for your own protection

Flying Spy-Death Machines, Coming to an Airspace Over You

Just like in the movies, with blood and everything!

Americans seem a tad unhappy with the club of corrupt kleptocrats running their government these days; seems about as good a time as any for Congress to give the go ahead to the military and private corporations to fill our skies with stealth spy-death machines to help keep an eye on protesters traffic conditions, maybe? To be fair, it must be incredibly annoying for the Department of Homeland Security to have to sit there combing Twitter all day long trying to figure out who needs some reedumacating, in Gitmo. And anyway, why should the CIA be the only ones having all the surveillance drone FUN?

Plus, the military needs something to do with the $40 billion in unmanned drones it plans to buy over the next ten years!

From the AP:

The FAA is also required under the bill [passed by Congress] to provide military, commercial and privately-owned drones with expanded access to U.S. airspace currently reserved for manned aircraft by Sept. 30, 2015. That means permitting unmanned drones controlled by remote operators on the ground to fly in the same airspace as airliners, cargo planes, business jets and private aircraft.

Currently, the FAA restricts drone use primarily to segregated blocks of military airspace, border patrols and about 300 public agencies and their private partners. Those public agencies are mainly restricted to flying small unmanned aircraft at low altitudes away from airports and urban centers.

Within nine months of the bill’s passage, the FAA is required to submit a plan on how to safely provide drones with expanded access.

Yes, perhaps “drone safety” would be a good idea. Field tests of U.S. drones are so far not proving very safe for Pakistani children, according to this recent report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:

Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.

‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children. A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

Yes yes, but of course those are the “Pakistani child-killer” kind of drone, and the law passed by Congress only allows the surveillance kind of — oh wait, no it doesn’t. Oh well. HIDE, EVERYONE? [AP/Bureau of Investigative Journalism via Glenn Greenwald]

Comments

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  • MrFizzy

    I wonder if there's a penalty for shooting them down if they kill your dog with missiles.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      I wonder if there's a penalty for shooting them down, period. There's certainly parts of the One-Star State where they'd come home perforated like county highway speed limit signs.

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      If your dog is in your battle-ready house instead of on the roof of your car, no problemo.

  • SorosBot

    This is good news for the Decepticons.

  • Numbat_Dundee

    The drones will no doubt be guided by a computer. Computers can be hacked into. Juilan Assange was a very good hacker once. Just joining the dots here…

    • SorosBot

      Hell, didn't the Iranians already hack into one and bring it down for study?

    • MinAgain

      Skynet says "hey".

  • Baconzgood

    I for one welcome our un-maned spy robot overlord planes.

  • http://www.wonkette.com smokefilledroommate

    Welcome to the Terrordrone.

    • MOG2410

      Exactly, now bow to the overlords.

  • LiveToServeYa

    Privately-owned drones, eh? Say, if we all chip in, can we buy a Wonkette drone? We'll think of something to do with it, I'm sure.

    • CapnFatback

      We'll arm it with grade-A snark. It'lll be our very own Marvin the Paranoid Android!

      • http://www.wonkette.com smokefilledroommate

        first assignment CPAC

        • CapnFatback

          We'll have to be careful that Breitbart doesn't try to feel up its missiles.

      • bagofmice

        If someone got a toy blimp, printed the Ron Paul "revolution" logo onto it, and snapped a microphone camera bit onto it, you could have some fun.

      • Negropolis

        I've always wanted to shout: Fire the snark cannons!

    • Fare la Volpe

      If the Paultards bought a blimp, the Wonkeratti can buy a drone.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      Congress is chock full of them, and so are most state legislatures … but I don't think we can afford one.

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      That's right, or else we'll have a drone gap and Gawker will be free to stalk us without fear of retaliation.

      THIS MUST NOT STAND!

      • Biff

        What's a warblog without a drone, I ask?

    • GorzoTheMighty

      If it is the Wonkette Drone wouldn't it just fly around in a circle? Just sayin..

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      Can we paint it ginger?

