Spirit In Action

Change IS coming. WE can make it GOOD.

1 Comment

PressTV – Americans find drones unconstitutional

“Privacy advocates worry that a proliferation of drones will lead to a “surveillance society” in which the movements of Americans are routinely monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities. AP” (quote from article)

The above quote would almost be comical if it weren’t so disturbing. For those who have not yet noticed, the surveillance society was fully set up after 2001 and was well on its way long before (I saw evidence that every single phone call in the Us was being routinely monitored and combed for “keywords” then retained for later perusal when the phone company’s computer systems digitized the words as early as 1992).

The more of us wake up, become aware and come together, the more this panopticon will fall apart tho-never doubt the power of the People to overcome oppression, for as MLK once said the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice!

Most Americans find drones unconstitutional: Poll
Tue Mar 5, 2013 3:15AM


In a stark about turn, most Americans now have significant reservations about the use of drones by government and law enforcement.

Just six months ago, a survey conducted by The Associated Press and The National Constitution Center found that more Americans supported than opposed the use of surveillance drones by domestic law enforcement agencies.

In that poll, only 36 percent said that they strongly opposed or somewhat opposed police use of drones, where as 44 percent supported the idea of police using unmanned aerial vehicles to track suspects and carry out investigations.

The poll also found that only one third of Americans were significantly concerned about their privacy being eroded by the adoption of drones by police forces throughout the country.

Now, in a Reason-Rupe national survey, sixty percent of respondents believe that, to some degree, the use of drones by local law enforcement to conduct surveillance without a warrant is an invasion of personal privacy.

In addition, 47 percent of respondents to the latest poll said they believe they have a right to destroy a UAV if it flies over their house without their permission.

Shifting to overseas use of drones, In a Pew Research Center study, conducted some five months ago, more than half of the American public were found to be in support of targeted assassinations with drones, even if that meant killing American citizens.

Now, in the latest poll, 57 percent of respondents say it is unconstitutional to order the killing of Americans overseas. Even more – 59 percent – believe that the federal government abuses its power when it comes to targeted strikes.

The latest survey indicates that along with an exponential increase in the use of drones both at home and abroad has come a sustained push back from the general public.

More attention has been focused on the use of UAVs and the potential they have for eviscerating fundamental rights to privacy and the due process of law.

More and more states and cities are advancing and/or passing laws against the use of drones in their skies by government and law agencies.

Plans to roll out drones by law enforcement agencies in Washington State, Virginia, California and New York have recently met with stern opposition. Prison Planet


In a major step toward opening U.S. skies to thousands of unmanned drones, federal officials in February solicited proposals to create six drone test sites around the country. AP

According to the Department of Homeland Securitys website, the U.S. government has already been using drones domestically for several years, but remains mostly mum on their missions. RT

Privacy advocates worry that a proliferation of drones will lead to a “surveillance society” in which the movements of Americans are routinely monitored, tracked, recorded and scrutinized by the authorities. AP

A data dump of government documents secured via the Freedom of Information Act, released in August shows that the roll out of domestic unmanned drones will, for the most part, be focused solely on the mass surveillance of the American people. Prison Planet


Leave a comment

What If the Chinese Killed the Dalai Lama with a Drone Strike? | Common Dreams

Published on Friday, February 22, 2013 by Common Dreams

What If the Chinese Killed the Dalai Lama with a Drone Strike?

by Tom Gallagher

His holiness the Dalai Lama. Is might be absurd to consider the hypothetical, but then again, what has become the reality of US policy, like the extrajudicial killing a US teenager, would have also once been decried as absurd.On the same day we learned of the Obama Administrations intent to dig in its heels and refuse to share its standards for drone strike targeting with the U.S. Senate, we also learned that China had considered becoming the second nation to launch a drone-based missile strike against one of its enemies on foreign soil. Had it happened as contemplated, the attack in Myanmar would certainly have made waves in Washington. The nature of the target would not have been very controversial though, in that Burmese national Naw Kham is a drug lord blamed for the killing of 13 Chinese sailors who refused to pay protection money while working on the Mekong River in 2011. (China decided against the strike and instead captured him in Laos last April and subsequently sentenced him to death.)

But what if China decided that the Dalai Lama were a legitimate target?

Absurd? Well, yes and no. Yes, its not going to happen. Obviously assassinating the Dalai Lama would be rightly denounced as an atrocity in every capital around the world and I dont for a moment mean to suggest that the Chinese Government would actually consider it. But would it be absurd in the sense that it would somehow be beyond the pale of world standards for drone-based assassination, that is to say, the standards of the one country that has done this the U.S.? Well, no.

We know that the Dalai Lama isnt guilty of terrorism, but then by now we also know that some of Americas drone strike victims werent either.

From official Beijings point of view, the Dalai Lama is an enemy of the Chinese state, a secessionist whose remarks, according to the official Xinhua news agency remind us of the cruel Nazis during the Second World War in advocating policies that would expel Han Chinese from Tibet, which China deems an integral part of the country. Of course, when it comes to comparing any imagined Chinese action with real life American policy, we are at something of a loss, in that, as weve been reminded over the course of the Senate hearings on John Brennans appointment as CIA Director, President Obama maintains his right to assassinate without telling us on what basis he does so.

