Should drones be used to spy on Americans?
May 15th, 2012
03:55 PM ET

Should drones be used to spy on Americans?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Drones aren't just for fighting the war on terror in the Middle East anymore - they might be watching you.

As more and more of these unmanned aircraft pop up over U.S. soil, they may be used to spy on Americans.

There is an Air Force document that says if unmanned drones accidentally capture surveillance footage of Americans, they can keep the information for up to 90 days and analyze it. Where is that in the Constitution?

The U.S. military and the government aren't supposed to conduct surveillance of Americans on U.S. soil without their consent, but if they accidentally capture you on video, that's OK.

They can apparently hang on to that material to determine if you are a terrorist.

There's no question that spying on Americans without a warrant could, and should, raise some serious red flags. But when you allow something like the Patriot Act, the law of unintended consequences is likely to follow.

Make no mistake, drone use is expanding on the home front.

Regulators have approved the use of drones for dozens of law enforcement agencies and universities, including the Department of Homeland Security and local police departments.

These drones can be used for law enforcement, firefighting, news coverage and monitoring wildlife. Or to spy on American citizens.

Lawmakers from both parties have asked the FAA to answer questions about privacy, to make sure the public knows these things are being used and why.

Experts predict the use of drones domestically will increase as more of the technology is brought back from places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Here’s my question to you: Should drones be used to spy on Americans?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Government • On Jack's radar • United States
soundoff (170 Responses)
  1. Jayne in NH

    No. It sounds like something from a George Orwell novel.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    Hey, sure, why not? After all, our politicians have passed so many other laws opening our lives to the scrutiny of government agencies, and they wouldn't do anything that took away our freedoms and liberty, now, would they? Would they? Come on now, would they? After all, I'm still free to walk down NYC streets without being accosted by the police for no reason at all, aren't I? Well, aren't I?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    May 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  3. jk in MN

    It depends on what they are suspected of planning. If they have a terroristic plot in the works, then absolutely – I'd rather the government know about it before.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  4. Paul From Round Rock, Texas

    Why not if you are doing no wrong who cares who spys on you. Drones can help with the war on drugs, the Mexican border problems that spill over in the U.S., along with human trafficing and the scum that steal our kids in the blink of an eye. So I say yes use drones. It's better than doing what we do now just throw our hands in the air and do nothing.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  5. EdfromMd

    Nothing should be used to spy on Americans, right to privacy and all that.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  6. Kimmy, Salisbury NC

    NO NO NO, we are supposed to be the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave... We don't need big brother watching!

    May 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  7. Pete in Florida

    Ever since passge of the Patriot Act, the gov't has been spying on American citizens – our financial transactions, emails and phone calls, internet use, the groups we join, our library activities, probably even our postings to The Cafferty File, all usually without the benefit of court order or warrant. Sure, add drones to the list. Apparently the majority is willing to give up freedom for an illusion of safety, thanks to the fear-mongering of Dick Cheney and the GOP. And if Mitt wins, we can expect to see torture back on the list right after the inauguration.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  8. s in fl

    Which Americans, Jack? Some yes, mostly no.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  9. Greg, Ontario

    Good idea to protect the borders etc but to watch Americans? Picture this Jack fully armed drone is flying over a city or town and crashes killing a lot of people. Was the drone idea a good one? No, but flying the border and it uses warning shots or lights to chase the illegals back across the Rio Grande makes it a great idea. It's all in the application.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  10. Mel - Houston

    I don't see any problem with it as long as it is just surveillance. When the drones start carrying Stinger missiles that may be a bit over the top. There greatest potential is border surveillance. Let the drones document the illegal entry and have the agent make the arrest.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Wilene Rushing

    Drones should only be used in a situation where police would be in danger.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  12. MNResident

    We should use those drones to spy on the US-Mexico border, and NO FURTHER INLAND. It shows how whacked our priorities are when our military is being used to spy on US citizens inland of our border, but our own border is an open sieve....

    May 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm |

    As a resident of Chicago, Illinois, we are bombarded with so called "red light" cameras, "blue light" cameras and now they are preparing to put in cameras around schools and parks, all in the name of "safety." Yeah, right. I feel like I'm constantly under surveillance, and it is uncomfortable.

    Drones or anything else should NOT be allowed to spy on Americans. As we gradually lose our freedoms, the terrorists win.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  14. DaleW in MA

    Given probable cause and a warrant, yes. If you're a U.S. citizen palling around with questionable people overseas you deserve it. If you're palling around with known questionable people domestically, you still deserve it.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  15. Jerome, Burlingame CA

    They can spy on me when every government owned building and office is live streamed for free with audio.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  16. hamsta

    does anyone get the feeling that we are living in a george orwell novel?

    May 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  17. Noel Sivertson New Mexico

    No. But having said that they probably already are. Given the FBI, CIA, NSA, Department of Homeland Security and televison monitors in every store, public building, and street corner, our govenrment probably knows more about it's citizenry than the KGB and the Soviets ever knew about theirs. Someone is already monitoring our cell phone calls and e-mails. So why wouldn't they already be using drones? They already have satellites that can look over our shoulders and read the same newspaper we are reading from 100 miles in space. GPS monitors are now part of every smart-phone. I wouldn't be surprised if new television sets don't already have cameras built into them that monitor us in our homes. Some people even have 'medical data' chips smaller than a grain of rice implanted in them and who klnows what other personal data is included.. We are the most open book society in history. But it's all for our own security you know.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  18. NurseLisa in CT