    • extreme_left

      I don't think the Wonk.drone would stay aloft for too long on account of all the Vodka.

  • dijetlo

    I can hardly wait for the "Rootmydrone" android app that let's you take control of government death machines via a cell phone running Honeycomb or later.
    We are America, after all, random acts of digital violence is what we do.

    • HateMachine

      After all the times I've wished for the ability to blow up other cars on the road with my mind, I finally will be able to call in air strikes on these poor bastards. Even if they're unarmed, I can at least crash them into the windshield.

    • GOPCrusher

      Probably be an expansion pack for Call Of Duty:Modern Warfare. Remote pilot a Predator drone armed with Hellfire missiles from the comfort of your own X-Box.

  • http://www.wonkette.com Chillwillard

    Isn't this how Skynet started?

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      First, they get on the GOP primary ballot…

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Of course, a Cessna 172 and some surplus wing-mounted Sidewinder missiles would level the playing field.

  • Joshua Norton

    privately-owned drones

    Hmmm. Best job description of a Republican congress-critter yet.

    • Biff

      They do drone on, and they're bought and paid for too.

  • CapnFatback

    The future is now! It will be like if The Jetsons were directed by John Woo!

    • BaldarTFlagass

      And when they arm the drones with the Hellfire missiles, it'll be like John Woo is directing!

      Woo-hoo!!

      • CapnFatback

        Aha! I sneaked my edit in on time! With CPAC coming up, I musta had Furries on the brain.

        • BaldarTFlagass

          Shit, I just thought you were talking about that neocon lawyer John Yoo, which even made your comment funnier. Yoo, woo, wtf

          • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

            And I was thinking politician David Wu. Whatevs, I guess.

          • CapnFatback

            Wu's on first?

          • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

            No, no, that was Hu.

    • cheetojeebus

      Release the white doves! (in slow mo) with little frikkin lasers strapped on their heads.

    • Negropolis

      I'd pay to see it if it was The Jetson's as envisioned by Quentin Tarantino.

  • Schmannnity

    Fourth Amendment? So 18th Century.

    • bagofmice

      It is. The notion that a machine somewhere in this network of machines we live within today won't be able to record things is laughable.

  • Bonzos_Bed_Time

    U.S. Drones: Coming soon to a wedding reception near you!

  • chascates

    Hey, once global warming really gets worse we'd all be living underground any way. Now, if they come up with robotic assassin worms . . .

    • orygoon

      I tried living underground back in Texas, but the fire ants put an end to that.

  • orygoon

    Just who, exactly, owns privately-owned drones?

    • http://www.wonkette.com smokefilledroommate

      privately-owned people

    • MissTaken

      Job creators, duh.

    • chascates

      Erik Prince

    • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

      Privately owned drones are people too, my friend!

      Wait…make that "3/5 of people, too, my friend!"

    • HateMachine

      I do, after I hack the previously government-owned ones. If Iran can do it, I'm sure there will be a tutorial available on the internet sooner or later.

      • GOPCrusher

        Hacking Drones For Dummies. Available on Amazon.

        • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

          And ready to be mailed to you by a minimum-wage-slave on the verge of collapse due to dangerous working conditions.

  • edgydrifter

    After the elections are over, I figure I can pick up one of those Ron Paul blimps cheap to use as an anti-drone barrage balloon over my lair.

  • http://gratuity.wordpress.com/ Gratuitous World

    Under this bill, Congress mandated the drones can't collectively bargain, so they'll likely be fragmented, underpaid, overworked and generally pissed.

    • Negropolis

      LOL!

      And, don't even think about striking. Well, you know, the other kind of striking.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    Shit, and I just spent 1500 bucks on a privacy fence around my swimming pool.

    • MOG2410

      They won't hurt that, just the people in the pool.

    • YasserArraFeck

      I'm getting into the pool canopy business. Suck on that, Big Brother!

    • bagofmice

      Now I want to see what you're planning to do in the pool.

