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Defense Dept. Directed To Disclose Domestic Drone Use

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the admit-to-using-them-to-do-beer-runs dept.

Government 190

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to make the Pentagon disclose whether military drones are being used in U.S. airspace to spy on U.S. citizens. This follows Rand Paul's filibuster on the floor of the Senate in which he demanded answers from the Obama administration as to whether drone strikes on U.S. soil were a possibility. (Senator Paul received an amusingly brief response (PDF) to his 13-hour question.) From the article: 'A requirement buried in a lengthy appropriations bill calls on newly confirmed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to disclose to Congress what "policies and procedures" are in place "governing the use" of military drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) domestically. The report is due no later than 90 days after the bill is signed into law. The vote on the bill, which was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, comes as concerns about domestic use of drones have spiked. ...The House's language stops short of requiring Hagel to disclose whether he or his predecessor have taken the step of approving the targeting of any U.S. citizens for surveillance.'"

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And remember, (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117571)

if there's nothing to disclose, it just means they're not telling us!

Re:And remember, (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117605)

There is an extraordinary amount the U.S. government doesn't tell us because they think we don't care. We oblige them by being apathetic.

Re:And remember, (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117761)

I'm sorry... I stopped paying attention after the first few words. What was your point again?

Re:And remember, (3)

mozumder (178398) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117861)

That people are more concerned with government potentially using drones in America to kill people instead of worrying about government killing random people in America directly from helicopters [wsws.org] .

People really only concern themselves with their beliefs, instead of the actual problems.

Not sure why Rand Paul didn't filibuster helicopter shootings.. I guess libertarians don't believe in freedom and due process?

Re:And remember, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117937)

That link you posted was the Texas state government, not the Fed. But I agree with your point in any case.

Re:And remember, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43119119)

Why are so many anti-libertarian people so uninformed and retarded? Really it drives people in that direction.

1) Thats' not the federal government.
2) That's not his state.
3) How do you know what his opinion is on it?

Re:And remember, (2)

no-body (127863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117949)

...they think we don't care...

Most definitely not - secrecy is inherent to any power structure.

Why humans are driven to power - having to dominate/exploit other's is another topic. Is it inferiority, insensitivity - psychopathy or genetic - successfully spread DNA more? Based on those drives, humans don't think, they act unconsciously and do whatever they can get by with.

Re:And remember, (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118709)

Sure, there's legitimately and illegitimately classified stuff too, that wasn't the point I was making.

So you don't waste your time... (5, Informative)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117585)

The PDF download response is kinda funny... But basically not worth the download...

It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the
President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in
combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.

I'm glad... Now if hopefully they will keep it that way...
I won't hold my breath.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (5, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117689)

"engaged in combat" is can be interpreted many ways.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117741)

"Due Process" has become something different from what most people think as well.

Most people believe that means the suspect would be taken into custody and have a fair trial but in an unguarded moment in an interview Holder said that "due process" now only requires some consideration from someone in the executive branch.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117839)

Patriot act. The USA is still in a limited state of emergency.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (2, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118931)

Which essentially means they don't follow the Constitution. They'd never say that because then the illusion would crumble and people might wake up from their apathetic stupor and do something.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117985)

You're not kidding. It's already been ruled by the SCOTUS that mere speech [wikipedia.org] amounts to "material support for terrorism". I wouldn't be surprised if Holder argued that speech was combat as well.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118031)

Did anyone else notice how Holder asked a very narrow and specific question "Does the *President* have the authority". This begs for a follow-up questions: "Does *anyone* have that authority? If so, Who?

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

Enry (630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118225)

Congress? AUMF?

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118067)

"engaged in combat" is can be interpreted many ways.

Yes, but it's always been within the power of the President as Commander In Chief to authorize killing of anybody who is engaged in Combat on US Soil. In fact, any law enforcement officer has this power in almost all situations. And so do most civilians, in many cases. Or in other words, you're digging for something to get worked up about.
The recent paranoia really makes me laugh, as if there's something worse about using an unmanned craft to kill someone as opposed to a live human on board pulling the trigger. The drones are not operating on their own in the first place, it's being remotely controlled by a real person not just flying around looking for targets, SkyNet style.