    Jack – I hate the idea of invasions of our privacy and an absence of clarity for how such surveillance is ordered, stored and used, but it appears legal – on May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups. Protecting many trumps the rights of one.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The funding for the Drone technology, development , and ultimate use was authorized under appropriations which were specifically for use by the Department of Defense. The Taxpayers have every reason and expectation to believe and understand that weapons that are researched, designed and developed with taxpayer funding will be used for the protection of Americans and not as instruments to spy on Americans.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  20. Christopher O. Torres

    Chris from Jupiter, Florida writes: Forget about the spying part Jack? I'm more worried that these Drones might have the ability to go and bomb my house by "accident!!!" (((O.O)))

    May 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  21. Doug Ericson

    I would feel more comfortable with a drone flying over my house than Jimmy Carter. At least with the drone there is a one in a million chance that disaster would not be imminent. But seriously, the answer to the question of drones spying on Americans is no. Thats like asking should the Military use nuclear weapons against Americans. I am assuming that you are talking about within the USA. We have already vaporized an American born terrorist in Yemen with one of those scientific gifts to the military. What about a growing home grown terrorist style militia group bent on conducting deadly violence against fellow Americans. Should the CIA and Military be able to spy on them with drones. I think I will stick to my earlier no. Its to tempting to go from spying to bombing. The government can already arrest a ham sandwich, they don't need permission to blow one up. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Security cameras have been used for years to watch for potential criminal activity. The only difference between those cameras and drones is that drones are mobile; so why not use them?

    May 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  23. Rich McKinney, Texas

    If Americans are engaging in illegal activity or plotting terrorist attacks against America then sure they can use them for surveillance. Now if they are going to use drones to blow them up they might want to rethink it.. Using the United Sates military to kill it's own citizens is a No No. I suppose collateral damage does not count but it is still frowned upon.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Why not. There are several so called Americans who want to destroy people. The Constitution says against all enemies foreign and domestic.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Loren, Chicago

    Can't say looking at the ground from the air is spying, believe that the U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled on that.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
  26. Ed from California

    And spy on what? The cartels bringing trainloads of drugs across the boarder? Or, perhaps the selling of drugs on our neighborhood streets? Assaults? Murders? If so, who is going to stop them and where are we going to imprison them? And who's going to pay for it? you...me? There's a TV show on CBS right now who's premise is sorta the same thing, except it's a computer who does the watching.....Big Brother is watching. But, I forget, we already have this in place right now, it's called the "Patriot Act".

    May 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  27. Kim , Dodge City, Ks

    Jack, it's not like they would ever ask for our permission. The government has been spying on us, in one way or another, for many decades. This is just a bit to arrogant and invasive to allow.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  28. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    Why not? Everyone is being spied on by the evangelicals anyway.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  29. curtis in philadelphia

    Yes Jack, but only those Americans promoting big government.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  30. tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    If a legal warrant is obtained. Not Bush/Cheney style, Constitution be damned.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  31. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    I really don't care because I am not a criminal and when I am out on the streets I behave myself. I don't see much difference with all the security cameras that are now set up around cities then a security camera flying over my head. But where I draw the line is the privacy of my home, that is sacred and is protected by the Constitution. I especially like the idea of unarmed drones being used to protect are borders providing feedback information to law enforcement.,

    May 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  32. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Should they? They are already being used--moot question and moot point. You know the old saying, better to ask for forgiveness that permission!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  33. ken, atlantic city, nj

    No they should be use to locate and destroy people crossing our borders illegally. If the u.s. can use drones to kill people 12,000 miles away including women and children, why not use them to protect our own borders.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  34. Thinkforyourself, OK

    NO, Obama is like Big Brother, always breathing down the necks of WE the PEOPLE. I am beginning to feel like I live in the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  35. James, Eureka Montana.

    The answer is no, Jack. But the sad fact is that its probably already being done. The powers that be will introduce bill after bill until they strong-arm congress into agreeing to it. I wonder how the government would react if I hired a private firm to bug their offices? Most of them would be jailed on the collected evidence.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  36. Bill of New Mexico

    Yes, put up more drones to fly free and to spy. In order to fight crime, privacy be damned.

    Allow phone taps without warrants.

    Put up stationary cameras on every mile of highway. Allow fines to be mailed for traffic violations–especially talking on cell-phones. Allow all of these recordings to be entered as evidence.

    Allow "lie detector recordings" to be used in trials. In the hands of good technicians a "lie detector test" is much more dependable than witness testimony. Eye witnesses have a much poorer track record than modern day "lie detector test."

    Crime is at war with America. Allow Home-Land Security tactics to be used against common criminals.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  37. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Not if they are American drones. Besides, our government spies on us every day. They read our e-mail, our texting our twits, they listen to our phone conversations, they video tape our every movement, surreptitiously take our pictures and do facial recognition everywhere we go and keep track of everything we buy. What possible need is there for drones?

    May 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  38. Gary in San Jose, California

    Of course not, Jack. We have much more effective ways to spy on Americans than drones.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  39. helen

    Perhaps Mr Romney should look at the British unemployment figures last month was 8.3% and they are a smaller country than over here if he wins God help us all

    May 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
  40. Ron WPAFB

    Maybe it's the only way we can get some real down in the dirt "Investigative Journalism", instead of just repeating the same news line all day and have each Anchor say it's "Breaking News", or "Exclusive"! They can spy on me all day , Jack. I don't care. You know why, because being in the Military, I'm in the same fight! Hell, here at WPAFB, we're trying to get more and more drones! Ohio is all about Drones, ask the Governor!
    Don't even complain to me about privacy when you have a cell phone with GPS on, ALL THE TIME! You have On Star in your car. And now everyone has a Cell Phone, iMac, Play Station, Xbox or Wii with cameras all around you house. You use four Square or Facebook to announce your every move, and you want Privacy, Really?
    I just moved to Beavercreek, right off the Base. Had the Phone guy come over and he swept the house looking for phone lines. He looked at me, his eyes huge, "Dude, I can pick up your lines on every square inch of your walls in every room!!!
    Long story short, A foreign National, Military, lived here before me!!!! We need the Drones, just don't break the laws!