  • http://www.wonkette.com/ slowhansolo

    They're going through an awful lot of trouble just to catch me picking my nose or tossing off into the laundry.

    • GOPCrusher

      You don't live in Oklahoma, do you?

  • coolhandnuke

    If you want to get rid of the drones put John McCain in command. Within months he'd have crashed landed all of them.

  • YasserArraFeck

    Forget about the flying variety – be more concerned about the hordes of drones that went a'voting yesterday – a much greater danger to our civil liberties

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      Jeebus will protect them from airborne evil. You, not so much.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    I just know the NRA is going to declare that every citizen has the constitutional and God given right to own their own drone(s).

    • chascates

      The Second Amendment guarantees me an anti-aircraft gun. Sure is a bitch to reload the shells, though.

  • Baconzgood

    I'd like to know exactly how those bees are spying on us. BUILD THE DAMN SKY WALL!

  • http://ifthethunderdontgetya.blogspot.com/ ifthethunderdontgetya

    ‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, Obama told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

    Cool story.
    ~

  • SayItWithWookies

    This is bad news for the private prison industry — I mean, when you have a whole country that's treated like cellblocks you really don't need to incarcerate anyone further, do you?

  • Dashboard Buddha

    Maybe I'm feeling negative because my current job is winding down (I march in March) and I've got fuck all to do and I'd rather be home packing cuz basically all I do all day is do a bit of work – surf a lot – do a little work – surf a lot, etc.

    Anyway, yeah – negative.

    I used to teach history and I still enjoy reading it. In my quieter moments, after reading about someone alive in the 1930s, I think…I wonder at what point that person recognized that it was all going to shit. Now I realize that, while I will never be in a history book, I am just like that person. The loss of civil liberties…spying on American citizens…denying food to American citizens. I'm probably later than most folks when it comes to figuring this stuff out, but yeah…this is what an end to an era looks like…and it's happening in my lifetime.

    Fuck.

    • jus_wonderin

      Thanks, DB!! A quart of milk, cakes we like, and razor blades. Got it!!

      • Negropolis

        How could you forget the Cedar Cheeze?

    • ttommyunger

      The good news: a hundred years from now we won't give a fuck.

      • Dashboard Buddha

        I'm trying hard to not give a fuck now…I don't think I have enough booze though.

        • ttommyunger

          It never comes when you're trying. Relax, just don't give a fuck. I'm there most of the time and I don't even drink or do drugs nowadays. 'Course I'm miserable, but at least I don't give a fuck.

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      I just got finished with Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst and that was my very thought. This is what it will be like. But with more advanced electronics.

      • Dashboard Buddha

        I have put that on my wishlist.

        • http://Wonkette.com DemmeFatale

          Don't despair, you always have us!

      • Fukui_sanYesOta

        I've just been re-reading my Furst novels. They really are quite ridiculously evocative and well-written.

        • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

          They are among my favorites.I also admire Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels for a similar ambiance.Are people so brave today?

    • MissNancyPriss

      I feel exactly the same way. But…it'll be okay. :) ?

    • VinnyThePooh

      I know how you feel. They're pushing me out in two weeks. Five minutes after my boss gave me the news, the Overlords sent out an e-mail about our banner year. An hour after that, HR posted job positions elsewhere that I was never offered.

      • Dashboard Buddha

        Ugh…nice knife to the back there. In my case, it's kind of a blessing. I don't know what I'll be able to do for work just yet, but I'll have UI. And, being completely honest, I suck at this job.

  • prommie

    I find it difficult to fap when robot spy-drones are watching me.

    • Fare la Volpe

      I kinda like it…

      • jus_wonderin

        It sure beats that creepy ceiling cat.

    • MOG2410

      Really? I would think it would enhance the experience. Wave for the camera with your other hand.

      • jus_wonderin

        Other hand?

        • MOG2410

          Ah, I see.

        • Negropolis

          Two-fisted Wonk wank FTW!

    • Dashboard Buddha

      I think that's the point.

