. military and argues that targeted killings do not make us safer. Members of the audience also spoke out and Ms. Benjamin also responded to questions from members of the audience at Talking Leaves Bookstore in Buffalo, New York…”
Jeremy Scahill – Escalation of Drone War Worldwide – Published on May 25, 2012 by videonation: “…The United States is on a new trajectory in warfare, says Jeremy Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation. With its increase in drone strikes, the United States is turning away from the large-scale military interventions of the past decade and towards covert operations, beyond such known locations as Pakistan and Yemen. Check out this video to learn where else Scahill thinks these covert ops are headed…”
“Drone journalism takes off” By Mark Corcoran from Foreign Correspondent
Updated February 21, 2012 20:10:07
Drones play an increasing and controversial role in modern warfare. From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iran and Yemen, they have become a ubiquitous symbol of Washington’s war on terrorism…Stalked by a drone…There is nothing quite like the sensation of being stalked by a drone. You take it very personally…Even without firing a shot, the drone, remote pilotless aircraft (RPA), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), call it what you will, is the perfect weapon of intimidation…The media is beginning to go micro, exploiting rapid advances in technology by deploying small toy-like UAVs to get the story…Australia’s fledgling UAV industry may be about to get a big wake-up call from China…” See Video: Swarm of nano quadrotors
U.S. Plans to Arm Italy’s Drones – May 29, 2012 – Wall Street Journal
“…WASHINGTON—The Obama administration plans to arm Italy’s fleet of Reaper drone aircraft, a move that could open the door for sales of advanced hunter-killer drone technology to other allies, according to lawmakers and others familiar with the matter… Lawmakers who question the planned deal say the decision to “weaponize” Italy’s unarmed surveillance drones could make it harder for the U.S. to deny similar capabilities to other North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies, and set back efforts to urge sales limitations on other nations that make sophisticated drones such as Israel. Advocates say such sales would enable trusted allies to conduct military missions on their own as well as help open markets for U.S. drone manufacturers. The administration sent a confidential “pre-notification” to (U.S.) congressional panels in April detailing its plan to sell kits to Italy to arm up to six Reaper drones, which are larger, more-powerful versions of Predators…”
Boeing Video – 2012 “…The Phantom Eye is an unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) designed to serve as an eye in the sky for surveillance, disaster relief, search and rescue, and a multitude of other uses. In this video, program manager Drew Mallow talks about the innovations that made its development possible…” Surveillance is the objective. Visit the Boeing Website for more information on the drones in our future: http://boeing.com/stories/videos/vid_08_phantom_eye.html
Stars and Stripes Drone Video – June 4, 2012 Article – “A new drone with the ability to stay in flight for up to four days completed its first autonomous test last week above Edwards Air Force Base in California. The Phantom Eye unmanned airborne system, with its 150-foot wingspan, is touted by manufacturer Boeing as representing a new era of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance…” And it looks like these drones will be used to spy on American Citizens. For more information visit: http://www.stripes.com/news/us/new-drone-capable-of-multi-day-flights-tested-at-edwards-afb-1.179579
“Washington (CNN) — A U.S. Navy drone crashed Monday in a marsh near Salisbury, Maryland. The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone crashed during a routine training flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, according to Jamie Cosgrove, a spokeswoman for the Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons Program at the base…” June 11, 2012 See Video Clip from CNN.
CNN Report & Video May 22, 2012 Sen. Carl Levin: Counterfeit military parts pose ‘significant safety risk’
“…Because of a recent surge of counterfeit military parts– such as pieces of equipment used in aircrafts– the Senate Armed Services Committee has adopted new legislation to change the procedural laws for buying new or refurbished parts. Senator Carl Levin joins Starting Point this morning to explain the details of the new law, which he has been working on alongside Sen. John McCain. Levin explains that the news laws say that parts can only be bought from contracted, authorized distributors or certified suppliers and dictates that suppliers will be responsible for their own repairs. Regarding the threat posed by the counterfeit parts, Levin explains that the problem occurs almost exclusively with equipment produced in China, and poses a “significant” safety threat to the nation…”
Video Published on Jun 14, 2012 by TheAlexJonesChannel – Darrin McBreen Interviewed Rosalind Peterson of california sky Watch about the deadly consequences of the government using military unmanned armed drones in the United States.
New York Times – June 19, 2011 – “…WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Two miles from the cow pasture where the Wright Brothers learned to fly the first airplanes, military researchers are at work on another revolution in the air: shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects and birds.
The base’s indoor flight lab is called the “microaviary,” and for good reason. The drones in development here are designed to replicate the flight mechanics of moths, hawks and other inhabitants of the natural world. “We’re looking at how you hide in plain sight,” said Greg Parker, an aerospace engineer, as he held up a prototype of a mechanical hawk that in the future might carry out espionage or kill…”
Video Published on May 25, 2012 by ResistNWOrder – Book by Medea Benjamin : Killer Drones Are Coming to U.S. Skies 5-12-12
Author of – Drone Warfare : Killing By Remote Control
Shift Shapers Radio http://codepink.org
Police Drones Are Already Here Defense Tech News March 8, 2012 – So everyone noticed when Congress told the FAA to get American airspace ready for regular drone flights, this move prompted a general Internet freakout about privacy concerns. No one likes the thought of being watched by the very drones that spy on suspected insurgents on Middle Eastern battlefields. Well, U.S. police departments are already gearing up to deploy UAV in American cities. The video below shows the Seattle Police Department’s new Draganflyer UAV. The kite-sized micro chopper weighs three pounds and can stay aloft for about 20 minutes. As a Seattle PD officer explains in the video, it’s not allowed to fly above 400 feet and has to be operated from a SPD vehicle. Just wait, though, law enforcement agencies accross the country will soon have bigger drones capable of conducting serious suveillance. Heck, a much bigger Shadowhawk drone-chopper belonging to the Montgomery County,Texas, Sheriff’s Office recently crashed into a SWAT truck belonging to said office. Click through the jump to watch a video of Seattle’s finest’s latest toy. read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/03/08/police-drones-are-already-here/#ixzz1yi8bcI9z Defense.org
C-SPAN Video – U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Unmanned Aerial Systems – Drones – Washington, DC, Thursday, July 19, 2012
The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management examined the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to oversee the domestic use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. The Subcommittee looked at the increasing use of drones domestically and how they impact people’s privacy. Drones have been used by police departments, colleges and some federal agencies. In its 2012, reauthorization, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was directed by Congress to safely open domestic airspace to wider use of drones by 2015. The FAA is expected to release a proposed rule later this year, which would establish policies, procedures and standards for the unmanned aircrafts…”
“Drone Secrecy Put to Test in Court-Appeals Court is Looking into Whether the Obama Administration can Withhold Documents Relating to the Drone Program” – September 21, 2012 “…A US appeals court is looking into whether the Barack Obama administration can withold documents relating to its drone programme. The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, is trying to get more information on the secretive operations. A lower court had originally ruled that the CIA programme was classified and therefore exempted from making its records public, but an appeals court seems unlikely to stand by classified designation. Patty Culhane reports from Washington…” http://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2012/09/20129213148897742.html
“…The ACLU testified today before a House field forum examining drone technology and the Fourth Amendment at Rice University called by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.). Drones have gotten a lot of attention lately – U.S. law enforcement agencies are eager to get their hands on them while civil libertarians are concerned about the potential threat to privacy. The panel for today’s hearing, which was held in conjunction with the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, included representatives from across the board, with witnesses from the advocacy, law enforcement, and academic worlds…”
“…The robotic planes more commonly referred to as drones have gone from a secret, rarely covered military and CIA program to a regular fixture on the national media as well as technology websites. As one of the leaders behind the U.S. drone program, White House adviser John Brennan, gets ready to face confirmation hearings to head the CIA, drones have never been more in the spotlight. Popular science show NOVA hopes to shed more light on these flying bots with a documentary titled “Rise of the Drones.”
The documentary will tackle both the military and civilian side of drone technology, exploring how the military trains drone pilots at the Holloman Air Force base in New Mexico, as well as the role drones will play in domestic law enforcement. There are controversies in both of these worlds. Are drone strikes in accordance with international law? Are they killing too many civilians? “We’ve entered an era where we’re conducting an array of operations using unmanned systems that in a previous generation we would have called war, and we would have treated like war,” Peter W. Singer, an expert in the future of warfare, says in the documentary. “When you’re conducting more than 300 air strikes in a country, you’re conducting an equivalent of at least an ‘Air War’ campaign. But we don’t call it that now.”
