Tuesday, July 15, 2014

"Immigration Border Crisis": The Perfect Excuse for Total Drone Surveillance



The crisis du jour in the U.S. is now the "immigration border crisis": thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S. border. Although the crisis is not one of detecting these immigrants, but of discovering an ethical response to their plight, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is wasting no time demanding money for surveillance equipment.


As reported by NBC News, "[t]he White House wants an additional $3.7 billion to deal with the current crisis, with $39.4 million committed to air surveillance — including funds meant for 16 additional crews to operate and maintain drones" (See "Eyes in the Sky: Are Pricey Border Patrol Drones Worth the Money?")

The immediate challenge will be for immigrants rights and civil liberties activists in states on the southern border -- California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas -- to redouble their efforts to keep the drones on the ground.

But just how long do the non-border states think it will be before those drones are being "borrowed" by local law enforcement or other federal agencies for all kinds of purposes, in all kinds of places?


Related posts

The acquisition of drones by LAPD, in the larger context of the LAPD Architecture of surveillance, spying and infiltration, demonstrates the continued militarization of the LAPD. Embedded within this infrastructure is an enormous array of electronic and human surveillance programs and devices such as - Trapwire, Stingray, Hi Definition Cameras, Automatic License Plate Readers, Suspicious Activity Reporting, Special Order 1, iWATCH, Predictive Policing, and the Safer Cities Initiative.

(See "No Drones in LA!")


Texas' "drone zone" is anchored by Fort Bliss in El Paso, an authorized basing/training site for Reaper drones and smaller-scale Shadow and Raven drones. Two other anchors of Texas' "drone zone" are on the Gulf Coast . . . .

(See Texas' Militarized Border: How Will Drone Politics Impact the 2014 Midterm in the 23rd? )








It was interesting that on the main street at Senator Udall's office several bystanders joined in with us to hold signs for a while. There is a good amount of general knowledge about drones and the controversy surrounding them.

(See Jan18: Albuquerque Protests Drones )










According to the Department of Defense Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability (April 2012), Arizona has six (6) locations that have been designated as potential basing locations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) [i.e. drones].

(See Arizona Drone Bases)


Monday, July 14, 2014

Content Tags Across Dozens of "No Drones" Sites Now Networked

We've been working to provide a consistent set of data tags to all the posts on all the "No Drones" sites.

Below is the list of tags that we are trying to use on a consistent basis. They are hyperlinked to the Google search engine to return links to all the different "No Drones" sites and the posts there related to the specific tags.

Due to the efforts of thousands of people around the country, a diverse set of activities have been taking place to in many different locations to bring attention to, educate about, spur conversation of, and protest illegitimate uses of drones.

(The list is in development and the list below includes the most frequently used terms.)

A B

air show protest

anti-drones activity . . .
C

call for U.N. intervention in U.S. drone use
CIA drone program protest
blogging about the problem of drones
Code Pink Pakistan delegation

Congress-related . . .

D

data about the problem of drones
domestic use of drones

drone(s) - other aspects . . .

E F G H I J K L

faith communities response to the problem of drones
fundraising for anti-drones efforts

June 12 2012 letter from Congress to Obama raising questions about drone strikes


M N

media treatment of drones problem
mainstream media response to the problem of drones
military base protest

National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR)
NSA surveillance program protest
  
O P

opposition to drones on social media
opposition to university research on drones

public discussion of ethics of drone business jobs profits
public education about the problem of drones
public forum on drones

Q R S T U V W X Y Z

rejecting drones fundamental agency in fostering illegitimate human power relations

Fall 2014 Events in the Movement Against Drone Killing and Surveillance

October

Keep Space for Peace Week -- October 4-11

The annual Keep Space for Peace week will take place October 4 - 11, 2014, at locations nationally and internationally.

Download poster
download flyer
See the video on Youtube





Monday, May 5, 2014

Obama to Senate: "Stop Asking So Many Questions About My Judicial Nominees"


Senator Rand Paul (KY) is making a very simple demand: You want to be a judge? Show us your legal opinions.

President Obama has nominated David Barron to be a judge.  Rand Paul correctly points out that Barron is tied to some very troubling legal memos -- the ones the administration uses to justify drone killings.

(See "Rand Paul threatens to derail Obama judicial nominee over drone memos: Republican senator demands release of legal memos written by David Barron that signed off on killing of US citizens" in The Guardian)

It seems likely that the Obama team is going to cough up the drones memo . . . and Rand Paul isn't going to back down . . . so add this to the other damaging incidents in what may amount to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party's mensis horribilis. ("Horrible month" -- sort of like annus horribilis, "horrible month," but more sudden.) The Schiff "Come Clean on Drone Killing Bill" . . . the Senate vote to release the torture report . . . nationwide demonstrations planned to emphasize the continued failure to close Guantanamo a year after the 5/23/2013 "National Security" speech . . . the chickens seem to be coming home to roost.

(About time.)

Related posts

Eric Holder addressed a group of Northwestern Law students and others. Afterward one audience member summed up the speech as he left: "He pretty much said he can kill anyone he wants." The details of that speech will turn you more topsy-turvy than anything Alice experienced when she ventured through the looking glass.

