Missouri Anti-Drone Bill Lacks Teeth

Drone Strike Coming to a City Near You!

Drone Strike Coming to a City Near You!

Zachary Cole

TyrannyWatch.org

February 8, 2013

Like so much legislation being proposed or passed lately we see the gravitation towards “safe” language within these bills. Just take for example the so-called “anti-NDAA” legislation, HB 57, initially we wrote that it would certainly outlaw indefinite detention of Missouri citizens. In a matter of a week or two, P.A.N.D.A., one of the largest organizations against the NDAA spoke out against it saying that the bill was nothing more than “fluff”. What was their reason for saying such a thing? As Heather Cottner, the Missouri State Coordinator for P.A.N.D.A., explained that the organization’s legal team reviewed the language within the bill and determined that any shrewd politician or lawyer could easily get around what the legislation claims to be outlawing.

This controversy provides the context in how one should view legislation being presented at the local level. With that being said, we should be circumspect about Rep. Casey Guernsey’s HB 46 “Preserving Freedom From Unwarranted Surveillance Act”. In a nutshell his bill only outlaws “unwarranted” spying from any person or State Department and in no way protects citizens from law enforcement. A couple of things come to mind when I read this bill:

  • It only seems to outlaw the use of drones against citizens without authorization by a magistrate. In other words, Federal agencies and local police can still use drones against the public as long as they and the magistrate believe there is a just cause. The language in this bill does nothing to protect the citizens from other potential actions that various UAVs are capable of. Furthermore, regarding warrants, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI have drastically expanded upon what is deemed as “suspicious activity” thus giving them just cause to target almost anyone for the slightest infraction. Another aspect that should be pondered is that many judges these days don’t resist much when it comes to warrants. Unfortunately, unless it’s something bizarre, the judge will usually side with Feds or the police and issue the authorization.
  • This bill could also be used to justify the outlawing of drones for private use amongst hobbyists and farmers. The main reason why this option could be on the table in the future is a simple fact that the Federal agencies and local police have to have warrants to use them. This could lead to the line of thought “if the government needs permission, why not the people?” They could easily create a registry for private UAV owners and like gun registration; the state could regulate who doesn’t get to operate drones according to whatever vague standard they put in place. All the government needs is a few extreme examples of citizens improperly using their drone and legislation or an amendment could be made to restrict or outlaw them all together for the public. Presently, the FAA has little regulation on private use of drones, as long as the UAV is flying under “400 feet”, maintains a “pilot in control”, and stays away from “built up areas”.
  • HB 46 creates penalties for illegal UAV usage by Federal agencies and law enforcement. It also makes any evidence obtained illegally inadmissible in court while making it easier to file a lawsuit against violators. Initially it sounds great but my concern would be the lack of provision if the tables were turned and a privately owned drone accidentally violated a law that was originally for the Feds and police. In my opinion if one is going to create a bill, they must give some forethought as to how the language could be utilized by politicians (with less than innocent motives) beyond the original intent. Basically critically look at you own legislation and see if there are any dangerous loopholes.

Clearly Rep. Guernsey believes HB 46 solves the problem of illegal use of drones by big brother. It is apparent by a recent statement when he said, “Without legislation, Missouri could become a police state with overt surveillance as drone technology becomes cheaper.” The Representative sounds great on the surface but again I believe this is another bill that has little protection due to its language and omission of other important issues surrounding drone technology.

Gary Brunk, local executive director for the ACLU, seems to think that the bill is sufficient. He said, “As drones become less expensive, our fear is that the police and other agencies could use them or fishing expeditions that infringe on an individual’s right to privacy…This bill is simply common sense regulation.” As Mr. Brunk’s statement reveals the main focus of the organization on the issue of drones is privacy. A question I would ask is why not work with politicians on the state and Federal levels to create a comprehensive bill that addresses all the issues that apply to drones. Why can’t we have “common sense” laws against using weaponized UAVs for American citizens?

Maybe their angle is to slowly implement these measures throughout several bills so that these issues can be addressed individually so the establishment doesn’t feel threatened. Hopefully this is not one of those deals where lawmakers throw out a bone to satiate activists so they will shut their mouths. If Rep. Guernsey’s motives are pure, then he should consider several options: 1) Tightening up the language in the bill; 2) Amending problematic sections within the bill; or 3) Create new bill altogether that addresses in a more complete manner the potential civil rights violations from the utilization of drones by the state.

I think that it is imperative that Guernsey finishes the job he started and either shores up the current bill he has put forth or scrap HB 46. Regardless of what option is chosen, it should take a tougher stance against drones. The reader may wonder why citizens should not be restricted from using private UAVs, while Federal agencies and police departments should have more regulations in their utilization. The answer is simple; most private citizens that own drones have them for a hobby or are employed for agricultural or environmental tasks. Whereas, the government owns them to further their surveillance grid and create an atmosphere of fear as a method of control. The state’s use of drones is nothing more than aggression while the public’s use is amicable. See the difference?

