The Scaffolding of a Police State in America: Plans to Vastly Expand Drones in US
By Fred Mazelis
March 28, 2013
The enormous expansion of the use of drones—Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)—over US territory has received increasing bipartisan support within the political establishment, and has provoked growing popular opposition.
Attention was called to the subject of official use of drones for surveillance purposes by a recent comment from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In a radio interview, the billionaire mayor offhandedly dismissed the growing concern over drone use by critics who raised issues of privacy and civil liberties. Bloomberg compared drones to surveillance cameras already in use around Manhattan.
“What’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?” Bloomberg said on a WOR-AM program. “We’re going into a different world, uncharted…you can’t keep the tide from coming in.”
The mayor’s remarks were significant not because they announced a brand new policy, but because he was signaling the growing approval in ruling class circles for measures that amount to the scaffolding of a police state. Bloomberg does not worry that his own privacy will be infringed – he regularly uses his private jet for weekend trips to his luxury beach house in Bermuda with barely a mention in the media. For the lower orders, however, Bloomberg’s advice can be summed up in four words: “Get used to it.”
The US use of drones for purposes of overseas assassination has become notorious over the past decade. In the past four years, the Obama administration has escalated its predecessor’s ruthless program of mass killing and assassination in its “global war on terror,” with Obama boasting of his role in approving “kill lists” in secret White House meetings. Less than a month ago, John Brennan, the architect of the Obama administration’s drone assassination program, was confirmed by the Senate as the new director of the CIA.