In Air America: Under the Imperial Eye , Chris Floyd reports on the recent revelation that Iraq's supposedly "sovereign airspace" is constantly under surveillance by a network of drones operated by the State Department. Apparently the only reason this news came to light is because of a publicly available government appeal for private bids on the project. Neither we nor Iraqis were meant to know:
"Iraqis were outraged this week to find they are being spied upon by a fleet of American drones hovering constantly in their supposedly sovereign skies, long after the supposed withdrawal of American forces."
Barack Obama, Tuesday, told a YouTube/Google+ audience that drones haven't killed huge numbers of civilians (in actuality, thousands, including hundreds of children, have been killed, according to the Wikileaks cables). Kevin Gostzola writes about the secret drone programs In YouTube Event, Obama Defends Government’s Use of Drones :
"Obama said the program for strikes is “kept on a very tight leash” and that it isn’t run by a “bunch of folks in a room somewhere making decisions.” That’s correct. The program is actually much more totalitarian in its nature."
Leon Panetta went on 60 Minutes to put forward Obama's case that it legal to kill people with no due process. Glenn Greenwald says :
"...watching a top Obama official, under decent questioning, defend the power to target U.S. citizens for assassination viscerally conveys the rigidly authoritarian mindset driving all of this:
Panetta’s answers are suffused with dubious and even factually false claims. It is, for instance, false that the U.S. provides due process to everyone apprehended for Terrorism. To the contrary, the Obama administration has been holding dozens of Terrorism suspects without any charges for years, and President Obama just signed into law a bill codifying the power of indefinite detention for accused Terrorists..."
But, this is the land of freedom & democracy... to fill out my "droning on" reference.
I'll see many of you at Times Square on Saturday.
Debra Sweet , Director, The World Can't Wait