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Drones in America

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Dronesby Jacob G. Hornberger

Yesterday, I appeared on the Glenn Beck show, which was being guest-hosted by Judge Andrew Napolitano, to discuss the possible use of drones here in the United States. The idea is being proposed as just another way to keep Americans safe.

Is safety so important that people must accept whatever controls that government is able to place on them? Shouldn’t there be a limit, one in which people say: “I don’t care if I’m unsafe as long as I’m free, and I’m not willing surrender my freedom or my privacy for any amount of safety?”

The use of the drones is being justified under three different wars that the U.S. government is waging: the war on drugs, the war on immigrants, and the war on terrorism. Of course, the term “war” is just a figure of speech denoting criminal laws that the government is brutally enforcing.

As I pointed out on the Beck show, the call for drone use in the United States is a continuation of the militarization of America and another invasion of the privacy of the American people. Just add it to the Ninja-style SWAT teams that are busting down people’s doors in desperate search of wrongful substances they’re ingesting in the privacy of their own homes, scaring families to death and killing family pets in the process. Add it to all those cameras on street corners and to the helicopters that peer into people’s back yards to see what they’re doing and growing.

As I rhetorically asked on the Beck show, why not simply place government cameras in everyone’s home and cars? Wouldn’t that help keep Americans safe?

The drones would be just one more step in the direction of total government control and monitoring described so well in Orwell’s “1984.”

Stopping these types of ever-increasing infringements on freedom and privacy is important, but it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. That root is the three wars that are used to justify the infringements: the war on drugs, the war on immigrants, and the war on terrorism. As long as the government is waging these three wars, there will always be chaos, disorder, and crises that will then be used as the excuse for the infringements on freedom and privacy.

No one can deny that the 35-year-old war on drugs is a failure, and a costly one at that. Just look at Mexico, where hundreds of people are being killed every week. The war on drugs should be ended by simply legalizing drugs. There is no other solution to the chaos, disorder, death, and destruction. Ending the drug war would not only help restore peace and harmony to society, it would also remove the primary excuse that police have for harassing people, especially blacks and Hispanics, for unreasonable searches and seizures, and for invasions of people’s privacy.

It’s really no different with the war on immigrants. The war has been waged for decades, producing nothing but disorder, death, destruction, chaos, and crisis. Yet, the statists continue to convince themselves that there is some magic reform that will finally succeed. They are wrong. No immigration reform will work. They are all doomed to fail, just as every single reform has failed for the last several decades. The only thing that works is freedom and free markets, which means leaving people free to cross back and forth over borders.

The war on terrorism is rooted in the U.S. government’s pro-empire, pro-intervention policies in Iraq and Afghanistan and the Middle East. Once the U.S. Empire withdraws from that part of the world, the terrorist threat against America dissipates. The reason foreigners are so hell-bent on wreaking retaliation against the United States is because the U.S. government is over there doing bad things to people.

So, stopping or slowing the trend toward “1984” America is important and necessary, but inevitably the disorder and crises produced by the war on drugs, war on immigrants, and war on terrorism will enable the statists to succeed in moving our country further in the direction of Orwell’s “1984.” That’s why it’s vitally important that those who wish to restore freedom, free markets, and a limited-government republic to our land continue doing their best to pull the rug out from underneath the statists by ending, not reforming, the war on drugs, twar on immigrants, and war on terrorism.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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