    May 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  41. RickFromDetroit

    NO! The use of drones to spy on Americans is the same thing as a perverted "Peeking Tom." People who support this type of intelligence gathering would get their thrills by looking into someones bedroom while they are have sex with their partner. These same perverts are the same individuals who will incarcerate someone for having porn on their computer while they use a drone to spy on their kids sleeping in the privacy of their bedroom. This type of intelligence gather violates our privacy laws since they are "invading our privacy."

    We should send our elected officials who support this type of perverted spying an unlimited subscription to all of the porn magazines and videos that are available, so they can get their thrills from spying on someone who voluntary uses their naked bodies for the sexual pleasures that our perverted officials are seeking from the privacy of our bedrooms.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  42. barbara in NC

    Why is everyone so paranoid? I'm not worried. If they see me naked in my home, so be it (they'll just laugh).

    You listed the reasons the city, state, and fed. government are using them - why do you insist on stirring up more crap? Don't have enough already? Digging pretty deep today, Jack - you trouble-maker.

    Everone with a cell phone is being tracked according to you all - get therapy for your paranoia, or go back to the 1850s. Ask your younger daughters. It's only you old codgers that are paranoid. It's the flouride in the water. -- haa h a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    May 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  43. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Only if you like Hitler's Germany, or how about North Korea. It seems we have another snowball running down the hill here.
    The last administration started getting cute with our freedoms, and now it appears to be growing to be ugly.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  44. TomInRochNY

    I think it's a good idea. They can start with congresspeople on K street and lobbyists on capitol hill. The rest of the country should be a no fly zone.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    May 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  45. Ralph Nelson

    No. I fear the day when all this drone technology well allow a right-wing dicator to control this country. They would be used to spy on protestors and indiviiduals and take them out if necessary. 1984 is close at hand. Look how the police have used funding from 9-11 to acquire weapons and technology to fight terrorist which they are now using to control the 99%..

    May 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  46. Mr. D

    It looks like the drones will be used to spy on the Constitution, or at least to fly cover for an all out assult on it. If the drones are used anywhere they should be used to monitor Congress, especially on their after hours behavior with lobbyist.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  47. willrennar

    This is simply another case of our government striking out against the Fourth Amendment. If taxpayer-funded voyeurism isn't a violation of the "unreasonable searches" that it is written specifically to protect us from, then that 236-year-old "living document" is on the verge of death.

    -Will Rennar
    Nome, AK

    May 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  48. tech notes

    No way No how, get Big Government off our backs.

    Columbus, Ohio

    May 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  49. Larry in Houston

    Should drones be used to spy on Americans?
    Answer : The constitution is 200 years old Jack. or let's say it's well over 150 – okay ? LOL – They didn't have drones back then. They should be expanding on the homefront. Just the other day, (or last week) they foiled another airplane attack, or hi-jack, by getting those people that are trying to do damage to our country and our own people, Jack.
    "These drones can be used for law enforcement, firefighting, news coverage and monitoring wildlife" That is a good thing, I think. Drone, or No Drone, You can still go to google Earth, and type in an adress anywhere in the U.S. and it will take you there, and you can see the street or place of residence or Business from 30 yards away.I've actually looked up an address, and it actually Showed it, on the house. So, If they spy on us, there must be a reason, or something they are looking for, don't you think ?

    May 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  50. Willy in Las Vegas

    I really see NO problem with it, Jack. most cities already have surveillance cameras on every street corner and public place. how is using flying drones any different? here in Las Vegas we are constantly seeing (and hearing) the local Sheriff department's "Cop-a-copter" flying over our otherwise peaceful neighborhood. a small drone would sure be one heck of a lot quieter.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  51. H.R

    Yes, especially anti-americans. Hummm, lookout t-party hatefuls. If the police etc, are using them it must be good for us. I have nothing to hide so bring them on. It might be like checking you out at the airport & make you feel safer.
    I believe Bush started this spying stuff when he was in office.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  52. Alan Kraft

    I don't even understand how this is a question. No, drones should not be used to spy on Americans. -Cottage Grove MN

    May 15, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  53. Ann from Charleston SC

    No, drones should not be used to spy on Americans. However, if drones want to spy on me doing housework, working in the yard, tending to my dogs, doing puzzles, reading, – and a list of other humdrum activities – and those who analyze the information get some kind of charge out of it, I say go for it. I have nothing to hide, nothing going on of interest to anyone else on the planet.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  54. Paul in NC

    Drones are just another type of surveilance but a warrant should be required within US borders. Don't expect that to happen. After they passed the Patriot Act the Bush-Cheney fear mongering machine went into high gear and Americans tacitly gave up all rights to privacy. The terrorist behind every bush mentality on the far right has taken this to the point that you might as well run the Bill of Rights, with the exception of their precious 2nd Amendment, through a paper shredder. Orwell was only off by 40 years.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  55. Elizabeth From Toronto

    Yes, if there is good intelligence that the American is a terrorist!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  56. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    No and under a new president, it will stop.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  57. truefax

    Think about what drones do, they're not looking into your bedroom at night. They cover an area and if they see somthing fishy going on they act on it, that's not exactly spying people are ok with security camera this is the same thing. They are monitoring PUBLIC areas, and in PUBLIC areas you have no gaurantee of privacy.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  58. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    We have to be careful with the drones Jack, like we have to be careful about alcohol. It's not the surveillance that's the problem, it's the abuse of it.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  59. dutspup

    just waiting for the cam to be installed in my house

    May 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  60. Rajiv Shaw, Mt. Pleasant, UT

    The drones will probably pick up some excruciatingly funny footage.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  61. Overby

    Since I don't do anything that would make any one think I'm a bad guy, I'm all for it....I'd love to think 9/11 was averted because a drone had caught those scumbags before they got on the planes.....