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Drone Technology Reaches Another Milestone

Drone Infographic

Zachary Cole

TyrannyWatch.org

February 5, 2013

In Greek mythology there was a giant monster with 100 eyes all over his body named Argos Panoptes. Incredibly, according to the myth, he was a watchman that never slept and guarded Zeus’ lover who had been changed into a white heifer. Although this story is not real, it does serve as a backdrop to a new DARPA funded project.

Yiannis Antoniades of BAE Systems has developed for the Pentagon a highly classified 1.8 billion megapixel camera that can be mounted on drones. Its name is ARGUS-IS, which is an acronym for Autonomous Real-time Ground Ubiquitous Surveillance Imaging System. Like its mythological counterpart from whom it was named after, this camera is like a watchman that never sleeps.

The ARGUS-IS, depending on what type of UAV it’s attached to, will be able to be in the sky for nearly 24 hours at about 17,500 feet. The camera will also be able to cover 15 mi.² per pixel but BAE Systems indicate coverage of 100 mi.². Built within this system is 1,000,000 TB hard-drive that records everything in high-resolution. This allows the drone to feed live video back to its command station with the ability to zoom in on any area they please.

Another feature of the ARGUS-IS is the capability to open 65 independent video windows that can zoom in and out on a specific image by the touch of a finger. It can track automatically vehicles and an equally terrifying feature is the “dismount tracking” which can follow individuals on foot. The processing and cognitive swarm-recognition software will also allow the drone to identify the target before it becomes a threat. DARPA is already developing this technology to detect the prelaunch of rocket propelled grenades.

This system sounds very similar to the AISight software by BRS Labs that scans the public for “suspicious” behavior in pre-crime detection. It also has the ability to learn while observing large crowds of people and send text messages to guards if threats are spotted. The reader should note that these technologies are not being beta tested over foreign skies; rather they are in our skies and on our streets.

Let’s just put the pieces together. The proliferation of drones to kill enemy combatants in foreign countries years ago was nearly looked upon as a conspiracy theory. Now during the Obama administration it is a fact and a preferred method of war. It is also a reality that although the UAV’s are effective in killing specified targets, they are also notorious for terminating innocent children. Just last year Pres. Obama signed the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012, which allows within 90 days of its signing, the permission for police departments across America to utilize drones on a daily basis. It also mandates that the FAA reevaluate its regulations by September 30, 2015 to allow private companies to also fly UAV’s. The FAA also estimates due to the bill HR 658, that by 2020 there will be 30,000 drones in the skies of the United States.

I mentioned all the above to say that this is the natural progression of an oppressive regime. They take advantage of a crisis to gain more power and to secure its future. Then it turns on the people that gave the system its supremacy by incrementally locking down their freedoms. Simultaneously they implement secretive plans while denying its existence, only later to confirm the rumors. As the public becomes acclimated, the regime openly unveils what it has been doing in the shadows for years. Then the system is given the green light to promote the idea of using the once secretive program within its own territory to secure its people’s safety. Insiders then begin creating the legal parameters the regime needs to roll out the final plan. Once the citizenry has been surrounded by a wall of legislation then the system will have gained full control of its population.

My point in painting that picture was to show the reader that this technology from the beginning was going to be used to create a Big Brother surveillance grid here in the United States. I wrote earlier that drones could zero in on specific enemies but more often than not there is collateral damage. Now when we apply it to US soil, employ predator drones, equip them with high-tech cameras that have pre-crime software, authorize its use for law enforcement, legalize its existence with legislation while expanding the definition of what a terrorist is, one can easily see how America could become a battlefield in the near future.

If ARGUS-IS lives up to its mythological namesake, we very well could be dealing with a real life monster that never sleeps and always sees. The good news is if real life follows closely to the myth, the monster is destroyed (although I wouldn’t hold my breath on this point).

See Video of the ARGUS-IS in action!

St. Louis Venerates Obama Over MLK

"Giving honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama" - Jamie Foxx

“Giving honor to God and our Lord and Savior Barack Obama” – Jamie Foxx

Zachary Cole

TyrannyWatch.org

January 23, 2013

Initially I hadn’t planned on writing a piece concerning this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. March. But after a few days of thinking about the ridiculousness of our local organizers I felt that something had to be said. It’s really a shame that Democratic operatives have co-opted the holiday committee for MLK because this should be a day without “party lines”. After all, Dr. King was not a big proponent of the left-right paradigm.

In fact, at one point he said, “I feel someone must remain in the position of non-alignment, so that he can look objectively at both parties and be the conscience of both—not the servant or master of either.” With that being said, one might think that the committee would be nonpartisan. But apparently this is not so (or at least it is not a concern of the organizers). The reader will see shortly why I think there was a bias within the committee that originated from political elements.