Personally, this whole thing is just silly. I'd rather have the DoD using a cheap drone to spy on people as opposed to spending billions of dollars to do it with a satellite from orbit. The tinfoil seems to be selling out at the grocery store lately.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118265)

Seig Heil der Führer AC! Der Führer Obama shall drone strike any who speak out against the state. in the name peace and security.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (3, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119235)

There is a world of difference between shooting a clocktower shooter out his perch, and shooting a person suspected of planning to be a clocktower shooter but actually engaged in having dinner or something. In the first case, lethal force is justified. In the second, arrest is justified and lethal force completely unconstitutional.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118227)

That's not even the interesting question, which has been answered already. Does the government have the right to kill innocent civilians in times of emergency? The answer is yes.

On 9/11, two National Guard jets were ordered to bring down United 93, which had been hijacked. Thirty three innocent American citizens were on board the airplane along with four hijackers. Due to a passenger revolt that brought the plane down, the National Guard did have to. But no official has ever challenged the validity of the order to bring down a plane full of innocent Americans.

So if we can kill innocent Americans in times of emergency, why does it matter if we kill those engaged in combat, with a drone or otherwise?

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118757)

Please, don't equate shooting down a plane in restricted airspace to targeting US citizens for assassinations. One is shooting down a weapon, then feeling bad because it had passengers, the other is a complete violation of due process.

If a person is shooting at you then yes they can and probably should be killed. If it is a pre-emptive strike because of something they may do or retaliation for something they might have done then I am sorry but if they are not an imminent threat to an arresting officer then they are to be detained and tried.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118585)

"engaged in combat" is can be interpreted many ways.

So can "weaponized".

And "authority".

And "American soil".

And "kill".

And "is"...

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

slashkitty (21637) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118673)

I don't see where Rand Paul asked that question "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" His question was "Will you kill Americans on American soil?" So, to me it says a lot that Holder added the condition of "not engaged in combat" .. Rand referred to those "engaged in lethal force" not the more general "combat"

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

dave562 (969951) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118987)

I find it even more odd that the inquiry was limited to "weaponized drones". So the AG believes that the President cannot use a drone to kill American citizens, but that leaves open everything else from his fists up through nuclear weapons.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117851)

There's nothing funny or amusing about this at all. US citizens are seriously getting fucked over when (Darth) Holder is outlining reasons for killing or not killing Americans by drone strikes!
How would you like it if today any of your family members were to be killed this way... is that funny?

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117863)

Yeah, dude, are you really that stupid? This is a yes answer, hidden with the no. It's not even hidden that well.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (2)

TheUglyAmerican (767829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118015)

Unitl 9/11 it was unthinkable that the US military could engage in any activities on American soil. So I am not "glad" at the clarification. We need to go back to the pre-9/11 mentality.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118281)

Unitl 9/11 it was unthinkable that the US military could engage in any activities on American soil.

That's news to all those people at West Point, Fort Hood, etc.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118421)

Unitl 9/11 it was unthinkable that the US military could engage in any activities on American soil.

That's news to all those people at West Point, Fort Hood, etc.

It would also be news to Esquiel Hernandez, [wikipedia.org] if he were still alive.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118393)

Unitl 9/11 it was unthinkable that the US military could engage in any activities on American soil.

*cough [wikipedia.org] *

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

TheUglyAmerican (767829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118723)

Have a look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act [wikipedia.org]

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118815)

That does nothing but assert federal authority over federal troops. It does not prohibit their use against civilians, only that the president or congress must authorize it.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118145)

Actually the wording brings more questions.
So a combatant CAN be killed.
Now define combatant

The whole arrogance and vagueness that comes from Holder is unacceptable.
I don't TRUST that motherfucker.

There is no rule of law when banksters do what they want and activists face the cops.
Nobody should obey any law with this bullshit.

It's okay for me to steal and kill but not you?!
I think you should take a look at the whole 13 hour filibuster again, instead of playin this off as some funny brief response. Why wasn't the response forthcoming when originally asked!? Why is it still vague? He's unwilling to state facts or opinions simply and directly. All these fuckers in the executive are this way now

The question which SHOULD have been asked is
Will this government use drones or any other weapon to kill American nationals attempting to enforce constitutional law on American soil?

