Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Drones - Do They Make Us Safer?


Drones – Do They Make Us Safer?

 

                Military technology has made monumental strides in the past few decades.  The art of espionage and warfare has progressively changed to help save and take lives respectively.  At the same time, there is always a fine line between the two.  Technology always has a way to pave the way for better, but at the same time it can lead to issues that are a cause for concern in particular drones.  Drones allow governments to spy on individuals both domestically and abroad.  The government tells you that they allow for a safer society for law abiding citizens, but once again that’s a matter of personal perception.  For example, who is a criminal and who is not?  What is a terrorist, and what is one’s justification of who and what they call a terrorist? 

                Drones by definition are aircraft that are pilotless to an extent considering the operator is separated from the aircraft, but also house complex camera’s and weaponry.  Most drones cannot be detected simply because they fly at high altitudes where they cannot be observed by the naked eye, allowing them to spy on individuals and whole nations without the knowledge of those being observed.  Espionage has been a way of gaining intel on an opponent, but who or what is the opponent?  According to the government, an opponent, enemy, or terrorist is anyone or group that serves as a threat to that respective nation.  This is where things get fishy.  Is it a justifiable cause killing 1 opponent while 5 innocent lives are lost even before they even take any action upon the nation in which feels threatened?  Is the killing of innocent life worth eliminating one suspected terrorist?  Is an angry American citizen who talks down upon the government, a terrorist, or just a citizen who sees their freedom being taken from them and wishes to take action?  The U.S. constitution clearly states that any citizen is free to petition or criticize the government, so a government that tries to eliminate change through fear and espionage is a government that is paranoid by its own people both foreign and domestic.   The killing of citizens both foreign and domestic is simply illegal on many grounds.  For example, there is law against cruel and unusual punishment via drones, there are laws that state that one has the right to know why they are being persecuted, prosecuted, and inevitably killed.  Regardless of whether they are a threat to our nation, one has the right to be treated in a way that reflects that of a person who is not a “threat.”   I must be na├»ve, but the principles that made this country great are slowly changing and losing legal ground by way of new, unjustifiable laws that are full of irrelevant clauses and add in’s.   Just as any law enforcement agency needs to provide motive and documentation to both the courts and the person of interest before they can search one’s personal belongings, should one have the right to know they are being spied on from the “eye in the sky?”  Yes, who would have thought that the novel, 1984, would have any relevance on our modern society, but it is surely seems that way today.   As a law abiding citizen, I don’t live in fear of being spied on, but at the same time why does the government feel the need to use such tactics such as espionage on its own people.  Most will say that they’d rather forfeit certain liberties to protect the overall security of the nation as a whole, yet are we really safer or is it simply a false hope or perception of society as a whole? 

                History has a way of repeating itself, but one has a way of using history to change the means of how it repeats itself.  History can teach one lessons about how to go about making change in the present.  At the same time, it can teach one ways in which to improve the imperfections of those that haunted our past society, allowing for slow, calculated, and deliberate actions that reflect that of the past that are now being repeated in the present, but in a new and “improved” methodology.   In the end, I do not wish to change your frame of mind or perception on life and the relationship between governments and the ordinary people, but to raise questions in your mind that will lead to further logical and ethical thoughts disconnected from human emotion.