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Jan 27 2015

Blowback

The reason we use drones to kill brown people at random because they have the wrong skin color and religion or associate with those who do (please, if we had actual evidence there would be no such thing as a ‘signature’ strike) is because it’s cheap and easy to do.  So cheap and easy that your average drunken government employee (not that I’m implying that all government employees are drunk, even most of the time) can buy everything they need at the local Radio Shack.

White House Drone Crash Is Tied to Drinking by Intelligence Worker

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MICHAEL D. SHEAR, The New York Times

JAN. 27, 2015

It was 42 degrees, lightly raining and pitch black near the White House when an inebriated, off-duty employee for a government intelligence agency decided it was a good time to test-fly his friend’s quadcopter drone that sells for hundreds of dollars and is popular among hobbyists.



Investigators said the man had been drinking at an apartment nearby. It was not until the next morning, when he woke to his friends telling him that his drone was all over the news, that he contacted his employer, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and then called the Secret Service to confess.



The geospatial-intelligence agency, with headquarters near Springfield, Va., employs satellites to gather data for the military and other agencies by using imagery to detect human activity and to map out changes in physical features on the ground. The website for the agency cites the discovery of “atrocities in Kosovo,” support for intelligence operations during the Olympics and assistance responding to Hurricane Katrina.

James R. Clapper Jr., the current director of national intelligence, became the head of the agency, then called the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, just days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.



President Obama, who was traveling abroad, declined to comment on the drone episode. But in an interview with CNN broadcast on Tuesday morning, Mr. Obama said he had instructed federal agencies to examine the need for regulations on commercial drone technology.

Mr. Obama said he had told the agencies to make sure that “these things aren’t dangerous and that they’re not violating people’s privacy.” He said that commercially available drones empower individuals, but that the government needed to provide “some sort of framework that ensures that we get the good and minimize the bad.”

“There are incredibly useful functions that these drones can play in terms of farmers who are managing crops and conservationists who want to take stock of wildlife,” the president told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. “There are a whole range of things we can do with it.”

But he noted that the drone that landed at the White House was the kind “you buy at Radio Shack.” And he said that the government had failed to keep up with the use of the flying devices by hobbyists and commercial enterprises.

“We don’t really have any kind of regulatory structure at all for it,” Mr. Obama said.

Umm… yeah.  That sound you hear is me slamming my head against the desk repeatedly.

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