This year, the Inauguration Day fell on the same date that we observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The holiday committee decided that since Dr. King’s birthday fell on Pres. Obama’s Inauguration Day, they would combine the festivities. While I believe that some on the committee genuinely thought this was a good idea, clearly there wasn’t much thought put into it.

A couple of days before the march I got word of what the organizers had planned to do. I was a little puzzled by this decision because of what I knew about Dr. King’s stance on war as opposed to the president’s actions the last four years. The whole time I couldn’t stop thinking, “If MLK were alive today, would he support the president’s policies concerning drone strikes, foreign intervention, and indefinite detention of US citizens without a trial or jury?” But at the end of the day I tried to give the organizers the benefit of the doubt and chalk it off as them wanting to honor two influential men of color.

I discussed this with a local activist and rapper named Rev Dellic, who also had the same concerns. Despite my reservations about the inauguration component, I decided to join with local activists to commemorate Dr. King. Admittedly a few of us also wanted to strike up conversations with Obama supporters to see what their thoughts were on the comparisons of these two men.

Rev and I decided that we would march with signs around our necks that read, “MLK had a dream…What is Obama’s dream?” We decided the best approach would be to pose a somewhat simple and nonthreatening question to open up dialogue.

As I made my way to the Old Courthouse, I hadn’t even gotten across the street to where everyone was meeting for the march, when my attention was immediately brought to a 10-12 foot tall Obama puppet standing with outstretched hands behind the ROTC choir. Besides the irony of the giant puppet, I found the whole situation awkward. Another thing that stood out to me was the fact that Obama was the predominant character despite the status of MLK.

At any rate, once we got over to the site of where the march would begin, we proceeded to put on our signs. Overall we had a 95% positive reception with a few double takes and a couple snide remarks. But by and large most people were indifferent to the question posed. To those that responded negatively or somewhat perturbed, they seemed to be going more on their emotions or the perception that we may give wearing a political sign at such an occasion. Of course the latter response is silly since the Democrats already politicized MLK Day by combining the inauguration with it.

One self-proclaimed “Anarchist” named James rode over on his bike to henpeck us on why these signs were inappropriate and polarizing towards nonwhites. His arguments weren’t totally illogical and he wasn’t being a jerk, however he was worried more about his agenda to proselytize African-Americans to Anarchism then our right to freely express ourselves. He also made this wild assumption that because some of us were white that we had no connection to the black community here in St. Louis. I couldn’t help but laugh on the inside when he said this.

While I get being sensitive to the culture of others, I don’t buy into the psychology of “white guilt”. My personal belief is that your motive for helping oppressed peoples should not come from a place of making penitence but out of love and the brotherhood of man. Needless to say James failed to convince us to remove the signs but he did successfully remind us that even some in the activist community censor themselves according to the other parties’ color of skin.

Another gentleman that was a little annoyed by our signs, got in my face and asked what I meant by the statement being made. I was a little caught off guard by his aggression but I proceeded to explain my position. Unfortunately, like I have to do every time I discuss Pres. Obama, I had to preface my argument by saying that the problem is his policies and not his hue. Once I got past the opening spiel, I told him that I believed that if Dr. King were alive today he would have denounced the president’s actions against foreign countries and the continuance of tyrannical “Bushian” policies.

This gentleman actually looked at me, with a straight face, and said, “It seems like we’re living in the past…” He also took issue with the sign and tried to charge us with not being forthright by simply posing a question. The guy said it was disingenuous and that “Obama is about peace because he brought the soldiers home from Iraq.” He further hashed out his argument by saying that MLK was against the Vietnam War but that this was a different time period altogether. The gentleman then attempted to counter my mention of the murderous drone strikes by saying, “France has taken over that.”

Defying logic and facts, this guy waved off the killing of women and children (that the president signed off on) by playing political hot potato and essentially telling us that we need to evolve on our views of foreign intervention. After he was done I started to note a few things that he seemed to be brushing aside but before I could say another sentence, he literally ran away like a cartoon character out of Looney Tunes.

Fact of the matter is, this man was a diehard Democrat and an Obama sycophant, who when Bush was in office opposed war and surely cried aloud about the civil rights violations of Gitmo prisoners. But now that he has someone that “looks” like him, he feels comfortable in playing identity politics (a charge that Dems attempt to put on the majority of whites on the right). Aside from the hypocrisy, he tried to obfuscate the truth.

It is inaccurate to say that America does not have “boots on the ground” in Iraq. We are still meddling in that country through private mercenary groups like Blackwater; which changed its name from XE to Academi.  Furthermore, as far as I know, the United States is still in full command over drone strikes in Pakistan and is waging other proxy wars in the Middle East and Africa. I haven’t the slightest clue where he got that France is now the sole villain in droning innocents.

