Aug 27

FYI.


- Syria conflict: Obama approves US surveillance flights (BBC News, Aug 26, 2014):

US President Barack Obama has authorised surveillance flights over Syria in order to gain intelligence on the activities of Islamic State (IS).

Correspondents say the move could mark the first step towards US air strikes inside Syria, where the jihadist group controls vast swathes of territory.

The US is already carrying out strikes against IS in neighbouring Iraq. Continue reading »

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Aug 25

- India, Pakistan Intensify Shooting Across Border; Iran Downs Israel Drone; ISIS Seizes Military Airport (ZeroHedge, Aug 24, 2014):

Since in the New Normal no geopolitical events appear to have any adverse impact on risk and asset prices (because the central banks are always there to protect investors should the market “plunge” by say 5%) with general newsflow completely irrelevant on what has been a straight line up in the S&P since the announcement of QE4 in December 2012, one might as well see how much further geopolitical events can be pushed further before it all crashes.

In other words, time for this weekend’s geopolitical update.

Overnight both Pakistan and Iran have done their best to add to the geopolitical instability, which has already englufed Ukraine, and half the middle-east and north Africa, when on one hand Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks. On the other moments ago news broke that Iran had shot down an Israeli spy drone heading for Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

Taking these one at a time. Continue reading »

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Jul 16

- The Whole World Opposes Drone Warfare … Except for the U.S. and Israel (Washington’s Blog, July 15, 2014):

… And One Poor African Country

A new poll from Pew shows that majorities in every country polled oppose drones … except for Israel, the U.S. and Kenya:

Opposition To Drones

Why Kenya? Continue reading »

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Jun 30

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- U.S. Relies On Law from Governments Which Don’t Even HAVE a Constitution to Justify Assassination of U.S. Citizens By Drone (Washington’s Blog, June 30, 2014):

U.S. Relies On Law of Non-Constitutional Countries

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ….

So how did the legal memorandum “justifying” assassination of U.S. citizens by drone try to sidestep the Fifth Amendment?

It relied on reasoning from two countries that don’t have any constitution.

The New York Times reports: Continue reading »

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Jun 24

US Drones Strike ISIS Targets BBC Reports; Pentagon Denies (ZeroHedge, June 24, 2014):

Moments ago, in what would be a clear escalation in the Iraq war, and confirmation that the US has finally gone “kinetic” as it warned on several occasions in the past it would, Iraq state-sponsored Iraqiya TV reported that US drones had struck ISIS targets near the Iraq-Syria border attack without giving details or saying how it obtained the information.

drone iraq

BBC Arabic has more:

U.S. planes bombed targets in the drone region based on the Iraqi-Syrian border, according to sources close to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Continue reading »

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Jun 23

drone cartoon

- US Releases Redacted “Due Process Need Not Blink” Memo Justifying Drone Strikes On US Citizens (ZeroHedge, June 23, 2014):

With the number of drone failures rising domestically and the likelihood of an exponential rise in drone strikes in Iraq imminent; the US federal court has decided now is the time to release the redacted memo justifying the use of unmanned drone strikes on US citizens. …also recognized that “the realities of combat” render certain uses of force “necessary and appropriate,” including against U.S. citizens who have become part of enemy forces-and that “due process analysis need not blink at those realities.”

As WaPo reports,

Accident investigation documents show that 47 military drones crashed in the United States between 2001 and 2013 in what the military categorized as Class A accidents — the most severe category. Continue reading »

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Jun 20

- Riot control drone armed with paintballs and pepper spray hits market (RT, June 19, 2014):

With drones designed to contain ‘unruly crowds’ and ‘violent protests’, a South African company is bringing riot control to a whole new high-tech level. The unmanned aerial system is able to shoot pepper spray and non-lethal paintballs to mark offenders.

Desert Wolf, based in Pretoria, has begun selling its Skunk Riot Control Copter, a drone it says “is designed to control unruly crowds without endangering the lives of the protestors or the security staff.”

