View Full Version : Drone Tech to be Used on Civil Society.

05-01-2012, 08:18 AM
Yah we can all sleep soundly knowing nothing like Waco could ever happen again with better armament and precedent that allows the killing of US citizens by the government.

Skynet is on its way to becoming a reality as is Orwells vision.

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<span style='font-size: 23pt'>Spy in the sky: Is it only a matter of time before drone technology is used in civil society? </span>

Their killing power is immense and the surveillance possibilities are endless. Perhaps it's no wonder that the awesome potential of unmanned aerial vehicles is now being so energetically explored – from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the London Olympics.

The world's first glimpse of a killer drone in action was over the English Channel: a Royal Navy patrol boat reported "a bright horizontal flame" in the sky. The device emitting the flame had stubby wings and was shaped like a rocket, and was travelling from the French coast at more than 200mph. Too small and too fast to be intercepted, it arrived in England's Home Counties without warning; as it plunged earthwards the low drone of the motor cut out and there were three seconds of silence before the massive explosion. Where it exploded, the human beings at the epicentre simply disappeared, vaporised.

Of course, for all the similarities, this was not a Reaper or a Predator, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) used in action by British and US militaries today. The most glaring difference is that modern drones don't self-destruct, except by mistake. This was the Vergeltungswaffe, the V-1, known affectionately to its German makers as the Maybug and to its terrorised British targets as the "doodlebug". The Nazis had experimented with making it radio-controlled, but in the end its navigation system was crude. Yet this PAC (pilotless aircraft) – Hitler's last, desperate throw of the dice as the Allies swarmed towards Berlin – marked the start of a new era in warfare as decisively as did "Fat Man" and "Little Boy", which plummeted towards Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few months later.

The Predator and the Reaper and their rivals and relatives, some developed at Cranfield Aerospace ("Innovation at its Best") in Bedford, are crucially different from the Maybug because they target their victims so precisely. The 186 men, women and children vaporised by a doodlebug in the New Cross branch of Woolworth's in London's East End one November Saturday in 1944 had no idea what was coming their way, and no reason to feel more than normally apprehensive. By contrast, many of the intended victims of today's drones experience the very specific fear of being killed by them. In US Department of Defense videos with titles such as "UAV Kills Heavily Armed Criminals" and posted on YouTube, the visceral terror of the turbaned figures about to die is palpable. (Drone pilots call the moment of the kill a "bug splat" because of the way it looks on their screens.)

For what the US authorities call "personality strikes" – high-value targets – that specific fear can last for months, even years. Friends and relatives of the Islamist militant and US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki had such strong grounds to fear his assassination by drone that the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in August 2010 on behalf of his father, Nasser al-Awlaki, to try to stop it happening. The judge eventually dismissed the case, arguing that Nasser al-Awlaki would have no grounds to pursue it unless and until his son was actually killed. And so it came to pass: on 30 September 2011 in southern Yemen, the bearded American became one of at least four US citizens, to date, to be deliberately assassinated by US drones.

Nearly 70 years after the doodlebug, the pilotless aircraft was now fully out of the arms dealers' closet. The cruel and extra-legal targeting of al-Awlaki for liquidation over a number of years, the futile attempt to get the American courts to stop it, and then the coup de grâce in the deserts of Yemen removed the last shreds of official deniability from the killer drone programme – and nobody gave a damn. As one White House official told Rolling Stone magazine, "If Anwar al-Awlaki is your poster boy for why we shouldn't do drone strikes, good ****ing luck."

As a basic idea it is childishly simple, and many of us once played with them: a miniature plane you can pilot remotely. The only real difference is the sophistication of the vehicle itself, and of the navigation and piloting systems.

Drones in service or development today range from a giant with a 400ft wingspan, intended to cruise non-stop for five years, to tiny microdrones powered by miniature batteries; some are the size of a Boeing 727, while the Predators and Reapers in use in Afghanistan are comparable in size to model aircraft. But whatever their shape or size, all of them are designed for one of two purposes: spying or killing.

<span style='font-size: 17pt'><span style="color: #CC0000">Continued.</span></span>

05-07-2012, 06:24 PM
Good thing the government never makes any mistakes with these things, right? Right? Oh boy.

05-07-2012, 06:44 PM
I dont like it. The cost per kill must be very high.
Praps the unit cost kan be brort down by a factor of say 10.
By per kill i dont inklood the kolateral damage. Alltho, the population problem in general iz a good secondary objektiv.
Dunno, still thinking.