Continuing on, a more peculiar moment was when we were approached by college students from UMSL that had no idea what the march was about. They said to us that their instructor told them to meet down at the Old Courthouse for a class assignment but didn’t tell them what the event was about. Although I thought this was incredible that they were oblivious to MLK Day and the presidential inauguration, I definitely could see how they could be confused considering all the mixed messages.

This confusion leads into the center of mine and other’s frustration with how this event was handled. It is my opinion that the two events should not have been combined or there should have been a distinction made. It seemed to run altogether and quite frankly Obama was the center of attention despite later marching for Dr. King. I can’t speak for everyone there but the Obama worship was creepy just as it was in DC. I was kind of expecting for people to form lines and patterns for their dictator. But I guess we’re not there yet.

Truth is Addictive…

Tyranny Watch Alt Logo

Did you know that Alternative Media is the fastest growing news on the internet? Did you know that Alternative News provides many people daily with stories or reports that most Mainstream outlets ignore or whitewash? Did you know that most Mainstream Media outlets run news according to their financiers? Did you know that it is a common practice for government agencies to work closely with News Networks? If you were unaware of these facts do not feel bad, most are not.

We, at Tyranny Watch, seek to provide solid independent journalism without the shortcomings of being tied to Republican-Democrat agendas or confined into the Left-Right Paradigm. We are about truth, liberty, and preservation of our Republic. We firmly believe in the Constitution and as Amendment I says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the pressNow more than ever we need to excise these freedoms!

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” He must have understood history because this is what governments eventually do when they want to expand power. They put speech restrictions on the population and control access to what information they have. Does any of this sound familiar?

The Alternative Media revolution as it grows has gained more credibility with the induction of freethinkers and lack of state-sponsored propaganda. We are proud of this fact. To further prove the importance of free press, let us examine some news that was covered correctly by independent analysts but were either denied or lied about by Mainstream Media.

Alternative Media

Mainstream Media

Who was Correct?

Fukushima will be uninhabitable for years after nuclear meltdown

Residents of Fukushima will be able to return home soon

Alternative Media

NATO was training and arming rebel groups  which had members of al-Qaeda within it before strike against Libya

Denied it as a conspiracy theory and down-played who was being trained

Alternative Media

Increase in RFID chips in humans

At first denied the existence of the technology then down-played its use for human tracking

Alternative Media

US government was providing guns to the Mexican drug cartels

Media black-out

Alternative Media

Fluoridated water is harmful

Fluoridated water is good

Alternative Media

The Federal Reserve favors big banks and uses political leverage

The Federal Reserve does not show favoritism and is above politics

Alternative Media

Cell phones cause cancer

Denied or down-played links to cancer

Alternative Media

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is linked to infertility

Largely ignored

Alternative Media

TSA naked body scanners cause cancer

Denied facts and said radiation levels are safe

Alternative Media

The government is involved in drug trafficking

Denied it as a conspiracy theory

Alternative Media

NDAA will be used against American citizens

NDAA is not for American citizens

Alternative Media

NDAA will not be vetoed by the president and will be passed quietly

NDAA will be vetoed by the president

Alternative Media

Government has armed unmanned drones both in air and on land

Media black-out

Alternative Media

The fact is there are many more stories that were broke by independent research and journalism. This is why the Alternative Media revolution is so important, when others do not cover important issues we have the freedom speak to unmitigated truth. To be fair, there are people who seek money, fame, and spread disinformation among the Alternative Media circles too. Tyranny Watch is different. We seek to inform the public, set a standard of integrity, inspire peaceful action, and spread the message of freedom for all humanity.

Tyranny Watch also seeks to spread our message through podcasts, radio programming, articles, blogs, vlogs, and special “on the spot” video coverage of live events. We are not limiting ourselves to just stereotypical coverage like who is winning a presidential election. We will cover who the candidates are, what are their connections, suspicious activity during rallies, and voting fraud. We also have specialized news categories that other news outlets are too scared to cover like one world governance, matrix of control, pharmacide, etc.

Tyranny Watch wants to engage the community and insert real issues by promotion of other freedom lovers and production of our own thought-provoking t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. This also serves to support local business and fund our operations. To be clear, we reject sponsors or local businesses who seek to manipulate our message. Either they want to stand with us or they can simply move on.

Tyranny Watch is also looking for passionate writers, journalists, reporters, and those who specialize in technical areas like graphic design, audio and video production on a voluntary basis. Our ultimate goal is to be able to expand our operation into a fulltime job and pay our staff what they deserve. If you have any questions please contact us by e-mail (Media@tyrannywatch.org) or one of our many social networking accounts on the web.

Founder of Tyranny Watch

Zachary J. Cole

www.tyrannywatch.org