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Seattle Police Secretly Keep Drones Despite Promise

A Freedom of Information Act request published Tuesday revealed that the Seattle Police Department has secretly kept two surveillance drones despite assuring residents that they would return them to their vendor last February.

Image: Draganflyer X6 (Youtube).
Image: Draganflyer X6 (Youtube).

In 2010, Seattle police used federal grant money from the Department of Homeland Security to quietly obtain two Draganflyer X-6 surveillance drones as well as flight training for select officers. After a 2012 lawsuit from the Electronic Frontier Foundation uncovered the acquisition, public outcry ensued.

While attempts were made by the embattled department to quell public concern, former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn ordered an immediate halt to the program in early 2013, also announcing that both drones would be returned to their vendor.

“Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department’s priority,” a statement from the former mayor reads.

Now, a FOIA request regarding the axed drone program has produced a telling response from Seattle Interim Police Chief Harry Bailey.

“As of the date of this correspondence the Seattle Police Department has not returned the unmanned aerial surveillance drones and therefore does not have any responsive documents in regards to packing slips, receipts for shipping, etc.” Bailey wrote.

“Additionally a comprehensive search of the email archive was conducted using the terms ‘return’ and ‘drone’ resulting in no responsive documents. Finally a separate search was conducted by SPD personnel for any documents, memo, etc. between SPD and the Mayor’s office or UAV manufacturer using the search terms ‘UAV’ and ‘UAS’ and that search also resulted in no responsive documents.”

Although a 2013 statement from the department claimed that the DHS refused to take the drones back, residents are questioning why Seattle police have held on to the drones for more than a year.

The Seattle Privacy Coalition, one of Washington state’s most prominent civil rights groups, noted that the drones are only one part of a much more concerning issue;  the SPD’s surveillance war chest.

“Surveillance technology advances rapidly. The fact that SPD’s 2012-era drones, with their 15-minute battery life and inability to fly in the rain, are sitting on a shelf here in Seattle gathering dust doesn’t worry us,” Seattle Privacy Coalition spokesperson Phil Mocek told Storyleak.

“We’re more concerned about the continued lack of meaningful oversight of the police department, and about the fact that our police continue to use their U.S. Department of Homeland Security slush fund to purchase equipment the public doesn’t trust them to use in a constitutional manner.”

Unfortunately, the City of Seattle and its police officials already have a long history of quietly ignoring promises regarding surveillance technology.

Late last year, shortly after Seattle residents learned of the city’s secretive DHS-funded mesh network nodes, devices capable of swiping unsuspecting residents’ private cell phone information, SPD spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb announced that the network would be deactivated until further notice.

“The wireless mesh network will be deactivated until city council approves a draft policy and until there’s an opportunity for vigorous public debate,” Whitcomb said.

Soon after, residents discovered the mesh network to still be broadcasting a signal throughout the city’s downtown area.

Although it is unclear whether or not the department has been purposely deceptive, the SPD’s lax attitude towards rectifying major Fourth Amendment violations has done little to ease the minds of surveillance-weary residents.

Despite promises to uphold the publics’ civil liberties, the department continues to accept federal cash for overreaching surveillance technology.

Even in light of Seattle’s secret participation in TrapWire, a 2012 pilot project that ran a sophisticated facial recognition program through the city’s CCTV cameras, the SPD announced last month that they would begin using a new DHS-funded facial recognition program anyway.

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About Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is an investigative journalist covering foreign policy, information security and digital surveillance. His reports have been cited by sites such as the New York Times, Computerworld, International Business Times and the Drudge Report. How to contact Mikael securely: https://keybase.io/mikaelthalen

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267 comments

  1. I think drones can be useful in fighting crime, but the Police should not use them secretly. Good that the media has catched on this fact, hopefully the responsible people will make better choices in the future.

    • Drones need to go. One thing our federal and state governments have shown us is that with more power the more abusive they become

      • How would miranda rights apply to drone surveylance I wonder?