    May 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  62. Scrape

    Sure why not. Just another cog in the police state we call America.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  63. Donaldo in ATL

    Satellites or drones?? Same difference, and it going on now Jack..

    May 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  64. Jim Ledbetter

    Yes, we are going to glass dwelling and see through cars. Clothing will be next, watch out Jack!

    May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  65. BOb the Prairie Dog

    The fact that you even have to ask that question tells us more about the current state of our union than any commentary could possibly say.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  66. Bob D Iowa

    Should we have ever had the Patriot Act? What’s the diff?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  67. MBB

    Take a deep breath and capture this moment in your hear. Got it? Now remember exactly what you feel right now so that you can one day explain to your grandchildren what freedom (or almost freedom) feels like.

    Between cell phone pinging, Google search histories and drones in the sky freedom is doomed. It's not too farfetched to think one day the government will be able to read our minds and prosecute us for subversive thoughts.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  68. Mark

    I would be fine with drones as a tool to investigate crime in progress, like a police helicopter, or to investigate suspected crime as part of a warranted search. I don't want drones simply flying around with active cameras passively observing the goings-on of normal citizens in their daily activities.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  69. Irish Seanachie from Maine

    What did Pogo say?? I have found the enemy and the enemy is us ! I guess the government must have agreed. Maybe it is time to return to the "auld sod" seems like things have changed a wee bit. Slainte

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  70. stan in tampa

    spy drones, targeted killing of americans abroad, black prisons, pat downs with a happy ending. pretty soon people might take it seriously when told "if you dont like it move to iran" – because that will be the last stronghold of freedom left.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  71. Bob in Kansas City

    The East Germans used half the population to spy on the other half, we've advanced enough to outsource spying now to the drones.....use 'em to secure the border, nothing more.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  72. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    If it were for the purposes of law-enforcement, wildlife protection from poachers, or tracking severe weather, I could see using drones in the skies of America. I would seriously challenge the matter of using them to spy on Americans and using the fear of terrorism as a cheap excuse. Big Brother already keeps tabs on us through our bank accounts and credit cards, why would I support allowing Big Brother to spy on me from above?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  73. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    Drones that scan inside the home would be unconstitutional. There is nothing unconstitutional about watching the public space. A drone with infrared, had it been watching me get mugged 16 years ago, would have been enough to nail the guys who did it, since after my glasses were knocked off, I could not be sure of the identities of the attackers, who were let go, although as luck would have it, they eventually got into the system anyway and ended up working for me when I was the Mayor's ward healer in DC.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  74. El Javo

    If the purpose is to keep us safe from lawbreakers, why not. Times are changing, criminals are changing tactics to harm, maim, and kill the innocent. I think that the constitution and the bill of rights must change with times as well to accommodate the safety of the american citizens. If the documents (Constitution and B o R) are static documents, then the forefathers doom us to anarchy. The forefathers provided the means to change the documents to make it relevant with the changes of time.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  75. Buckeyebubba

    More targets to shoot at with my .50 cal McMillan Rifle. Duck hunting is getting boring. Can we buy consumer anti-aircraft missiles from china? Kind of a new "do it yourself" my home security mail order business. It could be the next growth industry in the new USSA.,

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  76. Burbank

    It certainly wouldn't hurt to use drones to help keep our southern borders safe from illegal invasion.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  77. Bill from Paris

    I'm all for it...It just means that I have to put a towel around me BEFORE I get out of the shower instead of afterwards.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  78. Bert in Los Angeles

    Hi Jack, if your question includes police use and private use of drones for spying, it will be a two edge sword. Imagine crooks knowing about the location of police 24/7 and therefore eyeing targets for robbery and rape where police are not nearby. No, we don’t need that kind of “help” for either our uniformed or un-uniformed criminals.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  79. Walter Shmitt

    I wish to take this opportunity to declare my total support for every action taken by our omnipotent overlords. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of Halliburton, and to the republicans who rule the land. One nation, living in fear, with liberty and justice for the rich.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  80. Adam at Ft. Campbell

    What do they need to spy on me for? Or the other 312 million Americans not doing anything wrong? Seems to me that American infrastructure and our social issues are a little more important than a defense budget of world-conquest proportions. Our priorities are all backwards, and it's tearing this country apart. I'll give it four more years...but if Romney gets elected, you can catch me in a country where Congress isn't a part of the 1% and lobbied by corporations like the MPAA to promote censorship. Spying on US Citizens? Censorship? Land of the Free? I think not.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  81. Simon GIlchrest

    Of course not. It is not permissible under the Constitution. Consent to this at your own peril.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  82. slupdawg

    Like drones aren't already spying on Americans? I just assumed they were...