Still, there are a few relevant things that we do know. Were we to continue our reality stretch in imagining a Chinese Government hit on the Dalai Lama, we would likely also then imagine critics jumping on the irony that, since China considers Tibet an inextricable Chinese province, it would then be killing one of its own citizens. But as we know, in that Beijing would not be going Washington one better, since when a drone-based missile killed Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen in 2011, the President had for the first time authorized the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen or at least the first time that we know of.

Or we might well note, that overblown official Chinese rhetoric notwithstanding, the fact is that the Dalai Lama is a man of peace who has never killed anyone or ordered anyone killed, while the people the U.S. kills via drones are men guilty of violence terrorists. Well, not exactly right there either.

Again, while we citizens dont currently have the right to know the basis on which the President issues death sentences, we do know that there are such things as signature strikes, which target people on the basis of suspicious activity. When Anwar al-Awlakis 16 year-old son, Abdulrahman, was killed in such a drone strike the month after his father, not only did he become the third American citizen known to die in that manner, but also the first never even accused of terrorist activity. And as for those who arent American citizens, weve read of the State Department joke that so far as the C.I.A. goes, three guys doing jumping jacks constitutes a terrorist training camp.

We know that the Dalai Lama isnt guilty of terrorism, but then by now we also know that some of Americas drone strike victims werent either. So if the Chinese government were to take down the man it regards as a dangerous separatist would it actually be acting below the level of current world, i.e., American standards for the use of drone attacks? As the saying goes, Im just saying.

Tom Gallagher

Tom Gallagher is a San Francisco antiwar and Democratic Party activist. He is a past member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.. Reach him at TGTGTGTGTG or TomGallagherwrites.com.

Read the original story at the link below-

As you may know if you’ve read my writing before, the Dalia Lama is one of my personal, lifelong heroes. Oddly, being raised in a polarized place like the US, I am also a huge fan of Chinese cinema, literature and culture.

I have often been confused by the Chinese government’s stance on the Dalai Lama, but it is not so different from the similarly inexplicable US stance on indigenous issues-both appear to make perfect sense when you factor in the land, resources etc that both the Native Americans and the Tibetans would be blocking free access to if they had true sovereignty over their ancestral lands.

While the Black Hills have been taken without being ceded, just as Tibet was and both areas are now operationally part of the larger nations-can anyone really argue that this is for any reason other than force of arms on the part of the larger entity?

The big difference appears to be that the Chinese government places a greater value on the appearance of being moral and decent-or perhaps with more pragmatism and less disgust toward my own country I should say that even if China decided using a drone to kill the Dalai Lama was a good idea, they surely do not wish to provoke a nuclear exchange with well armed India over one very elderly gentleman who is not really a threat to them.

Of course, the US uses drones only in countries that cannot fight back. (unless they are using them against Native people on behalf of that country, as in Caledonia in Canada in 2009)

As much as I respect my President, I am disappointed beyond words that he is choosing or being forced to go along with this horrific agenda of murder, domination and imperialism by remote control.

I hope that if the people make ENOUGH noise about our disagreement with it, he will be empowered to act on his conscience and bring it to an end. From all I know about our President, I simply cannot imagine that he feels comfortable, justified in, or supportive of this drone war. I hope that I am not wrong about him.

Leave a comment

King: I Have a Dream. Obama: I Have a Drone.

I am posting the intro here, and the full story is at Truthout(link below intro). I can’t say I am happy to post this-but I am only following my President’s advice to me and his other supporters when he won in 2008. He said that we had to hold his feet to the fire and make sure he does what he said, what we want.

I am sure he knew going in that the President has much less actual power or choice than most Americans believe he does and so he knew that only with loud public outcry could he even hope to begin the changes he, and we, believed in.

I do not know what to think of some of the choices he has made, or been forced to make. I would love to see an expose of how he was forced to allow the drone strikes-but until I see that all I can do is ask my President, the man I worked to elect-what are you thinking?

How can you tuck your children in at night, look at their faces and NOT see the faces of the children those drones have blown apart? If that is what you see-how can you allow it to continue? If you are being forced, Mr President, pressured against your own deepest morals then ask us to back you up and we will! But please find a way to make it stop.

By Norman Solomon, Norman Solomon’s Website

A simple twist of fate has set President Obamas second Inaugural Address for January 21, the same day as the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday.

Obama made no mention of King during the Inauguration four years ago — but since then, in word and deed, the president has done much to distinguish himself from the man who said I have a dream.

After his speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, King went on to take great risks as a passionate advocate for peace.

After his Inaugural speech in January 2009, Obama has pursued policies that epitomize Kings grim warning in 1967: When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.

But Obama has not ignored Kings anti-war legacy. On the contrary, the president has gone out of his way to distort and belittle it.

In his eleventh month as president — while escalating the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a process that tripled the American troop levels there — Obama traveled to Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. In his speech, he cast aspersions on the peace advocacy of another Nobel Peace laureate: Martin Luther King Jr.

The president struck a respectful tone as he whetted the rhetorical knife before twisting. I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naive — in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King, he said, just before swiftly implying that those two advocates of nonviolent direct action were, in fact, passive and naive. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people, Obama added.

Moments later, he was straining to justify American warfare: past, present, future. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism

Please click the link below to read the full story at Truthout