Why not ask MORE questions? With corporate owned media it's just a dead issue again, or one to be spun to make constitutional people look like terrorists.
You better start to see how this shit works.

Re:So you don't waste your time... (1)

Hollywud (2387102) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118717)

But the point was that they wouldn't say that. Paul had to force them to and I, for one, am glad that he did. True, I don't think I am high on the target list but I don't intend to give my president that kind of power.

The worrying part (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117597)

Seem that there is absolutely no problem on using drones in the rest of the world. US should have more right to use it in their soil than doing it anywhere else.

Wrong (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117669)

In fact, the US government has historically been more limited in what it does domestically than abroad. Voice of America, for example, is a propaganda broadcast that cannot be broadcast within the United States but which was famously broadcast along the USSR's borders.

Re:The worrying part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117801)

Better you than me.

Re:The worrying part (1)

sycodon (149926) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118689)

Actually, the Dems get their panties in a wad over Drone use overseas, but don't give a fuck about drone use here. at least according to their votes.

Re:The worrying part (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118977)

Drone use overseas involves killing people in sovereign countries we are not at war with. The drone use in America involves supporting fire departments and looking for illegals crossing the border.

The problem is not the use of drones. The problem is what the drones are doing.

In fact, there is nothing a drone can do that a plane with a pilot in it can't do.

Loss of Liberties etc. etc. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117609)

Drone strikes on Americans is reason enough to boot these thugs out of office. Holder and Obama should both go. It's time to move on.

What's really sad about this (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117625)

In 2007, it was the Democrats screaming for full disclosure about Bush's violations of civil liberties, while Republicans in Congress were doing everything they could to protect their dear leader. In 2013, the roles are reversed, but the play is basically the same.

Why is it that so few politicians are willing to say "All violations of civil liberties are wrong, regardless of who's party is currently in control of the presidency?"

Re:What's really sad about this (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117697)

Because such violations benefit the party currently in control. And politicians are not renowned for thinking ahead enough to realize that the other side will be in control one day, nor are they renowned for putting their principles before their party.

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118203)

Why aren't the Repubs impeaching Obama? Because he is doing what they would themselves do.

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118581)

The president is not a "dear leader" of anhything, regardless pf party.

And as a long time Republican I can assure you that GWB is often hated, mostly despised and supported by a small %age of us "Republicans"

So your argumant fails.

And I ask you this you Slashdot morons, here we see the Republicans in the house (with not a lot of power to begin with) working to product and secure your natural rights, and the Democrats are trying like mad to stop it.

And yet you drones go into the booth year after year and pull the level for Democrat, support Obama and his tyranny and generally favor big government.

You people are literally just a bunch of stupid fucking wankers intent on selling out our freedoms and rights.

Fuck off the lot of you. Go register Republican, buy guns and ammo - and learn how to safely use and maintain these them, and reject Tyranny in all forms, be it Democratic or Republican.

And we all know what your infantile reactinary hateful respose will be, so don't bother. Just bend over little statist and smile as they rule over your and your childrens lives.

If you did not vote Romney and conservative in all your choices you deserve exactly what's coming a few years on.

It ain't really started to become "take the other guys shit" time yet, but it's coming - and when it get's here is's going to be dammned ugly.. Go own statist, go jerk off to pictures of Obama and Nancy Pelosi and dream of 'soaking the rich'

What do you really think socialism is going to get you? Lots ogf free pussy and government cheese?

You socialists are disgusting, greedy, liars and you may not know it but your support of statism *will* end up ruining this once great country, But the funny part of this is that by the time you do srart to figure this out it wil be to late.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118803)

For fuck sake. You can't even bring yourself to not qualify with 'a small %age of us "Republicans"'.

So are you claiming that the bulk of politicians comprise that small percentage of Republicans? Or do you just not understand English? Or is logical argument just not your strong suit?

Re:What's really sad about this (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117721)

THIS. Obama even ran partially on that whole transparency thing... but now transparency is, I assume, some sort of national threat because we wouldn't want rogue nations to know what we're ... doing ... with drones ... on American soil ... errrrr.... maybe if we *aren't* doing it, then terrorists will feel safer.