    May 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  83. Robyn Houp - Carrollton GA

    Seriously, what did you expect when the Patriot Act was enacted? And did you really think the drones would only be used against the 'bad people'? And what did you expect the next step would be when local city governments were allowed to use 'traffic cameras'? Did you really think 'security' cameras on various businesses and streets would only always be used just to track the 'bad guys'? Ever wonder who defines the term 'bad guys' and whose security are we talking about anyway - "Ours" or "Theirs". To coin an old phrase, 'A little leaven leavens the whole lump'. With all the other constitutional violations heaped upon us from every direction, why does this one surprise you?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  84. Mike

    the government should not be allowed to use drones on any americans without concent. if they do even by accident then they should have to erase the video upon discovery. there is no where in our constitution that says that they have the right to spy on american's without concent. Kentucky

    May 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  85. TG in Columbus, Ohip

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.:" Benjamin Franklin.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  86. sheeple

    there is no such thing as privacy anymore, there hasn't been for several decades now, some people still like to keep up the illusion though, drones are the future of warfare and espionage, both international and domestic, get used to it, this is 1984 the only difference is private citizens possess enough technology to watch the government and keep it in check. Keep your eyes on them, believe me they have your eyes on you.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  87. Rich in Gainesville FL

    I've never been one who believed I have any right to expect privacy when I'm out in public. For that reason I don't have any objection to these drones per se. If they start tracking citizens without probable cause, then that's a problem. Otherwise they're only doing by technology what they used to do just with manpower. I don't see how the means matters. (But I do want compensated if one of those things crashes through my roof!)

    May 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  88. Gary H. Boyd

    Using drones over American soil is fine with me so long as it's confined to a 20 mile strip just to the north of the 1969 mile border with Mexico. It would supplement the border patrol, identify those within the strip and potentially reduce or stop illegal immigration. That, in my view, would be an excellent use of drones over American soil. But, considering the President's position on immigration and that of his lackeys, it is not going to happen. Sad, but true.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    May 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  89. Bill, Bloomington Il

    Not a surprise. We have a president who doesnt believe in the constitution.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  90. Gezellig

    Gezellig Knoxville, TN

    I think we should investigate whether our government is spying on us. Can we use drones to find out?

    May 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  91. Beverly - NYC

    Unless you live off the grid in a tent under a bridge you're already being spied on. If you have a smart phone every app has GPS to pinpoint your exact location. There is easy pass and cameras everywhere you can see and those you can't. Unless you're criminal, what one more piece of technology, may as well get the taxpayers money worth from those high priced military toys.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  92. Don

    Can't wait until the armed drones start flying around and attacking U.S citizens, I sure do feel safe in a post 9-11 society when the countries people who were attacked are now deemed suspicious and need to undergo un manned air survalience like the population is a constant threat to its own society, can't wait for the news line "American drone kills American civiliians, Def. Dept. says "sorry about the mishap"

    May 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  93. adam

    As long as they do not bomb us

    May 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  94. Wm Walsh

    Hell;s bells,Yes! Drones absolutely ought to be added to the already-intimidating armory belonging to America's INCARCERATION INDUSTRY!

    I mean, gee whiz, presently that Industry has moved America, with its FIVE (5) PERCENT of the world's population to the universally-envied position of IMPRISONING TWENTY-FIVE (25) PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S INCARCERATED POPULATION so if ever America is to reach the point of being considered the equivalent of the 3rd Reich in terms of warehousing human beings, it definitely needs some "eyes in the sky" so by all means, BRING IT ON!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  95. Paul in Nags Head NC

    Is this really that far off considering everything else Big Brother is doing? When was the last time anyone in the government even looked at the Constitution? It's just an old peace of paper to them now.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  96. Cee.La

    I could care less.......there are cameras, in stores, in parking garages, lots.....along the streets .....everywhere......and they have helped in solving crimes, so drones are okay.......

    May 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  97. Eric NY

    Advances in surveillance are welcomed but should be subject to the same laws that govern any other surveillance technique. If I end up in court because a commerical plane flew over my marijuana field, thats my problem. But if a drone went up for the sole purpose of "seeing what it might find", thats a violation of a constitutional right to privacy.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  98. Earl

    YES, more! We need something like a privacy crisis to change or improve the law.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  99. Vader

    As long as I can have a shoulder mounted Stinger to shoot it down. Fair is fair, after all. I mean, we gave them to the Afghan mujahideen when the Russians invaded in '80, didn't we? So how is this any different than any other occupation?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  100. Chris from New York

    If you have nothing to hide, then WHO CARES! The government can put a video camera in my apartment for all I can, and other than me cooking, watching TV, and me spending time with my girlfriend, I have nothing to hide. The people who have an issue with this are those growing drugs in their back yard.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  101. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I'd rather have drones flying rather than to see military personnel on every street and corner, like we're living in a war zone.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  102. WR Jones

    No warrant, No drone. Those who tout this plan say these drones can only do X,Y & Z, but that's today, what bout tomorrow? What abilities and technology will these things be enabled with to improve X, Y & Z over the coming years, will we wake up one day and have to worry about walking out of our house that we are under scrutiny by the government.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  103. John B. in Kansas

    Video only? Sure, why not. There be should no expectation of privacy out where a drone could capture video. I think that all changes when infrared and other more invasive technologies are used.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  104. mikeiavelli73

    Does it matter? For someone who ran on restoring the freedoms that Bush stole under the guise of the war on terror, Obama seems to like using this power to his own ends. Besides, when has the constitution ever stopped him? Look at what he's trying to do to the second amendment with his "Fast and Furious" program and the International Small Arms Control Standards at the UN.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  105. scott

    The fact that some people think it is OK . Scares me the most

    May 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  106. Karl in Flint, MI

    Using them to patrol the borders or replacing the police helicopters in chases on Wildest Police Videos, fine. Other then that. No.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  107. ironman59

    This is exactly what people warned of when the "Un-Patriot Act" was passed. Anytime there is a gray area, the military will take advantage of the loopholes. it is in part why we need to downsize the military. To use for border patrol, particularly at night is one thing. To fly over small town America and "accidentaly" capture information without due process is simply illegal. It is no different than what Google is being taken to court for with their applications and data collection techniques.

    Each time we let the gop have control of the country, we lose more of our rights and privacy in the name of "Freedom". Seems a bit ironic.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  108. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    What is the old wise words about ...have the wisdom to change the things you can and accept the things you cannot ? At least for a little over 200 years thank goodness our founding fathers did not suck up to that logic ! The aircraft are pretty, and pretty dangerous to liberty.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Jerry in Colorado Springs

    Doesn't matter what I think – drones will be used. When the technology is available for whatever – it will be employed.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  110. Fernando

    The government has been keeping tabs on us for years through monitoring of internet use. The drones only add another layer to the intrusion of Big Brother in our daily lives. This is the unfortunate effect of controlling massive societies. Need to keep those sheep in line.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  111. Tom M in Florida

    A resounding NO!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  112. samuel

    Yes it's fine. Why would you care if you have nothing to hide? If you do close the blinds on your window.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  113. Cyril

    Drones or no drones, if you've done nothing wrong then you should have nothing to worry about.

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  114. Debt Monkey

    Of course they should. They should use as many as possible to continuously circle Wall Street, JPMorgan Chase, all the other big banks, all of the executives that run the big banks, all of the Republican Senators and Reps, all of the Democrat Senators and Reps, and of course the Secret Service and the GSA.

    I'm completely fine with that.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  115. homer

    Hey, people like to watch other people. Nothing wrong with that. I spy on you when you are on the tv screen. What's the harm with that?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  116. Debt Monkey

    oh yes...forgot.... and post all of said video on America's Most Wanted live.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  117. Elizabeth in California

    It depends on what the drones are doing. For years there have been signs along the roads warning us that planes are used to track speeds. Since a drone can be smaller than an aircraft, I think they could be an effective traffic enforment tool. They could also be used by the forest service to look for fires. If the goverenment is using them to film inside our homes, then they should have probable cause and a search warrent.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  118. Nick Easton

    Why not!...Americans will tell you that big brother has been in our back yard for years now. He just got wings now.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  119. joe smith

    yes with one stipulation; that they hone in on our senators/congressman, and report their every movement..now, you talk about cleaning up Washington, we can see it now no more back door meetings with mafia hit men, no more lobbyist influence, no more sneaking out to the tanning booth..maybe even some actual legitamate legislation for a change..

    May 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  120. PiedType

    No! No! And No! Our government, in the name of "security," is gradually stealing from us the very freedom it is supposed to be protecting and defending. Rather like burning the village in order to save it. Rescind the Patriot Act and stop "protecting" Americans. Stop doing the terrorists' job for them.

    Susan R

    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  121. Myles McKeone

    I don't believe any form of spying on American citizens should take place without a judge issuing a specific warrant after reviewing due cause for the invasion of privacy.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  122. sasss31

    People need to stop being so sensitive. We live in a post 9/11 world. We need to have all the tools necessary to protect our homeland. Why be forced to fight terror with two hands tied behind our back?

    -Sassan from Orange County, CA

    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  123. Joe

    If we are not doing anything illegal, what are we so paranoid about? We want the government to protect us, but we don't want to give them the tools to do so. It's like asking someone to help you fix your roof and then you hand him/her a hammer with no handle. Come on!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  124. AMP

    I believe Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Those who sacrifice a little freedom to gain a little security; lose both, and deserve neither." Our founding fathers didn't fight for this.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  125. Kevin Downey

    Absolutely not, Jack, but it is being shoved down our throats in the name of fighting terrorism. Sadly, I envision in the next 20 years or so the drone technology will have evolved into a capability of hummingbird sized drones looking in our windows. Buyer beware...

    May 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  126. Jimmy, NYC

    I think there is a tendency for most Americans to get too hung up on privacy issues. I don't necessarily "love" the idea that drones may be conducting surveillance on us but considering the big picture in dealing with the war on terror, I think sacrificing some personal privacy is a very small sacrifice to make especially in light of the fact that we have not had a single successful terrorist attack in our country since 9/11.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  127. JC in Pa

    If it has the strength to peer into the dirty little corners that Super Pac money comes from I'm all for it! As a second assignment maybe figure out the evolution of how coporations became people. Congress would never allow that though. I'm sure they just want to peak in the bedroom windows over a good glass of scotch.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  128. Rik

    Sure, why not!!! It'll allow us citizen's to test out our personal surface to air missiles (made from model rocketry and model airplane parts) on live enemy targets. LOL.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  129. Susan from Idaho

    Sure, why not? If you aren't doing anything wrong no worries. Timothy McVeigh and Jim Jones were Americans It would have been nice to have stopped them both dead in their tracks.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  130. Rollin in Homewood, IL

    NO!! The government should just pass a law so that they can come into our homes whenever they want and then give themselves a raise with the money they save from not using them.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  131. Karl

    Sure....can we shoot them down if we spot them?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  132. Justin

    If you are not engaging in criminal activity, why would you care if a drone is flying over your property?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  133. montag

    Sure. Then we'll all be drones.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  134. Flyingwolf from Manchester, NH

    I can go on Mapquest and find my backyard on satellite so clear that I can see my dog on my deck. What can drones do that would be more definitive than this?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  135. Tim

    If you're in an area where a drone can see you, so can a lot of other things and people. Most of us are on some sort of camera most of the time now. If you're not doing anything wrong,then who cares? If they start flying in my house, that's a different issue.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  136. Don

    Who is watching the watchers? To assume that all people with access to information gleaned from drones are honest is frighteningly naïve. There are endless sinister ways seemingly innocent information on any American citizen could be used against him or her. We may as well throw away the US Constitution and Bill of Rights if this sort of thing goes any further. No amount of safety is worth giving up the most basic of human rights – the right to privacy, both physical (our bodies and where we are and what we're doing), and technological (mail, email, telephone communications etc).

    May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  137. dave oregonn

    NO DRONES. Thanks to the acceptance of no privacy or as the conservative Republicans like to say no right to privacy, including what you do in your bedroom, drug testing for just about anybody, for no reason, (random testing just means "when" not "if") , cameras everywhere and the attitude of safety before liberty. They will be EVERYWHERE and I believe that we have an unalienable right to be free from these things and will have no problem joining any radical group that will help physically bring them down!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  138. The Bill of Rights

    Re: Information gleaned by drones: "Where is that in the Constitution?"

    Brilliant question.

    It's covered in the 4th Amendment, drafted as part of the Bill of Rights, effective December 15, 1791.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, EXCEPT in the case of overhead drones in which case all rights are forfeit."

    Now you know that a stupid question deserves a stupid answer... more than you ever dreamed of knowing before.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  139. Linda in Arizona

    Absolutely. We Americans are a shifty lot, and all of our actions should be monitored, just in case. It's comforting to know that everything we write and say is already being recorded, analyzed, and stored for future use. Drones will do nothing but add to the security of the US, and really, isn't that the most important thing? Oh, liberty, freedom, and privacy? Sorry, Jack. That is SO 20th century. The point is, if the technology is in their hands, the government will use it. What we think doesn't matter.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  140. Louis

    Benjamin Franklin warned us in 1775–"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    May 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  141. Kathy from the Hudson Valley

    I think drones spying on Americans goes against the 4th amendment, but I feel the same way about traffic cams that pick up speeders, people who go through stop signs, red lights and toll booths, GPS in cell phones and government looking for certain key words in emails and Web sites. If you go outside and stick your middle finger in the air, you are going to piss someone off at the Pentagon.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  142. Brian, Arizona

    Drones should absolutely be employed for domestic surveillance. Freedom is a fine thing, but privacy in particular is what makes freedom very dangerous.

    When people picture a world where their every move is known, they are judging it from a perspective cultivated by the world they live in. In a world where everything is observed and recorded however, no one could ever get away with murder. Kidnapping would be a near-impossibility. There would never be any ambiguity in court again. I believe the American People, and in fact humanity in general, would largely forget about their attachment to privacy within a generation.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  143. Steven C

    It is a very slippery slope that we are on ... A simple policy decision at the top of government could turn our democracy into a totalitarian state. The more we have the technology to spy on Americans on American soil, the more likely that decision will be made. It may come in small nibbles and bites and then there is the gotcha when the corner is turned and there is no going back. What if the President said that we must discourage all republicans from voting by disrupting the lives of republicans a few days before election day ... so that the last thought on those folks minds is to vote ... rather they are worried about an IRS audit or legal charges ... all of us likely commit at least a few "questionable" activities on a daily basis. If we discuss politics over the phone, could those conversations be misconstrued as attacking the government? If we encounter a stop light as it is changing ... did we decide to continue through on the yellow only to have it change to red before we exited the intersection? ... did we actually come to a full stop before making that right turn on red since no one was in sight? ... so many small details of our lives could turn any of us into criminals if monitored and prosecuted vigourously. The real question is who is in control and to what extent is the information used ... is it used to prevent major terrorism activities or is it used to microscopically and punitively punish those with opposing viewpoints? ... or maybe ... just to punish us because we aren't popular or acquiesce to the current popular trends of society. Just because something is popular doesn't make it legal or morally right! Unless there are absolute laws to control the activities, then it is all about popular viewpoints and nothing about what is legal, just, or fundamentally moral! A slippery slope that has been getting steeper and steeper over the last 50 years but very significantly steeper since 9-11

    A very slippery slope indeed.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  144. bob from NY

    Well Jack, we,re already listening to your phone calls, why not put a face to the voice? Hear that buzzing over head? Smile for your close up!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  145. Sean

    What is wrong with this country? Are we really willing to let the violent elements of our government, (the police , military, intelligence agencies, you know, the parts of the government that actually can lock people up and or kill them) spy on us like we cannot be trusted? Enough is enough. Do we really want to make America more and more like a police state, all in the name of our "safety"? I don't care if I'm not doing anything wrong, I don't want to be spied on by anyone. Where do we draw the line?

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  146. DrDanno

    Not only NO, but HECK NO! We can't trust our own police to not beat up homeless schizophrenics or pepper spray our own citizens who are demonstrating peacefully, sitting on the ground with arms linked, let alone flying drones with lethal firepower. There can be NO DOUBT THIS WILL BE ABUSED. Doesn't matter whether you're doing anything wrong or not. If someone wants to intimidate you, here's another tool in their arsenal. This is so UN-AMERICAN there are no words.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  147. Mary Davis

    I do not know if anyone is aware of this, but are we ever going to get back to fixing America instead of causing more unease?? come on..just put a bunch of retired people on each block...they SEE everything...

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  148. James Cassano

    No. In America we are supposed to be free. It seems to me however, that little by little we are being asked, or volunteering to give up our liberties. I want law enforcement to be fully equiped to keep us safe, but this is going too far.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  149. Josh from MI

    If we even have to ask this question, we've already failed to uphold our Constitution. Remember this? It's disheartening to see so many Americans here trying to justify this and other things that completely disregard it.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  150. roderickw

    It would offend me if the government puts the country further in the red by monitoring U.S. citizens with drones. There are millions in need. Congress does nothing to fix the country's problems. The government is destroying the country, thanks to the Tea Party and the very rich.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  151. DrDanno

    Perhaps this is the real reason for the second amendment; so that Americans will bear the arms necessary to shoot these things down.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  152. Josh from MI

    If we even have to ask this question, we've already failed to uphold our Constitution. Remember this? It's disheartening to see so many Americans here trying to justify this and other things that completely disregard it. Sorry, got to go now, the NDAA now labels me "potential terrorist" for this dissent.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  153. Travellinman

    My tax dollars being spent to spy on me?? Ha-ha. The only winner here is the american industrial defense complex – drone contracts.