        Do they have any obligation to warn us that what we do or say might be used against us?

    • It is a very slippery slope. I know drones can be put to good use, especially in combat or rescue situations. I am very hesitant to let law enforcement use them however, because law enforcement has proved time and time again that it is corrupt and cannot be trusted.

      • I don't think they should be used domestically and the way we use them abroad with illegal drone strikes is not good either, I can live with that though.

        Keep them out of America though

        • Agreed illegal drone strikes are terrible. I was thinking more along the lines of bomb disarmament or mine field detection. I think drones can be used in America if we enact strict legislation that makes drone operation only legal in places humans can't go or if it can be used for a rescue mission, say someone trapped in a cave. We must avoid drone use in the jobs sector. Humans have a tuff enough time getting a job as is.

          • Under this regime we can't trust the administration to enforce that law any more than they enforce the laws on border security.

          • Well you brough up a good point. Rescue missions is one thing I did not consider. I just don't want to be spied on

          • The problem is that they pervert everything and can't be trusted.
            There was a story a couple of weeks ago about civilian use for drones being knee capped.

            So, we have a technology that we can't use, one they refuse to disclose and now want to use secretly.

          • I think the problem is all the surveylance.

          • And I think it's the paid hacks here to drive people away.

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who are being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

            Why don't you tell us who you work with now that ohsoquiet is gone?

          • Are you doing all the surveylance on American patriots such as myself?

            You don't want us injesting the facts?

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

            Why don't you tell us who you work with now that ohsoquiet is gone?

          • Still paid to drive people out of the temple/site.

            You are predictable.

          • But who is doing all da surveylance? bad gummit?

          • Who is paying you for all that spam?

          • When I do my grocery shopping I always have spam on my list. Spam and eggs.

          • Too bad you don't just keep it at home and consume it privately.

          • With all the surveylance ?

          • With all the spam.

          • What surveylance?

          • Me either! Technology can be very useful and if we safe guard ourselves from it we do not have to be afraid. But when we have a criminal government and mega corps controlling all tech we are screwed because their agenda is not a human agenda. They want to merge with machines.
            http://www.infowars.com/the-dark-side-of-ray-kurz

          • It can be useful, I limit what I do with techonoloy though. I get stalked online enough I don't want spied on in real life

          • Wee, why lower the debate on an important topic?

            He made a great comment on it, and you can't just play like an adult can you?

          • Roger, don't automatically assume he is talking about you. The government stalks us all I would say.

          • Yes, but the government didn't just say it was me on another site in the last 30 minutes.

            1 hour ago @ Do You Believe That? – Raising Minimum Wage · 27 replies · +1 points
            "Getting stalked by roger is creepy"

            And yes, this regime is fascist enough to brag about the NSA having the power to record our private calls, even Carter this week says he uses mail since he feels they monitor even him.

            Freedom of speech doesn't mean much when it's controlled and monitored.
            http://myveryownpointofview.wordpress.com/2012/09

            What good does the pretense of freedom of speech do when we aren't allowed to think?

          • Maybe they are having an issue with surveylance?

          • Maybe your handlers don't like misspelled words because it throws off their translators into farsi.

          • Or maybe all the surveylance has something to do with patriots injesting the facts.

          • Nope, just a regime that ignores it's limits.

          • surveylance doesn't injest the facts for bad scary gummit?

          • All that spam, all those comments. You really need better handlers or better pay, it must be hard humiliating yourself so much right in a row.

          • Is bad gummit with their surveylance making me nervous to grab my guns and bible?

          • All that spam is just making me bored.

          • Spam is good. It comes in a can. It's good for you.

          • Then why don't you conserve it and keep it at home.

          • I'm liberal with my spam and eggs. bad gummit taking ma guns

          • Your breakfast ain't better than mine!

          • Thank you, I was actually talking about how we are tracked on google, facebook and twitter and other social media, glad I do not use facebook and twitter

          • I dumped Facebook two years ago and never had a Twitter. It has def felt very liberating especially at lunch when my entire group is on their phones and Facebook like f ing zombies.

          • Right? Same thing when I am work. Everyone staring at their phones not aware of what is going on around them

          • Depends, sometimes they just want to avoid notice.

            Surveylance is often knowing where to look and when.
            Struggling to find a target makes it slower.

            I would have to wonder what kind of boss has them so cowed.

          • Yeah maybe they can surveylance those potatoes that cost $249 and injest all the facts?

          • Yeah, and maybe your handlers don't like you having to work harder to translate for them.

          • Maybe the government does surveylance? Uh oh?

            The gummit gonna take yer guns.

            better cling to yer guns and yer bible.

          • See, you finally started hearing the right issues and the right concerns.

          • All dat surveylance is scary. Gummit bad. guns good.

          • If drones are all that nice, why did Iran work to land one and capture it?

          • bad gummit?

          • Spam and peanut butter cups ?

          • English as a second language isn't working out very well for you.

          • What with surveylance?

          • Where did you learn how to spell? Redneck university?

          • This is the best resource for internet freedom and government spooks!

            EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values. EPIC publishes an award-winning e-mail and online newsletter on civil liberties in the information age – the EPIC Alert. We also publish reports and even books about privacy, open government, free speech, and other important topics related to civil liberties. EPIC is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit. We have no clients, no customers, and no shareholders. We need your support. View EPIC's most recent annual reports and brochures, all available as PDF documents:
            http://epic.org/

          • We've learned a lot from Snowden.
            In spite of the questions about where he is and why he ended up there.

          • Snowden is not smart enough to do my laundry!

            Aug 23, 2012 William Binney is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying; A top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans' personal data.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemwW60VxDY&fe

          • He has leaked things that were denied, then admitted to after he leaked them.

            He brought awareness to the problem if nothing else.

          • But we have learned nothing from paid hack trolls such as yourself. Do us all a favor, and leave the internet alone.

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

          • Why would you quote yourself, why not just say it again?

          • 6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

          • Yes, you are still everything in that quote. But you don't have to quote yourself, you could have just said it again. It would be even better if you rephrased it to have less cut and paste.

            You work when you post.
            You work with others.
            You have an agenda.
            That agenda is to drive folks away.

            Then of course another cheap insult to pretend you are smart or something.

          • 6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

            injest those facts.

          • I have, you like to get paid to work at driving folks away from temples/sites with other trolls.

            Why not name the current ones?

          • 6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

            injest those facts.

          • Yes, and reread my previous response.

          • Read about surveylance

          • Great place to visit to good information!

          • Serious links, they are a great thing.

          • Thanks for the link! I had never heard of this organization! This is the types of people we need leading this country!

          • When the time in a conversation presents the opportunity I share my best resources and data. Thanks' patriot and share with everyone you know to be in the know!

          • I like the EPIC site because it is simply common sense. No GOP or Dem slant, just simple common sense facts.

            Lincoln, you should rewrite Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" for today’s world. Your knowledge and writing skills could make an excellent essay, article, book, etc.

          • Do tell. Snowden is not smart enough to do my laundry! This will not get me very far and I would go hungry.

            Thanks' however for the compliment!

          • Haha no problem.

          • Agreed, it is a great site

          • I wonder, will you and the posse focus on it next?

          • Please stay in topic if you are going to comment on this site.

          • Oh please, show me how.

            What can I do that you're doing that will help me learn to stay on topic better?

            I just really hope to get it right!
            (sarcasm)

          • Yep, we can get there

          • All it takes is some common sense!!

          • It's too bad most people lack that now a days

          • Yes, agenda over facts does that.

          • Agreed!!!!!
            Roger 169p • 57 minutes ago
            Facts are an inconvenient stumbling block until you learn to ignore them.

            Roger 169p • 6 days ago
            Ignore the facts, they aren't important.

            As long as the agenda keeps moving forward…

          • Wee, you just lectured me about staying on topic.

            Fair is fair.

            And once more you just showed that your agenda is more important to you than anything else.

          • Why would you ever quote from that turd alex jones? Alex jones' material is attractive to paranoid outcast twenty somethings with no education but think they're smart.

            I will never forgive Alex Jones when he exploited the tragedy at sandy hook.

          • It's spot on, that's why you don't like it.

          • With all the surveylance and injesting of potatoes that cost $249?

          • All that spam, the sanctions against Iran must be lifted if they can fund you again.

          • Are you worried about injesting all the surveylance ?

          • Are you worried about posting too much spam?

          • Are you worried about surveylance ?

          • I'm not worried about your annoying spam.

          • Surveylance?

          • I don't agree with everything Jones says but you can't deny that he has been talking about a lot of the stuff that is happening today for the past 15+ years.

            "Paranoid outcast twenty somethings with no education "

            That is a pure ignorant statement.

            What did he do to exploit Sandy Hook? I would say that government and gun grabbers exploited the tragedy more than anyone.

          • Mr Liberty, we know how the leftists work.
            They demonize the person when they can't discrete the message.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            virgin.

          • My point, demonstrated perfectly.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            The irony.

          • Exactly.

            If I wanted to imagine a better troll to make my point for me I can't imagine who it would be.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Obama bent over?

          • For whom, the saudi king?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            I dont know. It is your sextual dream.

          • This is not an adult site with that sort of topic.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Divorced virgin.

          • After all your efforts, the one things you should have learned is that I have a fairly common name.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            and yet for the last two days you refuse to simply say it is not you.

            And it is a common tactic of a pathological liar to keep makung general statement instead of directly adressing the question.

          • Are you a pathological liar?

          • You do have to wonder, and of course the posse marked you down since you didn't march lockstep to the cliffs.

          • I'm disappointed. I was hoping he'd answer with "pathological liars often respond to direct questions with general statements."

          • And for the last two days I have told you that it's really none of your concern and that I have a fairly common name.

            It's the tactic of a progressive liberal to hound for something as if you have a right to the answer.

          • Of course you would think that because you are one of those paranoid conspiracy theorists that jones preys on. All Alex jones cares about is money and pandering to his niche. He knows he has a niche audience that he can prey on.

            I remember exactly, I don't think I will be able to pull up the right video but since sandy hook was not that long ago I remember it perfectly. Right after it happened his fat face got on there and started ranting about how the government was gonna use this to take peoples guns blah blah blah he said it stinks to high heaven of a false flag. ALex is a monster. He was frothing at the mouth when sandy hook happened. Everyone in my family was sick to our stomachs. I CRIED. But what does P.O.S Alex Jones do? EXPLOIT. In every sense of the word he exploited the tragedy. And believe me it took me a long time to figure out what he was doing.

            He's been doing it since Waco, but Sandy Hook was the last straw.

          • Or you're just mad because he sited a credible source and you can't prove the information wrong?

          • Well sometimes bad gummit does not injest the facts right so they site wrong sources who price potatoes at $249 where they didn't do good surveylance.

          • surveylance again?

          • Surveylance is bad huh?

          • My religion, Christianity, teaches me to judge a tree by its fruits. In other words I have vetted Jones. He has made bold claims that have proven to be false but he has also made claims that are proven to be true. I do not blindly accept everything he says. That being said through my vetting of Jones and others like Doug Hagmann, Mark Dice, Kokesh, etc. I have came to the conclusion without a doubt that there are forces behind the scenes controlling the world.

            PS Jones wasn't the first "conspiracy theorist", lots of people have been warning us of a shadow government since the 60s. Robert Welch is an example.

          • Your religion is irrelevant. Alex Jones is a clown. And this is coming from a guy who has listened to him for over 5 years. Bill Cooper. Now THERE was a patriot.