It's like watching a football game. Root for your team. Smear the opposing team. Doesn't matter what you do, as long as you win. When the refs make calls that you don't like, blame the ref, not your actions (assuming the call was fair).

Re:What's really sad about this (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118629)

NPR talked about a disturbing study the other day where they swapped party positions on a topic, and 75% of the people supported that opposite position because it was (mistakenly) of their party.

I suppose it's good news that at least 25% of the population considers issues themselves rather than droolingly following the memes of their power-seeking masters.

Hoi polloi getting power kicks-by-proxy, I guess.

Re:What's really sad about this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117737)

What Americans fail to see is that there is very little distinction between the two Parties when it comes to action.

The talk is slightly different, but the actions are the same. I wish to god one day a third party rises to break up this political monoculture, for the sake of America, for the sake of the world.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117819)

Yes, and when that happens, the third party will DEFINITELY be different from the other two, and certainly won't be vulnerable to tribalism, institutionalized bribery, regulatory capture, and other such things.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117893)

For a third (actually second, seeing as that we are under single party rule) party to rise, we have to lift it up.

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118257)

Three problems with third party

1. Electoral College (catch 22, entire thing is fucked up, bypass of popular vote, binding people)
2. Electronic Vote Tabulation Devices (election fraud)
3. Corporate Owned Media (psyops, propaganda, removal of candidates)

Also they 3rd party tend not to take an OATHS to Israel, the UN, so they lose those lobbyists like Pelosi, Feinstein, Leiberman, McCain get.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118363)

4. If the banks can buy off two parties, they can buy off three parties. Or seven.

Case in point: European countries which have a right wing party, a "center-left" party, and/or Labor, and a "socialist" party. All of them have been serving the banks with the bullshit of austerity, which has only served to weaken the working class and give even more power to the banks.

So, the problem isn't the number of parties. It's that the parties are in no way accountable to the voters, either by triangulation, or by herding their base with LOTE voting.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119053)

We can just get rid of parties altogether. The reason we have parties is because it is the optimal strategy for winning a "first past the post" election. If we get rid of this election system, we get rid of the need for political parties.

Re:What's really sad about this (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117743)

You've been misled by the politicized summary.

The reason Democrats voted against this bill (which is a gigantic bill that has nothing to do with drones for the most part) is not, as the anonymous submitter would like you to believe, because it would have required the DOD to disclose the policies regarding the use of drones. It is because it was a Republican-produced appropriations bill that reflects Republican fiscal priorities that Democrats hate. The tiny rider in the bill probably had nothing to do with it.

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118303)

However, in more general terms, he's absolutely right. Obama is at best just as bad as Bush was on civil liberties. The Democrats I know (and there are many, I'm in California) who were screaming under Bush are cheerleaders for Obama.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118951)

I've always contened that Obama wasn't any better or only marginally better than anything from the other party, and I would always bring up things like his drone policy, not doing a lot of the "come on" easy stuff, hammering through health care reform even when, after meetings and talks and revisions, it was largely stripped of the good things and bent to the will of big pharma/insurance, etc, as reasons I could see myself NOT voting for him. And it would outrage my friends (some of them, the big O ppl). And now that the election is over, I hear some of them saying "I can't believe Obama would authorize X" where X is anything that he was doing before the election that they seemed to miss.

I still voted for him, but I don't really think it made a difference either way. It's sad when I think our best bet is one of the Pauls (Ron or Rand; not Ryan jesus not Ryan) and they're completely BAT SHIT INSANE. But, when they say something, or that they'll do something, by golly they stick to their guns. They don't waffle, flip flop, whatever.

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43119207)

What is insane about Ron Paul?

Re:What's really sad about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118541)

So what you're saying, is that they voting against disclosing the use of military equipment against ordinary American citizens, but that's OK, because they're also voting against working to solve our massive debt problem and resolve the issues that caused it?

Gee, I feel so much better knowing that not only are they not willing to disclose a massive overreach of executive power, they're also voting against dealing with what is by far the largest problem facing our nation.

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117783)

Uh, no. The Democrats went along with Bush every step of the way,

Re:What's really sad about this (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117811)

Keep in mind that this is a small part of a large appropriations bill. I'd have to dig into the details but I believe the main point of the bill is to protect the Dept of Defense from the damage of the recent sequester.

That's not to deny that the Dems are suddenly less into transparency lately. I was very disappointed that only one of them supported Senator Paul's filibuster.

Title (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117655)

How alliterative.

Re:Title (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117865)

it should have said "deployment" instead of "use"

Re:Title (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117957)

Da. "Defense Dept. Directive: Disclose Domestic Drone Deployment" doubles down.

Re:Title (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118605)

Doubly demeaning! Drones do disgust denizens during democratic dealings. Dear Deity.

Re:Title (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119263)

Are you...like...a crazy person?

Re:Title (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118687)

I can assure you they will be hearing from the American Association for the Abatement of Alliteration for that one.

Re:Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118889)

I looked at this story just to see if someone else liked the alliteration. Had to do some scrolling, and it's modded too low to be expanded by default, but I was not disappointed.

90 Days Later... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117691)

Is 90 days a normal time for a response? 48 hours seems more then enough...

Re:90 Days Later... (1)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117919)

Hiding bodies takes time.

Not even close to enough (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117701)

If the authors of this bill really cared about the issue, they could introduce a bill to ban the use of UAVs to spy on or murder US citizens, rather than asking the executive branch to reveal their procedures for doing such things.

I predict that once the disclosures are made, the Republicans will seize on any embarrassing comments in them, but will not make any effort to fix the underlying problem, which is that the President thinks he can spy on and murder US citizens without oversight, and too many members of Congress agree with him.

Re:Not even close to enough (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117891)

You know what happened the last time Congress passed a law restricting the power of the executive branch? [wikipedia.org]

The White House simply ignored it.

Re:Not even close to enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117943)

Consider that our theory of law is supposed to be: Powers are granted to the government through constitution or law, any powers not expressly granted are reserved. Laws that ban the government from doing something aren't how it's supposed to work. If we didn't authorize them to do it, they aren't allowed. This is why the incredibly broad interpretation of the original 9/11 AUMF is so dangerous.

Re:Not even close to enough (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119101)

Or they could ban spying and murdering of US citizens. Why does it matter if they use a UAV?

Or they could ban spying and murdering altogether.

Ds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117723)

Really? You couldn't come up with one more D word for "use"?

go easy (1)

MXPS (1091249) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117725)

on the alliteration fella.

Meanwhile... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117727)

No one is reporting on how the ACLU are investigating the ever-increasing level of militarization in our police forces [upi.com] .

And as I recall the Air Force has used Predator drones for domestic surveillance [theatlanticwire.com] (yes, the ones you can put missiles on) several dozen times in the past, which came to light during the whole Dorner thing. Where's the public outrage now?

the real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117755)

How many weaponized drones are floating above our heads, even though they don't intend to use them.

The answer is no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43117763)

They only use civilian drones to spy on us.

Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but... (4, Interesting)

jettoblack (683831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117795)

"'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no."

So what does "not engaged in combat" mean, and who gets to decide? Would you be surprised if a future executive order defines political opponents or whistle blowers as "engaged in combat"?

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (2)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43117997)

So what does "not engaged in combat" mean, and who gets to decide?

Well, the traditional definition is pretty black-and-white: If you're firing weapons at members of the U.S. armed forces, you're engaged in combat.

More troubling are the possible non-traditional definitions: E.g., if someone's coordinating a DDoS attack against a Pentagon server, does that fall under being engaged in combat? What if you're jamming GPS signals around your house?

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118043)

Your honor, I swear that his brown bag looked like a gun in the dark ...

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118135)

ANYONE can be deemed an "enemy combatant" at any time thanks to the Patriot act. This means you no longer have rights to a fair and speedy trial, can be held indefinitely, and can surely be hellfire'd by a drone, no matter where you are.

I'm sure even if you were lounging in a hammock, they'd still fire on you, and any children around you in your back yard if you were an "enemy combatant."

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118163)

His whole trite reply is full of weasel clauses.

'Does anyone other than the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American engaged in combat as we define it while on American soil, or for any reason whatsoever when not on American soil?' The answer to that question is HAHA you don't get an answer to that question.

