Privacy SOS

President Obama makes it easier for the CIA to drone bomb people

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The above video shows what happens on the ground when the US bombs people from afar with flying robots.

It's a timely reminder because the Obama administration has today granted the CIA's wish for expanded authority in this secret-only-in-courtrooms drone war. Now, as the agency is already authorized to do in Pakistan, the CIA has Presidential approval to execute via drone those people it suspects, but isn't really sure, are terrorists. Not only that: now the CIA doesn't have to worry about actually identifying the people it means to drone bomb into bug splat in Pakistan or Yemen. Yeah, ok, they live somewhere in this general vicinity. And, yeah I'm pretty sure it's that guy, he's the terrorist, but it could be his cousin — but oh look, great luck for us, they are now sitting and having tea together so BOOM.

What's this got to do with us? The drone war strikes at the heart of a number of issues that are vital to our nation retaining even the pretense of a democratic flavor, among them the boomerang effect, ethics, transparency, the law, and democracy itself.

You might be asking yourself, "Why am I reading about this on a privacy website?"

One of the Yemeni men Jeremy Scahill speaks with in the clip above provides the answer to that question when he says he thinks the US drone war has "created many enemies in Yemen".

Why does that relate to privacy?

The US government is likely creating enemies abroad via its illegal, unaccountable and undemocratic drone war. The very same US government then comes back to the American people to tell us that we need to welcome an invasion of surveillance drones and what amounts to a high tech police state in the United States to "protect the homeland" against the very threats that it appears to be involved in creating.

Who profits from this sick system?  The military/surveillance industrial complex, of course. And who plays a major role in propping up the politicians in this country who enable the system to go on? One guess.

Read more about drones.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.