Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
An ABC News reporter recently speculated that drones could become such a routine part of life in the United States that they would be the tool of choice to find lost dogs or cats.
Finding pets is not what’s worrying civil rights advocates and others who are paying attention to the increasing use of drones.
They are alarmed by the idea that a drone could track citizens through their cell phones, identify them through a handgun, pepper them with rubber bullets to intimidate them or just blast them off the face of the Earth with live ammunition.
Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb told Breitbart News that such a move could violate Fourth Amendment and Second Amendment rights.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center obtained documentation through a Freedom of Information request that Predator B drones “shall be capable of identifying a standing human being at night as likely armed or not.”
Also proposed is an “interception” program that can track cell phones.
Holder told Paul in response to a question from the senator that the U.S. never has carried out a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on American soil and it would be “unlikely.”
However, Holder also said he could not rule it out entirely.
“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” Holder’s letter said.
He confirmed Obama “has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”
Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican who joined Paul’s filibuster effort today, said he would like to see more of the arguments the Obama administration has used on behalf of drones explained.
Lee today pressed Holder for access to the documents and guidelines on which Obama and Brennan apparently have been singling out individuals for destruction.
NBC News obtained an abbreviated version of an administration policy statement that said the government can kill a U.S. citizen with a drone strike if the citizen is a suspected terrorist who is an “imminent threat.”
Lee warned such language and standards are open for abuse.
The ABC reporter who said drones would be used to find missing pets was on camera:
Already, Americans have been told there could be tens of thousands of drones flying overhead within a few years, by organizations ranging from sheriff’s office to university research teams.
But states are not waiting for Washington to sort out the issues. A number already have proposed state limits, including a ban on weaponization in Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Georgia.
Also, several states have provided farmers and ranchers protection from aerial surveillance, and some states are thinking about requiring a public reporting of drone activities.