Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, are the hottest new thing in the Pentagon’s panoply of weapons. They have been used with lethal effect in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan, in particular, has borne the brunt of the attacks. Many civilians have been killed resulting in intense loathing of the U.S. And now drones are migrating from battlefields abroad to the streets of the homeland. They are beginning to be used by police forces which are becoming more and more militarized. The ACLU warns that the use of drones “would profoundly change the character of public life in the United States.” We are moving closer to a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by the authorities. Drone manufacturers are offering police the option of arming drones with rubber bullets, Tasers, and tear gas.
Medea Benjamin is a renowned peace activist and social justice advocate. Newsday calls her, “one of America’s most committed and most effective fighters for human rights.” She is co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Gandhi Peace Award. She is the author of many books including Inside Iran, Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection and War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless War.
This was a very eye opening talk. It needs to be released for free so every american can listen to it.
I did want to also say Drones are not only being used in warfare and intruding to peoples lives. I have seen where they are being used to help track animals in the wild where the use of other means does not allow the research to be performed. I believe there is a use for drones but a misuse by the government should not be tolerated.
Judith Dahlen –
I just heard this talk on KBOO radio in Portland Ore. and found it extraordinary. Everyone should hear it. I’m going to post the info on FB and make sure my pastor gets a copy so that we can add it to the discussion and action process of our UCC congregation. I was delighted to learn that Code Pink actually has allies in a couple of arch conservative organizations, working on legal ways to combat the use of drone technology domestically and challenging it’s use in the world at large. Here’s common ground for all.