September 9, 2013
Phil Steel is an anti-surveillance activist that has started a movement encouraging hunters to obtain a new license – to shoot down drones.
These “drone-shooting licenses” (DHLs) and the protest that is sparking legislation are “a very symbolic ordinance . Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way.”
Steel said “they’ll sell like hot cakes. It could be a huge moneymaker for the town.”
At $25 a pop, this novelty is equipped with a “$100 ‘bounty’ to shooters who bring in debris from an unmanned aircraft.”
In Deer Trail, Colorado, Steel’s proposal influenced town trustees to question whether or not DHLs should be voted on by the public.
Kim Oldfield, clerk for Deer Trail commented on how the popularity of the idea sparked a reaction in residents of the small town.
Beyond concern for the growing surveillance society, the commencement of drones into our skies is a threat to our very existence.
Those who support drone attacks say: “The practical alternative to drones isn’t jury trials.
It’s leaving U.S. passport carrying terrorists alone unharmed to execute their plans Given the need to continue these drone strikes, it would be silly and self-destructive to grant certain al-Qaeda figures immunity just because they happen to have American citizenship.”
In the future, the expectation will be that all nations will have drones and therefore “we should think very carefully before relaxing the targeting rules and turning drones into a weapon like all the others.
Their moral and political advantage is their precision, which depends on using them only against individuals whose critical importance we have established and about whom we have learned a great deal.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice admitted to Senator Patrick Leahy in a letter that the US government has killed 4 Americans with the use of military force, i.e. drones.
Jay Carney, press secretary for the Obama administration said : “[Obama] thinks (this) is an absolutely valid and legitimate and important area of discussion and debate and conversation, and that it is his belief that there need to be structures in place that remain in place for successive administrations. So that in the carrying out of counterterrorism policy, procedures are followed that allow it to be conducted in a way that ensures that we’re keeping with our traditions and our laws.”
Attorney General Eric Holder pointed out: “Based on generations-old legal principles and Supreme Court decisions handed down during World War II, as well as during the current conflict, it is clear and logical that United States citizenship alone does not make such individuals immune from being targeted.”
Concerning the 4 Americans killed by the Obama administration, Holder said: “Since entering office, the president has made clear his commitment to providing Congress and the American people with as much information as possible about our sensitive counterterrorism operations. To this end, the president has directed me to disclose certain information that until now has been properly classified. The administration is determined to continue these extensive outreach efforts to communicate with the American people.”
The day after Holder’s comments, Obama spoke at the National Defense University this week.
In his speech, the president suggested that Congress establish a special court to authorize targeted assassinations as outlined in his new counterterrorism guidelines.
As the “boundless war on terror” continues, the implementation of drone strikes would come under the control of the Department of Defense (DoD).
Obama said: “A perpetual war – through drones or special forces or troop deployments – will prove self-defeating and alter our country in troubling ways.”
Drone strikes are justified, according to Obama, because they prevent terroristic activity.
Obama asserted: “The establishment of a special court to evaluate and authorize lethal action has the benefit of bringing a third branch of government into the process, but raises serious constitutional issues about presidential and judicial authority.”
Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general, maintains that there should be a panel of national security staffers that make up the “national security court” (NSC). The NSC is expected to be an arm of the executive branch and under ultimate control of the president.
To keep the Congress abreast of their decisions, reports could be given to Congressional review boards after the fact.
As a model for this secret kill court, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) could serve as a model because by its nature the new kill court would do the sole bidding of the president with regard to whom it approves for drone strikes.