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.