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118975)

You do realize that authority, in the executive branch, devolves from the President? If the President doesn't have it, neither does anyone underneath him.

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118647)

What continually shocks me is that the powers that be are so willing to keep pushing stuff like this so far that normal people start saying stuff like "Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but..."

I've heard a lot of fear and extreme distrust of the government lately, to the point that there's even been talk of "revolution within our lifetime" from people that I'd never expect to hear that from. I know that positions of power attract the worst sorts of people, but can they really be this ridiculously stupid, too?

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (1)

Shotgun (30919) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118831)

And how is ANYTHING in this conversation at all amusing? We're talking about the politically powerful being able to kill innocent people. The submitter's sense of humor is nauseating.

Re:Hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but.. (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119151)

Would you be surprised if a future executive order defines political opponents or whistle blowers as "engaged in combat"?

yes. I would be surprised if Obama (or some future president) declared John Boehner (or some future political opponent) as engaged in combat with the USA because he is a political opponent.

What a joke (4, Interesting)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118045)

This whole thing is a charade. Why is the question restricted to drones? The government has had a million ways to spy on citizens or kill them within US borders long before drones came along. It's not like drones make it more possible.

I will give Rand a +1 for actually trying to do a real filibuster instead of that new modern bullshit but he gets -5 for really just trying to make some political points with the tea party.

Re:What a joke (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118109)

You actually think Rand needs to make points with the Tea Party? You clearly don't know a damn thing about it or him, in that case.

Re:What a joke (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119191)

Rand Paul, unlike his father, cares more about pretending to be pro liberty by being overly dramatic, than actually taking consistent and thoughtful positions on issues.

Not that Ron Paul has been right about everything, but more often than not, when he was making a fuss, it was about something meaningful.

Re:What a joke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118161)

Meanwhile Fascist shills give Holder a +10 and mindlessly cheer on the depotism when Obama expands his kill-Americans-by-drones policy.

Re:What a joke (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119253)

There is no Tea Party. It isn't 2008. Quit with the bullshit. The Tea Party was never real - it was a legitimate idea started by his father that tons of ignorant rednecks who didn't understand the concept latched onto and ruined. At this point there are constitutionalists - Americans - and there is everyone else - Nazis, Socialists, Fascists, Globalists, whatever you want to call them - they aren't on your side.

Short answer: No. (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118073)

Long answer: If the Pentagon were using drones to spy on U.S. citizens in the U.S., they'd run afoul of Posse Comitatus. Instead, they may or may not be flying drones that the Homeland Security Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use to spy on U.S. citizens in the U.S. through the use of what are called fusion centers [wikipedia.org] .

It is called the US Constitution! (4, Interesting)

JayInPlano (1865346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118111)

I remember not to long ago when the Tea Party made the US House of Representatives read aloud most of the Constitution (not the three filth's part or Prohibition). I guess you weren't paying attention or don't believe in it. Any Bigfoot sightings anyone?

Title's Aliteration Is Broken (3)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118567)

s/"Use"/"Deployment"/

There I fixed it.

Re:Title's Aliteration Is Broken (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119215)

The double quotes will cause the regex not to match.

s/Use/Deployment/

Holder's response answers nothing (3)

rs1n (1867908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118875)

It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.

The key words here are: the president, weaponized, kill, American and on American soil. The answer is so direct that it actually raises many more questions:

  1. Can the president authorize to kill non-Americans? On American soil? Oversees? Using drones?
  2. While he cannot authorize the use of weaponized drones to kill Americans, can he authorize non-weaponized drones to spy on Americans?
  3. Does he have the authority to kill an American using other means (not a drone)?

There are more questions, but you get the idea...

Democrats Ironically Opposed to Democracy? (1)

guitardood (934630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43118891)

WTF? When is enough, enough?

It's not DoD I'm worried about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43118921)

It is that Napolitano's CBP and the CIA drone use. Obama needs someone securely on his side for dropping bombs on American soil and DoD ain't it.

Really lbs? (1)

grenadeh (2734161) | about a year and a half ago | (#43119231)

There are democrats who voted against. They voted against. Idiots.
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