    I want my tax dollars spent on "spying on" that is auditing and tracking the performance of my elected officials. I want to know who they meet with, who contributes to their campaigns, where they travel, who they see, how much they spend on their rooms and room service and travel, why they are there, how many hours they spend at work, how many on the golf course... I want to know everything about them – they run my world and they work for me. If they are not doing their job to my satisfaction, I want to know about it so I can vote them out the next election.

    Spending billions on drones to find the terrorist next door?. Ya don't get it – the drones are aimed at you – not terrorists. Your tax debt growing even larger for another government folly.

    R on Pa ul

    May 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  154. Greg in Cincinnati

    Sure. If you don't have "ANYHING" to hide, then what's the problem. They are spying on us now via sattelites. They have sattelites now that can read what time is on your watch from 22,000 miles up in space. Who knows, these drones could take a bite out of crime, especially drug smuggling from Columbia. Might as well put our tax dollars to work.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  155. ed

    It is a piece of communism..... It's not a debate of whether it's "yes" or "no" any longer.... We are a society being brainwashed into thinking everything is just fine moving into a liberal socialist democracy when in reality we are moving into communism quicker than most realize. They called it the Great Recession when it has been another Great Depression. The one's who will be caught off guard will be the uneducated and work-a-holics that have no time to reason this all out. When the USA raises their underground GREAT WALL OF CHINA wall, no one will be allowed to leave our borders. With Windows 8 being a porous enough operating system, to be operated by a lunatic with the remote ability to shut it down, who is in danger now? ......who hijacks and shuts off the stock market? Why do you think Barak has installed a backup system? Time to emigrate when you still can.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  156. Rome and us

    Stupidity breeds contempt, Lets waste billions of dollars for a repetitive and unjustifiable surveillance program that will feed the already growing mistrust of the government. And what is the assumed practicality that feeds this stupidity. That should be your real question, I highly doubt if it is worth it.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  157. MC in TX

    Of course they shouldn't but they will be. Just like there shouldn't be video cameras filming all of us in public places. But these are happening and will happen. Drones will gradually become less and less conspicuous and we will continue to be apathetic about this intrusion on our rights just like everything else.

    Our forefathers understood something that few understand today: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our founders understood that to hold on to your rights you always need to be suspicious of any government and carefully limit the authority you grant that government. There is always a tendency for all government to gradually abuse its authority. Paranoia regarding the government's authority is a good thing.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  158. Jim - Ontario Canada

    In areas where police have enough suspician to apply for and get a warrant – Yes. Along the border areas – without a warrant just have them fly along and scan both sides. They are useful tools, unlike politicians.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  159. Darlene Buckingham

    Ask the people of Pakistan what they think about drones.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  160. Don

    They eventually want to put up drones the size of a "mylar" balloon. Thousands of them!! The is great risk of hundreds of midair collisions between these things and low flying airplanes and helicopters

    May 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  161. Peter in VT

    Jack, that equates to having a video monitor in your bedroom. Not that I "mess around" out doors. After all I am in my mid- 70's.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  162. Jacee

    First of all, there was no way for the 'Founding Fathers' to foresee the technological advances of today. There is also no way to know how they would have reacted to a 9/11 type attack,. However, given their "non-passive" nature back in the day, I'm pretty sure that they would not have taken too kindly to that kind of thing, to say the least.

    Secondly, the fact is that there has not been a successful islamist terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11. I credit that fact to the policies, and actions of both the Bush, and the Obama, Administrations, and of course, all of those in our military services, and law enforcement agencies, who have implemented those policies.

    Lastly, if a drone flying over your head makes you nervous, then you're probably doing something that you shouldn't be.
    If we prevent one act of terrorism that would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds, or even thousands of Americans, by the use of drones, it will have been well worth it. In the meantime, if other criminals are apprehended, and/or crimes are prevented, perhaps violent crimes, then I see no problem with the entire program.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  163. Jason S

    I have nothing to hide. I think it would be a good thing to have a drone flying over Manhattan NY. Especially during holidays and parades and new years celebration. Keep it armed with a couple of sidewinders to take care of air threats.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  164. Awad Gure

    When it comes to securing the American people and keeping our beloved America Safe, nothing is off the Table.. Drones one of them

    May 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  165. Dameel in wake forest NC

    Listen if it's not one thing its another.If the government wants to look into my house to spy on me then i've done something to warrent this.I like how people want the government to protect them from drug cartels wanting to move their bussiness over here and violent felony imagrents sneeking back into the united states or home grown terror cells that could be anywere even right next door but once its found out how they are protecting us, we have the awdasity to then say (they might be doing too much).HOW FUNNY IS THAT.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  166. Al from Mississippi


    Seems some say it is alright because the drones are being used to spy on "others" that may be "bad people". The drone doesn't know bad from good or others from you.

    My pledge (while serving 38 years in the military) was to defend the constitution against enemies FOREIGN and DOMESTIC. I would say spying on the people I fought for, is a DOMESTIC ENEMY act against the constitution.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  167. Nick

    I am waiting on one of these to crash on someone's house or cars on a highway causing a pileup or on someone's head causing injury or death. Uncle Sam will have a lot of explaining to do after that.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  168. MC in TX

    It is interesting to note that while most conservatives violently oppose the government's intrusion into regulating corporations and protecting workers, most also support the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay (protecting the rights of the government and the rich but not the rights of the common man). 100 years ago American conservatives would have had precisely the opposite attitude.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  169. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills

    I have no problem as long as there is nothing to hide. However, it is better for the government to be open about it than covertly spying on citizens.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  170. Charles Darwin

    If we assert our constitutional rights, the terrorists win.

    May 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |