A tale of drones running wild in Wonderland

Where did drones originate?  How did we end up with flying “things” that can watch, or if some wishes, kill people?  I don’t know the answer – but certainly the technology got a boost from the war against terrorism, particularly in Afghanistan.  The modern drone-of-war must have come from the imagination of a military person who was looking for a way to track and fight against people in impossible terrine.  The military did need someway to make war against terrorists hidden in high-up in mountains; rugged, impassable mountains that protect their citizens from all outsiders.   After all, for all of modern human history those mountains have defeated the world’s greatest armies from Alexander the Great to the Russians.

The drone is a nearly perfect weapon for those mountains and any commander would have used them if he had them available.  We are fortunate that the technology is here now and available, aren’t we?  Military drones combine the technology of flying with the technology of computers and video games; a live version of Grand Theft Auto played by former adolescent, but now-grown-up, video game players masquerading as military pilots.  The difference between the two game formats is death; the kills in the military version are real and real people lie dead on the ground after the attacks.

I have often wondered how it happened that drones became tactical weapons.  Tactical weapons are the tools of tactical commanders and can be deployed as the commander deems necessary.  Drones are used without the president or congress declaring war, a drone can be, and frequently is, sent across international borders in what can only be described as an act of war.  The question of the tactical use of drones is only one of the questions that droning generates. The next and more important question for me is: where else are drones being used and by whom?  According to the director of the FBI while testifying before Congress the answer is here; at home in the United States in 2013 by the FBI.  What?  Yes, the FBI is admitting to using drones in the United States to track people – no admission of killing anyone, yet. The director said the use of drones has been: “very, very minimal way, very seldom”.  Geez, thanks guy – that makes me feel so good.

FBI admits to using surveillance drones over US soil; The FBI has admitted it sometimes uses aerial surveillance drones over US soil, and suggested further political debate and legislation to govern their domestic use may be necessary.  Speaking in a hearing mainly about telephone data collection, the bureau’s director, Robert Mueller, said it used drones to aid its investigations in a “very, very minimal way, very seldom”.  However, the potential for growing drone use either in the US, or involving US citizens abroad, is an increasingly charged issue in Congress, and the FBI acknowledged there may need to be legal restrictions placed on their use to protect privacy.  “It is still in nascent stages but it is worthy of debate and legislation down the road,” said Mueller, in response to questions from Hawaii senator Mazie Hirono.  Hirono said: “I think this is a burgeoning concern for many of us.”  Dan Roberts, Guardian, 6-19-13

This story makes my point about technology; whatever can be imagined will be built, whatever is built will be used.  And the FBI and the military are not the only ones with the technology – what uses will Google find for drones?  Will there not be Republican and Democratic party drones that follow each other? Is it too far fetched to wonder when a wacko will decide on a drone attack at a school, movie theater or a church?  But, here again I must acknowledge and repeat my declaration that I am against the indiscriminate use of technology.  Therefore I am always on the lookout for stories that support my point of view.  Feel free to post stories that disprove my fears about drones.  I need some help in balancing my unbalanced attitude on this subject.  I am beginning to feel like Alice in Wonderland and it is not a comfortable feeling.


2 Responses to “A tale of drones running wild in Wonderland”

  1. 1 Lynne Rosner June 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    I am shopping for a new car. The newest car I drive in our cache sitting in the driveway is a 2006 automobile. I was kind of excited in 2006 purchasing the Scion. The technological and engineering advancements in the past seven years puts me in the driver’s seat somewhat lost in my understanding of what driving has become. I dont know that I will be able to keep up with all of the stuff on the dashboard and the door. The car’s transmission is automatically continuously variable…supposedly without any fluid. i am lost in the jumble of automatic. Should I turn in my license now? I feel like I should and then I remember it is too far to walk to the many places I go to in order keep home here in the United States. There’s a nice analog clock in one of the cars I test drove. It made me feel right at home too ticking me away into tomorrow. Have a good evening.

    • 2 Ken Adams June 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      You might consider getting a horse and buggy. I think that is what I will end up doing, living in a tent, riding a horse and communicating with smoke signals. On Click and Clack today, one of the brothers said old drives evolve the same technique to compensate for slowed reflects – they drive with one foot on the break and one foot on gas because their reflects are too slow to move one foot from the gas to break fast enough to prevent and accident. The horse, buggy, tent and smoke signals are equivalent responses to aging and the use of all technology. Too old to keep up, drop out. The more that I write about technology the more my thinking seems to resemble going back to the horse and buggy – just too old to keep and looking for a way out of the dilemma.

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