Saturday, August 16, 2014

GLOBAL DRONE PROLIFERATION: How does this end?

"Dozens of aerial drones were on display...
at the Chinese air show in Zhuhai." (NYT - 11/27/2012)
The United States is very good at starting things . . . but seldom considers three moves ahead, much less how it will all end.

Drones are a case in point.

Now people are starting to talk about the problem of global drone proliferation. Here are some resources.


Arms Control Association: "Drone Proliferation Tests Arms Control"

April, 2014 - "As the U.S. government winds up an interagency review of rules governing the export of large drones, the conflicting goals of nonproliferation and commerce are creating a new test of the 27-year-old Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)."


The Atlantic: "8 Questions the World Faces as Lethal Drones Proliferate: Today's answers will affect how other countries pursue targeted killing in the future"

March 12, 2014 - "Sooner or later, countries other than the United States may start killing people with drones as frequently as we do. If and when that happens, Americans are likely to regret the norms President Obama has established around targeted and semi-targeted killing . . . . "


CNN.com: "Nine facts about armed drones"

May 13, 2014 - "The virtual monopoly that the United States had on armed drones a decade ago is evaporating . . . . "


Action on Armed Violence infographic: "Global drone wars: current combat drones and their proliferation"

"Once countries like China start exporting [drones], they're going to be everywhere really quickly . . . . "


Global Post Special Report: "The Drone Age: Why we should fear global proliferation of UAVs"

"Inside the world’s biggest air shows in Singapore, Dubai and Paris, leading weapons manufacturers gather to sell their lethal wares in the global marketplace, and nothing is selling these days like drones . . . ."


Council on Foreign Relations Special Report: Limiting Armed Drone Proliferation

June 26, 2014 - "The Obama administration should pursue a strategy that places clear limits on its own sale and use of armed drones lest these weapons proliferate and their use becomes widespread. These are the central findings of a new report by CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko and Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow Sarah Kreps."

"Although only five countries have developed armed drones—the United States, Britain, Israel, China, and Iran—several other countries have announced their own programs . . . ."

(See also "The Drone Invasion Has Been Greatly Exaggerated: Why sensationalizing drone proliferation is going to kill our ability to control them" and "Drone Proliferation: Three Things to Know")


Related posts


No matter how you feel about the inherent challenges posed by drone technology . . . whether or not you recognize that drone attacks resulting in innocent deaths are an enormous ethical and practical problem . . . whether or not you are concerned that even "successful" drone attacks constitute extrajudicial executions (i.e. are war crimes) and are not "self-defense" as claimed by the Obama Administration . . . whether or not you care about the simple surveillance implications of drone use . . . doesn't it seem like a good idea to SLOW DOWN with the proliferation of drone technology? Lest we end up regretting it later?

(See The Drone-Pandora Connection (and I'm not talking about music) )


Today, it may seem quaint to think about the role that trains played in the cataclysms of the 20th century. Could something as simple as a bunch of trains, once set in motion, possibly put people on a course they couldn't reverse? And yet . . . what if I told you that the hyper-organized planners of the U.S. government have a timetable to make 100 drone bases operational in our country in the near future?

(See War By (Drone Base) Timetable? )


Beyond recognizing the inherent contradictions of "pre-emptive violence," we must confront an urgent problem related to technology: the automation of "pre-emptive violence" -- e.g. via drone technology -- is leading to a spiral (or "loop" or "recursive process") that we may not be able to get out of.

(See When "Pre-emptive Violence" Is Automated ....)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gaza Crisis Brings Israel's "Dronification" of State Power into Full View

The use of drones by Israel in the current Gaza crisis is bringing into full view the leading role of Israel in changing the way the U.S. and other countries assert state power against people everywhere.


Israeli drone pilot describes how assassinations are carried out

As this Wall Street Journal video points out, the U.S. previously criticized Israel for carrying out assassinations using drones . . . before adopting "the same deadly tactic" in its own killing program in Pakistan and elsewhere.

Israel has created its own peculiar ethics: it's all exerting power "without risking human lives" i.e. the "human lives of pilot or aircrew." The "infantry feels more safe." As for people on the ground, the words "militant" or "terrorist" condemn them to execution.

People in Chicago were treated to an elaborate description of this ethic when leading Israeli military thinker Amos Guiora spoke there about "good" targeted killing. (See "Targeted Killing" - The Heart of the U.S.-Israel Relationship )

On top of defining the new ideology of drone killing, Israel is the top exporter of drones. As the WSJ video points out, five NATO countries are using Israeli drones in Afghanistan, and Turkey and Brazil are importing Israeli drones.

"Dronification" . . . Made in Israel!


Related posts

Amos Guiora, an Israeli "counter-terrorism expert," held forth on the difference between "good" targeted killing -- i.e. the kind Israeli practices (!) -- and "bad" targeted killing -- namely, the kind the Obama administration carries out. But what this talk was really about was conditioning the public to accept the idea that "targeted killing" is a legitimate activity of a government.

(See "Targeted Killing" - The Heart of the U.S.-Israel Relationship )


No Drones Illinois has endorsed the following call by Anti-War Committee – Chicago, Jews for Justice in Palestine, U.S. Palestinian Community Network and 8th Day Center for Justice: Protest Boeing Death Machines in Gaza: Demand Chicago Drop Boeing from Air and Water Show!

(See No Drones Illinois Endorses Call to Drop Boeing from Chicago Air and Water Show)



The movement to publicize and bring an end to drone warfare customarily focuses on U.S. actions in four places: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Is it time to add the Sinai Peninsula to that list, considering drone executions being carried out by Israel there?

(See Should We Include Sinai in the List of U.S. Drone Target Zones? )


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

September

Air Shows (various locations nationwide)

Experience shows that air shows are good places to protest drone killing and surveillance.

(See also Why Air Shows Are a Very Effective Place to Protest Drone Killing and Drone Surveillance )

See list of fall 2014 air shows 



Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions - September 21 - 27

Participate in one of the dozens of actions taking place nationwide, many of them organized by groups with a strong history of protesting drones killings and drone surveillance.

One of the pillars of Campaign Nonviolence is "Ending the military drone program."


October 


Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing -- October 4

Join the first Global Action Day Against the Use of Drones for Surveillance & Killing.

As global citizens who believe in justice and the rule of law, we oppose weaponized and surveillance drones.

If you or your group are planning an action or event for October 4 and would like to post information about it on this website, please email a brief description to Anastasia of CODEPINK at anastasia@codepink.org.





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










Related posts

October 4, 2014 has been set as the date for nationwide action on the problem of drone killing and surveillance. It seems to me that this is well timed for action vis-a-vis representatives in Congress, most of whom will face a vote on Election Day (Tuesday, November 4, 2014).

(See A Modest Proposal: Turn October 4 Into a "Come Clean On Drones Killing" Deadline! )









Perhaps the single most significant consequence of the advent of killer drones is that they allow the state to efficiently separate war-making from the emotional involvement of the people of the country using them. In other words, with the coming of drone warfare, we have been denied the opportunity for empathy with those affected by our (direct and indirect) actions.

(See Why is "Ending the military drone program" a pillar of Campaign Nonviolence?)

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 )