Superheroes often live double lives. But so do super-villains. For four years, the Obama administration has been living a double-life regarding drones.
Publicly, the president and his leadership tell us they are using drones to protect our borders and promote national security. The administration dismisses challenges to its drone policies as falsehoods, but these “lies” are alarmingly close to the truth.
True Drone Lies at Home
Drone creep is happening. On Valentine’s Day, Obama signed the unconstitutional FAA Modernization and Reform Act, allocating $63.6 billion to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) between 2012 and 2015. Basically, he authorized the FAA to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to loosen and expand drone regulations for both military and private/commercial use. This law violates both the Fourth Amendment and the Constitution’s mandate that Congress—not the President—make all laws.
Since February, the administration has gone on a drone-buying binge—despite Inspector General audits indicating that agencies like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) do not need and cannot afford the drones they already have access to.
The DHS will soon have a fleet of 24 domestic drones after reportedly signing a contract worth $443 with General Atomics for 14 more Predator drones. The drones are being purchased under the guise of “border security.” However, reports indicate the federal government is using these drones to violate our Fourth Amendment rights.
Obama must know his drone policy is unconstitutional and liable to congressional and/or judicial challenge. For, he is moving to codify it: “The attempt to write a formal rule book for targeted killing began last summer after news reports on the drone program… the president and top aides believe it should be institutionalized…” reports the New York Times.
Domestically, we must demand that Congress hold the president accountable for his incessant prowl for more control over our lives through the use of unconstitutional drones.
True Drone Lies in Iran
In Iran, we find many examples of the concerns that arise from the administration’s international drone policy. Using drones to spy on Iran is backfiring. We appear to be losing more than we are gaining because we are forfeiting our intelligence secrets and inciting blowback.
U.S.-Iran relations are complex, so I will provide a timeline with concrete examples: