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March 17, 2013 (San Diego)--A coalition of local and national organizations will hold four days of action in San Diego to protest the U.S. government’s use of drones, from April 4-7, 2013.  The host group, Drone Diego, has invited participants from across the nation to call attention to the threats from increasing unmanned robotic warfare by the United States.  Drone Diego will host varied events over a half-week-long series of actions.  

San Diego was chosen based on the region’s role as national capital of military drone production.  Killer and surveillance drones are provided by San Diego contractors to the military and CIA at increasing rates (, matched by the rise in death and injuries from U.S. strikes across the globe. Most of this production is tied to two military contracting giants — Northrop Grumman in Rancho Bernardo and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway.  Drones are also expected to increasingly be used along San Diego’s international border with Mexico. 

 In the same week that John Brennan (a Bush administration official who supported torture and warfare) was reviewed by the Senate to be Director of the CIA, a white paper was obtained by NBC news outlining how the federal government justifies the use of drone surveillance and killings.  In what many call its “chilling” effect, this document describes how drone assassination is pursued, without judicial authorization, anywhere in the world including the US, against foreign nationals and US citizens; authorized by any “high ranking official.”  

“This is a more than alarming,” a press release issued by Drone Diego stated. The group calls the tactic an “unprecedented claim of unchecked power: a power to kill with impunity, without any level of democratic recourse or review.” 

Far from “winding down” all wars launched by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has expanded remote warfare and extra-judicial killings beyond precedent.  Drone surveillance and killings are now global, without border or pretence of declared or recognized war; parallel with secret authorization to assassinate foreign nationals and US citizens at will.  This is without judicial review or public knowledge. In this sense the US has ceased to have a government of, by and for the people.  Drone Diego draws national attention to the dangers of this, obvious and implied,” the group states. 

The Bush and Obama administrations have sought to justify use of drones as necessary to combat terrorism around the globe.  But the use of drones has drawn increasing criticism both internationally and at home.

Expressing some of the alarm of American citizens, Judith Hand, Ph.D. founder of A Future Without War ( in San Diego says, "We seek transparency of the conditions used to justify the use of killing drones, which are currently extra-judicial killings; for example, clarifying the meaning of the term ‘imminent’ in the phrase ‘imminent threat.’  We seek oversight by a body independent of anyone, including the executive branch or the military, authorized to use this latest weapon of war."  

The schedule of actions will be fleshed out in coming weeks.  Participants, endorsers and supporters of Drone Diego include Code Pink, Global Exchange, the United National Antiwar Coalition, and San Diego Veterans for Peace, the San Diego Peace Resource Center, and others. 

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Emmy Award-winning newscaster Shad Olson’s ‘The Great Drone Deba

Domestic drone usage is ill-conceived, elitist, and end-runs our inherent Constitutional protections.

Here are two (2), very well-produced, videos that anchor my points:

Emmy Award-winning newscaster Shad Olson’s ‘The Great Drone Debate’, featuring US Senator John Thune:

Here’s a mind-blowing, well-done animated short that really captures our collective angst that if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then domestic drones are a superhighway to an Orwellian panoptic gulag.

For national security purposes, Americans are already subject to warrantless wiretaps of calls and emails, the warrantless GPS “tagging” of their vehicles, the domestic use of Predators or other spy-in-the-sky drones, and the Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of all our behavior through “data fusion centers.”

America’s promise has always been the power of the many to rule, instead of the one. Ungoverned drone usage, particularly domestically, gives power to the one.