Thursday, June 24, 2010

Killer Drones With Broken Phones... That Enough To Chill Your Bones?

emptywheel thinks so:
As bmaz pointed out last week (and Darkblack illustrated so brilliantly), killer drones are coming to America.

In fact, they’re coming to America in more formalized fashion, as Janet Napolitano confirmed that the US will add drones to the Texas border.

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will station an aerial drone in Texas as part of its stepped-up surveillance of criminal trafficking along the Mexican border.


Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) had pressed for months for a pilotless drone, and when it was slow in coming, Cornyn blocked Senate confirmation of Michael Huerta to be deputy director of the FAA.

On Wednesday, after learning that the agency had given its approval for the unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, to operate in Texas, Cornyn said he would allow a vote on Huerta.

Wunnerful, jes' wunnerful.


  1. If you live along the border, hire a lawyer now, before the rush, because there is a tendency for these things to get lost and to crash.

    Since they don't have pilots this isn't commented on, but the US buys a lot of them.

    Fortunately they don't have thunderstorms along the border, because that messes things up... oh, wait.

    There are a lot of reasons why the FAA didn't agree to using them, and now people will find out about their "features".

  2. Bryan, since the damned things were first introduced, I have not read one good thing about pilotless drones. Most criticisms are similar to yours: not reliable, not controllable, crash a lot, etc. And... thunderstorms? Jeebus, they think any part of South Texas, including most of the border, doesn't have thunderstorms? They're just plain nuts, or at least painfully ignorant.

    Then again, I am one who does not understand the whole fear of the border (except on a political basis; it's a great right-wing brickbat). Drugs? yeah, sure, but would they stop at a 10-foot fence or hundreds of drones? Undocumented workers? well, yeah; if they stopped coming, most agriculture in south Texas would grind to a halt around harvest time. We need to be working out an arrangement for Mexican nationals... we're culturally already about half Mexican and Mexican-American already... to work here legally, especially those who have families here already, not building huge fences and sending uncontrolled drones against them or anyone else. If we want a worse international reputation as ugly Americans than we already have, all we need to do is continue our current approach. (That is, of course, precisely what the neocons want.)

  3. Ach what are they going to do next? prvide la Migra with F22s with anti-mexican missiles?

  4. jams, the whole "debate" (if one may even characterize it as debate) often ignores the fact that our agriculture, and thus our economy, depend on workers crossing the border. Most people in Texas, white, black and Hispanic, understand that. La migra... one doesn't really need the italics; Spanish is one of two native languages in south Texas... come in at least two flavors, those who understand that fact and do their jobs as relatively gently as possible, and those who enjoy the violent parts of their jobs. Local police want no part of the conflict: they have a community to police, and that community comprises two cultures, and their ability to keep order depends on their being on good terms with both of them. Unfortunately, the GOP sees a political opportunity here to make gains in their usual way: by spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) in both communities and law enforcement. You know I've said before that the GOP is genuinely evil? This is an excellent example of why I believe that.

  5. This set of circumstances always leaves the union-member side of me with qualms. No one should work unrepresented or unprotected against labor abuses, but many of these jobs are unbearably low-paid to a typical American but worth it to many Mexican workers. It seems to me the task is to make an arrangement where workers are protected from abuse, not worrying too much about the wages at first. As I said, it leaves me with qualms.



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes