Listening to the news media drone on (pun intended) I am amazed that no conversation has been directed to the fact that if the executive branch holds the power to pass death sentence on American citizens in foreign countries accepting such horrible collateral damage what would prevent a future president from using these weapons on American citizens within the United States?
If you dare allow yourself a glimpse into the future and look at this scenario:
"You live in a group of American citizens with your family and other families perhaps a commune or encampment. Your parents have voiced their discontent with their government and have moved to rural Arkansas or some other state where they can escape perceived government oppression. Your new home could be in any other state in the United States. Your parents are proud to live with others who share their ideas and you are happy in your new environment. Your parents and other parents go to work daily and obey laws. You go to school with other children and church and share activities on weekends. Your family and the other families enjoy feelings of belonging and share like views. Your group openly voices their opinions of distrust with their government but strongly opposes violence and chooses to live with others who share their views. You are banded together for self protection and believe in protection of family and the right to live your way of life. At first viewed by others as radical, opinion begins to change and slowly your ideas began to catch on. Slowly at first, others begin to listen and form their own groups where they can express opinions and live as they desire."
Perhaps this scenario reeks of "1984" or other science fiction we have experienced, but in reality this group would be an ideal target for our drones. In truth, over the past years American citizens have slowly been conditioned to think of war as a non-personal event that is "out of sight...out of mind". President Bush surprised us by embedding news media with troops in Iraq and quickly abandoned this as it sparked an awareness that was uncomfortable to the average citizen. When citizens were shown the ravages of war they began to feel a personal connection that disturbed previous conditioning of detachment to these horrific events. Having been conditioned to think of war as a necessary event to maintain our way of life, most of us don't want to know details of why we are at war or who with as long as it does not infringe on our daily routines. Our news media ensures we receive little detail of wars and are careful to keep us complacent with other non-information news to prevent our conscience of war. Less than one percent of our population experience war and most come from rural areas where poor economies make military careers a viably compromise to leave throes of poverty.
Back to topic, this group in our future perhaps could be construed an enemy of the state and deemed home grown terrorists and easily destroyed with drones. Current law has established that an American citizen can be detained for an indefinite period of time as a suspected terrorist intending harm to other citizens. This declaration strips a citizen of Miranda rights and frees the government from giving due process. This power already lies in the hands of the president and has been ratified by congress. Furthermore, if an American citizen can be targeted in a foreign land and executed on evidence, clouded by secrecy, by appointed authority how easy would it be to use this authority to arm the multitude of drones already being used for other purpose in the United States?
Is it radical thought to think that these weapons of destruction, without check, could be used against proclaimed "Enemies of the State" or mere citizens who don't fall in line with desired thought. Can the path of passive conditioning we have been subjected to be slowly changing to physical control by a police state where suppression of free speech and action can be quelled by drones firing in the dead of night?
Yes, radical thought...but a topic that must be discussed, for if check and balance is not applied to this issue our future may turn from Science Fiction to reality!