    • Nostrildamus

      It's when they ring the doorbell that you've really got to watch out.

  • BarackMyWorld

    Now I want a remote-controlled airplane.

  • BaldarTFlagass

    I think I had that comic book at top when I was a kid.

    • leek801

      I KNOW I had that comic when I was a kid. I remember that cover really well. I came here to say that and you beat me. Darn. Phooey.

  • Dudleydidwrong

    I welcome the drones. I'm clear: grow house well hidden, the still is fully underground, and my sex-slave operation is, er, elsewhere. But I want one of those drones to get good pictures of my hot next-door neighbor lady when she's sunning herself. Her fucking husband put up a high fence and my cardboard periscope won't do the job any more.

    • HateMachine

      Just get a DIY drone: kite with a camera attached.

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    I hearby announce the formation of the NDA – the National Drone Association. You'll have to pull the controller from my cold, clamy hand.

    • YasserArraFeck

      It already exists. You may know it as The Tea Party.

  • hagajim

    So much for hanging out nude in my backyard.

  • BigDumbRedDog

    Privately owned? I'm totally getting a drone for myself. This will make my stalking sooo much easier.

  • UnholyMoses

    Wonder how this would've gone over if Bush II had proposed it. (Ya know, folks, the GOP will gain power again — not this year … I hope … ohdeargoddon'tletitbethisyear! — and I can't wait to see my fellow lefties freak the fuck out over this at that time).

    On the bright side, someone has to make all those drones, so they're technically JERB CREATORZ!!!!!!

    • Negropolis

      Yeah, but how many border security agents do they get rid of?

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    BTW, I REALLY DO want my own drone – get a load of this – from a little "tri-copter" thing you can go and buy today:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74pZ3sOU27k

  • Fare la Volpe

    Corporations are drones too, my friend.

    Wait…

  • Slim_Pickins

    Show me in the Constitution where it says unmanned drones can use civilian airspace.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/30500320@N06/ DerrickWildcat

    I think they will be safe because they will only be used on bad people.

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      Given what your computer looks like, I believe building a drone would fit perfectly within your skill set.

      • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

        I was just thinking the exact same thing, having finally found that photo!~

  • Ducksworthy

    OMG! I just realized that I'm now getting the majority of my "news" intake from Wonkette. Sorry Jon Stewart.

    • ttommyunger

      He's off this week, so you are forgiven.

  • http://simplyleftbehind.blogspot.com/ actor212

    Wait…"Privately owned drones"?

    So my dream of a 24 hour webcam on Angelina Jolie could soon be a reality?

    • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

      I think she's got more money than you, bud, which means she can afford a better range of drone-jamming/destroying devices.

  • Lionel[redacted]Esq

    In the future, we will mark this as the day that Cox/Estes and Air Hogs took over the United States.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    When Skynet becomes self aware it might not be such a good idea to have lots of these drones flying around. I'm just saying.

  • Biel_ze_Bubba

    If they can take out some of the idiots driving on the Garden State Parkway, this may not be a bad thing.

    • prommie

      Just don't drive on it mid-day, thats when the amatuers are out, rush hour, that road moves, man. 80 mph with about one carlength separation.

      • Biel_ze_Bubba

        Because if you allow any greater separation, some jackass will cut in front of you. Some privately-owned Hellfire missiles would come in handy out there.

        • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

          Looks like I'm'a have to stop driving in NJ.

  • http://johnnyzhivago.blogspot.com johnnyzhivago

    I'm looking at this differently – instead of Hoverounds when we're too fat to get up and move, use drones. Drones to go shopping! Drones to get the leaves out of the gutter! Drones to go to parent teacher night at school!

    Drones could be the boost this country needs!!! What's Clint Eastwood's phone number?

    • http://Wonkette.com DemmeFatale

      Ugh! Parent-teacher night!
      Something is just WRONG about a school at night!

    • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

      Nah, Japan's developed something WAY cooler. Giant exoskeletons that you can strap into a la Ripley in Alienz Part Elebenty Bajillion. Less of a footprint, literally, and I b'leev they're testing them on Oldz as we speak.

  • Steverino247

    Every so often a certain Sheriff Department's chopper is grounded because they get caught using the IR camera to check out people in hot tubs and jacuzzis. So much for getting a hummer in the pool…

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      So that's why Sheriff Paul Babeau (friend of McCain and Arpaio and current candidate for Congress from AZ) was so hellbent on getting a helicopter for nowhere-near-the-border Pinal County.

    • Biff

      Sounds like San Bernardino to me. Wonder if they still have that Apache…

  • prommie

    Girls, you may all secretly pee in the shower, but do you know that us menfolk, at least those of us with proper "yards," all pee in the yard? So much for that precious American freedom now.

    • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

      But the upside is your lawn might stay green.

    • bagofmice

      Gotta mark your territory?

    • http://Wonkette.com DemmeFatale

      Does it keep away the deer?

      • prommie

        Purely because we are too lazy to go inside.

    • MilwaukeeKent

      Don't let these stories get out! Sometimes my wife reads over my shoulder. No, not when I pee in the yard, when I read Wonkette. Next you'll tell them we actually are capable of doing the laundry, and probably screwed it up the first time on purpose. Sheesh!

  • Indiepalin

    What no one is discussing here are the hideously inflated drone baggage fees

  • jus_wonderin

    Is is necessary to say Unmanned Drone?

    Which brings up the question, do you know who else like MANNED drones?

    • C_R_Eature

      Mann Coulter?

    • Negropolis

      Clay Aiken?

  • joobajooba

    Here's your flying spy death machine: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-s

    It landed in Waziristan

    • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

      Trickssssssssy!

  • owhatever

    I wants me one of them new Harley-Davidson drones with lots of chrome, but they keep denying they have built any. Yeah. Right. It's my constitutional right under the freedom to do whatever the hell I want.

  • ttommyunger

    Joy-Stick Combat. Just like a video game. Wet work is so 20th Century.

    • http://www.kalimao.blogspot.com MittBorg

      Wetwork! Meatspace.

      • ttommyunger

        Yup, but where you get some on you.

    • Negropolis

      Joy-Stick Combat

      That's what the kids are calling it these days, eh?

      • ttommyunger

        Fighting with myself?

  • http://www.southsidejohnny.com/ Jukesgrrl

    So THIS is why I never got the jet pack promised to me when I was in fifth grade?

  • MinAgain

    "stealth spy-death machines"

    Isn't stealth pretty much the defining quality of a spy?

  • http://krisbunda.com/blog/index.php Designer_Rants

    "But research by the Bureau has found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children."

    Guns don't kill people, Presidents kill people?

  • C_R_Eature

    Drones? Hell, I'm holding out for a geosynchronous spy satellite/zero-gee Tiki bar.

    What? It is the Future, aint it? They promised us Flying Cars. Flying Cars, dammit!

  • http://howtosavetheworld.ca/ BZ1

    privately-owned drones? which ridiculously monomanicac would want one?; whoops, forget Spaceman Spiff (the Newtster)

    • http://Wonkette.com DemmeFatale

      Try not to lose your lunch when you imagine the TRUMP Drone.

      • ShaveTheWhales

        It'll be too HUUUGE to get off the ground.

      • Negropolis

        It'd be the largest, most luxurious drone evah. Gold-plated. It's gonna be EWGE. Klass out the ass!

  • Negropolis

    I read Super Sad True Love Story, a year or two back, and I totally know where this is all going. That wasn't a fiction, it was a prediction. We've got them up here flying along the border, because, you know, all them damned Canadian turrists, right? The one guy they did catch was some middle-aged Czech in a speedo trying to cross the St. Clair River at night…and he was actually caught by some late-night fisherman and reported to border security. So, what the hell are the drones and border cameras for, again?

    Silly, Americans. Where have you been? We have always been at war with Texistan.

  • KommunistKitty

    Thanks Hal!