On the civilian side, most of the questions are related to privacy and security. Can citizens’ privacy be respected when there are thousands of eyes in the sky? “I think anybody that can use a device to peer into your activities even if it’s the air outside your window or the air above your property, I think there is a right to privacy,” Rep. Rand Paul tells NOVA. “The worry is that in two [to] three years we will have 30,000 drones crisscrossing the sky accumulating all this information.”
In addition to Singer and Paul, to try to answer all these questions NOVA interviewed the “father” of the Predator drone, the most widely used killer drone in the U.S. arsenal, several drone pilots and Vijay Kumar, a University of Pennsylvania roboticist, particularly known for his studies in the control and coordination of multi-robot formations…”
NBC News-February 4, 2013 – Huffington Post Article February 5, 2013
“…Michael Isikoff To Rachel Maddow: DOJ Drone Memo Shows Obama Has ‘More Elastic’ Concept Of Imminent Threats (VIDEO)Rachel Maddow spoke to NBC News’ Michael Isikoff Monday night about his acquisition of a Justice Department white paper that lays out some of the Obama administration’s thinking behind its practice of killing American citizens with drone strikes. Isikoff landed a major scoop for NBC, which immediately splashed the white paper on its website. In it, the Justice Department says, according to Isikoff, that:
The U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
Although evidence suggests that the paper is not the official memo which laid out the administration’s guidelines for the killing of Americans such as Anwar al-Awlaki, it does provide a partial look at how Obama justifies such strikes. Maddow noted that the details of the paper, as well as other questions surrounding the Obama administration’s policy, are certain to come up when his counterterrorism czar John Brennan faces Congress during his confirmation hearing for CIA director on Thursday. She wondered, in particular, whether the administration thought its rights to kill Americans extended to people inside the United States.
“Could the CIA or any other intelligence agency come kill you if the appropriate high-ranking official in the Obama administration — say, President Obama — decided that you were affiliated with al-Qaeda and you were a threat and you might act imminently to endanger this nation, could you then legally be killed as you laid in your bed?” she asked.
She then turned to Isikoff, who said that the paper “fleshes out some of the arguments that have been made publicly, and in ways that in some instances contrast with what has been said publicly.” The paper says that anyone targeted for killing must present an imminent threat and that their capture must be unfeasible before they can be hit with a drone. Isikoff noted that the interpretations of what a threat means are “a bit more elastic and open to interpretation” than previously known.
“They refer to a ‘broader concept of imminence’ than direct active intelligence of a plot against the US,” he said. “In fact, it explicitly states that imminence does not mean that the United States has to have clear evidence that a specific attack on US persons or interests is underway. If the US believes that the target has in the past been involved in such violent activities and the target has not renounced such activities it can be assumed that they are an imminent threat now and that that would justify an attack.” “The definition for why a capture [instead of a killing] is impractical also seems to be very, very wide,” Maddow said. End
“C-SPAN Washington Journal February 23, 2013 “State & Local Laws on Drones”
Ben Gielow, Association of Unmanned Vehicles International-General Counsel, talked about efforts by states and localities to impose legal limits on the use of domestically based surveillance drones (unmanned aerial vehicles). He talked about current federal laws that cover drones and if they are enough to keep pace with technology, and new attempts in Congress to further expand privacy protections. The Association supports defense, civil and commercial sectors.” Represents trade organizations that manufacture and sell UVS systems (drones), along with ground and maritime systems worldwide.
C-SPAN Video – March 20, 2013 – U.S. Senate Judiciary Hearing on “Aerial Drone Use in the United States”:
“Law enforcement, legal, and industry experts testified on the domestic use of unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, by law enforcement and intelligence agencies.” The technology is here already and drones of all sizes and shapes are flying in the United States. The spying and surveillance capabilities exist in many cases and the law does not protect the rights of American citizens from this type of surveillance, problems when drones are in the same airspace as commercial airplane flights or small planes. And with multiple drones sizes, our X-Ray capabilities, tracking devices, the new technology of cameras, and listening devices we are now entering the world of a police state being created in the United States. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/311620-1