Once the mainstream media began reporting on the George Floyd incident, it definitely was the spark for all kinds of massive riots and looting all across this great country. People needed to take action, but apparently, the Pentagon thought they needed to do so as well. They began launching “covert spying” aircraft into our airspace. Their purpose? To spy on Americans. However, per this report this is something that they cannot do. In a word, this type of practice is indeed illegal.
Of course, the Pentagon was quick to defend their actions. While they did admit that the operation was illegal, they said that it was a necessary evil simply because they wanted to keep track of the things that were going on in our American streets. They said this was similar to what the National Guard did when they launched reconnaissance drones and aircraft over four major U.S. cities simply because they needed to collect data on all of the “protests.” The National Guard has since been exonerated of their activities.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper is now claiming that he had never personally signed off on any of the spying activities of the National Guard. However, there is a litany of Guard officials who insist that their activities simply did not require any approval from the “top brass.” They said that the reason these activities didn’t require any higher-up approval is because the military wing of the Guard was simply trying to “observe the crowds” and assess all of the developments. In a nutshell, the Guard was more concerned with whether “things like large fires” were beginning to develop.
An Air Force inspector weighed in, saying that yes, the general investigation had indeed been ordered by Esper, but the surveillance aircraft was not used to “monitor anyone”, but simply just to “gain some information regarding fires, crowd size, and crowd flows.”
“This probe was indeed ordered by Defense Secretary Mark Esper. However, it was simply due to a response regarding some questions in the department and Congress in regards to whether the military was engaging in illegal action and conducting surveillance of American citizens regarding the unrest after the shooting of George Floyd.”
Trading Liberty and Freedom For the Illusion of Safety and Security Will Result in Neither, America
Of course, there are a lot of individuals who would say that this was nothing more than a harmless endeavor that was designed to keep Americans “safe” from all of the escalating violence that kept rolling like a snowball down a hill. However, this does set a very dangerous precedent. Indeed, this can be compared to the numerous restrictions that were set up after the 9/11 attacks, but if any military started to regularly use aircraft to surveil activities on the ground, it would be a clear Constitutional violation, going against the 4th Amendment.
Furthermore, any type of military intelligence has clearly overstepped their bounds if they think they have any right to monitor Americans willy-nilly under any circumstances. They are violating their jurisdiction by doing this, and they should be leaving it up to either local authorities, state authorities, or possibly the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), depending on the nature of the specific case.
Of course, the military industrial complex will disagree. They think that the protests can be monitored by using national intelligence just as long as it’s just crowds or groups being monitored and not strictly individuals. Of course, we would have to just take their word for it, and that’s on shaky ground as well.
This investigation brought forth some interesting results. They noted that there were at least seven flights by the aircraft, and they were taking place in such diverse places as Washington, D.C., Arizona, Minnesota, and California. Moreover, this investigation also claimed that these aircraft were equipped with sensors that could only pick up vehicles or buildings.
In a nutshell, the sensors “weren’t capable of clearing identifying people, and definitely not able to pick up any of their distinguishing characteristics.” This intelligence aircraft also allegedly didn’t have the ability to collect information regarding people’s electronic devices such as radios or phones.
If we are looking at this from a legal mindset, then we should take a close look at the technological capabilities of this aircraft. We can see that one determining factor would be whether this technology can violate any laws with this technology. However, that would appear to be a moot point, simply because the conclusion has already been reached. Officials are claiming that since “domestic communications” are not able to be picked up, that this operation is fully legal and absolutely permitted.
Of course, it has also been noted that some of the specific aircraft has been a specific model called the RC-26 spy plane. That’s all well and good, but there have been other federal and local agencies where it has been rumored that they have been using spy drones. One particular example of this would be the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), which most recently used drones for “covert operations” during the Trump Administration.
“While we have all rights to protest various issues, this does create quite a disturbing precedent,” said Zero Hedge. They too were in agreement that this could cause an entirely slippery slope leading to tyranny, causing an illusion where we have security and safety. Again, we would have neither in this case.
“One example of this would have to be the large-scale protests regarding President Obama’s plans to bomb Syria from August to September of 2013. If we have any type of mass anti-war demonstrations in the future, does that mean that the Pentagon has all rights to do this exact same surveillance yet again?”
What do you think? Is this justified, or is the government abusing their own power here?