          • He is someone that reports and faces stories the media won't. He's the hope of our culture, liberalism isn't.

          • Except he doesn't.

          • He's no Wally George.

          • Art Bell … THERE was a patriot.

          • Bringing up religion on a drone story… just grreat. You know someone's gonna bite don'tcha?

          • Now, moving on to Sandy Hook. A lot of shady stuff went down, I challenge you to listen to points people make, vet them and prove it wrong or right to yourself. I too was sick to my stomach, I have lost friends and family tragically, not by murder, but the grief is still the same if not similar.

            "Right after it happened his fat face got on there and started ranting about how the government was gonna use this to take peoples guns blah blah blah he said it stinks to high heaven of a false flag." " I CRIED"

            It seems that you and I had more emotional reactions than some Sandy Hook parents. These interviews were taken days after the tragedy! These people really know how to deal with grief. Most people it takes months before grief is over. Watch these two videos on YouTube:
            “McDonnell parents live through Grace” and “Robbie Parker Fake Actor Sandy Hook”

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Alex Jones is right. We are going to take your guns away. They should have been collected the day after SandynHook.

            The second amendment does not give indiviuals a right to own agun. Gun corporations spread that BS lie. And tell raciists that "criminals" aka, black people are going to kill you.

          • Spoken like a new and ambitious Karl Marx.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You know less about Karl Marx than you do heterosexual sex.

          • Then you might want to listen up and learn a thing or two.

            Can you ever give a single example of the marxist theory causing any sort of utopia?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You asked a question. I thought you were going to teach me something.

          • Yes, your inability to find a single answer should have.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Stop asking stupid questions.

          • It wasn't stupid. You advocate for marxism as a 'better' way to live. Even if it means collapsing our society in order to force it on the people.

            So, asking if it ever worked is spot on.
            If you can't show it has, then it's a stupid position for you and the other marxists among us.

          • "The second amendment does not give individuals a right to own a gun."
            The Supreme Court feels different I believe. And even IF Hellary gets elected and INSTALLED another liberal judge they would still view the Amendment the same way. It has been interoperated the same way for hundreds of years.

          • The founders said what they meant, and the words can only be tangled up so far before someone reads them and figures out that it's being misinterpreted by the liberals.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            No it hasn't. If fact gun corporations made sure that the SCOTUS could not hear a case challenging the 2nd amendment for the last 150 years.

            It wasn't until recently, after the activist conservative judges stole the 2000 election and made corporations people that they finally heard a case.

          • Can you ever point to a single time that guns were not allowed, during the entire tenure of the 2nd amendment?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Can you point to a woman that you have had sexual intercourse with?

          • Can you point to anything saying this is an adult site with that kind of topic for discussion?

          • "If fact gun corporations made sure that the SCOTUS could not hear a case challenging the 2nd amendment for the last 150 years."

            Link? I have never heard of this before.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            I don't believe that. But here you go…
            https://www.google.com.tw/search?q=nra&ie=utf

          • The NRA?
            I'm not a corporation, my family members aren't a corporation, the NRA speaks for us.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            They speak for the money you uneducated gun nuts keep giving them.

          • I would suggest that you uneducated anti-gun nuts are more radical and more extreme.

            Is there something about freedom that you think people don't deserve?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            The freedom to own slaves as it was written in the Constitution.

          • And where does that constitution allow slaves now?

            I can point out North Korea where marxism has made everyone a slave and compare it to our constitution.

            The freedom to bear arms has served us well.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            It allows slaves to be owned by corporations in countries like China and Mexico, and even in the U.S.A.

            Google it you divorced virgin.

          • So you point to communist china as an example of corporations owning slaves.

            And no, in the US we don't allow corporations to own anyone.

            The freedom to terminate employment is pretty well known.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            You are uneducated, and too stupid to be educated about these things. You are only hear to be closer to Wee's pen- is anyway.