The UAS has four high-capacity gun barrels, capable of shooting up to 4,000 paintballs, pepper spray balls and solid plastic balls at rates of up to 80 balls per second. The company notes that the frequency should usually be between one and 20 balls per second, and that the high frequency of 80 “will only be used in an extreme ‘Life threatening situation’.” Continue reading »

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Jun 13

US Secretly Unleashed Drones Over Iraq But Admits “Not Like It Did Any Good” (ZeroHedge, June 12, 2014):

Because drones have done so much for the “we love American exceptionalism” belief across the middle east, the US decided that since last year, secretly flying unmanned surveillance aircraft over Iraq – to collect intelligence of insurgents - would be good idea. The intelligence (and use the term loosely) was share with Iraqi forces but as WSJ reports, one secnior US official admitted “It’s not like it did any good,” as the rapid territorial gains by the Islamist forces loyal to Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, caught the U.S. by surprise. Continue reading »

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Jun 12

- ‘Not a moment of privacy’: Drones to be used everywhere (RT, June 12, 2014):

As the first commercial drones are set to take to US airspace, aviation expert Richard Woodward predicts that unmanned aircraft are to become ubiquitous in taking up dirty or dangerous work, but also infringing on people’s privacy.

RT: When people hear the word drone, they get a little jittery. Is that justified? Why?

Richard Woodward: It is in some ways because they are about to become ubiquitous. There is going to be hundreds of thousands of these things. If there are any jobs that is dull, dirty or dangerous, you will find a drone doing it.

RT: Are there any risks to civilians with this?
Continue reading »

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May 31

Draganflyer X6

- LAPD acquires drone capability (RT, May 31, 2014):

For a city infamous for circling police helicopters, Los Angeles Police were surprisingly late to the drone game. All that has changed, however, as the department quietly added two unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to its arsenal.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) announced they had acquired two Draganflyer X6 aircraft as “gifts” from the Seattle Police, the department said on Friday.

“These vehicles were purchased by the Seattle Police Department using federal grants. There was no cost to the city of Los Angeles,” CBS Los Angeles cites police as saying.

The 3.5-lbs. UAV, which looks like a small helicopter, is about three-feet-wide and boasts a camera, video recorder and infrared night-vision capabilities. Continue reading »

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May 28

Sure!


- DARPA introduces ‘invulnerable’ hack-proof drone (RT, May 28, 2014):

The Pentagon’s research arm has introduced a new unmanned drone with secure software that protects the control and navigation functions of the aircraft from a systems hack.

The Defense Advance Research Project Agency (DARPA) has developed the program – High Assurance Cyber Military Systems (HACMS) – over the last several years after it originated at the University of California San Diego and the University of Washington. The mini drone is made with software to thwart cyber attacks, said Kathleen Fisher, HACMS manager for DARPA. Continue reading »

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May 15

- ‘My husband kills kids with drones’: Michelle Obama’s viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign (RT, Updated May 15, 2014)

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May 11

- Iran claims copy of captured US drone will soon take test flight (The Guardian, May 11, 2014):

• Officer says on state TV: ‘We have broken its secrets’
• White House blamed 2011 loss on technical problem

Iran said on Sunday it had succeeded in copying a US drone it captured in December 2011. State television broadcast images apparently showing the replicated aircraft.

Iran captured the US RQ-170 Sentinel while it was in its airspace, apparently on a mission to spy on the country’s nuclear sites, US media reported.

At the time, the White House blamed the loss on a technical problem causing a loss of control. Iran claimed to have brought the drone down by electronically disrupting its GPS system.

US military officials tried to play the incident down, saying Iran did not have the technology to decipher the drone’s secrets, and President Barack Obama asked the Islamic republic to return the Sentinel. Continue reading »

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May 10


Added: May 9, 2014

Description:

David Knight covers the unconstitutional actions of the secret FISA court, the laws that allow hidden control of our government as well as the issues facing the West in the Ukraine.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic…

http://www.infowars.com/the-secret-ba…

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May 07

From the article:

“This is already happening, as wherever high tech is present, so is the military. Here is a video from the Air Force illustrating the multi-purpose aspect of what is being proposed: not only surveillance, not only autonomous insect swarms, but also assassinations.”


- Robot Bees Will Be Better Than The Real Thing Says Greenpeace (Natural Blaze, May 06, 2014):

No, this is not a tabloid – it’s real. According to several videos, which are posted below, robotic insects have made their first controlled flight. According to the creators of Robobee:

“The demonstration of the first controlled flight of an insect-sized robot is the culmination of more than a decade’s work . . . Half the size of a paperclip, weighing less than a tenth of a gram, the robot was inspired by the biology of a fly, with submillimeter-scale anatomy and two wafer-thin wings that flap almost invisibly, 120 times per second.”

Continue reading »

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Apr 22

US Air Force photo

- US Drones Continue ‘Massive’ Operations in Third Day of Attacks (Common Dreams, April 21, 2014):

Flurry of strikes continues

A suspected U.S. drone strike hit Yemen on Monday morning, the third such attack in as many days, killing people described as “militants” as part of “massive and unprecedented” operations targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to reporting by the Associated Press, the most recent strike “targeted the mountainous area of Mahfad between the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa,” located in the southern part of the impoverished country.

Neither the number of casualties nor who they are is clear at this point.

Continue reading »

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Apr 08


Added: Apr 6, 2014

Description:

#WaveOfAction started April 4 the day Martin Luther King was assassinated by US government; military scorns drone operators as ‘cowardly button pushers’, troops refuse to man killer UAVs; America ‘not really a democracy at all’.

Seek truth from facts with Regime Change Begins at Home author Professor Charles Derber; Center on Conscience & War counseling coordinator Bill Galvin; lawyer Kevin Zeese; Banker Occupation author Stephen Lendman; peace activist Professor Michael Nagler; and former drone pilot Brandon Bryant.

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Apr 07

- Navy Drones With a Mind of Their Own (Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2014):

Newly Unveiled Technology Runs on Tablet App, Enables Unmanned Aircraft to Choose Flight Routes and Landing Sites

WASHINGTON—Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder has positioned himself to become the Jeff Bezos of the Pentagon.

Much as the Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -3.18% founder envisions mini-drones that deliver small packages across America, Adm. Klunder, the Navy’s research chief, wants to create innovative unmanned helicopters able to perform tasks now carried out by humans: resupplying troops in remote areas and rescuing wounded Marines from the battlefield.

His plan is moving ahead, and Navy officials will unveil new technology Saturday that with the push of a button allows helicopters—manned or unmanned—to choose their own routes, take off and land.

The Navy views the five-year, $100 million program as a major advance in the Pentagon’s hopes for taking the “manned out of unmanned” aircraft. Over the next decade, the military is aiming to create autonomous drones that can help soldiers carry out night raids, search oceans for trouble, and select targets for attack.This is “truly leap-ahead technology,” Adm. Klunder said of the new autonomous helicopter advances.

Continue reading »

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Apr 06

- Military drone crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school (RT, April 5, 2014):

A nearly 400-pound unmanned aerial vehicle crash-landed near an elementary school in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania on Thursday afternoon, irritating members of the community and alarming civil liberties advocates nervous about drones flying over the US.

The drone, an RQ-7 Shadow, is 11 feet long with a 14 foot wingspan. Why it was flying in the air above Lickdale Elemantary School is unknown, but Major Ed Shank, a public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard, told Les Stewart of the Lebanon Daily News that drones operate out of Fort Indiantown Gap, an Army post in Lebanon County.

The 375-pound craft endured what officials called a “hard landing” before being run over by a civilian vehicle. No one was hurt in the incident, but the drone – reportedly worth $150,000 – was a “total loss” and rendered useless after slamming into the ground.

Continue reading »

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Mar 31

UN adopts Pakistan resolution against drone strikes, discards US objection

- UN adopts Pakistan resolution against drone strikes, discards US objection (Pakistan Today, March 29, 2014):

The United Nations late Friday adopted a resolution, jointly presented by Pakistan, Yemen and Switzerland, against drone strikes, a private news channel reported on Saturday.

Six countries including United States, France and Britain voted against the resolution, but they fell short in majority to get it disposed off.

According to sources, the UN called on all states to ensure that the use of armed drones complies with international law, backing a proposal from Pakistan seen as taking aim at the United States.

Continue reading »

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Mar 15

- US Drone “Intercepted” Over Crimea By Russian ‘Self-Defense’ Forces (ZeroHedge, March 14, 2014):

An American scout-attack drone, “almost invisible at a height of 4000 meters” has, according to AFP, been intercepted in the Crimean sky. Reports from the Russian state arms and technology group Rostec stated, judging by side-markings it was an MQ-5B drone – which is likely part of the 66th US Recon Brigade based in Bavaria. It was possible to break the drone’s link with its American operators with the help of the EW (electronic warfare) complex Avtobaza. As a result, the device made an emergency landing and passed into the possession of the self-defense forces almost unbroken.”

US Drone Intercepted Over Crimea By Russian Self-Defense Forces

Via AFP,

An American scout-attack drone was intercepted in the Crimean sky, the Rostec state corporation reports. “Judging by side marking, the MQ-5B drone was part of the 66th US brigade of military intelligence with the main location in Bavaria,” the report on the website of the corporation reads.

