The federal government is moving quickly to open the skies over America to drones – both for commercial and government purposes – and respected Washington Post and Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer is forecasting “rifles aimed at the sky all across America.”
The comments from Krauthammer, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987 after serving as a speechwriter for Vice President Walter Mondale and then beginning his journalism career at The New Republic, were on “Special Report” with Bret Baier.
“I would predict, I’m not encouraging, but I predict the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that’s been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country,” Krauthammer said.
The conversation arose as the federal government announced it is beginning to allow public safety agencies to fly unmanned aircraft – drones – with fewer and fewer restrictions.
According to yesterday’s report from Bloomberg, police, fire and other government agencies now are being allowed to fly drones weighing as much as 25 pounds without special approvals previously needed.
The Federal Aviation Administration said on its website that the move was an interim step until the agency finishes rules that will open the door for commercial operation of drones, as well as those uses for government purposes.
Congress has adopted the position of encouraging more drone flights, with the “goal of adapting technology used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
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The FAA said it had gotten requests from 61 police departments, agencies or universities to fly drones, including the Army, Air Force, Navy and others.
The move toward drones, which will offer virtually unlimited spy options to watch U.S. citizens, has raised all sorts of privacy concerns, about which Krauthammer expressed an unreserved horror.
“I’m going to go hard left on you here. I’m going to go ACLU. I don’t want regulations. I don’t want restrictions – I want a ban on this. Drones are instruments of war. The Founders had a great aversion to any instruments of war, the use of the military inside of the United States. They didn’t like standing armies, It has all kinds of statutes against using the Army in the country.
“A drone is a high-tech version of an old Army and a musket. It ought to be used in Somalia to hunt bad guys, but not in America. I don’t want to see it hovering over anybody’s home.”
His said there’s a difference from other technology applications.
“Yes, you can say we have satellites, we’ve got Google Street. And London has a camera on every street corner. But that is not an excuse to cave in on everything else and accept a society where you are always under – being watched by the government. This is not what we want. I would say ban it under all circumstances.
“And I would predict, I’m not encouraging, but I predict the first guy who uses a Second Amendment weapon to bring a drone down that’s been hovering over his house is going to be a folk hero in this country.”
On the panel too was Mara Liasson, of National Public Radio.
“I don’t know if you can do that. Arean’t they awfully high up?”
No problem, Krauthammer suggested.
“You may have to use a lot of them. You may have to use a very high powered one. You may have to use a bazooka. I’m not encouraging. I’m simply making a prediction.”
Baier pointed out that a drone already has been used in a criminal investigation in America, with the case of a North Dakota man arrested for activities observed with a drone.
Krauthammer was allowing no compromises.
“I don’t think we want a society where…………….
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