          • Then just go ahead and list the success stories of unarmed, undefended masses against marxism if I'm so uneducated.

          • Surveylance is scary. gummit is bad.

          • Breakfast i9s breaksfast.

          • ""Perverse as it may sound, the horrific mass shooting in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary produced a burst of state-level gun control bills around the country and then triggered a much stronger pro-gun backlash," Paul M. Barrett reports at Businessweek. "The counter-reaction has now reached its apogee in Georgia. In the past year alone, 21 states have enacted laws expanding gun rights…"

            The people are speaking loud and clear, and the Dems will loose the Senate because of their gun control stance.

          • They will loose the senate, it's too bad the conservatives can't be trusted either

          • They can but it's a shame we can't tell who are the real conservatives are.

          • Of course it gives us a right to own guns. It is clear

          • We'll armed does mean firearms.

          • "Keep and Bear arms" does though

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            It clearly does NOT give individuals a right.

          • Are militias made up of anything but individuals?

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Is your sex life just one individual for the last 51 years?

          • When you realize you can't defend your position you always switch to insults and personal attacks.

            It's a liberal playbook standard.
            And I don't discuss things of a personal nature with those who might be 'twisted'.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Divorced virgin always sues when his feelings get hurt after losing in a debate.

          • Another brick wall you can't climb over?

            Marxism always fails, always created misery, always creates a police state with drones like this one.

            And instead of attacking the drones you attack the rights of people to defend themselves.

            That is revealing.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            What would a divorced virgin know about Marxism?

            You bore me.

          • I wouldn't know about that.

            But I know that for every statement I've made you have an easy way to prove them wrong.

            Simply lay out the success stories where marxism has made that utopia.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            What do success stories have to do with your lack of knowledge about Karl Marx?

          • It shows that I understand marxism and further can apply that to word history to compare results with theory.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            It shows you can ask a question instead of stating a position.

          • I have a position, and the question brings that out.

            And you still haven't given a single example of the failed marxist model ever working to provide any sort of utopia.

          • he always does that so he can derail the topic.

          • Yes, but he can't provide any examples where asking a question instead of stating a position lead to a utopia.

          • As of late, the court has felt differently:
            http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment

            In the context of contemporary language, the Second Amendment is poorly written. As a result, the framers' intent is less than clear. For what it's worth, my personal interpretation is that government should not infringe on the right of individuals (the people) own and carry weapons because a well-armed Militia is necessary to the security of the free state. My sympathies lie with the individual rights argument.

            To proponents of the collective rights argument, I would simply ask this – If the second amendment was intended to assure the rights of militias, why mention "people" specifically? Why not define more specifically whose militias they were talking about?

            By leaving those questions open and identifying "the people" as the empowered party, the most straightforward interpretation is in favor of individual ownership rights.

            Where the discussion gets more interesting is in determining under what circumstances the amendment gives individuals the right to bear. If it's only in defense of a free state, then the right to bear for personal defense would not be constitutionally protected.

          • I agree with all that.
            The last paragraph, I would say that victims have their 'free state' taken from them.

          • Alinsky Hero USA

            Eloquently said.

          • Well said. Thanks for the link as well.

          • If I had known you were of this variety I would have ignored you a long time ago.

            Have a nice life bozo.

          • Too bad your handlers don't just have you ignore us entirely.

          • Why would anyone pay to have to bloggers speak on IntenseDebate anymore? There's not enough exposure to the masses with this system these days. What sort of impact could they have on anything significant?

          • Fascism isn't always able to seize control all at once, they need to dispirit the activists that might oppose it.

            This forum is a breeding ground for opposition to tyranny, that's why.

          • But there's only about five or six people on this page, that's a breeding ground?

          • Intense debate is more than this site.

          • Does it have to do with surveylance?

  2. Seattle is quickly becoming an anti-American city. They should just build a fence around the city and control it like a concentration camp. That is what they want

    If I lived there I would be moving

    • It's a rather interesting concept.
      A free city that has drones to spy on citizens and that thinks keeping them secret is necessary.

      I wonder if a secret police is a concept we really want, that's what it amounts to.

      I keep wondering when the right to privacy handed to us in Roe vs Wade will ever extend outside an abortion clinic.

    • Seattle has always been a sanctuary city for every liberal cause you can think of. That makes it anti-American by definition, and its population base dictates the politics of the state, which is, outside the Puget Sound, solid Republican. I was born and raised in Seattle but moved several years ago. The traffic alone was reason enough.

  3. “The purpose of a written Constitution is to bind up the several branches of government by certain laws, which, when they transgress, their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights, on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to surrender those rights.” – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia [1782] States of America, 1787

    • Great quote from a great man

      • And one totally ignored by the people wanting to seize complete control over a great nation.

        • Please Sir, leave here. We have enjoyed your absence the past several days.

          • Please troll quit spamming the site.
            I've been here making intelligent comments the entire time.

          • They are so intelligent nobody replies

          • Oh look, another guest troll spamming the site.

          • Hey Shltbird, you only have eight more posts to go, to get to 140,000.

            What happens then?
            Will you retire?
            Will your head explode?

            Will you finally STFU?

          • Rog will reply to anything as long as it counts towards his Rep score. Must be a bummer to know the folks commenting on Malaysian Insider can get a 175p with 30 comments. Ha ha, burn.

          • It must bother you trolls that I post where I want to and don't let you stop me from making comments when I see something I want to discuss.

            And I can't help but notice that the thread had content and was seriously discussing issues until you came along to spam the site.

          • All the surveylance the government does to injest the facts. That's bothersome huh?

          • Yes, to freedom loving Americans.

          • All dat surveylance?

          • All that spamming?

          • Spam is good when you're worried about surveylance from bad gummit.

          • Only to those with an agenda like yours.

          • All this talk about spam is making me hungry

          • Tell the handlers you need a break.

          • what about the surveylance siting potatoes at $249? Certainly they can't get away with that gummit?

          • surveylance much?

          • Tell me you're just portending.

          • I have been a guest here since the beginning. You are a Johnnie-cum-lalely, and you certainly have not posted anything intelligent, or of substance.

            You are a tool, and an unnecessary disturbance.

          • Of course, and since you are making up a history don't forget to add the 6 figure income, the service in the military and the educational background that will inspire us to believe anything you want to say.

          • No Roger. None of the above. I am probably one of the few honest people on the Internet. I do not live in a fantasy world of make believe. I am not a magical successful author who is independently wealthy and can afford to spend twenty hours a day online. I only get online perhaps once a day. I would hazard a guess that I am not the only one here who posts under a guest profile, but since you hurled your barbs at me, I will answer them.

            No, I do not have all those things you mention. I do not have a six figure job, nor a military service record, nor an academic record. Things have been very hard for me. I grew up very, very poor. I struggled to get through school. I have a lower than average IQ, and things are very hard for me, but I do my my best, and have never cheated at anything. I stock shelves at my local IGA, and my aisles are the neatest in the store, and I know all my customers by name. I could never have military service, because I have one leg that is two inches shorter than the other, so I walk with a gimp. I never got a drivers license either, because I do prefer to walk. I check in regularly on my elderly mother, and all of her friends from church. I deliver them all their groceries, and I mow their grass in the summer and shovel snow in the winter. The yards I mow, are the nicest ones in my little town.

            I am not very smart, but I have watched you write things for years. As an accomplished and successful author, I think you could find a better use of your time and talents. They aren't very constructive here.

          • If all that was true, and I have no reason to think or not to think it's true, then you should realize that the trolls would have you living in a collapsed society hoping for a marxist utopia, that you shouldn't have the chance to discuss issues. If you had been here watching my comments for years you would know that they would push up business costs and leave you with less hours, less healthcare, a justice system that doesn't follow our western style of justice.

