May 29, 2012
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell epitomizes the current crop of American politicians that know nothing about the Constitution and the proper role of government as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson and the founders.
McDonnell has jumped on the drone craze bandwagon. “It’s great,” he said on a radio program. “If you’re keeping police officers safe, making it more productive and saving money… it’s absolutely the right thing to do.”
He added a worthless caveat routinely issued when government prepares to violate the Fourth Amendment. “McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans’ civil liberties, such as privacy, if it adds drones to its law enforcement arsenal,” reports WTOP.
“If the police use a drone without a warrant to see who or what is in your backyard or your bedroom, or if while looking for a missing child the drone takes a picture of you in your backyard or bedroom and the government keeps the picture, its use is unnatural and unconstitutional,” writes Andrew P. Napolitano.
“I say ‘unnatural’ because we all have a natural right to privacy; it is a fundamental right that is inherent in our humanity. All of us have times of the day and moments in our behavior when we expect that no one — least of all the government — will be watching. When the government watches us during those times, it violates our natural right to privacy. It also violates our constitutional right to privacy. The Supreme Court has held consistently that numerous clauses in the Bill of Rights keep the government at bay without a warrant.”
But for statists like McDonnell, the “safety” of police and “saving money” trump the natural right to privacy and the right to be left alone.
“The whole reason we have a Bill of Rights is to assure that tyranny does not happen here, to guarantee that the government to which we have supposedly consented will leave us alone,” Napolitano concludes. “Do you think the government accepts that? Would you feel safe with a drone in your backyard? Would you feel like you were in America?”
In America, circa 2012, the police have repeatedly demonstrated they do not answer to the people. Far too many cops share a dangerous gang mentality – us against them, not much different than soldiers during war – and are woefully ignorant of natural rights and the Constitution. How many police departments would bother to obtain a search warrant before dispatching a drone to fly over your private property?
Earlier this month the assistant Seattle police chief apologized for not informing the city about a plan to use drones. The cops had received federal largess from the Department of Homeland Security to purchase drones to surveil the people of Seattle and neglected to tell the City Council. The Seattle Times explained that the aerial devices “could help track lost or missing people.”
It should be noted here that the Department of Homeland Security is not in the business of locating lost children. It is in the business of demonizing people who distrust government and think it is too big and authoritarian.
“Big Brother is coming, and he’s not smiling,” writes Napolitano.
On May 14, it was reported that “public safety agencies” will now be allowed to operate drones weighing as much as 25 pounds “without applying for special approvals needed under previous regulations,” according to the FAA. The federal agency plans to “integrate drones into the U.S. aviation system by 2015,” according to Bloomberg.
In Montgomery County, Texas, the cops are not using the flaccid pretext of lost children – they plan to introduce drones for the same reason the military does: to target people the government considers bad guys:
Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Texas told The Daily that his department is considering using rubber bullets and tear gas on its drone.
“Those are things that law enforcement utilizes day in and day out and in certain situations it might be advantageous to have this type of system on the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle),” McDaniel told The Daily.