(See Eric Through the Looking Glass)


  












FIVE (5) additional co-sponsors were added last week to Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act:

Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]

Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]

Rep. McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7]

Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]

Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]

(See SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act) )


On May 23rd of last year, President Obama again promised to close the detention facility at Guantánamo. His pledge came in response to the mass hunger strike by men protesting their indefinite detention and to the renewed, global condemnation of the prison. One year later, far too little has changed: few detained men have left the prison and hunger strikes and forced feeding continue. 



(See May 23 - Not Another Broken Promise! Not Another Day in Guantanamo! )

Sunday, April 13, 2014

SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)

[UPDATE June 5, 2014: NINE (9) additional co-sponsors added in recent weeks:

Rep. Welch, Peter [D-VT-At Large]

Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]

Rep. McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7]

Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]

Rep. Speier, Jackie [D-CA-14]

Rep. Lee, Barbara [D-CA-13]

Rep. Lowenthal, Alan S. [D-CA-47]

Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5]

Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]

GATHERING STEAM! . . .

(up-to-date list: http://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/4372/cosponsors )


April 13, 2014 - Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have now submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. See Natasha Lennard, "New Bill Aims for Drone Transparency," and Thomas Earnest, "Representatives Schiff and Jones Introduce Bill to Increase Transparency in U.S. Drone Program."

See also Joint Statement in Support of The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act by Amnesty International, Arab American Institute, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Center for Constitutional Rights, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, National Security Network, Open Society Policy Center, Peace Action West, Reprieve, and Win Without War.

Some people call it the "come clean on drone killings" act

The "Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act" could be the beginning of the end for out-of-control U.S. drones killings. But it's up to US to make sure this initiative doesn't die on the vine.

As Robert Naiman at Just Foreign Policy has said, "Whether the introduction of this legislation will mark a turning point in efforts to subject the drone strike policy to democratic scrutiny and the rule of law will significantly depend on whether members of the public rally behind the Schiff-Jones bill and press their representatives in Congress to cosponsor it." (See "Pass the Drone Strike Transparency Act")

Call your member of Congress today!

Here are resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in California in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in Illinois in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in New York in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in Wisconsin in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)


A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)









The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Congressional Progressive Caucus: On Drones, Human RIghts Must Be a Priority


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014
Press Contacts:
Adam Sarvana (Grijalva) – (202) 225-2435
Mike Casca (Ellison) – (202) 225-4755

CPC CO-CHAIRS CALL FOR CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT ON DRONES: HUMAN RIGHTS MUST BE A PRIORITY

WASHINGTON Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) released the following statement after a vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the use of drones:

“Today’s vote at the United Nations reinforces the need for greater oversight of the U.S. drone program. Instead of working closely with the international community to help strengthen current international standards on the use of drones, the U.S. government decided to boycott a discussion of the draft resolution. We are troubled by the ease with which dialogue and diplomacy—values at the center of the president’s foreign policy—were cast aside in this debate.

“Our national security would be stronger with international standards regarding the use of drones. No country has a monopoly on armed drone technology. As of 2011, 76 nations had drone technology of some kind. It is clearly in our interest to help establish the norms and rules that will govern the use of drones by all nations in the future.

“Similarly, it’s important to ensure that the American people and our allies understand the legal justification and on-the-ground impact of our drone policy. The current lack of transparency harms our relationships with other countries and erodes our ability to collaborate on key global security issues.

“Today’s vote highlights the need for Congress to play a larger role in overseeing and regulating the use of lethal force abroad. Requiring that our intelligence agencies provide an annual public accounting of the number of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes overseas—a measure included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act —would be a good start.

“Members of the CPC are ready to work with our colleagues and the administration to ensure that our policies are transparent, compliant with existing international law, and beneficial to our long-term national security.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus held a hearing on drones in May of last year, the first such hearing on the topic. You can learn more about it at http://1.usa.gov/1dqTR5Y

Related posts



Some people call it the "come clean on drone killings" act: the "Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act" could be the beginning of the end for out-of-control U.S. drones killings. But it's up to US to make sure this initiative doesn't die on the vine.

(See SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act) )





A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)














The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )



An Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms: linchpin races, scandal, principle, drone testing, and some "special" cases.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations?)

Friday, January 31, 2014

End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization: Call for Spring Days of Action 2014


Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by RootsAction.org that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), KnowDrones.org and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California
Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars
Medea Benjamin – Code Pink
Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea
Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace
Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War
Joy First
Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.
Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany
Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Malachy Kilbride
Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition
Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada
Nick Mottern – KnowDrones.org
Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council
Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness
Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American
  Bases  CAAB UK
Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA
Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine
Joe Scarry, No Drones Network
Janice Sevre-Duszynska
Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany
Cindy Sheehan
Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground
   Military Drones Committee
David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin
Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait
David Swanson - WarisACrime.org
Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
United National Antiwar Coalition
Veterans for Peace 
Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA
Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)
Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)
Women Against Military Madness
Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat
Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

Related posts


An Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms: linchpin races, scandal, principle, drone testing, and some "special" cases.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations?)







April Days of Action Against Drones 2013 included a multi-day convergence in San Diego, the campaign against Boeing in Chicago, actions all up and down the East Coast, and much, much more!

(See April Days of Action 2013)


RESOURCES: There are a large number of online tools, resources, and platforms for supporting the movement to stop drone warfare and surveillance.

(See Online Tools, Resources, and Platforms Supporting the Movement to Stop Drone Warfare and Surveillance)