            And as a hard working person I think you should consider who you want to silence.

          • All that surveylance is bad.

          • And typos really throw off the english/farsi translators.

          • It's all the surveylance. Dat darn gummit is bad with all der surveylance

          • Yes it is, even when you have bad spelling.

          • bad gummit. taking my guns and bible. and let's not forget all the surveylance.

          • The clerics in Iran, do they think that their korans would be safe under this president?

            Oh, what am I saying Valerie Jarrodd would make sure he would behave.

          • bad gummit with all der surveylance and injesting. Better get ma guns and bible.

          • You mean when you talk about the surveylance the government does? You don't deserve to be taken seriously. You're a joke and will continue to be treated as such.

            6 minutes ago @ Breitbart.com – Protests to greet Ahma… · 1 reply · 0 points
            "I'm like jesus, I'm gonna chase you money changers out of the temple and out of town and of course out of this forum. Me and ohsoquiet and a few other REAL AMERICANS who aren't being PAID to be here like you Israeli PR men. I'm here to chase you filth out."

          • I mean what I said.
            You don't need to translate that other than for your handlers.

            So, who are the other besides ohsoquiet?

          • It's hard to injest all the surveylance. They must be surveylancing all the potatoes that cost $249

          • How many comments will you get paid to make today?

          • Are you surveylancing me?

          • Are you just here spamming the site?

          • All that surveylance gummit does is bad huh?

          • all that spam is bad huh?

          • NO it goes good with eggs

          • Then take a couple of days and catch up on eating some.

          • I have spam and eggs to keep one step ahead of bad gummits surveylance and injesting of the facts

          • Where? I'm hungry

          • Everywhere you waste time and space on a thread trying to clog it with spam.

          • All this talk of spam is making me hungry

          • Then go eat, slowly.

          • No surveylance please

  4. I think this is a thought provoking article.
    I'd like to thank the author.

    This sentence was key: "Despite a continual disregard for the publics’ civil liberties, the department continues to accept federal cash for surveillance technology."

    It is all about the Benjamin's.

  5. Drones Over America

    Jun 17, 2012 "A majority of Americans support some civilian uses of unmanned drone aircraft but routine policing, such as watching for speeders, isn't among them, a new poll shows. The Monmouth University poll asked survey participants about four potential law enforcement uses of drones.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krO566t8y-E

  6. It'll be funny when hackers and frequency scanners find out what channel these drones run on and take over their control. The parts probably would fetch good money.

  7. MTA To Install Cameras, Audio Recorders On Metro-North, LIRR Trains March 19, 2014
    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/03/19/mta-to-ins

  8. A lot of comments clogging the issue.

    But it remains this.
    When should police secretly watch us? Should they have secret unmarked patrol cars? Of course not, and there are laws on how police cars are identified. If police are truly there to show a presence as a deference to crime, then this program makes no sense at all. Not any more than hidden cameras and audio recordings.

  9. Not a troll… Promise. But have any of you heard the audio from GMN telestream youtube channel where gucciardi says all this horrible stuff about alex? I don't like infighting that's why I wish it would just be addressed so its no longer an issue. He talks about destroying infowars advertisers and other things its pretty bad. Title of the video is… The voice of anthony gucciardi.

  10. A little off topic but this is the busiest thread now! Great news! Looks like the FBI is starting to WAKE THE F UP!! Hopefully this isn’t just a PR stunt.

    Drops the SPLC! http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/03/26/time-fbi-

    Gun control advocate busted! http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/03

  11. Hello Mikael,
    I love to read your articles. it contains full of knowledge and current awareness. This also really informative.
    This is really helpful.

  12. Wanna Build a Rocket? NASA’s About to Give Away a Mountain of Its Code BY ROBERT MCMILLAN 04.03.14
    http://www.wired.com/2014/04/nasa-guidebook/

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