Continue reading »

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Mar 14

Most stupid is the new ‘most fearless’.


- Watch A Stun Gun Drone Tase An Intern (Popular Science, March 7, 2014):

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Chaotic Moon Studios, a startup making, uh, about anything you can think of, invited me to their Austin offices today during South By Southwest to check out a live demonstration of a stun gun-loaded drone. Obviously, I came.

The gentleman here is an intern named Jackson, who is the most fearless person I have ever encountered. He got stunned like a pro.

The drone, Chaotic Moon says, could be used to incapacitate criminals. It’s menacing enough already, but maybe we could put a police siren on it one day, just to get the full effect.

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Mar 13

Australias Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a fleet of unmanned drones will patrol Australias borders
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a fleet of unmanned drones will patrol Australia’s borders.

Fleet of drones to patrol Australia’s borders (New Zealand Herald/AFP, March 13, 2014):

Australia has announced plans for a fleet of giant high-tech unmanned drones to help patrol the nation’s borders, monitoring energy infrastructure and attempts to enter the country illegally.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Triton Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which can remain airborne for 33 hours, would be based in the southern city of Adelaide.

A report in February said seven of the US-made drones would be purchased for Aus$3 billion, but Abbott said the details of how many and when had yet to be finalised.

Continue reading »

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Mar 09

- Ukrainian Drone Captures Video Of Russian Troops Fortifying In The Crimea (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2014):

The only thing that is unclear about the following clip released by the Ukraine’s Border Guard supposedly capturing Russians “digging in” on a key route linking Crimea to the rest of the Ukraine, is what is funnier: that the Russian soldier is “painting” the drone with a laser flashlight, or that according to the Ukrainians said action was evidence the drone was being “shot at” by Russian soldiers.

As a follow up, here is another video made by a Ukrainian drone showing the distribution of Russian forces on the peninsula.

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Mar 08

- Friendly Fire: US Drone Strike Kills Five Afghan Soldiers (Antiwar, March 6, 2014):

The Pentagon has confirmed launching a drone strike against the Logar Province of Afghanistan today, hitting their allies in a case of mistaken identity. The strike kill five Afghan National Army soldiers, and wounded eight others.

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Feb 23


YouTube Added: Feb 21, 2014

Description:

President Barack Obama violated his own rules for the use of drone strikes in a December 2013 strike on a wedding procession in Yemen, a new report from Human Rights Watch says. The US military initially claimed that the procession was actually members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then admitted it was a wedding procession, but claimed that most of the people killed in the attack were members of the terrorist organization. But Human Rights Watch says, “The procession also may have included members of AQAP, although it is not clear who they were or what was their fate.” The group went on to say that there is no evidence that members of the caravan posed an imminent threat, and that killing them was a violation of international human rights laws. RT’s Meghan Lopez speaks with investigative journalist Ben Swann about US drone policy and whether the attack was a violation of Obama’s own stated rules.

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Feb 23


YouTube Added: Feb 20, 2014

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Feb 18

drone-strikes1

- US considering new drone bases in Central Asia (RT, Feb 17, 2014):

To continue counterterrorism operations abroad after the imminent exit of American troops from Afghanistan, the United States is reportedly pursuing plans to put US drones inside air bases in Central Asia.

The Department of Defense is expected to withdraw all or most of the US soldiers currently stationed in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, significantly shrinking the size of the Pentagon’s physical footprint there for the first time in over 12 years. Along with eliminating boots on the ground, though, the US will also be walking away from the bases that for years have housed the unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, that are responsible for administering lethal missile strikes against suspected insurgents in neighboring Pakistan.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the US is considering moving their drones to air bases elsewhere in Central Asia. Amidst international condemnation, however, relocating the controversial program is likely to come not without opposition.

Continue reading »

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Feb 16

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- Navy’s UCLASS Could Be Air to Air Fighter (USNI News, Feb 13, 2014):

Could the U.S. Navy’s future Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft have an air-to-air role? The service’s director of air warfare Rear Adm. Mike Manazir posed that it could during a Dec. 20 interview with USNI News.

Manazir contemplated the possibility that that the UCLASS, which is primarily being designed for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike roles, could be used as a flying missile magazine which could supplement the firepower of the F/A-18E/F and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter in air-to-air combat as a robotic wingman of sorts.

Continue reading »

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Feb 11

- The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program (The Intercept, Feb 10, 2014):

By Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald

The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.

Continue reading »

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